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AHHH! Why won't they DIE!!!

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  1. currentinsomniac

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    Posted 11 years ago
    Sun Dec 30 2007 19:02:54
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    So I hate to start a new thread just for this, but I just need to rant.....a LOT. I have run out of patience and hope. We've been treated five and a half times with various products...Tempo SC Ultra, BP-50, Phantom, Bedlam...
    And while the Phantom has worked the best for us by reducing the problem, our bites have never completely stopped. Ever. We followed all the Do's and Don'ts in the beginning, but we still got bit in bed. On Friday we gave up and threw away our mattress (our couches will follow suit shortly) and purchased an air mattress. We re-wrapped our box-springs in heavy duty contractor plastic, packing tape, duct tape, in order to re-isolate our bed. Still no luck...my husband and I still get the crawlies in the wee hours of the morning. I can't seem to find their harbourages in my house or my cars and I don't ever see them. In our house we all only seem to get one or two visible bites a day, but our cars (where the PCO couldn't use Phantom) give us multiple bites. After we left the parents on Christmas (in a car we didn't drive for 4 days) the three us had more than 15 bites a piece by the time we got home. So now I'm at the end of my rope and don't know what to do next...except maybe scream a lot. "Calgon take me away!" Seriously!

  2. currentinsomniac

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    Posted 11 years ago
    Sun Dec 30 2007 19:20:20
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    Oh, except, one good thing is now I'm pretty sure that my bite reactions show up relatively fast....like within the hour. In moving my mattress and wrapping up the box springs, I got a few new bites up my pant legs. They were the red pimple pin-pricks but they were surrounded by red irritated skin (like a big mosquito bite)....which goes away within a few hours.

  3. (deleted)

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    Posted 11 years ago
    Sun Dec 30 2007 19:43:04
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    I am very sorry, it's a terrible situation. Phantom works very slowly so perhaps there is a bit more (unbearable) waiting? What does the PCO say?

    Maybe you can consider trying steam if you haven't already? It's labor-intensive and yet one more expense but you might get some results. (Also not sure what other treatment methods are available in your state.)

    Finally, the neighbors! Have they been inspected?

  4. currentinsomniac

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    Posted 11 years ago
    Sun Dec 30 2007 20:54:02
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    Yeah, I read that Phantom takes 10-15 days to effectively work, but it's been longer than that since we used it. My PCO is baffled because he's never had such a resistant group. (Though we do have shag carpet...and the last resort would to treat the WHOLE carpet with a residual poison of some sort. Is it possible these bugs are dumb enough that they would hang out in the middle of the room?).
    We have tried steam with some limited success. I think perhaps I'll try it on my car again.
    I talked to Sean, but the only thing he could tell me was to find a bed bug dog in my area (which I haven't had success in finding). I've also looked up fumigation services in my state (for my cars) and there doesn't appear to be any (apparently since we have next to no problem with termites).
    As for the neighbors, no, they haven't been inspected. I'm renting a new townhome and my neighbors on either side own theirs. The one neighbor knew about bed bugs and was familiar with them because her dad had had them years ago. I told the other neighbor what to look for (bites, fecals spots, etc). Neither seems to have any sign of them....so far. (Unless they are lying). You think I would hurt my neighbor relations by asking them to have their places inspected? (shows mistrust? or that I suspect them as the source?)

  5. (deleted)

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    Posted 11 years ago
    Sun Dec 30 2007 21:28:13
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    I think it's Sean who mentioned shag carpets as the type of carpeting to be concerned about. That bedbugs are found in the edges of carpeting but not the center of a room. Except with shag carpeting. Does your PCO think that steam cleaning the carpets might be of use?

    If it is the carpet, and you have already treated extensively with DE, what frustration.

    About Phantom, that was in a lab, all bugs exposed at the same time, right? In a home, the bugs have to come out (and they're not all on the same schedule), then acquire a sufficient dose, and then hopefully not lay any eggs before they die. (There's a question, if exposed bugs, not just to Phantom but other things, for the most part lay viable eggs. My guess is yes or we wouldn't be in this much trouble.) Does your PCO plan a reapplication of Phantom or what is recommended for it?

    Anyway, in a home I would speculate that you need well more than 15 days to see results unless the population is very small or you luck out somehow.

    We've heard a lot about thermal lately here and it's reasonable that more providers will start or orient their businesses to bedbug control, so it might be worth it to check to see if it's available there. Everything else is probably a long shot.

