Got Bed Bugs? Bedbugger Forums » Detection / Identification of bed bugs

17 months after a successful treatment, it happens again.

(14 posts)
  1. HecatesMisery

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    Posted 2 weeks ago
    Fri May 11 2018 17:13:01
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    So in January of 2017, I saw a single bedbug crawling around on my blankets, one week after being bitten. I FREAKED THE HELL OUT. I remember I called management and they had an exterminator show up an hour later. I managed to catch the bedbug and bag it, and it was confirmed to be a bed bug. I bought $300 worth of mattress encasements and bedpost interceptors. I bought a handheld steam cleaner. I bought cimexa. I bought a ZappBug Heater. I steam-cleaned, vacuumed, and cimexa'ed every surface, crack, and crevice in every piece of furniture in my apartment. I washed, dried, AND heat-treated every book, pair of shoes, suitcase, cushion, and piece of bedding in the house. I put every piece of my expensive luxury bedding collection on the spare bed in SpaceBags and had to live out of plastic garbage bags and not have my expensive spare bed-- my personal sanctuary where I usually go when I'm stressed-- for three months. I cleaned like I was mainlining meth. The PCO came over and sprayed with Temprid and told me that I could put more than the most basic bedding back onto my beds when I had gone three months without a bite or a sighting.

    I never had another bite. I never saw more than that one bug. Until now.

    Last night, sitting on my spare bed, I looked beside me and lo and behold one of those evil demons was ON MY BLANKET, just standing there, wiggling its antenna menacingly. Heart racing, I went to get a sandwich baggie to catch it in. It was still there when I got back, but I didn't manage to catch it. It must have somehow slipped away when I went to grab it. I searched through my many, many blankets, but to no avail.

    I went to my apartment manager as soon as the maintenance building opened, hoping they'd be able to send someone out even though I had no presentable evidence. Again, the exterminator was there within a matter of a couple hours. They must have one on call or something.

    The exterminator got here. He did a fairly thorough investigation of our beds and mattresses and couch. He also examined the canopy, but wasn't as thorough with any of the bedding, which he briefly rifled through and glanced over and left in a heap on the floor. He said from what he did see on the mattress and bedframes, surrounding floor and walls and electrical outlets, there was absolutely no sign that a beastie had been there, ever. He didn't check the night tables or dressers, saying that since nothing was hiding in the bed frame, or the mattresses there was no need. He told me to go ahead and heat treat the blankets in my little fabric kiln and keep watch, and if I saw something else, let management know at once.

    On one hand, good I guess that the PCO thinks I'm relatively safe. On the other, I know what I saw. I'm...pretty sure anyway. What if it really WAS just a piece of lint or something, or a feather being ruffled by the AirCon?

    Where do I go from here? After I heat treat my precious bedding, do I have to lock it in storage for 3 months again? There goes my relaxation this summer. If it IS bedbugs, I certainly can't invite anyone over. The thought of three months of no hosting parties honestly makes me want to cry. And I've cried today. a lot.

    "With courage, cunning, and superior tactics, we'll be home by teatime."
  2. hidingbugs

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    Posted 2 weeks ago
    Fri May 11 2018 17:45:23
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    Could it help if you brush cimexa to your mattress, put it in your climb ups..if you have and also dust/brush cimexa to floor close to baseboards and where it is usually used.

  3. Bugsareicky

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    Posted 2 weeks ago
    Fri May 11 2018 18:10:50
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    I wouldn't go too crazy, but I'd take some preventative measures. Climb ups, encasements, and check often. Put DE or cimexa around baseboards if you still have some. My best guess is they're coming from another unit in your building. (finding only one is strange, let alone twice so long apart) The fact that your management seems to have pest control "on speed dial" makes me believe there's an issue in your building. Just keep an eye out for any signs...there's no use freaking out and treating everything if there's absolutely no signs in your unit. You'll only be exhausting yourself treating items that are not infested. Dust around baseboards is not going to keep them out, but it will mean anything that passes through isn't living very long. Hopefully that's the end of your problems. If not, the climb ups will catch something that you can bring to management. I would continue living normally unless you find any more signs or insects.

  4. HecatesMisery

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    Posted 2 weeks ago
    Fri May 11 2018 18:32:53
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    Thank you both. Yes. I'll wash and heat-treat the bedding, maybe move some of the bedroom furnishings around, and cimexa the baseboards, but then I'll re-make he bed and go on as though nothing has happened.

