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bedbugs in Queens (newbie) please please help

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  1. buggyinastoria

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    Posted 11 years ago
    Mon Jul 7 2008 9:22:24
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    Hello Everyone,
    Sorry this is sort of long but I dont know where else to turn.
    Well unfortunately my worst nightmare has come true. For the past week my bf and i have been waking up with bites on arms and legs. At first it was just a few, then we noticed tehy were in linear patterns. On Sunday morning (after 6 days) we ripped off the sheets are started inspecting the mattress cover. We found a few bugs walking around and then at the on the mattress cover near our heads we found eggs (this is when i started crying).
    SO we did the wrong thing and went to the other bedrooms to sleep for a few hours. Woke up and started reading online all the dos/donts (this is when I made my bf get out of that bed!!) Hopefulll they didnt have time to spread there (it was only 3 hours).
    My bf does not want to get an exterminator yet. We live in a 6 family building, and my bf has been there 10 years, so it is rent stabilized. We made the landlord come over yesterday and he said its not his problem, we brought them (still not sure where they came from, no new furntiure, no visitors, no travels in 4 months). He said we have to take care of it, and that no one else in the building has been affected. He did say the tenants across the street had them.
    SO we went to the exterminator down the street and he gave us Bedlam and something called AllPro. He said it sounds like its early and pretty centralized to the bed, since this all happened within one week. He gave us the info sheet (to bag and wash everything, buy a new mattress cover, etc). So last nite we bagged almost all the clothes in the bedroom (except the coats that are hanging in the closet, still not sure what to do with those) and we took off the mattress cover because we saw bugs moving around on the mattress. I dont know how we are going to take apart the frame, I read on here to wash it with Murphys oil soap? But its a West Elm frame and we put it together (not too well) and Im not sure if well be able to get it back together later, some of the screws are bent.
    Anyways, I took everything from under the bed, bagged it, taped the garbage bags shut and will go to the laundrymat tonite. It was 1 am by this point, and we couldnt sleep in the bed. We went to the living room and to avoid infesting the couch we put a blanket down. At about 3 am we woke up because we felt bites (my bf had a bite near his eye, but not sure if mosquito or not, we had opened a window because of the smell from the sprays. This was the first time he freaked out--finally, not just me freaking out). We got up and went and slept in the car, we didnt know what else to do we both have to work...

    Today Im going to go to Walmart/BB and Beyond and get more supplies. I already threw out the bed pillow,s and bagged the covers from the couch. Im going to strip the bed in the guestroom (its a captains bed so I hope to god theres nothing there) and buy a mattress cover for it too.

    Basis all of the above, what should I do next ?? The sprays the exterminator gave seem to be for killing on contact. Should I isolate the bed (on the mounts with the mineral oil) ? Should I rent a steam vacuum ? I know we will need to pay for an exterminator, but since it seems we will be going it alone in a 6 family building I dont know what to do. Please please please help. I dont know how bad the infestation is..as I mentioned we did find eggs ( i think 3 clusters all next to eachother) and we killed maybe 5 that we saw on the bed. (thankfully no boxspring). Can someone please tell me how we are going to sleep tonite????

    Im so embaressed I cant even talk to anyone about this. And this is the first time Im glad the apartment is so slow. I cant imagine doing this with an entire house.

  2. lieutenantdan

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    Posted 11 years ago
    Mon Jul 7 2008 9:55:01
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    First thing is to do some research on this site, most of everything you ask you can find here. BEDLAM. Did you get this from Standard Exterminator on Steinway? Bedlam has a residual which can last for a week to three weeks and it has been said that Bedlam can kill 85% of eggs if the eggs are sprayed directly. If you have chemical down than do not use steam until the residual time has elapsed because steam can shorten the like span of the chemicals. Also try not to freak too much, bed bugs are a fact of life for many and more will experience bed bugs in time for the epidemic is growing and bed bugs are not going away anytime soon. I suggest to call Assemblymember of Queens
    Michael N. Gianaris http://assembly.state.ny.us/mem/?ad=036 and tell them of your bed bug problem and you can tell him lieutenantdan sent you.

  3. buggyinastoria

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    Posted 11 years ago
    Mon Jul 7 2008 10:03:15
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    Thanks Lieutenantdan. Yes I got the Bedlam from Standard Exterminating ( the owner was very very friendly and helpful). I saw good things about them on your site, so if./when we go with the pros I think Ill have them come (they said $650 for the treatment). Should the Bedlam be applied everywhere? Im a little fuzzy on that...
    Someone just told me that I should get rid of all of the furniture, and then have somone come and spray, but this is different from whats on bedbugger.com do you think I need to toss it all ??
    Im sorry, I know its a fact of life especially here in NYC. But it sucks when its you.