    With the neighbors, not sure what to tell you. I think it's the landlord/rental agency that should be directing such a step. However, at minimum I would have another conversation with them. About how you're still struggling with your infestation and the expense and frustration and so on. Maybe that will make them pay attention and go check their beds.

  6. (deleted)

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    Posted 11 years ago
    Sun Dec 30 2007 22:06:39
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    As someone who is trying to get the rest of his building inspected I would give a yes to the talking to the neighbors. I have had my partners (he has his own place) inspected once and am now talking him into having it inspected for a second time and a few weeks later yet a third time. He lives in a development that has a PCO on grounds every thursday. We should all be so lucky.

    So far so good but I still worry we could have brought them to his place when we were still unaware what was going on at my place.

    I hope I'm wrong on that.

    It's not that you suspect them as the source. It really doesn't matter who the source is the fact remains they are there and the problem is continuing. It would make sense to have a professional out to check the other places. Of course that's coming from someone who already has his own problem with them. Not sure how I would react if I had not read so much about them before my own BB problem. Still think I'd want to know though and have a PCO give me an all clear more than once just to be on the safe side.

  7. bugbasher

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    Posted 11 years ago
    Sun Dec 30 2007 23:59:40
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    Unfortunately a few people inevitably will decline inspection/treatment,even if it is offered to them! Who knows why:mess,illegal activity,fear that they will become infested from the PCO's themselves.After all they have been to your apt (PCO'S) right?Whose to say some people are hypocondriacs.There are a myriad of reasons why in their might they want nothing to do with it.Would Jeffrey Dohmer have had an inspection? This is too bad because it does nothing but perpetuate the problem! I would still keep asking ,though, and explaining just how awful it is to have them.Good luck,you're in my prayers for a bb free zone.

  8. Nobugsonme

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    Posted 11 years ago
    Mon Dec 31 2007 0:21:05
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    People who are not allergic will think they don't have bed bugs even if they do. Even if a relative has had them (esp. if that relative reacted, but the neighbor does not).

    I started and run the site but am "not an expert."
  9. currentinsomniac

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    Posted 11 years ago
    Mon Dec 31 2007 0:31:30
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    Well, upon reading the Phantom data, it says that you cannot re-apply sooner than 4 weeks. It's supposed to be good in working as a sort of domino effect....the bugs unknowingly take the chemical back to their harbourage and help kill other bugs they come in contact with. I'm just thinking there must be multiple hideouts that my PCO didn't get to...or those bugs are not getting through the poison when they come after us. Or...there's still multiple eggs hatching everywhere.
    Then there's the matter of our cars which he's not supposed to treat with it.....Perhaps we are just continually cross-contaminating ourselves? I've thought about buying my own Phantom and responsibly and carefully treating my cars on my own. (I don't see the problem with treating under the seats where we don't touch....though apparently he was pushing it by treating under our couches).
    I think I will have my PCO re-apply when we can though. Poor guy.....he's been out so often, I'm sure he's lost money on me...
    I'll have to run the carpet steaming by him. I've only briefly thought about doing that with my own steamer and have wondered how effective it would really be with my shag (and worried I might melt my carpet). Yeah, with DE all over the carpet and still no success....it is frustrating. I've also thought about using a self-made mix I read about that uses alcohol, water, soap, and DE, and soak my carpets with that.
    You think that might work? The alcohol would be a pretty good contact killer....
    Or...treating the whole carpet with gentrol and something else (like suspend) and see if that solves the problem. There was a PCO in our area that would do that and said it worked like a charm. You have to leave for 8 hours while the carpet dries, but maybe it would be worth it. My PCO said that was overkill in his opinion, but maybe at this point he might be willing to try it.

    Yeah, and I've looked for thermal stuff around here. Same as fumigation...no luck. But if the two in Denver ever open up their business and I still have them in the cars, you better believe I'll be driving up there....

    I think I will try to have another conversation with my neighbors and encourage them to maybe have someone come and inspect their places. (I sort of wish they rented so it wouldn't be as awkward). But the property management company over our place is terrible. They've basically wiped their hands of any problem we have with the place. In fact, the local university who would use their properties for their students now refuse to do business with them anymore. That should say something about them...

    But thanks you guys....your advice helps remind me that these are just bugs and I can cope another day....or at least another hour.

  10. BakedBedBugs

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    Posted 11 years ago
    Mon Dec 31 2007 0:49:00
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    If you want I can try and find a more local thermal applicator for you.

  11. currentinsomniac

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    Posted 11 years ago
    Mon Dec 31 2007 0:54:30
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    Anything anyone can do to help, I would totally appreciate!

