WIN WIN WIN WIN WIN WIN WIN(28 posts)
So, I can’t believe I am posting in success stories!!!!!
Today Cooper (adorable brilliant border collie) came from CDIS (canine detection and inspection services) –the company that Doug Summers recommended to me. First off, let me say that they were the nicest people EVER. Seriously, when I first called and told them my tale of woe, they gave me a HUGE sympathy discount. It may also have helped that I dropped Doug’s name they were like "you know Doug? We're happy to do a favor for a friend"
Aaaaanyway, they come out (2 managers, a handler, and Cooper), educated me about exactly the process and what Cooper’s signs are. I have already put lily (my pug) in the bathroom, and smart and adorable Cooper is led carefully all over the apartment for about 45 minutes. I’m not really worried until they reach the living room and the sofas of doom. For those who have not heard my sad sad story –new sofas arrived infested, 3 PCO treatments, and a canine inspection revealed that the rest of my apartment was clear but the sofas were still bed bug partytown (but the rest of my apartment, which I had cluelessly infested in the first month of the sofa’s stay, was clear. So that was actually a tentative yay). Then I switched PCOs to A Alert. Treated the WHOLE apartment to the most thorough treatment I have honestly ever seen or could even imagine. Then 3 days later, A Alert sent out a tech to show me how to use my steamer on the sofas. I steamed and steamed. They came 2 weeks later and treated the whole apartment again –including spraying the cracks in my ceiling. And I steamed and steamed some more. A-Alert, my PCO was amazing. But, nothing was helping the sofas. Soooooo I did some research of my own (LOTS of reading. LOTS and LOTS of reading. Journal articles. EPA reports. Medical journals. LOTs of reading), and asked the PCO manager their opinion about a possible “off label” treatment for the room that could maybe cure the sofas (the sofas have these deep gaps in the frame that I could not be sure I was steam treating all the way. And deep deep down cushions that I think the dryer couldn’t fully heat). Because it was off label, my PCO could not be involved in my crazy hail mary treatment –but DID give me some pointers and their blessing. I caulked the hell out of every gap in the room to seal all of the walls from the other rooms. Then I tarped off the living room with two layers of 6 ml vapor seal polyurethane and gorilla tape, put 6 DDVP strips in the room (based on its cubic volume, plus one for luck/potential leakage through windows to outside), and also bagged each individual down sofa cushion with a DDVP strip of its own, in 4 ml contractor bags ziptied full of air. Left the whole thing sealed for 2 weeks. Put on my pesticide respirator and went in and opened all the windows, sealed it back up from the rest of the apartment and let it air for 10 days. Closed windows and let it warm up, and got canine inspection today, and the incredible ALL CLEAR –even on the sofas. No alerts on either frame, the mattress for the sofa bed, any cushion, etc. Seriously –they led Cooper around 3 times, and NOTHING (in constrast, in my last canine inspection I got at least 20 hits on the two sofas). Just to be sure, CDIS also did a visual inspection of each sofa with flashlight and tools. All clear.
And yes, I AM drinking champagne as we speak.
What have I learned? Absolutely trust your PCO, but also know that NO ONE is more motivated than YOU are to get rid of these little monsters. Do your homework, think out of the box, but then CHECK with the professionals. If I had floated my idea past the A Alert team and they had said it was unsafe, I would not have done it, I would have just trashed the sofas. I was careful, I knew the risks, I would NOT have done it if I had small children in the house (I do have a 19 lb dog, but she was fine -2 layers of vapor seal tarp is pretty darn air tight, and I put up a dog gate far away form the tarp –she could not get anywhere near the living room). I was in a rare situation, a room that could be tarped for two weeks that because of the architecture of my apartment, was actually situated well away from other rooms –no its own separate hallway. Two radiators in that room to assure warmth enough to keep the bed bugs breathing and the DDVP strips sublimating. A PCO willing to think out of the box. A pesticide respirator. A LOT of homework. And both sleep and sanity due to my PCO clearing the rest of the apartment (including my bedroom –thus the sleep), and the support on this board (thus the sanity).
