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Bonjour! Some questions from an American in France

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  1. Jen ai Marre

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    Posted 7 years ago
    Sat Sep 15 2012 17:56:10
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    Hi everyone. I'm a college student spending a semester in France, and as it turns out, I'm also spending a semester dealing with bed bugs. I quickly found them the second night I moved into my furnished apartment here. I'm not sure if this section of the forum is strictly for introductions - it appears that others are leaving questions as well - but the main thing I am interested in is information about maintenance in between treatments. I'm a bit overwhelmed with all the information online and haven't had much success in weeding out info about this specific aspect. Also, with a slight language barrier, I've had a hard time getting clear instructions from my landlord. I imagine maintenance varies between the types of treatment, but the biggest things I've been wondering are if I should be doing something special with storing my clothes, how often I should be washing my sheets at 120 degrees, and other matters of every day movements around the house.

    I've been lurking around the forums for a week or so now and have found it to be a great resource for information, as well as something that has made me feel much better about this whole mess. It's great to hear others' success stories and know that others understand going through this. Thanks everyone!

  2. Koebner

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    Posted 7 years ago
    Sun Sep 16 2012 7:56:07
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    Basically, keep clutter to a minimum, keep sleeping in your bed. Between treatments you don't need to be hot laundering your sheets every day.

    Your pest controller really should have told you what to do about laundry, etc, because different approaches require slightly different actions from clients. If you can email them, that might be the easiest way to get a definitive answer whilst leaving you the time to digest the info properly. If you're not dealing directly with the PCO, ask your LL for written instructions.

    If you really can't get them to give you useful info, this FAQ covers pretty much all aspects of laundry; http://bedbugger.com/2007/05/18/dryer/

    If there's ever any BB-related vocabulary you're hung up on, PM me & I should be able to clear it up. I know more désinsectisation vocab' than I'd ever hoped to learn.

  3. Jen ai Marre

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    Posted 7 years ago
    Sat Sep 22 2012 7:11:47
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    Thanks Koebner!

    The trickiest part here is that I haven't been dealing directly with the PCO but with the landlord - who I think is stepping in as the middle man in a misguided attempt to be helpful and put me at ease. I'll shoot him an email anyway, and see if he can pass along anymore information.

    Thanks for the link to the FAQ - was having some trouble effectively navigating the website from my iPhone. We just finished the second treatment here. My landlord washed my clothes and returned them to me unsealed - so I think I may make a trip to the laundromat and run them through the dryer and put them into bags.

    Perhaps the bigger concern now are the chemicals. It felt like the PCO may have even overdone it the second time around. We weren't able to comfortably breathe in the room for about 24 hours, though they said it would be fine after about 6 hours. My boyfriend got frustrated and wiped up some puddles of the chemical that were left in uneven parts of the floor. It was a yellow color and the smell reminds me obnoxiously of the licourice-tasting Pastis everyone drinks here. Any idea what this could be? We've designated house shoes, rewashed all of our dishes, and moved our workspace toward a window in our widening battle against BBs and now also potentially hazardous chemicals, haha. Ah, la vie en rose.

  4. MyWorstFear

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    Posted 7 years ago
    Sat Sep 22 2012 16:00:12
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    Oh dear, I do feel for you. You should be enjoying Paris, not dealing with bed bugs. I adore Pastis but the PCO should not be spraying it on the floor (I realize he must have used something else). Not to scare you, but there should not be puddles of insecticide after the PCO treats the place. If they don't get a handle on this, is there any possibility that you could break your lease and move? There are instructions on how not to bring bugs to a new place.
    I love your forum name!

  5. Koebner

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    Posted 7 years ago
    Sun Sep 23 2012 8:00:55
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    I wouldn't panic just yet - I've had the puddle thing, & though that has sometimes been due to general over-treatment; it's most often been due to the spray nozzle dripping.

    Actually, I wouldn't panic - full stop. I've had more rounds of EU-approved pesticides than you can shake a stick at & me & my cats are all still tickety-boo. The ambient levels of PM10s in the average city probably consititute a far more significant risk to health.

    My only concern if the place smells really strongly of anise would be if your LL hired one of the barmy army of "naturelle" enthusiasts who keep trying to re-invent the pesticide wheel with concoctions of cedar, rosemary, lavendar, wormwood & whatnot. Damnfool waste of time - they don't work.

    More likely, it's just a scent added to the pesticide to stop the place smelling "chemically".

    Also, the EU Biocide Directive means French PCOs use different pesticides (& sometimes methods of application) from those used in N America, so issues of application & residue may be different over here. In the EU, you can wander straight back into the house as soon as spraying is finished, whereas American PCOs seem to prefer that the place is left empty for a few hours after treatment. The only reason my PCO's ever wanted me out of the house was because the place was small & they didn't want me in the way while they were moving furniture.


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