  12. (deleted)

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    Posted 11 years ago
    Mon Dec 31 2007 1:14:06
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    The Fagerlund spray? Gosh, I think I would be willing to try lots of things too in your position, but isn't it risky to wet synthetic carpets with alcohol like that? Might an enzyme cleaner be better/safer? Or steam? I honestly don't know.

    I hope it doesn't come to your treating your cars yourself. It doesn't sound safe. I guess they were already unsuccessfully treated with something else, or is it impossible/illegal to treat them with pesticides? I'm not up on the bedbugs in cars thing. (And I'm sorry if you have talked about this before and I missed it.) I would try the steam in the cars again, seems the safest thing.

    Well, we're here! And I hope you see some progress.

  13. angie

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    Posted 11 years ago
    Mon Dec 31 2007 11:02:54
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    I thought that I was getting a lesser infestation even after sprays, but I felt compelled to check behind the trim (the baseboards). What I found was many, many nests with babies, mommys, and loads of eggs. Never really saw any indication as to why I should check there except nosy. The kids now sleep with me cuz I couldn't let them sleep in there with all those bugs. I did check the trim in other rooms but nothing too spectactular. Please enlighten me on Phantom cuz the PCO is using that next in my place.

  14. Nobugsonme

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    Posted 11 years ago
    Mon Dec 31 2007 12:08:18
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    Angie, you and your PCO need to talk about REMOVING those bed bugs and eggs manually. They can be removed and killed. It will not eliminate your entire problem, but would be a huge help. As long as you leave them there, they keep breeding. Contact sprays may be a big help for the bed bugs, and then the eggs can be steamed or wiped away. Make sure you seal all resulting garbage.

  15. currentinsomniac

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    Posted 11 years ago
    Mon Dec 31 2007 19:48:06
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    angie - Phantom is a spray that contains the chemical chlorfenapyr. Many of the other sprays used...like Demand, Suspend, Tempo are pyrethrin or deltamehtrin based. Mine didn't seem fazed by those. So we used Phantom which is used more on ants, termites, etc. (At least, that's what my PCO has always used it on with success). It takes a lot longer to kill the bugs, which is the downside...allowing mature bugs to continue laying eggs, etc. The other downside is that it is quite toxic and it can't be used on general surfaces or furniture.
    The upside is that many bugs resistant to these other sprays we hear a lot about don't seem to be as resistant to Phantom yet. (This, I believe was our problem). Another good thing about Phantom is that bugs can help kill off their friends by taking poison back to their hangouts.
    But I would have to agree with NoBugs that you should think about manually removing those eggs. Most of us don't get to find any eggs so you have an advantage there. Use a safer contact killer and then remove the eggs. You'll want to do all that before your PCO sprays Phantom...because of it's toxicity. (And the chance that you may wipe residual away)

  16. needtosleep

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    Posted 11 years ago
    Mon Dec 31 2007 19:59:17
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    Angie,

    Did you actually manually remove the baseboard? Mine is caulked to death, so I can't get back there. I was just wondering if this is something we should all be doing...

  17. angie

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    Posted 11 years ago
    Mon Dec 31 2007 20:25:50
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    I used a screwdriver and pried it back so I could look in there careful not to bust the boards. I didn't chalk cuz the space at the top is a big as the space at the bottom where it meets the carpet. I will be spraying alcohol in there to kill what is there and I now have a grave concern about phantom. How long is residual, is it harmful if contacted with, can i vaccum rite away, will my exotics be hurt, how long do i stay out of home????? This does scare me because of my kids and the daycare kids and god forbid something happen to them! My PCO came the day I found the first bunch of nest and put some powder in there but I htink the bugs just went down to the other apartment. Its a mad house here and the health department and the PCO and the owner of the apartments is all involved and trying to solve this problem. I do hope that my PCO knows all he needs to know about the phantom cuz now i feel really scared as I don't use chemicals cuz of the "downside" and how they affect my family!! If I knew how to feed pix on the computer, I could show you all my nests and bug pix. Not many people have seen the nests and it really is interesting. gross but interesting!

  18. Nobugsonme

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    Posted 11 years ago
    Mon Dec 31 2007 22:57:39
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    Angie,
    If you have questions about vacuuming after treatment, about your exotics (fish? plants?) or how long to stay out of the home, please ask your PCO. No one here can advise you about what was done or whether it's a good idea to vacuum right now.

    If you want to share photos, you can upload photos to flickr.com (by setting up a free account there and following their directions, you can send us the link once you have uploaded them).


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