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Bed Bugs 101 - What I did

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  1. BurnItDown

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    Joined: Aug '15
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    Posted 4 years ago
    Sun Aug 9 2015 14:17:46
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    These are the steps I took once I confirmed my bed bug infestation and got over my initial shock, panic, denial and research. To keep from feeling overwhelmed, it has helped me to break the “plan of attack” into steps. (NOTE: I am not a professional. Please read the FAQ's and do lots of research.)

    Action 1: My shopping list for round one of bed bug treatment: 2 boxes of 20 heavy-duty black trash bags; 4 rolls of duct tape; one bag of Diatomaceous earth; 12 interceptors; 3 large, clear horizontal storage bags from a container store; 5 zip lock hanging garment bags; 20 2-gallon zippered plastic storage bags; 9 XXL zip lock storage bags; spray bottle; 91% alcohol; bed and pillow casements. This was just to get a handle on the bed bugs while I was cleaning clothes before the PCO could come in and treat.

    Trash bags sealed with duct tape were for items going into storage. Horizontal storage bags were for daily use clothes. XXL storage bags were for bags that I’d be going into/out of frequently like laundry. I used clear bags.

    Action 2: Bagged everything possible immediately. This was triage until I could go back through the bags and determine what would be tossed, what needed to be laundered, and what needed to be stored. Used sandwich bags to store sample bed bugs for proof with landlord and PCO.

    Action 3: I used plastic sheeting and duct tape to seal up a coat closet until I could find the time to go through all the items in that closet. That seemed to work for me. Nothing got in or out until I could triage the closet.

    Action 4: Isolate the bed – Strip it. Vacuum the heck out of it and double bag it. Used vinyl bags (which easily rip but were inexpensive) until I could get the more expensive mattress, box spring and pillow casements. Followed with interceptors on the legs. Took sealed trash bags with comforter to dry cleaner (and had a conversation about my issue and proper handling with staff for all future dry cleaning needs.) Reason I bagged everything first and then treated the bed was because once I stripped the bed, the bed bugs started to scatter.

    Action 5: I got a storage rental facility and moved _sealed_ bags off-site while I dealt with the infestation. Some items (like winter coats) will be re-introduced into the apartment later. Some (like framed pictures and DVD’s) will still in there for up to a year. Having fewer bags in the apartment gave me the space to actively clean, reduced clutter, and reduced potential hiding spots.

    Action 6: It took me about a week to get all my clothes laundered and all my items inspected and stored. I live in an efficiency apartment so the chance of bed bugs remaining isolated by the bed was low.

    Action 7: Talked with landlord and scheduled a PCO chemical treatment. I’m a dude, so at first I was all “I got this”. Bed bugs taught me humility.

    Action 8: Incorporated daily changes into my routine to reduce chances of spreading bed bugs. I shower before getting into bed. I always spray my feet with rubbing alcohol before re-entering the bed in case any instars have climbed on. I carry a plastic grocery bag to work rather than a heavy bag. Immediately upon entering the house I strip. Work clothes go into sealable bags and/or sealed laundry bags. Shoes go in freezer bags. Vacuuming every other day, etc.

    Action 9: Occasionally stay at a friend’s guest room to catch up on sleep. I strip as soon as I get in their house. Everything goes in a plastic bag. The bag goes to the dryer and the clothes get treated. I go to the bathroom and shower. I borrow a set of his clothes for the overnight. The sanity break has really helped.

    Action 10: Sealable plastic bags. For items that I have to transport frequently between home and other locations (book, journal, laptop), I keep them in individually-sealed bags. I started this after spotting an instar inside a book I was reading.


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