Where are they hiding?(27 posts)
No points for originality, but where are my bedbugs? I've had 3 treatments. I am no longer being bitten every day, but I am still being bitten. My last for-sure bite was Sunday night (multiple bites actually), and before that, Tuesday. My PCO is now annoyed with me and says I don't have bedbugs. The three techs who've come have varied greatly in skill and patience, one was really good, but the other two were to some extent spray jockeys. None has been a detective. None has seen any bugs during treatment. I have been doing my own inspection, but I lack the skills and experience. I study the walls and the floors and I have double-sided tape in some places, but I see nothing. What should I do? The obvious places are covered. The bed is steel and has been sprayed (by them) and dusted (by me), the electrical outlets and fixtures have been dusted. The other spare furnishings do not appear to be infested, but have been treated anyway. There are a ton of cracks and crevices but I know that at least the really good tech sprayed all the obvious ones. (No, I'm not sure that I can caulk all of them--they're like my bites, too numerous to keep track of.)
I'm afraid that my PCO will drop me. Their method of inspection is to walk into a room and look around, sans flashlight, crouching low or any of the things I fantasize a really good tech coming to do. No bugs crawling on the walls? Then, no bedbugs! (I suppose they're used to places with clearly visible bugs, but surely they must know that they can be there and not go out for a stroll during their visits? Why don't they know this? Also, why do they assume that they have to be dead if they're spraying? They've asked no questions and proposed no theories as to why they could still be biting me. The last tech had the balls to ask me if I was washing my sheets! They're just annoyed and speak to me/look at me like I'm crazy.)
Doing my own pest control is not an option for me. DE is as far as I can go. I'm avoiding using more DE because I'm afraid of the warnings against overuse. But maybe if every surface is covered in DE, I will at least have a chance.
Oh, and I'm sure they are bites. I wish they were old bites flaring up, or imaginary bites. But they're not. There's always excrement on the sheets or, revulsion, on me when they occur.
did you open your electrical outlets and flashlight inside? that is where mine were hiding.
Did you save the droppings from the sheets and show them to the tech?
Thanks, nightshirt, I admit I have not personally looked into every one, only the tech. The ones I looked at were clear. But will open all of them again.
Nobugs, no I did not save the specks, they're gross, but the techs don't ask for anything when they come anyway, they just start spraying and say I should not have a problem again. I have some other specks from earlier on an index card. I told the person I deal with on the phone about the specks and the bites and he was like "are we sure this is bedbugs?"
Nightshirt, how close was the electrical outlet to your bed? What kind of outlet was it, plug, switch?
I'd start collecting the specks, nightly, on cards. Tape--> index cards. Date and location. At the very least, perhaps Lou could verify their source (not sure). If they're going to imply you don't have bed bugs, you have to use everything you've got to prove them wrong. I know a bug is more convincing, but they must realize these other things are evidence too. But given what we know about bites and how different they can look, the bites alone are not the best evidence.
Checking outlets is good too.
Sorry to vent but I am getting fed up.
Based on all of the stories that I am hearing lately on exterminators or PCOs or whatever they wish to be called it appears that not many of them have the knowledge, skill and professionalism needed to battle these pests. The one I used in NYC back in October and November 2006 originally told me over the phone that they will get rid of the bbs because of their extensive experience with bbs. I had the same guy three times. After the second spray I found a live bug that had later been acknowledge by Dr. Pollack at Harvard to be a bb several months old. Before I sent the specimen to Harvard for evaluation I showed the exterminator and he was not sure it was a bb in fact he said it was not. The sample was stuck to blue painters tape on its back, alive in a plastic ziplock and he said that he would have to see the other side of the bug to be able to tell if it was a bb. He did give me his cell number and he appeared to be an understanding person but now he will not return my calls. He never inspected anything really, he did take a quick look at a spot or two but really just sprayed chemical all over the place, as you state a "spray jockey." Give us the chemicals and equipment anyone could do that! Too many good people suffering over this and too many making too much money. And our government, what a joke! Gianaris, Vallone and Mayor if you happen to read this I have a thing to say to you --- GET TO WORK!!! Your playing fiddle as Rome is burning! This is not going to go away by itself. Get a public awarness campaign together and put the word out. It is your duty as elected officials to do so!
Thank you all. We have to start to get mad. The squeaky wheel gets the grease.
I'm as mad as HELL and I'm NOT going to take it any more!!!
LTDan, you write to your council person don't you? If you do, keep doing it. I have written several times, and I think I'll do it again. I'm curious -- If you were going to ask the public officials to send a message out, what would you like them to say in their message exactly?
