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Bedbug Newbie

(5 posts)
  1. anderke

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    Joined: Jan '13
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    Posted 6 years ago
    Tue Jan 1 2013 15:56:37
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    Hi Everyone!

    I just got the great opportunity to start off my first real career and moved into my first apartment! I was so excited until I saw a buggy thing crawling across my books... At first, I didn't know what it was and threw it outside. The next morning I found one in my bed (he hadn't eaten yet)! After some googling, I decided the little buggy things were bedbugs. =( After some searching, I caught a few for evidence and told the landlord. I was told no exterminators will be able to come until tomorrow, or maybe even Thursday due to the New Year Holiday. They did apologize about the situation, though, which was a good thing.

    I immediately bought a bunch of heafty trash bags and started throwing all of my clothing into them. Bedbugs were already crawling on my clothing--after just two days!!!! For now, all of the trash bags filled with clothing are sitting outside on the deck. I know I need to throw all of them into a dryer for an hour or so, but how do I get the trash bags to a laundromat without infecting my car?

    I sleep on an air mattress, so I don't need to worry too much about bugs slipping into many seams. I put a painters plastic tarp down on the carpet around my bed and surrounded my bed with fly paper, sticky tape, and honey. I now sleep in my sleeping bag that I used to keep in the car with tight fitting clothing. Last night I didn't have any bites (or at least did not react to them--but then again, I have a feeling that I do not react to bedbug bites because I didn't react the first night, either), but I learned that I have a very vivid imagination...I was up all night with my flashlight wondering if my trap had caught any bedbugs--which it had not. =S Can they really crawl up onto the ceiling and drop on me? I've read on here that they can do that---but how would they know to do such a thing? I sort of feel like I'm going insane...

    I start my new job tomorrow, and I'm terrified that this will impact my employment--especially during the initial probation period... I've looked at the PackTite. It sounds amazing, but is far too expensive for me at this moment. I don't believe that I can drive to the laundromat each morning before work to fry my clothing, but I suppose I could explore that possibility more. I'm not sure what to do! Bedbugs sure are a real pain. Do I store a weeks worth of business clothing in zip lock bags? How do I take them out and iron them without them getting infected again? Will the iron keep the bedbugs away, too? What about those steaming wrinkle releasing machines? Will bedbugs live in my hair sort of like lice--I have long hair and need to wash it the night before. ?? Any help, tips, or advice will be greatly appreciated. =)

    What do I tell people if they stop by for a second and see all of my clothing in trash bags and a fort of stickiness around my bed? I don't want to have word get out that I have bedbugs, but my friends want to see my new apartment... Do I just say "No...sorry....I'll explain later.." and keep it at that? I don't want to spread these little monsters in any way, or have people know I'm living with them...

    Thanks!

    Kate

  2. P Bello

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    Posted 6 years ago
    Tue Jan 1 2013 16:57:36
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    Dear Kate (I'm thankful for a "real name" to address),

    You have a long post which I usually avoid, likely due to my suspected condition adhd however, GA is winning 45 - 31, just intercepted and driving for another TD so, I'm in a really good mood. As such, I'll go thru your post and answer your queries as best I can, maybe even in order:

    > Car/trashbags?
    Simply seal the "suspect trashbags" completely into new clean bags. Do this carefully and use large durable bags to make your job easier. I prefer white bags so that it is easy to see any bugs. Note that when done using a bag carefully place the used bags into another and discard. DO NOT RE-USE bed bug suspect bags ! ! !

    Additionally, it is sufficient to run any suspect garments in the dryer rather than having to incurr the additional costs of completely laundering all clothing and other garments that may be already clean.

    AND, due to YOUR current situation; place/seal the "dryer de-bugged garments" into new bags. YOU will need to do this until yout new apartment is completely bed bug free. Sorry, but you should do this !

    (OK, I'm back to reading your post for the next question.)

    > Flypaper, sticky tape & honey?

    You can skip the honey. Next we'll be dealing with ants and cockroaches. So, like, don't !

    > Ceiling Drop Thing:
    Note that while this "can occur" there it is unlikely and, imo, I'd expect this to occur in extreme cases.

    BTW, how many bed bugs have you found in your place? have you removed an electrical outlet cover to see if there is any bed bug evidence there?

    And, where are you located?(city?)

    > New Job & Insanity:
    Please take some time to learn about bed bugs. The more you know the better you will be able to deal with them. Additionally, there are a bunch of really great people on this site who will help see you thru this and provide bith technical and morale support.

    > Packtite:
    The packtite is a good thing but can be "out of reach" for those with limited resources. There are alternatives but let's wait and see what you wind up needing for sure before we get started down that path.

