When Can I Have Company?(11 posts)
First of all- I don't know what I would've done w/o this site over the past few months! Bless you all -particularly NoBugs for continued support! I just wish I would've found it sooner. Lots of mistakes were made in the first week or so. Also- I have no idea which forum to put this in. Someone correct me if necessary.
I moved into a new place Aug 1. No doubt I brought them with me in my 2nd hand moving boxes. The provider of the boxes unbeknownst to them, had bugs when they passed on the boxes and the bugs to me.
I am and will remain grateful that this has been a mild infestation-thanks to all the help and guidance I get from here, kind PCOs and benevolent entymologists.
-First bite Aug 4,bit up on hands like something out of a horror movie on 8/6
-8/7 called NYC 311 and am told to wash my clothes in hot water,called landlord whomever I've never met cuz it's a sublet. Have a ...conversation.
-8/10 first treatment
-3.5 treatments total (one "treatment" was Sterifab. I consider that a 1/2 treatment)
-take down drapes I had just put up
-$650 in laundry and dry cleaning (as I said-mistakes were made)
-Clothes in drier for 35-40 minutes and will continue to do so
-Per PCO, I purchase $170 in jumbo plastic bins from Lowes
-caulked bedroom and closets
-Permanently sealed bed and boxspring in 2 encasements (1 fancy ineffective $89 CleanRest covered w/1 $5 vinyl then sealed w/white duct tape)each
-Two sofa bed mattresses(I'm in a sublet)in the vinyl sealed w/duct tape, pillow encasements
-No storage under furniture
-No furniture including my bed touches the walls.
-Vacuum out and alcohol if possible all shoes and purses then bag 'em.
-Buy crappy but white polyester blanket at KMart for $11.00 and ivory sheers for windows for $7.00
-Sleep in white clothing, wrapped in a white sheet on vinyl mattress cover
-Shake out sheet each morning, checking for fecal matter, smashed bugs, blood stains
-Cool shower before bed and 1st thing in the morning
-Vacuum stays in ziploc
-Secretly vacuum my cubicle and any shared furniture at work after everyone goes home
-No cardboard remains in apartment. My ziplocs, contractor bags and garbage bags are in a ziploc bag.
-Last bite felt 9/15 or thereabouts
-Until 10/15 dress in bathroom or middle of livingroom and tear outta the house as soon as I'm dressed, all Netflix and remotes for TV & dvd player in ziplocs (the idea of transmitting thru Netflix is too fabulous NOT to consider), open up laptop and leave it our
-Until 11/1 vacuumed 90 minutes to 2 hrs every nite w/12 amp vacuum; now 90 mins 3x a week
-11/2 put full set of (white)sheets and pillow cases on bed
-Until 11/1 used ziplocs as makeup bag and a wallet (fancy)
-11/6 I find dead adult bedbug while vacuuming pile of plastic bin lids.
-11/7 PCO comes out, scrutinizes floor, couches and bed, finds no evidence
-Until 11/11 all clothing in bags, now in closets and dressers
-Linens, scarves, hats, shoes remain in bags
-all jewelry, toiletries and paper goods (toilet paper, paper towels)and cds remain in ziplocs.
-books, photos, surplus linens, candle sticks remain in ziplocs and most will remain so until 1/09.
-Until 11/11 kept purses in ziploc at home and at work.
-11/12- I sit on my couches and heirloom needlpoint chair for the first time since 8/6.
What this has done to my skin and health is for a different post( and a whole sub plot where I thought had mites) but the point is:
WHEN CAN I HAVE A GUEST OVER FOR DINNER? IS NOW OK? Cuz I'd really like it to be NOW. (And I don't mean a sleepover! Just dinner...as if it's any of your business-I'm kidding) Thoughts? Anyone?
Wow....what a thorough list! Well, they say judge it by your bites. I read somewhere that after 60 days without bites you are most likely safe. Personally, I don't think I'll ever feel safe until I have moved to a brand new house with all new furniture...and...what the heck...let's throw in a new wardrobe as well.