I have spoken to the people at the office of Assemblyman Mike Gianaris many times and I was told basically that they have more important issues at the moment but I should keep in touch which I understood as See Ya Wouldn't Wanta Be Ya. I have also emailed the Mayor and a few others including the NY Times. I think a public awareness campaign of some kind. Posters on the street and brochures in dry cleaners, laundrys and just about any place that people will see them. First of all of course the basic info should state that a problem does exist and how to avoid infestations and how to check for an infestation and what to do if you become infested. I still see young people taking furniture from the garbage. In January I saw two young educated girls who were probably right out of college pushing a brand new leather sofa down the center of my street at 1:oo in the morning. They were laughing, like they were celebrating the find and they may have been a little drunk also. I quickly found my door keys but because they were so exicited and moving at the speed of light I did not get the chance to warn them. I yelled but they could not hear me. I felt bad about that for a long time. Who throws out a brand new leather sofa if it had not been infested?
Look, I have a job, I elected people to serve the public, that is their job. They know what needs to be done, basically it is a no brainer. They need to research the problem as we have and come up with a plan and implement that plan ASAP. I do not know the reasons why they are not, they do know that a problem exists. The Mayor's office and industry must be behind the reason for not informing the public. Money is the root of all evil. I once only a few months ago heard of stories that bbs were in hotels. If I was better informed I would have knowledge on what to look for and I would have checked my bed a lot sooner before my wife was greeted by a bug.
I read today on this site that we all should email that soprano who got bed bug bites from the Hilton In Phoenix. Good idea.
I actually saw her on the NBC news one morning speaking about the problem. She has a site that we could email her personally.
She may not know that we all exist and may not know how bad we are all suffering. Maybe a well written page in this site that we can all comment on that would get emailed to her, CC to the media, government, CDC, Homeland Security, Sanitation union, school unions, Hospitals etc. That may be a start. We can also download that page and all send it personally, bombarding the receipients with emails or regular mail. We could ask our members for ideas.
We need to take aggressive action and let our voices be heard as a group and as individuals. We need to speak up!
The squeaky wheel gets the greese!
So LTNT DAN PM me the sopranos email and website info ... I'm an Opera buff and If she's who I think it is-I think I kind of know her: I'll chat her up and let her know about bedblogger; sje may be here already!
Her name is Alison Trainer and she is 32 years old and lives in NYC. Let us know if you know her. Thanks.
No I don't but I'd still like to be the one to write the letter or email,with input from people, if NBOM doesn't mind. i'll do research on it and her and I will use spell check and act normal--I swear!
LTNT Dan. I TOTALLY agree with you about the pco's ripping us off. We need a pesticide that works. That is the problem. Forget Earth Day. Let's go back to DDT and see if it works. People are arguing that it does or doesn't work. The only way to find out is to use it. It's like vaccinations. Just because we don't get polio anymore does not mean we do not vaccinate for it. Bedbugs should be gotten rid of and preventing them from returning like they did from 1940 until about 1970. Who cares why they are back? Just get rid of them.
Also, politicians are NOT going to listen unless you are famous or get a petition signing stating something must be done by thousands of people from NYC. Bringing the petition to the media and demanding that something be done for the sake of our children, eldery and other fragile people, along with the rest of us. One call here and there will not do anything. We need mass amounts of voting people.
Hopeless, I was wondering if your bedframe may have holes in it that you did not caulk? what about the screws in your bedframe? any curtains on windows next to your bed? Are your mattresses covered in vinyl zippered plastic covering?
I'm trying to help out here to see if you missed anything so you can try to get rid of these f..kers!!
Anyway, some pcos talk the really good talk and really think they know what they are doing. If it wasn't for this beautiful blog for education, then I would have believed them!! I hate to say this, but a lot of pcos stink in extermination of bbs. It's relatively new and they have no clue (oh, I just made a rhyme). There is no reason for the pcos to say "I'm sorry, but I am not going to take your money because I know sh.t about bbs". Like I said, they will talk the talk.
Hopeless, another place they might be--LOOK UP! A lot of pest control operators still think of treating where roaches go, such as along the baseboards. But bedbugs are different. They can just as easily live above your bed and in the ceilings. My bedbugs are in the ceiling above my bed and they come through the opening for the light fixture. They were also in the crown molding.
On another note, I'm getting angry at the type of bedbug treatment that PCOs are providing. The bad PCOs get paid the same as the good ones. I know the problem is partly because bedbugs have increased so quickly that there are not enough trained operators, but I also think we are being scammed. Anyone can come into a room, look around, spray, and charge hundreds of dollars. I'd rather have a member of this board treat me than a lot of the PCOs you've described. Don't they have professional standards to adhere to? Can we videotape their visits when they come and show them to the National Pest Control Association? We're being robbed.
On the other hand, at the bedbug conference, an experienced pest control operator said that two of them spent 3 hours going over one room where they knew there were bedbugs and they couldn't find them. So there is no proof that even careful, experienced PCOs can find where the bedbugs are hiding.
