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Bed bug skin found under bed frame. Bites since Dec & scared to sleep...

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  1. TomaceousD

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    Posted 6 months ago
    Tue Jan 23 2018 3:20:57
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    I tried to edit my last post but I can't see anything now. I'm sorry for posting twice. If anyone can teach me how to delete my other one I would appreciate it.

    I could really use some advice/consolation/direction.

    Here's the story (I apologize for the length) :

    We moved into our apartment just over a year ago and had no issues up until early December 2017.
    November 22nd, we were inspected for bed bugs and I had no idea why. I asked the PCO why they were here to inspect my unit and they essentially made it out to seem like it was just part of routine, and that the building had them years ago. I've never dealt with bed bugs, so I believed them. I've now learned that a unit near us (still unsure which side) had them and was treated.

    On December 8th, I woke up with two large welts on my left leg. I had a case of shingles at the time and when I revisited my doctor he said it might be an allergic reaction to the medication. I started taking allergy medication, which helped these welts heal quicker but I would wake up with new ones every 5 or so days. I mentioned to my partner that this could be bed bug related since we were recently inspected but he said that if it were, he would have bites too. I have documented most of the bites I have woken up with since December, except for the ones on my feet. Each time I woke up with them, it would be between 1 and 4 bites/reactions. These welts always appeared on exposed skin as well, and one morning I woke up with three, in a row, under my chin.

    It wasn't until a couple of weeks ago (when my partner woke up with the same type of welt on his arm) that I began to seriously worry. He woke up with another welt on his other arm the week after.

    Last week I told my landlord what was going on and he arranged for a reinspection. This was last Thursday (the 18th). Before he visited, we cleaned the entire room, changed the sheets, bagged them, and applied diatomaceous earth along the cracks where the wall meets the floor and any other cracks in the wall. We did not know at the time that this could affect the inspection... The morning he visited, I woke up with a large welt on my arm that was redder (looked angrier) than the ones before it. The PCO that visited this time was not one of the two that came for the first inspection. I told him about my reactions, how it started on my partner, and how we were originally inspected end of November (which he apparently had no knowledge of, or about the units surrounding us... convenient). He checked our bedroom and wanted to check underneath the bed frame. We have a heavy king size bed with a heavy wood and fabric bed frame attached to the headboard. My partner and I struggled to keep it lifted so that he could inspect underneath and he said if we were not there he would not have checked there. He began inspecting along the edges, where the fabric was stapled to the wood, and picks something up. It was one molted skin of a bed bug. He confirmed that's what it was and said he saw a blood stain as well. The skin was found underneath the bed frame, on my side.

    I told him about changing our bedsheets before he showed up and asked him if he would inspect it since there were a few unusual stains on it but he said he didn't have to. I asked him what would happen now and he told us to buy Raid and spray the room and let it air out. He told us that if within the week, things are still happening, to call our landlord so they can set up treatment. I asked him about the Raid because we have two small cats and I wanted to know if it was safe for pets and he said yes. (I read the bottle and it says to keep children and pets away?) So we did not use it. That night, we applied diatomaceous earth all along the gaps where the material is staples to the wood, underneath our bedframe, and around the bedframe where our mattress lays. Saturday morning I woke up with a small welt on my foot. It's Monday night now and I have no new bites that I see. I told the landlord I wanted treatment since I was still getting bitten but he got back to me and said the PCO said that, by law, they could not treat our apartment unless it was an active infestation. How does finding the cast skin, blood spot, and these bites not prove an active infestation? Our bed and bedframe were brand new, we are the first owners, and I started waking up with these welts 2 weeks after November's inspection. He said they could come back and inspect again... I agreed but I feel angry and stressed.

    We've cleaned a lot since then and threw out things we didn't need, and have started the cleaning of our clothes.

    Any advice as to what I can say to the PCO that comes this week for yet another inspection. I want treatment as soon as possible. What more proof does he need?

    Also, any advice about how I can treat this until then? I have stopped taking my allergy medication to keep track of the bites, I've put my mattress in an encasement, I've applied more DE around the bedroom, and I've started the process of cleaning clothes.

    We have begun searching for a new place in the meantime and I will not be taking my bed frame, too many perfect places for pests to hide. I have gotten rid of the stained sheets as well. I have a lot of post trauma from being severely infected with ringworm a few years ago from my kitten so I can't stand keeping objects or items that were infected...

    Here are some photos of the cast skin that was found, some of my bites, and one of two stains I found on my sheet that resemble fecal stains.





