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BB + chronic illness + unhelpful landlord + move out date = advice needed!

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  1. neveah

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    Joined: May '14
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    Posted 5 years ago
    Thu May 22 2014 15:09:30
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    Hey! I'm new to the forum, hi from Edinburgh, Scotland

    A rundown of my situation:

    We have had problems in our flat with bedbugs before (confirmed by the landlord's assessment of dead bugs and the fact that bites were happening, he elected to self-treat with steam, deep cleaning, spraying, changing carpet & bedding and isolating the bed, after about a month the problem seemed resolved). He is reluctant to call a professional PCO so it was never professionally confirmed but the problem seemed to go away until about 2-3 weeks ago.

    The problem was previously seemingly localised to one room and the new tenant who moved in there 3 weeks ago got bites on her face the first night she slept there, and the second night she found bugs which on description sounded like bed bug nymphs crawling on her pillow full of blood. She has since moved out (understandably she didn't want to stay and risk them infesting her stuff!).

    The landlord was on holiday when this problem happened and came back 4 days later. We (tenants) tried to push for professional treatment but he is very reluctant to go ahead with it. He again steam treated and deep cleaned the room and sprayed some pesticide in there, which now has nobody in it and all the door is duct taped up like a crime zone!

    My flatmate, who has been here longer than I have, told me that room has had "on and off" problems with bedbugs only in that room for the 4 years she's stayed there. In all the other rooms none of us have had bites and we've also had several different stay-over houseguests who also haven't been bitten. The girl from the infested room moved to an adjoining room shortly after the first deep cleaning/steaming treatment I mentioned above and had no reactions which also makes us think the problem is solely in that room.

    However 2 nights ago I found a bedbug crawling on me just after my alarm woke me up. Freaked me out something ridiculous!! I squished it and was appalled when blood spurted out D:

    I called the landlord immediately and he came over and "isolated the bed" which appears to mean putting the legs in two bowls with the outer one filled with cooking oil. He refused to do a deep clean because my stuff is here despite me offering to help and do a clearout.

    I've only had the one bite so far (though I seem to take about 24-48h to react to the bite after I found the bed bug that bit me...) so I am hopeful this is a small problem, at least in my room.

    I have called the guy from rentokil to come over tomorrow and have an assessment, even though the landlord doesn't want to do it. All the remaining tenants are willing to split the cost of the treatment but we are all broke students, so hoping it doesn't stack up too much Is there a way to pressure the landlord to pay? I don't think I have a legal right (from theShelter Scotland website...) and there's nothing in my lease about pests either. But it must be in his interests?

    I'm reading about all these interventions which are necessary for not spreading bedbugs when I go out and the different ways of treating my belongings (esp laundering) and it all seems very labour-intensive-- this is a problem for me as I have a chronic illness which makes periods of activity longer than around half an hour (especially physical but also mental/emotional) very draining and I usually have to spend a day in bed to recover from more than a couple hours doing things in a day. Social calls/doing groceries already necesitate every ounce of my available energy and I'm not sure how to deal with all the precautions needed to stop spreading bed bugs on top of that... I fear I may become a recluse...

    The icing on the cake is that I was arranged to move out in just short of a month (the landlord is selling the property at the end of the summer)! However from my reading I am seeing that this may be dangerous as if there are bedbug eggs or nymphs in my things I could take the problem to another place (moving back to my parents' house; I am a student). I could probably get some help to launder everything but I have a lot of expensive/heavy medical textbooks and files full of notes that I need to keep hold of -- through graduation and beyond! I don't know how I am supposed to treat these? I read on this forum some speculation about putting them in the oven on 'low' heat (like 70-80 degrees) for a few hours or putting them in a cold-ass chest freezer for a couple of weeks, which may be options available to me (I'd have to check if my parents had a chest freezer). Do these really work to kill eggs and bugs? Failing that, what are my options? Again (I know it's ad nauseum, sorry) my chronic illness/fatigue means that spending hours combing all of my possessions is really, really challenging. Despite the monetary concerns (I am so broke right now haha) would it be worth hiring a cleaners or other household help to assist with inspecting all the items if that's the only way?

    Also, I have no idea about the reputability of any companies in the area which was why I phoned Rentokil but if you guys have any advice of any Scotland-based bed bug PCO stars, please let me know!

    tl;dr --
    bearing in mind chronic illness making activity difficult:
    1) my landlord isn't coughing up for PCO, how can I convince him to?
    2) any tips on making not spreading protocols illness-friendly?
    3) i'm moving in 4w, should I delay that?
    4) how can i treat my non-washable belongings? freezer/oven?
    5) reputable PCOs in edinburgh, scotland?

    Thanks all, I really appreciate all the time you spend helping people Hope to hear from you soon!


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