Bugalew, no bites in 2 months sounds pretty good. Do you have neighbors? Did you or the landlord brief them on bed bugs, the signs (and that they may see no bugs and receive no bite marks)?
bugalew, I am very impressed with your diligence and ability to adhere to the protocols! I don't know if I could do it, but then again I have not yet been "bit up like something out of a horror movie." You are an inspiration and you give me hope that I can do it too, if necessary! You are also an evil genius - transmission by Netflix scares the bejeezus out of me. I am not a member and thanks to you I will never join!
currentinsomniac, perhaps you should be playing the lottery. A win would be the answer to your prayers! Maybe we should all go in together on the next $300 million Powerball pot.
i waited about 8 months beforei had company. you are probably safe now so if you want to and are comfortable doing so, do. i just wasnt and didnt. everyone has their own timing.
bugalew, no advice to give you but I also want to say how impressively thorough your protocol following has been. I never would have thought to put my paper towels into a ziploc because I use them to clean up around the kitchen and rest of house now (so I don't have to wash more rags and towels).
That was a very thorough list. I'm not a believer that vacuuming 90 minutes to 2 hours is necessary when you aren't removing bedbugs, but vacuuming is a way to ensure that you carefully inspect the places bedbugs might be--and you did that. I particularly like your mentioning not using cardboard boxes in your home. That isn't always stressed and is an excellent suggestion.
I hope your guests wouldn't get bedbugs at this point, but there are two things to worry about:
1) Could any of your guests unwittingly bring bedbugs in (coat, bag, etc.) and re-infest your place?
2) If any of your guests get bedbugs from someplace else (dorm, building, staying at a hotel), would they or you think they got YOUR bedbugs?
Just some thoughts.
Congratulations bugalew on making it to the other end! You must feel really great--hope life gets (somewhat) back to normal for you soon. I have a question for you about the remotes--how did you know there weren't bugs inside when you bagged them? I've been thinking about bagging things as a precautionary measure but if it's not clothing, how does one know it's ok to bag? Or do you have to treat everything before bagging?
bugalew, I read a post in which the person said they will never allow guests to throw their coats on the bed ever agan. Maybe you'll want to have your guests bag their coats before they cross the threshold.
Based on all I've learned here and many other places, I keep myself on good old "orange alert" for the the next year or so... I could open a box, tear a mattress cover, something could walk out of a radiator etc etc. My vacuuming comes from the advice of a consultant type person who used to work for a Manhattan PCO and came out to my place. I have written about my open parquet floors ad nauseum -found eggs in the open grooves. It's all the same and all specific at the same time.
I have residual health issues from my specific reactions to the bites reminding me to stay on the ball. As you might gather, I live alone and have had "no life" since this began.
I have a metal coat rack near the front door. Heavy duty door mat on the outside and a decorative one when you step in.
As far as how and what to bag-what has worked for me so far: depending on what it is, yes- I vacuumed. Also, if I don't really need it for 18 months (ie photo albums) I just bagged it & dated it.
Clear bags. I walked into a hardware store in Manhattan and they seemed to have put together a display of all things relating to bedbugs. Included were stacked boxes of BLACK OPAQUE contractor bags. Desperate folks, bagging stuff up in a hurry are stuck with that for awhile.
My first PCO-pre first treatment-had me put everything in jumbo bins after I bagged it all. It was pricey-$170-200 and I was miffed when Irealized it was mostly for his convenience of moving stuff around but it has been helpful.
Books,shoes,purses,loose photographs,photo albums, papers,-as directed-fanned them over the bathtub, vacuumed and bagged em. A PCO recemmended I blow dry as well. Threw some stuff out.
Remotes (ziploc snack bags), cds, dvds, laptop, dvd player, surge protectors (all unplugged-duh)wiped w/rubbing alcohol and vacuumed.
Jewelry and make-up-wiped down and bagged in snack bags
Toiletries-wiped down w/alcohol and bagged.
Bags-contractor bags,Space bags, XXL Ziplocs, snack size, vacuum cleaner, dust buster and garbage bags-all in bags
Paper towels, dish towels and toilet paper remain in bags.
The kitchen & bathroom were never an issue in my infestation as far as I could tell. The bugs want me-not my stuff. I left alot of stuff out in open so the bugs would be drawn out. I vacuumed the coffee maker, back of the microwave etc but did not bag them up.
This is alot and obviously not for everyone. I felt like I was doing SOMETHING.
Wow, bugalew. Thanks for taking the time to post all that. I just came from my PCO inspection and treatment is scheduled for Monday 11/26. I have ten days to prepare and three days shot with Thanksgiving travel. Your list will really help me get ready! Thank goodness I have already done a good chunk of the laundry.
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