  2. bugged-cdn

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    Posted 6 months ago
    Tue Jan 23 2018 10:54:56
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    Diatomaceous earth takes a while to kill so you wouldn't stop getting bites right away. Cimexa is more effective and acts faster.

    Your landlord is a perfect example of why bed bug infestations take over a building and become practically impossible to eradicate. Our previous landlord was the same. Keep it hush hush. Well, that is until it's so bad (it was a high-rise) that your can't keep it hush hush anymore. We left over a year ago, leaving behind 99% of our possessions, and I still feel incredible anger toward them for screwing up so bad.

    We have cats too and I had to make sure they weren't exposed to the poisons the baseboard jockeys were spraying (and over-applying). It was a nightmare. Did I mention we went through 2 infestations.

    Read the FAQ on self treating on this site if your landlord continues to be a douche. My feeling is though they you could force him to fork out for treatments.

  3. BigDummy

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    Posted 6 months ago
    Tue Jan 23 2018 11:07:37
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    I would also hold off treatment if that's all that turned up after a thorough inspection.
    For the amount of skin reactions you're displaying I would expect far more than just one cast skin, there should be obvious fecal staining and live bed bugs.

    Killer of bed bugs for Homeless Empowerment Program
  4. TomaceousD

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    Posted 6 months ago
    Tue Jan 23 2018 11:15:29
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    bugged-cdn - 9 minutes ago  » 
    Diatomaceous earth takes a while to kill so you wouldn't stop getting bites right away. Cimexa is more effective and acts faster.
    Your landlord is a perfect example of why bed bug infestations take over a building and become practically impossible to eradicate. Our previous landlord was the same. Keep it hush hush. Well, that is until it's so bad (it was a high-rise) that your can't keep it hush hush anymore. We left over a year ago, leaving behind 99% of our possessions, and I still feel incredible anger toward them for screwing up so bad.
    We have cats too and I had to make sure they weren't exposed to the poisons the baseboard jockeys were spraying (and over-applying). It was a nightmare. Did I mention we went through 2 infestations.
    Read the FAQ on self treating on this site if your landlord continues to be a douche. My feeling is though they you could force him to fork out for treatments.

    Thanks so much for your reply! We also have two small cats so I wanted to make sure whatever we used was safe for them as well. I will definitely look into Cimexa. I'm angry that our landlord wasn't upfront about the neighbouring unit that was infected because I had no clue why we were being inspected and I naively took the word of the PCOs. We live in a high rise as well and if it were my building, I'd want to get every nearby unit treated as well. Otherwise they will keep migrating... Apparently it's not the landlord himself who is refusing treatment, it's the PCO who told him that by law they can't treat if it's not "active". What in the world do they define as active? A live bug? A cast skin, blood spot, and repeated bites don't suffice? We're so frustrated... My opinion of our landlord, for not taking preventative measures, is beyond low at this point.

    I'm so sorry you've had to go through that We won't be leaving behind 99% of our things but I am definitely not bringing the bedframe or our couches (near impossible to clean properly). And the mattress will stay in its cover and I will spray the outside of it completely with bleach or alcohol or steaming it before bringing it to the new place.... Not sure yet which would be the best option. We just paid off that mattress and it was over $3,000 because we've had back issues and wanted to make an investment. Can't believe this happens right after but I'm thinking we can salvage it... At least I hope. I've read the FAQs as well but I think I will go back and ensure that I remember all of it.

  5. TomaceousD

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    Posted 6 months ago
    Tue Jan 23 2018 11:23:18
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    BigDummy - 8 minutes ago  » 
    I would also hold off treatment if that's all that turned up after a thorough inspection.
    For the amount of skin reactions you're displaying I would expect far more than just one cast skin, there should be obvious fecal staining and live bed bugs.

    Even if there are so many nearby hiding places and he refused to inspect the sheets and covers that were used during that time? The sheets and cover he inspected that morning had just been changed... We also have a huge crack in the wall about a foot from our bed, which was there when we moved in. And many other decently sized cracks and crevices in the room. We also have a large hole in the wall of the bathroom (where a baseboard should be) which is right next to our bedroom as well. This is the wall crack behind our bed... The detector is in the wrong spot in that photo, I know.

  6. BigDummy

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    Posted 6 months ago
    Tue Jan 23 2018 12:07:49
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    I wouldn't focus on sheets or blankets either. My focus tends to be the piping on the mattress, the mattress tag, the seam of the dust cover on the box spring, the corners of both box spring and mattress, and also where the box spring meets the frame.

