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Angry! - K9 False Negative & Bed Bug Puke - Cheap "High-Quality" Encasements!

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  1. BugsMustDie

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    Posted 7 years ago
    Sun Sep 18 2011 11:26:38
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    A really long rant, but any advise from this point would be greatly appreciated.

    I've been fighting bed bugs since the end of May. Six weeks ago, after 5 PCO treatments, I saw what I thought was the first and last adult bed bug I would see. I madly smeared it into my sheet until body and all were one bloody mess. Thank goodness for bleach. The following night, we got rid of our platform bed (thought to have been what was preventing us from eradicating them) and put our encased mattress and box springs into a new metal frame in ClimbUps. Our PCO came out the following week, inspected and decided not to treat again because there was no new evidence and the thought was that any stragglers had been thrown out in our carefully sealed bed frame.

    I expected to find bugs in the ClimbUps over the next week or so, but I didn't. The bites began to decrease and I thought that perhaps the new bites were delayed reactions. I told myself he was right, they had been in the bed frame all along and now they were gone.

    Throughout the next 4 weeks, a blanket fell on the floor 2 or 3 times allowing a bridge if they were hiding outside the bed and I also found a few holes in my mattress encasement, which I duct taped. I have found a hint of evidence here and there, but I told myself most of it could have another cause. I did not find fecal spots, only a smudge of blood here and there and mostly on my sheets. Since my husband is accident prone, I tried to reassure myself he was the cause of the mystery blood. But, on my mattress case, I have found a few small spots, I like to call, bed bug puke. It's just rusty-blood-colored smudges. I asked about this in another thread because I've read over and over again that you will see the black fecal spots or blood only if you roll on them. This hasn't made sense to me because I've seen the rusty colored spots on my mattress case and there is no other cause. My bedroom has remained isolated outside of bed time and we never brought food or drink into our bed anyway. So the only cause of blood would be from us and since our encased mattress is covered with a very thick mattress pad and sheets, these spots haven't made sense to me, especially when they are on the side of the bed, an area we would not roll onto them.

    A little over a week ago, I arranged for a K9 w/handler and also our PCO to come out and inspect. I thought for sure the K9 would find something and I had reported to our PCO the mystery blood a week earlier. I was honestly more impressed by the inspection provided by the K9 handler than our own PCO, who just kind of stood around while the handler did a visual inspection. The K9 did not alert and no evidence was found. The handler did not think my mystery blood (puke) was caused by bed bugs since there were no fecal spots found. The PCO asked me to sign off and told me to get a good night's sleep.

    I really, really wanted to believe they were gone. I've been telling myself for the last week that any new mystery blood had another cause and my bites were old or caused by a skin condition. My husband has been annoyed because I still inspect daily and our bedroom remains isolated. Part of my reasoning is, I think it should be protocol for a few months afterward and there was still a little voice that told me they weren't gone. I ordered David's passive monitor last week and while I waited for it, I stuck a piece of cardboard in between my mattress and box springs since part of his monitor looked like cardboard in the YouTube video and I thought this would be a good test. Because my husband was so annoyed with my actions, I finally agreed yesterday to unpack some of our treated clothes. However, they were hung in closets in adjoining rooms, not in our bedroom closet. We also went yesterday afternoon and picked out a new couch. We threw ours away in June and I have refused to purchase a new one until they are gone.

    I came home last night ready to complete what I hoped to be my final bed bug mission. I have read threads about caulking the bed frame and unfortunately I did not think of this or read the threads until after our new bed was already in place a few weeks. I pulled out my steamer, steamed the mattress and my husband helped me remove it so I could get to the frame. That's when I saw it, a quarter-sized pool of blood in front of the piece of cardboard I had stuck in between the mattress and box springs; an area impossible to have any other causes. Bed bug puke! I think he was taken aback since he's been so harsh on me the last few weeks and undeniable evidence was right there.

    I put the piece of cardboard in a Ziplock, praying that they had taken up residence in the cardboard over the last week. We removed the box spring to make another horrifying discovery. Sometime since the K9 inspection, the bottom side of our box spring encasement has ripped, likely from the wood rails on the box spring. Have they now taken up residence inside the new box spring? I again duct taped every hole I could find. I am so angry though. I spent more than $75.00 on that thing, which was 50% off - Bed Bath & Beyond had them on sale and I chose that one because for the same price as the others, it was treated to kill them - Sweep Brand. I can not believe that such an expensive item is made so cheaply that it will rip as easily as a sheet. In retrospect, I should have bought the same encasement for my box spring as I did my mattress. That one is obviously thicker and was thrown around in a plywood bed box before it finally ripped on the edge.

