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Are bed bugs really this unbeatable?

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  1. wonderinginnyc

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    Posted 8 years ago
    Wed Dec 29 2010 7:33:22
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    I moved to NYC, bed bug free, in October. Within a week, I started getting bites. I followed procedure: got the exterminator in for 5 treatments, washed & dried my sheets (countless times), washed & dried every piece of clothing I own, threw things out that may have been contaminated, had no guests over, bought mattress/bed spring covers - basically everything I could think of. After the 3rd treatment, I stopped having any bites. About 3 weeks after that though, I got several bites in one evening. The following day (Friday), I washed & dried my sheets. And didn't get any bites again. Monday I dried my sheets to be careful, and found some sort of bug on my comforter - it didn't look anything like the bed bugs I'd previously seen, but rather very tiny - so I'm assuming it was a baby. The exterminator came Wednesday and said more or less that I'm crazy, there's no evidence of anything (other than my bites). He removed my bed spring cover & found 1 dead baby bed bug, but that's it. But, he sprayed all over just to be safe. I slept in the bed that night (no bites), but went away for the holiday for 5 days. When I slept in the bed last night, I got another bite.

    I'm so confused at this point! I feel like I've done everything right, and I understand it's possible that I could have brought them back to my apartment from where I traveled, but it was to family's houses where there's been no reports of BB's at all. Am I crazy or do I have a really resilient bed bug? What should I do? I don't think my land lord's exterminator will come anymore, considering they told me they've provided too many treatments already. Should I just throw my mattress out and start fresh? Any help is greatly appreciated!

  2. jjakk

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    Posted 8 years ago
    Wed Dec 29 2010 8:37:47
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    One other thought besides what you've done. Did you do a light dusting of DE in selected areas and under and around the bed, and get BB covers for all pillows and encasement for your mattress. With the cover you won't need to replace the mattress. Another possibility I have been thinking of is that I may be going to a friends home and getting bit there or bringing their 'residents' home with me.
    My PCO came back yesterday and I showed him a bug that sure looked like a BB to me but it had been crushed between the blinds. He said you sure do a job of mashing up the bugs you find so they are indistinguishable - he thought it might be a early stage stinkbug - he said the legs were too long for a BB but it still look more like a BB than a stinker.
    Yesterday I went through my light colored t-shirst and found bloodstains that had survived washing and were in the exact spot I had had bites in. He said it could be an allergic reaction to another bug but what else exactly bites like BB's?
    Here's hoping you find your answer!

  3. EffeCi

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    Posted 8 years ago
    Wed Dec 29 2010 8:40:23
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    I guess you have a very well hidden survivor... last year I have to inspect and partially treat a room 7 times. Finallly I discovered there was a little harbourage hidden in the inner of wooden heardboard. The entrance was quite invisible because fo a threat of the light... very frustrating, but I learned a lot of things from this case....

  4. bed-bugscouk

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    Posted 8 years ago
    Wed Dec 29 2010 8:52:32
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    Hi,

    First and fore mostly bites alone do not equate to bedbugs, even if you have previously been treated, they are simply not an accurate diagnostic tool. Spend a little bit of time reading the FAQ's here to get our bedbug knowledge up to speed.

    Given your scenario I would communicate with all adjoining neighbours to make sure they are not a potential source for you and then check at work to rule out potential sources that you come into regular contact with.

    Bedbug can be difficult to get rid of but from what you have said, if it is bedbugs my first thought is that you have a local source infestation event that brings you into contact with them on a regular basis. In this situation the infestation cycle must be broken in order for you to get clear.

    Hope that helps.

    David Cain
    Bed Bugs Limited

    I am happy to answer questions in public but will not reply to message sent directly or via my company / social media. I am here to help everyone and not just one case at a time.

    In accordance with the AUP and FTC I openly disclose my vested interest in Passive Monitors as the inventor and patent holder. Since 2009 they have become an integral part in how we resolve bed bug infestations. I also have a professional relationship with PackTite in that they distribute my product under their own branding. I do not however receive any financial remuneration for any comments I make about pro
  5. wonderinginnyc

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    Posted 8 years ago
    Wed Dec 29 2010 21:59:02
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    Thanks so much for all the responses! Jjakk: As far as mattress cover / pillow covers / bed spring cover, I've got them. But are bed bugs able to get out of the zipper? I'm doubting it, but maybe? And what exactly is a "light dusting of DE"? I'm sure I haven't done it. The PCO comes on Friday, I'll ask about it.

