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Bed Bugs Again In Almost 2 Years

(9 posts)
  1. Jacy

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    Posted 9 months ago
    Tue Jan 16 2018 8:12:10
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    Hi all, I'm a new user but have been lurking around the forum since our first bed bug infestation almost two years ago.

    At the time, I didn't have any knowledge about bed bugs, so when the bites started, I merely thought they were the result of mosquitoes. We lived relatively close to a pottery place at the time and sometimes after it rained, water would pool in the front of our apartment door, so to me, it had to be mosquitoes. It wasn't until I had hundreds of bites on me that my family and I realized what we were dealing with. We came to learn that our entire apartment building was infested and with a landlord unwilling to really do anything about it, we decided to throw away everything we owned and moved to a new apartment.

    We didn't bring any bugs with us, so in that regard, we came out lucky. We slept in sleeping bags for the first six months in an empty apartment, but it was the biggest relief we'd had in months. And to us, it was worth it.

    Shortly after, however, we dealt with a flea infestation in our new apartment. I caught a couple of them jumping on my son's chest and confirmed it with our new landlady and the exterminator who came to deal with them. We don't have pets and the carpet was new, so how we got them is still a mystery, but my hubby and I were incredibly relieved that they weren't bed bugs.

    The flea infestation was a year ago.

    Two weeks ago, I started getting bit again and initially my thought was it had to be fleas. Because surely the universe isn't cruel enough to deal us the bed bug hand a second time. I started to religiously vacuum the carpet and couch everyday and started wearing long socks hoping I'd catch one, so I could show the landlady. And this past Saturday, we were due to do laundry and that's when I noticed a streak of blood on the corner of our sheets. After peeling the sheets off, I began inspecting our matress cover and saw that familiar ink-like deposit on the side along with a nymph. I called my hubby in and he lifted the bed, and that's when we found a small nest of nymphs, eggs, and fecal stains.

    I immediately called our landlady, while my hubby continued to investigate. He found one adult that had just fed—it looked like (and I'm hoping it was) a female—and more nymphs, which he sprayed with rubbing alcohol and collected.

    Today, we had an exterminator come in for an inspection and he confirmed we had bed bugs. He assured us that it was mild and we caught it early, and appeared very confident that it could be done and over with in one treatment. He said a second treatment might be necessary, but
    he didn't think so. Which would be great, since bed bug treatments aren't cheap and I'd just like to have it over with, but I'm hesitant to believe him from reading other people's stories.

    Anyway, we are scheduled to get treated on Thursday. Hopefully all goes well, but I have a few concerns:

    1) We have a bagless vacuum with a HEPA filter. During my initial belief that this was fleas, could I have inadvertantly spread bed bugs to other parts of our apartment? The company wants us to vacuum every crack and crevice, the sofa, bed, etc. Would doing this prior to treatment potentially spread them? The vacuum's directions state that I can only wash the plastic bin that holds all the dirt. This wasn't really an issue with the fleas, but bed bugs are especially nasty little bastards, so I wanted to check.

    2) We have a chaise sectional couch that is a light tan. We haven't noticed any signs of bed bug activity but the underside of the couch cushions and the base of the couch, where the two meet, are black. The lining of the couch, behind the cushions are stapled together, but there are some big gaps. I can easily fit my fingers in a few spots. What is the likelihood that bed bugs are inside the inner workings of the couch? I've been so sleep deprived these past few days that I accidentally passed out while breastfeeding my son on the couch. This was probably between 9PM - 1AM. When I woke up, I had a line of bites on one of my toes, so now I'm paranoid about that.

    3) My son has some wooden toys—puzzles and trucks. Do these need to be thrown out? (We can't afford a packtite right now)

    4) We have a TV mounted to the wall along with a housing unit that's mounted below it to keep wires in one place. We've been instructed to remove pictures, but the print out didn't mention TVs. Would we need to take that down and/or the housing for the wires? And if we did, where would be a good place to put it?

    5) How can I tell if treatment has been successful or not? We found a minimal amount of bed bugs and excrement on our matress/box spring covers (all the bed bugs we saw were killed), but we were instructed not to spot clean the fecal stains until after treatment was finished. The exterminator said he would come back in a week to re-inspect. Are fresh bites a good indicator that bugs are still present?

    Thank you so much for your time ❤

  2. thirdusername

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    Posted 9 months ago
    Tue Jan 16 2018 17:21:30
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    Are you having heat treatment?
    Are the neighbors being treated too?

    In many places the landlord is responsible to pay for treatment.

