What Now? Please help/next steps...(1 post)
Here's the rundown:
2 weeks ago I noticed 20 bites on skin over 2 days, definite bug bites though I wasn't able to get to the derm until they were too old to ID (derm confirmed bug bites, no idea what caused them, said could be bbs). Patterns of 3, rows, under clothes, etc...not likely that these were mosquitoes and I don't have pets, so fleas unlikely. I had just visited my boss's office where he had "new" vintage furniture, and also frequently shop second-hand/consignment/vintage clothing, so could have picked up a hitchhiker.
Landlady confirmed that they looked like bedbug bites (obviously she's no expert, but has had other tenants at other properties get them) and wanted to exterminate. Pest guy came and tore the place apart, found no evidence, though if I have them, it would be early infestation, as these were my first bites. He sprayed poison in likely places, along baseboard, around bed, etc. at landlady's request.
I took every scrap of clothing, bags, shoes, curtains, etc., put washable clothes through hot wash/dry cycle, isolated non-washables (shoes, bags, wool, silk) in ziplock XL bags after leaving in black garbage bags in 90 degree heat for 7 days on the roof (they are still isolated). Encased mattress and box spring and put up on a metal frame. Cleaned, decluttered, fixed baseboard with caulk/plastered cracks, duct taped floor gaps (hardwood). I also put legs of the bed in yogurt containers with DE in and around. I just put the middle (5th) leg of the bed in a silver bowl with tea tree after 3 nights of that one bed leg being "unprotected" (i.e. they could have crawled up it) and no bites.
Here's the thing: I have been back here sleeping (still clothing isolated, all in ziplocks, etc.) for 3 nights with no bites. It's possible I just MASSIVELY overreacted to those 20 bites, and/or (maybe?) there was only ever 1 that I brought in from somewhere else and it died.
I've ordered climbups for the 4 outer legs of the bed, hoping not to have to add the 5th and just leave the metal bowl w/tea tree to save expense. I'll wait til these arrive and install them, then wait to see if anything is caught.
Meanwhile, I'm wondering if I ever had bbs in the first place and if not, how long I need to wait and see before I take clothes out of bags. I don't want to re-infect if somehow the infestation was on a piece of clothing that's in a bag and didn't die in the homemade "heat treatment," or they are living in a crack somewhere and could come back. However, I'm also not keen on living like an insane person with OCD if there are no bugs here.
Questions/things I'd like to know:
1) If I have climb ups on the 4 outer legs of the bed, is it likely that the middle metal bowl with tea tree would deter bbs from approaching the other legs? I want them to be caught if they're there, obviously (and/or walk through DE to get to me), so if they hate tea tree a lot, don't want to use it on that one leg and keep them away altogether.
2) Though I've done things to isolate (bed away from walls and bedside tables, up on frame, yogurt containers), that one leg was exposed and over the last 3 nights I haven't been bitten or seen any signs. If they were still (or ever) here, they could have gotten up on the bed via the 5th bed leg, I think. How likely is it that a hungry bed bug would leave me alone for 3 nights (I'd been staying w/my sister for the previous week and a half after being bitten, so I'm sure the thing/s would be hungry again if they were here)?
3) At what point after not being bitten can I take stuff out of bags and assume my problem is solved and/or never was? I would really hate to go to all this trouble and expense only to have to do it all over again.
Pleeeeeeeeeeeeaase help if you have experience with this -- I'm feeling very alone and obsessed.
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