  4. lieutenantdan

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    Posted 11 years ago
    Mon Jul 7 2008 10:39:00
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    These creatures can be anywhere such as under floors and behind walls, in books and pictures frames and in adjacent apartments. If you toss furniture that does not assure that you will be rid of these pests. You do have to get a professional like Gil Bloom and Standard for help. Laws exist for your protection against landlords that do not want to treat so contact the assemblyman's office. Call Standard and see what they say about applications and safety. If you have pets be careful especially birds, fish and cats.
    I would not move items too much until you have some chemical down as to disturb the bugs and push them into hiding. I would spray Bedlam on baseboards and ceiling mouldings, into bed frame and in closets. Bedlam sprays as a yellowish foam and dries clear and has not discolored any of my furniture. It may discolor some fabric or may not, Steri-Fab will.
    Gil Bloom is a well recognized entomologist who has treated many bed bug infestations and is a very knowledgeable professional. Do call the assemblyman ASAP.
    Also look into Freshwater Food Grade Diatamacious Earth and research this site for suggestions how to.

  5. Winston O. Buggy

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    Posted 11 years ago
    Mon Jul 7 2008 12:12:29
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    A question here is how you suddenly got bbs that as you describe went from zero to several bites a night in two-three days. In this case either they were introduced by something being brought in or staying somewhere or perhaps migration in the building. Bedlam is a
    good start as do a residual it depends on surface etc. But killing bed bugs for the most part is a contact sport. And try not to cry although it can seem unnerving at the outset.And remember nice people get bed bugs too.

  6. lieutenantdan

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    Posted 11 years ago
    Mon Jul 7 2008 12:38:00
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    From zero to several bites a night may be due to the possibility of the immune system response time. We all are well aware that many people do not react to bites and many people do not show skin reactions until some time has passed. This fact gives opportunity for a bed bug infestation to increase in size without the victims immediate knowledge.

  7. Winston O. Buggy

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    Posted 11 years ago
    Mon Jul 7 2008 13:15:23
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    My reading of the stated facts were that both parties started exhibiting bites at the same time. Which would be more indicative of an introduction then a concurrent lag in bite response time to two separate individuals which then erupted simultaneously. My feeling is something changed or was introduced.

  8. Nobugsonme

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    Posted 11 years ago
    Mon Jul 7 2008 13:16:21
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    Yes--I'd agree there have been cases where people saw no bites and then many seemed to appear within a few days-- with no change in number of bed bugs sighted, and no change in circumstances (i.e. not visiting a hotel or going anywhere). It does seem that some people don't initially react to bites and then eventually react, with a number of bites appearing all at once.

    I had a similar experience.

    And I think Sean of thebedbugresource.com reported this happened to him. (I could be wrong about it being Sean, but at least one ento who feeds his bed bug colony did document this.)

    On the other hand, if you BOTH just started reacting, then I'd lean toward something being brought in.

    Rack your brains.

    I started and run the site but am "not an expert."
  9. buggyinastoria

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    Posted 11 years ago
    Mon Jul 7 2008 15:43:37
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    The only thing I can think of being introduced recently was a few books I bought on Amazon.com (havent even read them yet, they went into a ziplock bag last nite). We think it could also be from a neighbor, though or neighbors across the hall said they havent seen anything. No visitors recently, no new funrniture, nothing we can think of..unless we carried it in on a shoe or something.
    We did just report our landlord to 311, though Im not sure what happens to him if he still refuses to pay for the exterminator. Also, I dont know what to do in the meantime. What if it takes weeks before he sends someone? What if he goes super cheap and they dont do the job right? What do you think about subtracting the costs from next months rent? (obviously a NYC targeted question)

    Everyone has said not to leave the apartment and to stay as bait, but the only real chemical we have right now is Bedlam. We havent started looking for the DE. I went to Walmart on my lunchbreak, couldnt find any tea tree oil/mineral oil (going to try to isolate the bed tonite). Where do they usually sell those?

    Also, going to bed bath and beyond now. Checked online, and tehy sell their own Allergy Luxe bed bug bed protector, and then there are several other brands listed. I just dont want to have to order it online (I know there are specific brands recommended on this site) and have to wait for it. Has anyone heard anything about the BB&B brand ?