    Unless all of the good real estate on the bed is taken up I wouldn't expect to find a harborage in the wall. It's not that they "hide," they just require shelter like any other creature. The bed provides access to the host for long periods of time and sufficient shelter so it's common to find them on the bed.

  7. HifromChi

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    Posted 6 months ago
    Tue Jan 23 2018 12:26:17
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    Most of what I've seen on this site, along with the info I've received from my PCO, finding a confirmed BB cast skin is enough to warrant treatment, coupled with the huge bites you have. Waiting can be a dangerous game when you have proof that bed bugs are or have been present in your place, bites that are affecting both occupants, fecal matter and a known problem in the building. That's more than enough to get the ball rolling, I wouldn't delay treatment, the sooner the better, it can get out of hand very quickly.

    Hold your building accountable (most states hold the landlord accountable for treatment legally) or find somewhere else to live. You'll just continue to have problems, the BB's will just move around to areas not getting treatment and then return after the dust has literally settled.

    Best of luck to you!

  8. BigDummy

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    Posted 6 months ago
    Tue Jan 23 2018 13:04:56
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    That's great if you own your home, but if you're renting and the cost falls on the landlord I would want confirmation that there is a current infestation.

  9. TomaceousD

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    Posted 6 months ago
    Tue Jan 23 2018 16:13:16
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    BigDummy - 4 hours ago  » 
    I wouldn't focus on sheets or blankets either. My focus tends to be the piping on the mattress, the mattress tag, the seam of the dust cover on the box spring, the corners of both box spring and mattress, and also where the box spring meets the frame.
    Unless all of the good real estate on the bed is taken up I wouldn't expect to find a harborage in the wall. It's not that they "hide," they just require shelter like any other creature. The bed provides access to the host for long periods of time and sufficient shelter so it's common to find them on the bed.

    Our bed has a mesh fabric around the first half on all sides so it's perfect for small pests to crawl into and hide. Can't look into this mesh unless you cut it open.

  10. TomaceousD

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    Posted 6 months ago
    Tue Jan 23 2018 16:14:18
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    HifromChi - 3 hours ago  » 
    Most of what I've seen on this site, along with the info I've received from my PCO, finding a confirmed BB cast skin is enough to warrant treatment, coupled with the huge bites you have. Waiting can be a dangerous game when you have proof that bed bugs are or have been present in your place, bites that are affecting both occupants, fecal matter and a known problem in the building. That's more than enough to get the ball rolling, I wouldn't delay treatment, the sooner the better, it can get out of hand very quickly.
    Hold your building accountable (most states hold the landlord accountable for treatment legally) or find somewhere else to live. You'll just continue to have problems, the BB's will just move around to areas not getting treatment and then return after the dust has literally settled.
    Best of luck to you!

    Thank you so much! I would think we have more than enough evidence as well. If they still refuse treatment after this inspection I am looking to move out asap. I don't understand the logic in waiting for an infestation to grow before doing anything.

  11. TomaceousD

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    Posted 6 months ago
    Tue Jan 23 2018 16:15:17
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    BigDummy - 3 hours ago  » 
    That's great if you own your home, but if you're renting and the cost falls on the landlord I would want confirmation that there is a current infestation.

    They had a confirmed infestation in a unit near us just two weeks before my bites began to happen.
    They've had other units with infestations within the past year as well.
    Would you wait for it to get worse if this were your family?

  12. BigDummy

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    Posted 6 months ago
    Tue Jan 23 2018 16:17:39
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    I would wait for actual evidence before treating any infestation, no matter what the insect.

  13. HifromChi

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    Posted 6 months ago
    Tue Jan 23 2018 16:59:58
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    The actual evidence is finding the confirmed BB shed skin inside the bed frame. The only way it gets there is by having a live bed bug present that fed and shed and moved to the next stage in development from feeding, and if it's one thing I've learned from having them myself, is where there's one, there's usually more.

    If there is a problem with other units in the building, as it seems that there is, and they don't treat the building as "a whole", the bugs just run from one untreated place to another, a vicious cycle. I usually agree with most that you say BigDummy, but not on this one.