Thanks to all of you who gave solace when it was needed, were willing to listen to my crazy ideas (I clued some friends on the board into what I was doing weeks ago), rooted for me, and cracked me up and kept me cheerful throughout this horrid 4 month trip. I’ll stick around awhile because I’ve gotten attached to folks here. And also because I would *not* have coped with my first few overwhelmed and sleep deprived weeks without those on the board who had already come through it, and could talk me out of crazy-town. I hope to become one of those reassuring old timers (ok, maybe that’s too much to hope for, given I only had a 4 month battle. Although I may have read up enough on dichlorvos to aspire to become for DDVP strip treatment what spideyjg is for caulking or what buggyinsocal is for heat. And if I can save folks some homework, more the better). But mostly I just want to stay around a bit as a thank you for everyone here. Thanks guys, your combined support and collective wisdom made a horrible experience MUCH less awful.
Am signing off to drink more champagne and go out with friends to celebrate. In CASHMERE and CUTE BOOTS –that’s right –no more hot wash and dry clothes and shoes for me!!!!! whooo
WHOO-HOO!!!! Congrats, congrats, congrats!!!!! So happy for you!!! Have a great time lounging on those "clean" sofas!
Hey wchicago, I am so happy for you! That is such good news. Enjoy the champagne and please stick around. You can be the expert member for the DDVP strips. (I once purchased them but returned them when I read how dangerous they could be, so we need you here for all the new bb fighters.) Congratulations!!!
Congrats on the all clear.
Also, for the record, this is one of the best posts I've seen in terms of giving readers a sense of exactly how much work has to go into a self-treatment option. (I should note for readers that her self-treatment was only part of a larger plan).
I know the purpose of this post isn't to tell others how to self-treat, but I just wanted to commend you for giving readers a clear sense of exactly how much work and research you did prior to self-treating even as one part of a larger plan. I couldn't ask for a better example of why in general nobody here encourages self-treatment as a first or only choice if other means are available. There's so much work and education that goes into it.
Also, congrats on being able to keep your couches. yay!
OMG - you are my HERO!!! I've been trying to read up on DDVP also, because I have a peculiar situation that I'm trying to address and can't seem to get anywhere. I'm getting so discouraged - and then I read your post....a ray of light!!! I'll be PMing you in the near future...LOL! But not tonight - now you have to take your bad-cashmere-and-cute-boot-wearing-self out on the town, and NOT think about those evil bbs...Congrats - I'm VERY happy for you!!!!!!!
Oh, that is just fabulous! Congratulations!
Enjoy that champagne! AND those couches. You've more than earned it.
LIKE LIKE LIKE LIKE LIKE!
So happy for you.
Bittersweet congratulations; happy for you, sad for all the rest of us who have to go on without you. You're a real team player.
I'll PM the rest.
Well done, wchicago. Enjoy your champagne!!!
I am soooo happy - - I am in tears!!! I've followed your story all along and right now even though it's just afternoon having a champagne toast with you!!!
You have been one of the best troopers on this board and always stayed positive.
One thing - - (I know you won't be here as much) but please don't leave us....you've been great here!!
I am SO SO happy for you!!!!! WOO HOO that is wonderful!!!! good for you! hope you enjoyed that champagne it is well deserved!!!
I second NOTOBUGS!!! Don't leave completely! We'd miss your positive energy!
Congratulations and good work! I am very happy to hear it worked.
Now...will you EVER shop at Ikea again ?
Hooray! Congratulations to you...and to your adorable little dog!
awww thanks for all the good wishes! i love this forum. people here are so nice.
and i'm definitely sticking around for awhile. like notobugs, i end up following people's bed bug battles and rooting for them through the ups and downs, and i want to be here to see the success stories for all of those other folks. not to mention, there is *a lot* of good information on these forums, and i'm not naive enough to think i won't run into bb again someday. heaven knows i'll do my best not to, but like persephone said in another post, they are a freakily growing epidemic in chicago (tiredofbedbugs can certainly attest to that too). and tee hee soscared- no, i probably *won't* be comfortable shopping at ikea for awhile, well -maybe for dishes. but nothing upholstered, that would defeat my 'trying to avoid bedbugs' routine entirely!!
and tormented and myworstfear, absolutely feel free to PM me with ddvp questions if you've got them. i am no expert, but i've read a lot, and from my personal experience i am certainly convinced those strips can be a hugely valuable tool in the fight -but they are complicated in terms of timing, temperature, needed airspace, etc.
and maybe, just maybe, if i stick around long enough - there will be a happy ending for bait (2 years of battling and counting). when she wins at last, i think we will *all* open some champagne!
thanks again for all of the good wishes! you guys rock.