I can't wait for aggregate pheremones. I just can't wait.
And so nomo ... now your thread is back at the top: how's the self treatment going, along with the--on the fringe, pro--PCO treatments? Parakeets has such a valid mind here ... look up. If you have read my threads lately I'm "Vasalining" Practically Everything! That's not hazardous, in fact ... While I have a mind to I will now do the outline all around the ceiling light even though I live on the top floor--(thanks Parakeets);) (They could easily go up my walls and "nest" inside there!
It so true, I still tend to think of roaches ... all the two bugs have in common, really is that they tend to go toward warmth but for totally different reasons.
How have the bites been thru all your dilligent efforts better or worse???
Ceiling, as Parakeets mentioned?
Somewhere else in the house, not the bed?
Could they be coming in on your pajamas, feet or hair?
I feel silly even giving you suggestions because I know you know all this. But I'll just brainstorm a bit more.
Encasings not totally sealed up? I think the vaseline in the zipper hole is much more solid than tape. Check for holes in the encasing?
Can you get new encasings? I thought the ones from Brookstone actually sounded pretty good.
Sheets touching the floor? I know you didn't want to isolate your bed, but that might help in this case. If they can't get to you in bed, they might show their faces in daylight. You could just try risers, no tape or vaseline. They could be climbing up the sheets.
New PCO? Is it possible for you? These guys sound terrible. Can you request a manager perhaps? You say, "I'm afraid that my PCO will drop me." Wouldn't that be a good thing? Shouldn't you drop them first?
Just some ideas. Tell us more about your situation and we can keep brainstorming.
Hey guys, thanks so much for your kindnesses and all the ideas.
I'm sorry I didn't reply sooner but, well, silly me, I thought moving without my laptop and my belongings would rid me of bedbugs! Joke is most definitely on moi. (If I'd known, I would have kept the laptop... and a very simple red wood pencil cup I used to have that cheered me up every time I saw it, funny the things you miss.)
I check and recheck but it's good to be reminded of everything. At this writing I've had a fourth treatment (the PCO has dropped the disbelieving tone for some reason).
My guess is that they're inside the walls. But most people who have bedbugs have this fear. I have a huge caulking job ahead but it's a daunting task. The thing is, wherever they are, they should be exposed to the pesticides when they come over for dinner, which they do. But, surprise, surprise, they don't die. I imagine they dance on the pesticide, do a little pirouette and 'see ya next time sucka'.
I've started to use a lot more DE, but I've also been sick, so things are not looking up.
Btw, I have a steel bed and whoever said (or keeps saying) that they can't climb up metal...
Anyway, my guess is the next step will be a new PCO, if I can figure out how to swing it. Also if this goes on for much longer, I guess I will isolate the bed after all (the mattress is twice encased in vinyl). I just dread it, because now I still have the kitchen. I can sit there facing the windows which get so much wonderful light and (try to) read a book unmolested. If I isolate the bed, I will not have the kitchen anymore. I'll have nothing. But S may be right, maybe I'll figure out where they are then.
Hey nomo so sorry ... I do think--even though I can't see your place, that a good goop of Vaseline all around the perimeter of the entryway into the kitchen--will stop them, so long as you don't go in there with any bugs on you. I know it sounds so simplistic, and yet it is so hard to have to "keep disrobing" every time you go into the kitchen and who knows for how long???
I don't really know for sure, of course, but Vaseline is cheap and it can be wiped away. I'd even goop it on the floor to make an airtight seal of the entire room. A good two inches of it. And, I would not use the carpet tape. Maybe some other tape, like... medical tape instead. When I took mine off it ripped away the cheap bad paint-job they did (high gloss over latex ... aught to be a law.
A PCO? I'd bet money on them telling you NOT to do the Vaseline thing. Me personally??? I'd DO it anyway!
Best and sincerest wishes--willow
you know i had them in the walls and had a wonderful friend caulk the whole place, on hands and knees with a clear silicone caulking. comes in a gun thing and you press the end. if you need to know the name i may still have it at home. pm me.
my pco, as i stated before is great. mine also were scurrying through my closet to the living room where we hung out, up the couch to eat me!. the caulking between the common wall helped and i think that was what really put an end to this (hopefully).
behind your appliances is a MUST look. for cracks, underneath kitchen cabinetsand under sinks where pipes run.
hopelessnomo....Is it possible that your blanket is touching the floor when you sleep?? If it does, they will climb right up it...it happened to me....Sorry you are sick....my wishes for you to feel better....