    Also, lieutenantdan, I was going to buy a steamer while Im shopping. I saw the rowenda procompact steamer and the shark supersteamer...any suggestions ? Should I go for the garment one or the vacuum one ?

    My BF wants to stay in a hotel tonite (i know, so many are infected too !) and Im trying to convince him we need to stay in our bed...but he thinks it sounds crazy.

    Phew, thanks everyone, for bearing with me. I guess the one comforting fact is that there are so many people affected. Still havent heard anyone I know admit to it, but just today a friends said their neighbors across the street were infested. Also in Astoria, which Im learning is super infested.

  10. lieutenantdan

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    Posted 11 years ago
    Mon Jul 7 2008 16:06:18
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    http://www.shoprowenta.com/detail/ROW+IS1430/Pro_Compact_Steamer

    I use this one. It is portable. May not be what professionals use but $500.00 is expensive and I find this works well at $70.00.
    Stay on the assemblyman and also call Peter Vallone Jr.
    http://www.petervallone.com/
    A few months ago he and his father participated in the bed bug seminar sponsored by NYC which in attendance was our Lou Sorkin and Gil Bloom. Get our politicians behind you and have them help with instructions. The squeaky wheel gets the grease.
    Nobugsonme can help direct you on how and where to purchase DE and how to use it.
    Bedlam is a good start, I believe. Tactics are in this order as of now.
    #1 Inspect. #2 steam #3 inspect again #4 vacuum #5 Bedlam. Do not use Bedlam or any other product other than steam and vacuum on your bed. For your bed I do use Bedlam and DE in cracks and crevices only and at a small amount. You do not want to sleep on the stuff although we had slept on Suspend SC and Gentrol a couple of years ago but I would not do that now because I know better. Can spray Bedlam on bottom of Bed and furniture. Inspect with an 10x magnification photographers loupe from Adorama photo $20.00 and flashlight. Look under and up and behind furniture. Also the box spring under mesh is a great area for bbs. Don't panic you are moving in the right direction. Research.

  11. Nobugsonme

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    Posted 11 years ago
    Mon Jul 7 2008 16:17:06
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    You can find DE and other items (like dry vapor steamers Bedbugger readers have recommended) in the useful stuff page: http://bedbugger.com/usefulstuff/

    HOWEVER, this is important -- if you called 311, HPD should send an inspector. The inspector will not touch or move anything, we're told. S/he will ask you to show him/her live bed bugs in your home, walking around. (It does not matter if you save samples, or have bed bug detritus, they will likely discount that. People have reported this.) As awful as it sounds, you need to preserve the bed bugs where they are. Do not clean or steam or spray. If you filed a report, hopefully HPD will send someone soon. If you want to hurry them along, you might try calling again.

    I would not advise paying and expecting the landlord to reimburse, or subtracting it from rent. I'd seek legal advice before trying that. You could consult Met Housing for free tenants' advice. Their website is on the http://bedbugger.com/links/ page under "Landlords and Tenants".

  12. lieutenantdan

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    Posted 11 years ago
    Mon Jul 7 2008 16:27:19
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    Sorry, Bed bath & beyond carried that steamer a few months back and may still have them.
    When I said don't spray bed I meant the parts that touch you like your mattress. I had use Bedlam under bed and in cracks and crevices. You may or may not react to pesticides and if you do it will be hard to tell because it may resemble a rash which could be speculated as bed bug bites which they very well may be. I believe that at times the chemicals will get the bugs moving so you may in fact get bit but you would have gotten bites chemicals or not.
    Do not expect immediate kills it can take some time for the chemicals to effect the bbs and some may be resistant to the chemicals and that is where your steam, vacuum and DE and Murphy orange oil soap comes into play. Lots of work. Also caulking any cracks along the baseboards may help but I would treat first before sealing up. I believe the when caulking it is impossible to get every crack. Bedlam comes with the straw attachment to get into crevices. PM me if you don't mind on your approximate location in Astoria please, just curious and would like to keep well informed on infestations in the neighborhood. My best.

  13. fightorflight

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    Posted 11 years ago
    Tue Jul 8 2008 3:29:38
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    To sort of follow up on what Nobugs has said - There is no way of proving where the bugs came from. Especially so from how you describe your situation. That being the case, your landlord is handing you a line and is wrong. He is responsible for treating and, I think, has 30 days to rid the problem. You need to report the violation first.