EXCELLENT!!! So happy for you!!
yaaaaay!!! wchicago! congratulations, i'm so happy for you! you worked so hard to get rid of them and it paid off!
i hope you had a great celebration with your friends in your finery and i'm sending you mental fountains of champagne.
nice post and congrats!
Congratulation!!! You worked so hard, you totally deserve it! Also, you were so helpful to people on these boards that I think you worked up some "good karma" on your part. I hope it continues and you never get plagued with these awful insects again!
oh gosh wchigago PLZ PLZ PLZ tell me!! I actually haven't seen a thing YET! I beleive i have em tho!!! I known someone to be in my house after being in an infected house. I feel like something is biting me throughout the day!!!! I have been inspecting EVERYTHING. I found some lil whitish buggies in a dusty shelf under my bed and that was plenty to freak me out!!!!!!! I am in the process of moving and FREAKING OUT!!! I don't want to bring them w/me!!!!! OH GOD PLZ HELP!! I bought some nuvan strips and some BEDLAM spray. You think these things actually work?? I am cleaning everytthing i can possibly clean.. Boiling my kids toys. Washing all clothing/beddings. And bringing it over to the new place. There are things that I cannot clean such as books, computers, electronics! My daughter REFUSES to get rid of her stuffed animals!!!!! What the heck can I do to NOT take these things along for the ride!?!? And have plenty of carpeting in the new place..Where my current place has none..I know carpeting is another breeding ground..So i'm def freaking out!!!! Plz help asap..I only have 2days to go!!!!!!
Get the bugs IDed.
Read FAQ and resource pages. Search on moving.
Consider inspection of old and new place by a good PCO.
You're doing a lot of things right, but need to be more systematic.
Things you can't treat now can be bagged securely until you figure out how to treat them.
Stuffed animals books and other items can be pack-tited.
Nuvan strips in secure bags is reputedly effective.
Some cities have thermal or fumigation of moving trucks. Perhaps that can help.
Don't sweat about the rugs. AFAIK, they can be steamed if necessary and treated at the edge.
You'll find lots of support and help here, but suggest you start your own thread with good titles.
Best of luck.
It's great that you saved your sofas from being landfill. I'm curious to know if it might have been possible to just seal your sofas with the DDVP strips instead of your entire living room. There must have been a reason why you didn't do that, since it sounds like you did a lot of research.
although i actually found a bag big enough to fit the sofa frame (banana bags biggest size) it would have been a tight enough squeeze that air circulation would have been a problem. in order for ddvp to be effective, the vapor has to circulate to where the bbs are. sealing small things in big bags is fine - but sealing big things in bags might not allow enough air/vapor movement in the bag. at least that was my and my pco's concern. thus the tarped room with a small desk fan on low for air movement
i did seal the sofa cushions each in a bag with their own individual strips because i knew they were infested, wanted to concentrate treatment, and also, they were small enough that 1 cushion in a big 55 gallon bag still left plenty of airspace and thus vapor after 3 weeks of 'steeping'.
also hi to slf -i hope your move goes well and my sympathies that you have this added stress on top of the regular stress of moving with children! at this point, i would STRONGLY consider thermal or vikane on all of your goods while they are in the moving truck. given you're moving anyway, it would be the fastest way to treat everything. i also second cilecto's encouragment to get the bugs id'd -many bugs cause bites, not just bed bugs and since you don't seem to have found a bed bug it might not be bed bugs. here is the good news though - vikane and/or thermal of your things in the moving truck should kill whatever is biting you, bed bugs or no. best of luck!!!
I had A-Alert (also known as Singer Sanitation) in Chicago, and they got rid of them in my apartment. Highly recommend!
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