    > YOUR Clothing:
    Let's do this: (And by "let's", I mean YOU) : )
    * Limit the clothing you're going to be using over the next few weeks.
    * Select your "use clothing" and place it in bed bug proof plastic containers or bags.
    * Seal the rest of your garments in plastic bags and put them asside out of the way.
    * ALSO limit your shoes. Yeah, I know this is tough for some females but "just effin do it", ok? good !
    * Heat treat using a dryer. (We can talk about viable alternatives but this will be via an offline pm.)
    * Yes, store your work clothing (see, I got ahead of your post & questions.)

    > Steamer & Iron:
    The steamer is a good thing, steam kills bed bugs on contact.
    The iron is ok but I'd be concerned about the ironing board and bed bugs getting onto that depending upon YOUR local conditions.

    Your friends & what to say:
    This is a controversial subject depending upon your location, your firneds and situation. Let's be conservative on this one; it's likely best to not disclose this to anyone. In the past I've been told by others that they'd sooner tell people that they "had gonorrhea" then they had bed bugs. Unfortunately, the social stigma of bed bugs is what it is. Please, for now at least, don't tell people you gonorrhea or bed bugs, ok? I think we're good on that one, right? Right!

    YOU:
    *OK, YOU have a new job and that's great. In this economy we were all wonder who it was that got the new job and it's YOU so, congratulations !
    * From your post it sounds like you have your head on straight and that's great. Let's work to assure it stays that way and you succeed in your new job ! ! !

    Apartment:
    From the sound of it, you moved into a place that had a pre-existing bed bugsituation. Bad for YOU but worse for your LL.
    As such, keep an eye on things, don't take no for an answer and be insistent upon having your bed bug situation remediated IMMEDIATELY by the best methodologies and service provider availabel in YOUR area ! ! !

    Please feel free to post any additional questions or concerns.

    Hope this helps and best of luck in your new job ! paul b.

  3. anderke

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    Posted 6 years ago
    Tue Jan 1 2013 22:25:06
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    Thank you so much for your reply, Paul. I really appreciate it. And sorry for the long post--I tend to ramble when I'm rattled.

    I used your trash bag idea! I only have a weeks worth of clothing in separate ziplock bags for now and *only* 4 pairs of shoes... I dried everything in the dryer. People give such weird looks when one puts clothing into individual baggies. Oh well! =)

    Good call on the honey. I wont be doing that...I was just thinking that since honey protects bee larva, maybe it would protect me too! But your right...ants like sugar!

    I just moved to Fort Collins, CO. The car will get super hot in the summer, so I suppose I shouldn't worry too much about bedbugs in the car. I have found 6 bedbugs so far. 1 on my books, 1 in my bed, 1 on the floor, 3 in my clothing. =( I haven't even gotten to the linen closet yet..yikes!..that'll be for another day... x_x;

    Thanks for the congratulations! I've been waiting a whole year of crummy minimum-wage jobs for this, and I'll try to not let these critters get in the way. I'll buy a wrinkle steamer tomorrow!! =D

    Question: Can I bake my books in the oven at 130 degrees F? I read a post on here saying people have tried this, but no one really followed up on it. I will need to bring them to the office that I work at, and don't want to bring along my new fun-loving friends.. =S

    Also, if I dampen my clothing, can I zap them in the microwave until steamy and then hang them outside to dry? I read that doing this with dry clothing will cause them to burn--but if they are wet and without metal, would it be okay? Drying clothing is quite expensive when you don't own a dryer...

    I have also been taken off the electrical outlet covers. All of them seem rather normal except one in the bedroom. From the rather small glimmer of what I can see below with a flashlight, it is filled with what looks somewhat-like dandelion seeds (but I'm sure that's not what it is...). Maybe it's bedbug skin. I'm a bit nervous to start taking out electrical wires, so I'll just tell the pest control man when he comes. This outlet is on a wall that borders my neighbors. I'm a bit suspicious of them as my closet is on that wall and I found the bedbug on the floor near the molding of that wall.

    But who knows. The bedbugs could have spread through the entire building by now if they really are in the walls. =S

    And you are absolutely right--bad for me, but worse for the Landlord. I'll try to keep that in mind the next time I start to get unglued. ^__^

    I guess if life were perfect, it would be boring--so let the bedbug fun begin! Thanks so much for your input! =)

  4. P Bello

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    Posted 6 years ago
    Tue Jan 1 2013 22:55:10
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    Dear kate,

    Microwave - No ! We don't need to be reading about you burning your apartment or the building down.

    Books in the oven at 130 F? Hmmm, let's just say no on this one for the time being, OK? Good.

    Let's not be touching/moving any electrical wires within your outlet boxes. We're opening these just to see telltale signs of bed bugs within so, be careful ! ! !

    The steamer thing is a good idea and can work for you if used properly.

    Check your PM.

    Hope this helps ! paul b.

  5. BuggyB00

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    Joined: Dec '12
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    Posted 6 years ago
    Wed Jan 2 2013 0:17:09
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    I'm just browsing the threads, and my heart really goes out the situations that people find themselves in. Thank you, P Bello, for helping out.


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