    I did ask the PCO if he was legally allowed to disclose if anyone else in my unit has had bedbug issues, and he said no, no one has in the last couple years. Save of course for me. There have been issues with bedbugs in other units of the same complex, but not in my unit specifically, and other units are like 100 feet away.

  5. Pattycake

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    Posted 2 weeks ago
    Sat May 12 2018 21:55:24
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    The PCO works for your landlord. Ours lied and lied about the bb in our bldg and complex. Plus many people just live with them or move without ever reporting them. Monitor closely. It’s one way to protect your possessions.

  6. HecatesMisery

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    Posted 1 week ago
    Wed May 16 2018 3:59:04
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    Well, it's been six days since I saw the bug standing there, wiggling its antennae on my blanket. In that time, I have slowly and very painstakingly begun to clean and secure my apartment as best I am able. Right now I'm not locking anything away too tightly-- I want to be able to access it if it turns out I don't have bedbugs, but also keep it safe if it turns out I do.

    I dusted off and re-centered the climbup interceptors on the beds and couch. I re-isolated the bed. I heat treated all the bedding and stored it in plastic. One heat treatment with my Zapbug I takes about 8 hours to do, and I had to do 4 such treatments for my spare bed alone. The bedding for the spare bed, and any nonessential bedding on the master bed, are now in double-bagged garbage bags atop the encased spare bedroom mattress. I don't know if I have bedbugs for sure, so I don't want to take the effort to put them in soacebags yet.

    I also cimexa'ed two shelving units with fabric storage boxes, heat-treated the contents, and placed said contents in large plastic bags. I'll still be able to access my stuff, I'll just have to open a plastic bag first.

    I decluttered the house and put anything lying around-- especially papers, things in cardboard boxes, and documents-- into plastic bags.

    I still have quite a bit to do. I need to clean out the closet, and heat treat the clothes and suitcases therein, which all by itself is going to be another several days of work given the glacial pace I have to take. And I need to heat treat the coat rack. And the contents of my night table. And of my husband's dresser. Then I have to put the contents thereof in plastic bags (seriously, ziploc should pay me to be their mascot!) And cimexa the inside of the drawers. And I still have to re-encase the master bedroom's box spring, because I think the encasement may have a hole. I bought a SafeRest bedbug encasement AND a 5mm plastic encasement and I think, unless someone here thinks it's unwise for some reason, I'm going to use them both, for extra reinforcement.

    Then, after that's done, I intend to hire a cleaning service for a basic scrubdown. Then I'm either going to rent a commercial steam cleaner for the carpets, or hire somone to do it for me. Then I'll have to re-cimexa the areas surrounding the furniture, the baseboards, the electrical outlets, etc.

    And THEN, I will be done. The house will be prepared (I think, anyway) if we do find one and the PCO needs to be there. And if we don't, hurrah!! The house will be spotless anyway. In the meantime I've checked the climbups and kept an eye on the beds-- though I haven't gone searching with a flashlight through every seam yet-- and knock on wood there have been no sights and no bites.

    Do you think that if I continue to not see anything for the next week, I'll be safe to put all my bedding back? Of course I'll do a more thorough investigation of the mattresses in that time.

  7. Pattycake

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    Posted 1 week ago
    Wed May 16 2018 19:29:52
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    Until you are certain that you dont have bb it isnt fair to bring other peole and their equipment into your home. Cleaning companys and carpet people have equipment that could be comprimised. They could spead bugs to others and ruin their reputation and business without even knowing it. UNless your honest up front and they are still willing to take the chance of being infected, i think it is a really bad idea. Im sorry that your having this problem, but spreading it to others is really bad. Just my opinion. I am a cleaning lady and would be motified if you exposed me and my other clients to bb.

  8. HecatesMisery

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    Posted 1 week ago
    Wed May 16 2018 20:01:13
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    I understand and respect that, but unfortunately, it means I'm going to have to do ALL the cleaning myself, at a time in my life when I think I'm going to drop dead of stress from all the cleaning I ALREADY have to do.

    Fantastic.

  9. Pattycake

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    Posted 1 week ago
    Wed May 16 2018 21:27:16
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    I dont know where you live ,but there are some companies that actually prep for treatment? You might want to google it. Please please please dont hoodwink someone into coming inro your home without knowing what they are up against. BB can absolutely ruin peoples lives.