NYJammin...Personally, I feel that there is a whole lot of misinformation out there about DDT....bottom line is that people have unfounded fears about it, because of the misuse ...it's so unfortunate....now, scientists would rather spend millions of dollars on research, while the landfills fill up with millions of dollars of furniture and people have to spend millions of dollars on expensive pesticides, before they will develop a chemical to kill these monsters off....I don't trust a whole lot of what the "experts" are saying about bed bugs.......give me some results, the same kind of results that happened in the 40's and 50's and 60's..and 70's...before DDT was banned....the results I want are something that kills bed bugs effectively - timewise and costwise....don't be fooled by the propaganda that is being spread about "super bugs"...its all BS..
You forgot one thing. If you isolate the bed, you may not have the kitchen.
But if you do it right, YOU'LL HAVE THE BED.
I made this tradeoff and it was worth it. For about a month, I came home, stripped, ate dinner standing in the kitchen, then hung out in bed all night. Read books/magazines (vigorously shaken out before entering the bed), talked on the phone, wrote. We even watched some movies by bringing the laptop in and putting it on a stool (which had double-stick tape coating the leg bottoms).
The caulking sounds like a great idea. Just look at it in chunks - do it in half-hour or hourlong pieces. I steamed an entire couch and it took me about 8 hours, but that was broken out across three weekends.
The DE sounds like it's probably reached its limit. You probably want to try more non-chemical methods at this point. Perhaps double-stick carpet tape around the borders of the walls and floor?
Oh, and Willow and others, one method for having the very-sticky tape not ruin your surfaces is to lay down blue painter's tape first - it's not very sticky at all. Run it face-down. Then put the double-sided sticky tape directly on top of the painter's tape. It should lay flat, but also pull off easily when you're done.
Guys, let's focus on helping hopelessnomo, as that is the subject of this thread.
Thanks for your help, everyone.
nomo--it is inconveninet--but wearing a dust mask at night just temporarily? Also when I ruff up my DE now ... I pre plan on taking a nice walk or going on an outing with someone for a few hours. It settles back down. If your coughing it up that's good! it means it most likley did not get into the extreemly delicate areas of the lungs.
Remember that you want to use Fresh Water Food Grade DE, you can also get a bag with some pesticide added which the pesticide will stimulate them and get them moving, you want them to move and come after you so they walk or run through the DE.I know that they will run or walk through clumps not like roaches, a roach will not go through clumps of boric acid powder it will avoid it. After using DE if your leave you house for a couple of hours with windows closed the powder will settle. You do not have to use allot and use a strategy on placement. It can dry out your skin depending on how sensitive you are so wear rubber gloves and a mask. Of course the vaccuuming continues and inspections. I found some hatched eggs at the bottom underneath a big dresser. I saw what looked like white dust specks and I used some blue painters tape and the eggs stuck. I used a photographers 10X loupe and only then was I able to see that they were eggs. I held a shark hand steamer to them and it did nothing to the egg shells. Maybe if they contained a bug it may of killed it inside the egg shell but that is my speculation.
Last remarks on DE. Take a brush that women use to put on blush and brush along where the wall meets the ceiling, just a light coat is good. I would try not to use in electronics or fans or CDs because I am not sure if that would do damage. Books are OK.
DE is cheap, about $20.oo for a bag with chemicals and I think $10.00 without order a duster also $2.00. I also suggest that the pesticide enhanced DE should be used in places that you wont come in contact with as much. It does have chemicals.
I do not believe that you need to throw out all of your belongings just get rid of clutter. I think even if one lived in an empty house or apartment they still have places to hide like walls and cracks in floor boards. If connected they can enter from neighbors spaces. I know of reports of exterminations of taxi cabs, movie theaters and hospitals.
We are at the beggining of what will be a nation wide epidemic in the next year or two. One good thing is that before I found that I had a problem I was thinking that I own too much material possessions, I think many of us do. Maybe this is teaching us some kind of lesson about materialism. We do not need 50% of what we have instead of spending money on stuff we do not need we could bank it and maybe be able to vacation and retire some day.
This last year I went through more money than I can care to admit to because of bed bugs...I agree that materialism is not the way to happiness on any level, but to be witness to , via this blog, of the mass amounts of perfectly good furniture and bedding, being dumped into our landfills, because of bed bugs, says little to bed bugs eradicating materialism...I for one do not appreciate the fact that I had to fork over $5800.00 dollars to a PCO...Bed Bugs are insidious...and more insidious is the lack of Public awareness...the lack of Public Education....Sunday I was driving down 25A. on Long Island, ..there in a very nice neighborhood was a mattress and boxspring thrown out on the street...A POD in the driveway..and a pallette on the driveway..filled with black plastic bags..covered with a tarp...whoa...this has to be bed bugs...poor schmucks have to take their entire house apart...and then spend thousands on pest control...and then...go back out into the world where bed bugs are spreading..unchecked....
Thanks again to everyone.
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