    So I caulked every nook and cranny I could in my frame, put the bed back together with freshly treated linens, pillows & blankets and tried to have a good night's sleep. I also put in place my new passive where the cardboard was. At this point, I am hoping any remaining bugs did take up residence in the cardboard or are now sealed in the frame. I know there can't be too many left as I've only notice a few bites here and there in the last 6 weeks. But at the same time, I know I need to report this to my PCO and would like an additional treatment in case they are not sealed in and will escape. My fear is that by doing this, they're going to rip my encasements again. I would like to call a different PCO since I now know who I should have called, had I done my homework properly in the beginning, but how many more thousands and I going to have to spend to kill off a few more bugs?

    Any thoughts?

  2. Buggybumpers

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    Posted 7 years ago
    Sun Sep 18 2011 12:46:06
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    Don't berate yourself. You can't learn all the strategies at once. It isn't your fault, either, that people sell a lot of shoddy crap. It took me some rips to learn that the mattress encasements are stronger than the ones intended for the box springs. This is also the way I learned that I had to tape over all the projections on my metal frame with a few layers of duct tape so they wouldn't rip these fragile encasements. I learned from someone on this site how to deal with my wall pictures when I moved, which was to wrap them in cling wrap. I would never have thought of that myself.

    I think the some of the anti-BB products being sold are not very good because the manufacturers are taking advantage of our panic. This stuff could be made to last for the life of a bed or at least until the problem is gone but then--hey--less money would be made! The people selling them know we will just go buy new ones because BBs aren't easy to get rid of. Did you happen to notice the stuff is pretty expensive as well? Somebody is making a mint. I bought a new bed when I moved and asked the young men who brought it to help me put on the encasements because I am not in the best of health and strength. I warned them to be careful as I already knew the items were fragile. But the men made two small rips in one encasement putting the box spring into the metal frame and I started out with duct tape on it the very first day! Yech.

  3. BugsMustDie

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    Posted 7 years ago
    Sun Sep 18 2011 15:52:51
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    Thanks, Buggy.

    I am just to the point where I don't know if I should just keep steaming and monitoring and maybe purchase new encasements to put over the old ones...
    Or if I should report it to my PCO and see if they will treat again. I am way beyond the 30-day guarantee, but the one bright beacon of hope has been that the branch manager said he would keep treating beyond the 30 days and so far he has. Now it's been more than 30 days since his last treatment, my fear is that he's going to say they could be from another source. I am 99% positive that's not the case since I know where they came from in the first place, I'm positive they never entirely went away, and if by some chance more came from a different source, I've been very good with maintaining my ClimbUps (and have actually caught a few different bugs - even one small spider) so if that were the case, any newly introduced bugs would have been caught in the ClimbUps before they could make it into my bed.
    Or my 3rd option is to call in a new PCO since I don't think mine has been thorough.
    I really don't have the money for any of this. I've spent nearly $2000 just on treatments, devices & encasements. I will have spent another $1000 on the new bed frame and a couch. I just don't know what to do at this point.

  4. seca46

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    Posted 7 years ago
    Fri Jun 8 2012 17:12:56
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    I really understand your frustration - we have spent so much money, and I am getting bit worse than ever. We also bought the wrong protectors and they ripped. Currently have two layers of protectors - the old ripped ones that I duct-taped and a new, better one that is the same kind that I got for my mattress. No holes that I can find. I want to try the cardboard trick. I would almost be happy to have some evidence of these damned things - even if I could just find one and kill it slowly for fun!

  5. bedbughomework

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    Posted 7 years ago
    Fri Jun 8 2012 18:08:38
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    I also learned the hard way with encasements. My original purchase was a packaged mattress/box spring set, expensive but on sale. The box spring encasement ripped the second time we moved it off the bed to steam the bed slats. We duct taped it but it ripped several more times. We also had to put foam and duct tape around the slats and the screws. I finally broke down and bought Protect a Bed mattress encasements for both pieces. The mattress encasements are definitely made much stronger than box spring encasements (I'm not exactly sure why). Anyway, I really like these encasements. They were expensive but they are made much better than the first set I bought.

    I also have to tell you that my husband was/is quite annoyed with me on occasion too. It drives him crazy that I check the sheets each morning, remind him not to leave the bedroom in whatever he slept in, continue to live out of zip loc bags, continually talk about bed bugs, etc.

    Our last K9 inspection was clear but I know I'll worry until the next scheduled inspection (and continue to do all of the above).

  6. bedbughomework

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    Posted 7 years ago
    Fri Jun 8 2012 18:14:35
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    Just realized this is a really old post. Hope your bugs are gone by now!


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