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Bed bugs in storage bedroom - cleaning advice?

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  1. eienni

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    Posted 6 years ago
    Thu Aug 15 2013 8:05:24
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    Hello,

    Last month, I travelled in Edinburgh and was bitten by something in the hostel there. I checked for bed bugs when I woke up in the night, but didn't find anything. Afterwards, I went to my parents' house, already worried that I would have some bugs with me, but convincing myself that I was just paranoid.
    I stayed one week, left for one month, and came back again two days ago. So, last night I woke up, itching, and switched on the light, and this time I did find a bed bug. I know for sure since I had bed bugs in Sweden a couple of years ago and remember very well...
    Because this is the second time, I was extra devastated, extremely anxious and managed to fall (or faint, I'm not even sure) on the stairs.

    Today we have called a local exterminator and will have him over tomorrow. The problem this time around is that, opposed to my first infestation, this is in a house and not a dorm room. We think it is only in my room, but it is difficult to be sure. My parents haven't been bit, so I think we will start with just my room... leading to my questions on preparation for the extermination.

    Currently I am in transit, as I will have to move to another city next week for university.
    My room is small and full of boxes with stuff (ready for moving), and I was wondering if I should freeze all the contents of the boxes as well as my clothes? Would bed bugs hide in boxes of books, drawing and painting tools and the like or should I focus on exterminating potential bugs from my clothes?
    Do you have any advice to clean up a small room with lots of moving boxes to prepare for the pest control? We were thinking to put all the boxes outside of the house while he sprays, otherwise it doesn't seem possible to spray properly.

    A lot of the clothes that I didn't bring to the infested hostel is now downstairs in another room, and while staying at my boyfriend's place the past month we had no problems with bites at all - so I assume all the bed bugs are in my room and didn't follow us any further on our travels, and that there are none left on the clothes I brought travelling either.
    I will try to freeze all my clothes just to be sure though (as much of it cannot be washed in 60 degrees). I guess we will have to rent a freezer for that.

    Do you have any advice to clean up a small room with lots of stuff, and should I worry about other things (not clothes) in addition to clothes? Since this is my childhood room, I also have a lot of stuffed animals...

    Any advice at all would be greatly appreciated. I am really freaked out and due to housing problems in my university city, I may have to live with friends the first while, and I am so scared that I will bring bed bugs to them, so I really need to do my best.

    I'm sorry for rambling, I hope somebody will take the time to read and respond to this.
    I feel really guilty for taking this pest to my parents' house and feel like I should have spotted them right away in the hostel once I got bitten. I am also disappointed in the hostel since they took two weeks to reply to my concern, saying that "if there were any [bed bugs], there aren't anymore". I think they probably found some bugs, exterminated them, and then tried to pay me off with a refund.
    I can't believe that I managed to catch them again, a second time, and I really feel even more anxious this second time around, like they're following me forever... Any advice on how to get rid of them quickly and efficiently would be greatly appreciated!

  2. bed-bugscouk

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    Posted 6 years ago
    Thu Aug 15 2013 8:55:47
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    Hi,

    A bit of a tough one there.

    Although you can freeze boxes and items to deal with bedbugs to be certain they are all dead takes longer than some of the published references. Particularly with dense boxes it takes weeks not days unless you have access to freezer that are much, much lower than your normal domestic appliances.

    In other countries you would have had the option of PackTite or an Insect Inferno trailer to decon the items but sadly the UK has neither option available outside of London.

    In essence the solution you seek needs to be both fast and efficient to do what I would call a "decon move" and unless you are locate in or close to London I cant think of a cheap solution that is fast enough for the time frame you have outlined. If you are based close to London let me know, there are two decon facilities for items for bedbugs and one happens to be in London (for those reading and interested the other is in Toronto Canada).

    David Cain
    Bed Bugs Limited

    If you have found this information helpful please consider leaving feedback on social media via google+ or FaceBook or by like/loving the images.

    In accordance with the AUP and FTC (legal requirements) 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 products.
  3. eienni

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    Posted 6 years ago
    Thu Aug 15 2013 9:09:59
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    I am currently in Denmark. I suppose this is a mostly UK forum, but I hope it is okay to participate still since resources are scarce in my country.

    I do not need to move all of my belongings as once, since I still do not yet have a place to live in my university city and will need to stay with friends the first few weeks.
    Hopefully I can freeze the clothes I bring with me before leaving, using a suitcase that has not been close to the infected room, making sure not to bring the infestation to my friends.
    I think we will rent a big freezer, hopefully industrial enough to reach the necessary temperature, but it is really distressing and very bad timing...

    PackTite and Insect Inferno sound great, but I think they are unfortunately not available in this small country. I will try to take a look for it though.

  4. bed-bugscouk

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    Posted 6 years ago
    Thu Aug 15 2013 9:21:04
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    Hi,

    Actually its mainly US but has maybe 20% non US/Canada.

    Yes Scandinavian information is somewhat scarce which is odd because we are told that the Swedes used to rule the roost in terms of bedbug knowledge.

    Save the time looking, I know they are already not there. The closest we have is in London so the best advice I can give you is to be ruthless in the prioritization or what is urgent and slow decon the rest. The other option if you were moving straight into the "final" location would be to seal this, travel, unpack quickly and look into the "treatment by passive monitor replacement" protocol.

    On the plus side its not likley that you have brought a significant problem along with you as initial hotel transference is rarely more than about 12 bedbugs.

    Hope that helps.

    David

    In accordance with the AUP and FTC I openly disclose my vested interest in the treatment by passive monitor replacement protocol mentioned above.

  5. eienni

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    Posted 6 years ago
    Thu Aug 15 2013 10:27:39
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    Thank you very much for your help!

    It is really bad that the information is so scarce here. The day I had the pest control over in Sweden, they had to go to several other dorm rooms in completely different buildings, so it's not like it isn't a wide-spread problem.

    Unfortunately the bed bugs have been here for more than one month since I arrived from the hotel. I only slept in the bed for about one week before leaving again however, so hopefully they didn't manage to reproduce too much due to a lack of "hosts" in the bedroom. Even so, I did get about 5 different bites the two nights I have been here now, but I guess they're all hungry and some bite more than once...
    I hope there aren't too many by now, but it will be difficult to clean out and cleanse all items in the room as it has been used for storage and contains pretty much everything I own. The pest control arrives tomorrow, and then I will try to decon everything step by step.

    I will look into the treatment by passive monitor replacement as well. This is the second time I get infested and I will do all I can to make sure this is the last time it gets this far.

  6. eienni

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    Posted 6 years ago
    Thu Aug 15 2013 15:39:13
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    Is it usually necessary to decon books, cd's, dvd's and the like at a light infestation? I assume it's a light infestation since I have only seen one bug so far (compared to seeing many bugs - hitchhiking ones, daytime ones etc. - the first time I had BBs three years ago).

    A lot of the information on the forum makes me worry that I will never get rid of them again unless I freeze, heat or throw out all of my belongings. Aren't the bugs usually centered around the bed and will be lured out eventually if someone baits them after spraying the room?
    Freezing or heating (which isn't even possible anyway) all my things seems like an enormous and virtually impossible task...
    It's only day one and I'm already desperate. I have already lived this nightmare once before and blame myself that I'm in this situation again.


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