  10. HecatesMisery

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    Posted 1 week ago
    Wed May 16 2018 23:44:20
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    I understand. I won't do that. It never occurred to me that cleaning people don't have resources built-in to deal with pests, since so many pests like fleas, bedbugs, and lice are treated largely with liberal vacuuming, washing, and steam cleaning. I'll look around and see if there are any bedbug prep companies in my area but I doubt it. It was hard enough even to find someone who would heat-treat a single apartment unit. I have his card in case I need it.

  11. HecatesMisery

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    Posted 1 week ago
    Sun May 20 2018 19:24:40
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    It's been a week and three days. Nothing so far. Not even bites. I went out camping this weekend expecting to be bitten by mosquitoes or something, but I wasn't. That'll make locating future bites easier. I sat on my stripped, encased spare bed for a few minutes when I got home trying to lure something out. I didn't stay there long enough, I'm sure, but even so nothing came. Nothing in the interceptors. I'm going to heat-treat my luggage and the master bedding and then I think I'll put my ZapBug away until further notice. I'm gonna leave my spare bedding double-bagged in garbage bags on the bed though, maybe for another week or two.

  12. HecatesMisery

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    Posted 1 week ago
    Sun May 20 2018 19:24:43
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    It's been a week and three days. Nothing so far. Not even bites. I went out camping this weekend expecting to be bitten by mosquitoes or something, but I wasn't. That'll make locating future bites easier. I sat on my stripped, encased spare bed for a few minutes when I got home trying to lure something out. I didn't stay there long enough, I'm sure, but even so nothing came. Nothing in the interceptors. I'm going to heat-treat my luggage and the master bedding and then I think I'll put my ZapBug away until further notice. I'm gonna leave my spare bedding double-bagged in garbage bags on the bed though, maybe for another week or two.

  13. HecatesMisery

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    Posted 4 days ago
    Wed May 23 2018 23:07:51
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    It's been two weeks. No sightings and nothing in the interceptors. I have received bites-- or things that look like them-- but they're very small and go away within a few hours, so I believe they might be an allergic reaction rather than a bedbug bite. The one bite I got that didn't go away was after spending all day outside in the woods.

    Hampering my monitoring attempts is my husband, who insists on storing things under the bed no matter how many times I tell him that nothing-- absolutely nothing!!!-- that touches the bed may also touch the floor. Saturday I'm cleaning out the closet so he has a place to put things.

    I won't call us out of the woods at all yet because there's been plenty of people who've gone for months without seeing anything only to find they have bed bugs.

    Keeping watch...

  14. HecatesMisery

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    Posted 2 hours ago
    Mon May 28 2018 1:09:44
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    Goddamnit. I woke up with six bites on my back today, two of which might not be individual bites but clusters of bites.

    They MIGHT be mosquito bites, as the day before I had spent all day in a bikini at my parents' house out deep in the country, and I forgot to bring bug repellent. But I'm still freaking out. God damn it, why couldn't I have only caught whatever I saw on my bed on the 7th?!! Or at least taken a picture!!!

    I'm certain we have bed bugs but my landlord won't treat unless I bring them a sample, and the independent companies I've called don't do apartments, and my husband thinks we probably don't have them and PROBABLY ISN'T GOOD ENOUGH, GOD DAMMIT!!!

    Why oh why oh why won't someone just believe me so we can treat proactively and maybe we'll have a chance at stopping the infestation before it gets too bad? By the time I find a second bug, they'll be everywhere and we might not even be able to effectively treat them.

    I'm sobbing. I want my bed back. And my peace of mind.

  15. HecatesMisery

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    Posted 2 hours ago
    Mon May 28 2018 1:09:44
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    Goddamnit. I woke up with six bites on my back today, two of which might not be individual bites but clusters of bites.

    They MIGHT be mosquito bites, as the day before I had spent all day in a bikini at my parents' house out deep in the country, and I forgot to bring bug repellent. But I'm still freaking out. God damn it, why couldn't I have only caught whatever I saw on my bed on the 7th?!! Or at least taken a picture!!!

    I'm certain we have bed bugs but my landlord won't treat unless I bring them a sample, and the independent companies I've called don't do apartments, and my husband thinks we probably don't have them and PROBABLY ISN'T GOOD ENOUGH, GOD DAMMIT!!!

    Why oh why oh why won't someone just believe me so we can treat proactively and maybe we'll have a chance at stopping the infestation before it gets too bad? By the time I find a second bug, they'll be everywhere and we might not even be able to effectively treat them.

    I'm sobbing. I want my bed back. And my peace of mind.


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