    I am NOT an expert.
    My opinions are just opinions, they may NOT apply to yours or any situation.
    My advice is to always do a LOT of research.
    A lot of what I read contradicts other stuff on the Interweb.
  3. Jacy

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    Posted 9 months ago
    Tue Jan 16 2018 17:36:24
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    No, we're getting chemical treatment. We have the option to choose our exterminator, but we can't swing the money for a heat treatment right now and none of the companies we called offered a payment plan for it. So we're using the company the apartment complex uses.

    Our lease agreement clearly states we're liable for the cost of any bes bug treatment. It suggests that if we got them via another unit, then we wouldn't have to pay, but there's no way for us to prove that. We asked the landlady to check the other apartments, since we honestly don't know how we got them. We're pretty much hermits since our first infestation. We don't go anywhere, nothing used has ever been brought in. And we don't have people over. She said she was going to send out a notice for the other tennants and talk to them. So as it stands right now, we're the only unit getting treated.

    We're surrounded by concrete with the exception of the front wall, where our front door is, and our ceiling. We live on the bottom floor of a two story apartment building.

  4. thirdusername

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    Posted 9 months ago
    Tue Jan 16 2018 17:50:05
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    >Our lease agreement clearly states we're liable for the cost of any treatment.
    That may be illegal.
    Landlords apparently put many illegal clauses in leases.

    I had chemical but nothing was said about anything on my wall.
    I would ask your PCO.

  5. Jacy

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    Posted 9 months ago
    Wed Jan 24 2018 4:38:40
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    I've been looking into my state's laws, which state that it's the landlord's responsibility to pay for treatment, assuming a tenant doesn't bring infested items into the apartment and complies with the process of extermination. Which seems to apply to us.

    We did, however, sign a bedbug addendum that essentially says the tenant takes responsibility of treatment after the first 7 days upon moving into an apartment. So I don't know. This sounds like something that would require some legal counsel, which really isn't something we can afford.

    Because surprise, surprise

    We need to have another treatment done. I found a baby bed bug on our sheets today and I've been getting bit all week since the first treatment.

    I seem to have a different reaction from the babies than I do the adults. The bites from the babies are very small ~ This being the reason why I thought I was initially getting bit by fleas, but the adults produce huge itchy bumps. We caught and killed one adult when we initially found their nest, and I haven't been getting any of those kinds of bites since. So now I'm thinking we only have babies around, since the bites are all tiny.

    We're looking into getting a sofa encasement if this continues to be a problem.

    And apparently in my state, apartment complexes aren't required to send out any notices to other tenants about a bed bug infestation in one of their units. So even though we've asked to have the other units checked, I'm fairly certain none of our neighbors know we have them or are getting their own units treated.

  6. HifromChi

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    Posted 9 months ago
    Wed Jan 24 2018 11:08:38
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    That bedbug addendum crap is such shady business. Most apartment operations that make you sign one of those, already know they have bed bug problems. They are just trying to pass the buck off on new unsuspecting renters. And the biggest hangup with that, is most PCO's won't treat without management's consent, since the renters don't own the space, then management denies they have a problem and then you don't get the treatment you need.

    Multi-unit apartment dwellings are turning into a huge liability for renters. Better off renting a house or unit that shares no space with other dwellers.

    Best of luck to you...

  7. BigDummy

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    Posted 9 months ago
    Wed Jan 24 2018 12:04:51
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    I would disagree, a bed bug addendum can be quite useful when you have a resident who repeatedly visits an infested area and continues to bring bugs home because they don't have to pay for treatment.
    It goes both ways, at least bringing it up could indicate that the persons involved are aware of the possibility of bed bugs.
    Making a point to add it to the lease can make it easier for either party to bring up the subject. Of course there will be those that exploit the situation, like anything.

    Killer of bed bugs for Homeless Empowerment Program
  8. thirdusername

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    Posted 9 months ago
    Wed Jan 24 2018 21:48:36
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    BigDummy - 9 hours ago  » 
    I would disagree, a bed bug addendum can be quite useful when you have a resident who repeatedly [knowingly] visits an infested area and continues to bring bugs home because they don't have to pay for treatment.

    It's a tough situation.
    Should the tenant be liable for visiting an infested place where they are unaware of the infestation?
    It is definitely bad to be a landlord in my opinion.

    Are bed bug lease addendums legal?

  9. BigDummy

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    Posted 9 months ago
    Thu Jan 25 2018 9:45:29
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    If you're going to quote me don't change my words, kinda defeats the purpose.


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