    Effeci: Given that my PCO more or less called me crazy, I'm beginning to worry about his dedication to inspection. I'm kind of encouraged to hear that with some hard work & dedication, the PCO may be able to find the "sleeper cell". Any suggestions for me to pass on? He'll be here Friday morning.

    Bed-bugscouk: I haven't talked to my neighbors yet. I think you're definitely right though - I'm going to have to do that. If they say yes they have them, & have been treated, what's the next step? If they say yes, and have NOT been treated, I assume the next step is to encourage them to make an appointment with a PCO. Is it possible the local source is my mattress? ..I think I'm just panicking, but should I just throw my mattress out and start fresh? I worry that I'll do that & then realize the infestation is in the apartment NOT the mattress, and I'll then have a brand new mattress that's infested too!

  6. bed-bugscouk

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    Posted 8 years ago
    Thu Dec 30 2010 7:44:06
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    HI wonderinginnyc,

    No by local source I mean something you either come into contact with away from your home or another home that adjoins you.

    If you are in fact getting bedbugs from your neighbours, the commute to work or the office then throwing your mattress away will not resolve the issue, it will only leave you with added expense of replacing the mattress.

    Its not starting fresh it would be continuing down the same path, you have a new mattress and yet you still come into contact with bedbugs, very much a worst case scenario.

    If you check all adjoining neighbours and your work you may find your source. This scenario always reminds me of the Fox news studio case a few years ago, many people in the same office all kept getting bedbugs. Eventually some bright spark read somewhere that it would be sensible to check everyone in the office and low and behold they found someone with a very advanced infestation who was the source for the office. Just another classic example of why communication and education are the two only viable solutions to the growing bedbug issue.

    David

  7. jjakk

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    Posted 8 years ago
    Thu Dec 30 2010 23:29:42
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    Hi 'Wondering'... I assume you also got pillow encasements. DE is Diatomaceous Earth (Food grade) is a powder product you can research online as well as here on the site. There are 2 types: one for outdoor use around pools and then the food grade which is safer with proper application in the home. The powder consists of fossilized remains of diatoms and acts as an abrasive which kills the bugs gradually once they come in contact with it. Use the search box here to find out more about it and how to properly apply it in the correct places. I found it hard to find locally so ordered it from 'Earthworks Health'. Don't go overboard with it. I ordered way too much to start.

  8. Nobugsonme

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    Posted 8 years ago
    Fri Dec 31 2010 1:44:58
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    jjakk - 2 hours ago  » 
    I assume you also got pillow encasements. DE is Diatomaceous Earth (Food grade) is a powder product you can research online as well as here on the site. There are 2 types: one for outdoor use around pools and then the food grade which is safer with proper application in the home.

    Pool grade DE must never, ever be used to treat pests indoors. It is extremely dangerous.

    Freshwater food grade DE can be used safely or unsafely, effectively or ineffectively. All formulations did not work equally well in controlled testing situations. Be sure and do your research -- our FAQ on DE is just a starting point.

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

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    Posted 8 years ago
    Tue Jan 4 2011 18:35:40
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    So, we got treated on New Years Eve (what a way to bring in the new year!) and they found 1 bed bug on the couch (neither myself, my roommate, or my friend who had just slept on the couch have got bitten here - except several weeks ago). The exterminator said he did not find any others, but suggested for the next month we inspect our clothes as we come in to see if we're re-infesting ourselves. That night, my roommate came home with 3 bites on her arm (she checked her clothes but didn't find anything; but hasn't been bit since). On Sunday, I noticed a bite on my arm several hours after waking up, and then another bite on my ankle late into the evening. I came home on Monday and washed and/or dried everything in my closest, laundry, and bed. Then got another bite on my foot right before going to bed. I don't understand this! I fear we must have re-infested ourselves New Years Eve, but my roommate who had the first bites hasn't gotten any more. (Nor has she really gotten any at all - they seem to stay in my room and on "my" couch [it's the one only I sit on]) Should I get treated again? Or wait and see if the bites continue? I've not been able to find ANY on my bed or my clothes. And the signs from the FAQs (like droppings around the mattress, blood stains on the sheets) don't seem to be there; I just get these terrible bites that start out as red blotches then I can eventually see a little dot (like a bite entry point) and then after itching they usually turn purple/black & blue (I think I'm highly allergic, as I am to other insect bites).
    I'm considering changing exterminators & just paying for one (instead of using my management company's which is free for me). Maybe get one with a dog? What do you think? Any help is good help!


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