    Evidence has been produced, other infestations in the building have been confirmed, the landlord is just trying to dodge the financial bullet and playing a shell game with people's well being and possessions. Not cool. I would so not be okay with that course of action. Nope. Early detection and treatment is key in ridding the problem with the least amount of time and money, when you drag it out, it just gets more time consuming and expensive. My PCO knocked it out in 2 treatments, but it was caught in 2 weeks time (transmission was a new mattress that got contaminated on a delivery truck) and said that's where the magic happens, people that catch it and treat it early. The longer it goes undetected and untreated, the harder it will be to vanquish them. Simple logic.

    TomaceousD: Don't wait.

  14. TomaceousD

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    Posted 6 months ago
    Wed Jan 24 2018 0:21:20
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    HifromChi, thanks so much. I agree completely.

    Early detection and treatment makes far more sense than sitting on it and waiting for the infestation to grow. I don't understand the complacency being shown in regards to this situation.

    It is looking like they will not be treating anytime soon and so, we have begun searching for a new place as soon as possible. I've begun disinfecting our items and storing them in bins in the meantime. Anything that can't be properly disinfected I'm putting away for 2 years (such as the books that were in the side table next to our bed). I will not be taking the bed frame as there are too many perfect hiding spots where the fabric is stapled to the wood (where the skin was found) and I will not be taking the couches as they are impossible to treat or inspect properly because the cushions cannot be removed and there are tiny holes in it as well.

    If the landlord and PCO won't agree to treat our apartment then I'm not waiting around for it to get worse and if they finally do decide to begin treatment someday, I'm not waiting around for the BBs to come crawling back since no other surrounding units will be treated. We have to wait until Friday afternoon for a re-inspection and I just don't want to play the waiting game in regards to this.

    I can't believe that I am just finding out now that they have had recurring bed bug infestations every year. Makes me think they never fully eliminated them to begin with but this is no longer an issue that I'm willing to live with so that other people can save some money and we can lose sleep.

  15. HifromChi

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    Posted 6 months ago
    Wed Jan 24 2018 11:29:08
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    I think you're on the right track, and I don't blame you for getting ready to pack up and leave. They continue to have problems with bedbugs year after year because they aren't treating the entire building, just here and there as the bugs show up and move around, it's like playing whack-a-mole with bedbugs, hit them here, then they pop up in another unit that isn't treated and so on and so on and so on. Ugh.

    Sorry you're having to go through the hell we all know here all too well, but there is an end to it, just stay diligent on inspecting and if you find something in the future (knocking on wood you don't) hit it with the big guns (heat treatment, spray, and Cimexa powder) right out of the gates. Be sure to encase your mattresses and box spring both in beg bug proof protectors too as a precaution if you haven't already, it makes inspection so much easier, the cloth brands are usually better, the plastic versions are cheap and tear easily.

    Best of luck to you!

  16. TomaceousD

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    Posted 6 months ago
    Sat Jan 27 2018 0:50:17
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    Thanks for your help and support HifromChi, you and I were right.

    We were inspected at around 4pm today and within *seconds* he found a live bug and eggs underneath our bed frame. He did not search the bed any further. I asked him if he killed them and he said yes but I didn't see it. He asked when we would like to set up an appointment for treatment. I said tomorrow. Nope, can't do weekends. Okay, Monday morning. Nope, Monday afternoon. I can't believe these people. Our third damn inspection, the last one they found the skin, and they made us wait so long to finally get treated. I've been getting welts from the bites since early December. We found out the confirmed infestation end of Nov was in a unit next to us but one floor below. I am banking that we are not the only ones infested right now. We are leaving behind the mattress, bed frame, bedroom furniture, and couches.

    I am disgusted by the negligence demonstrated by these "professionals". There are many young families in this apartment building and I dread the thought that they may soon find their children waking up with bites and being scared to sleep. No wonder our city is one of the worst for bed bugs in Canada. With PCO like this, we'll soon be #1.

  17. HifromChi

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    Posted 6 months ago
    Sun Jan 28 2018 15:32:57
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    I’m so happy to hear you finally got someone to take proper notice!! Now either they do right by you and your fellow neighbors and exterminate correctly or once treatment of your unit is complete, consider moving on to other pastures. I’d be worried the problem could resurface if they don’t treat the surrounding units or at the very least inspect them.

    Here’s to happier days ahead and nights full of good sleep. Happy I could offer some advice. If you do decide to move to another place, be sure to inspect it before moving in and ask if the building has ever had bed bug problems. Chicago is a city experiencing a big spike in multi unit building infestations so an ounce of investigative tactics goes many miles.

    Best of luck to you!


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