    You should start down this path. It may not rid your problem (I think a lot of people have found that their LLs did not fix the problem in the 30 day time frame and then were unsure what to do next.) and may aggravate your relations with your LL for a time. But do it because this is a burgeoning issue and this is at least one procedure that has been put in place. I repeat, as far as I am aware, the LL in NYC has responsibility for eradicating the problem in 30 days (though often this doesn't happen). At least apply what leverage and procedures are at your disposal. I see no way that he can claim, much less prove, the bugs came from you. Based on what you have said, I think there's a good possibility someone else brought them in somehow.

  14. buggyinastoria

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    Posted 11 years ago
    Tue Jul 8 2008 8:53:21
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    thanks for the words of encouragement and advise everyone. I spent $500 and bed bath and beyond last nite! Wow, this is going to cost a ton.
    I bought the allergy luxe mattress pad (says protects against dust mites) and the clean Rest mattress pad. Any experience with these?

  15. lieutenantdan

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    Posted 11 years ago
    Tue Jul 8 2008 10:00:00
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    I spent seven thousand and up in the last 21 months on my war.
    New mattress and box spring, plastic bins, treatments, DIY chemicals, steamers, vacuum,
    vacuum bags, laundry and dry cleaning, paint and caulk, etc...

  16. Sleep-deprived-Lela

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    Posted 11 years ago
    Tue Jul 8 2008 13:24:17
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    i'm quickly approaching a thousand spent.. sigh

  17. lieutenantdan

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    Posted 11 years ago
    Tue Jul 8 2008 15:48:00
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    As far as I know the best product is Protect-A-Bed bed bug proof and bite proof encasements. I have three and bought them when they first came onto the market.
    Copper pest sells them and maybe bedbugger may have a link.

  18. mark

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    Posted 11 years ago
    Wed Jul 9 2008 12:02:37
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    They hide everywhere. Sprays and all that did not help. What I did was isolate my bed. Knowing that wherever they hide they will end up on my bed trying to get to me. I put bowls of water with deltamethrin in it on each corner roller. then I got a cover that zips up for each mattress. the bedding I cleaned often. Sometimes I even threw it in a cooler and added boiling water, put the lid on and let it sit for a while. finaly on the first sheet the one that covers the bed I dust the outside with deltamethrin powder. So when they come up the bed they have to go through that before they can get to you. I took a few more bites but they eventually die. Sounds like a desparate move..it was. I tried everything else nothing worked. Deltamethrin powder is the only chemical that worked for me. The stuff is messy and will clog any vacume or filter. I bought a shop vac. you have to use both filters and get them wet first before you vacume or it will blow a mushroom cloud through your whole house. This method, use with caution your putting the stuff on your bed and it will get on you eventually. I have had no effects from it but I wouldnt put it on a childs bed. This method did work. Good luck,

  19. mark

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    Posted 11 years ago
    Wed Jul 9 2008 12:11:28
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    A note on that last post. When you apply the deltamethrin powder to the sheet. Apply only to the outside edges that tuck around your bed. NOT TO THE SURFACE YOU SLEEP ON.

  20. Nobugsonme

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    Posted 11 years ago
    Wed Jul 9 2008 13:36:01
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    buggy,

    Please read: http://bedbugger.com/encasements/ for links to encasement information.

    I know some websites and some of the older university fact sheets recommend encasements labeled for dust mites, but IMHO this is very outdated and bad information.

  21. buggyinastoria

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    Posted 11 years ago
    Wed Jul 9 2008 15:39:15
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    Thanks Nobugsonme. Im thinking I should return the ones brom BB&B as they only say 'dustmites'. The clean rest ones do say bedbugs though..
    Our landlord finally gave in (I think he got a call from 311) and he is coming with the exterminator (Standard from Astoria) to see the place tonite. Im worried because Ive already bagged most of my stuff and started on the laundry..
    Last nite we slept in the bed and didnt get bitten ! Does this mean theyve dispered?
    Or that they didnt make it to us all nite ?
    Im afraid hes going to think were crazy. My bite marks are fading (since I hadnt slept there the 2 nites prior)...
    The apartment looks like a disaster zone, with clothes and blankets in ziploc bags. Luckily we did save 2 of the critters, but I hope thats enough !

    Should I unbag my stuff? After reading that they get into books, Im starting to think maybe they came in on the books I ordererd from Amazon.com (used). I was so freaked out the first day I didnt look at them, just shoved them in plastic garbage bags to be dealt with later. If he does exterminate, will he look at the stuff I bagged (but havent had a chance to wash yet?)

    Im trying not to give myself false hope that somehow we caught them really early and managed to kill them all (the eggs on the mattress cover and the 4-5 live ones). I know thats not possible...but its a nice thought !!!


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