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Buggy in Philly- My story, new to Forum, Need some moral suport

(7 posts)
  1. cuddlebug920

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    Posted 2 years ago
    Thu Jul 6 2017 12:08:54
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    Hi Everyone,

    First I want to say thank God for this forum. Now that I've been trolling it for two weeks finding it the only source of updated and useful information and of emotional moral support, decided it was time to get myself my own username and join in

    I apologize in advance for the length of this, and I don't really have any questions per say that haven't already been answered on these forms already, but am looking just for some support and maybe some success stories as they seem few and far between comparatively.

    Almost 2 weeks ago my husband and I discovered we had bed bugs. To go back, let me put it mildly that bed bugs have never been much on our radar, though we travel often enough. We moved into our first home this one exactly a year ago, old twin attached home outside of Philly built in 1910. We aren't rich, but we work hard and worked hard all year to make it really a home. Beginning of April we rescued a puppy, I only mention this because a few weeks later I started getting some bites on my inner forearm and as I am horribly allergic to fleas, I thought this was what was happening. The dog takes flea meds, we never saw any and I even took him to the vet who said he was clear, but I was insistent because I've had this reaction to fleas before. In hindsight it may be what kept this bb infestation at bay because my husband thought I was nuts but I had him spray furtniture with flea premethrin spray and also vaccuum every day with DE powder we bought, again we did this all for 'fleas'. the bites seemed to be getting better on the arm and I didn't think much more about it. My shoulders and back were horrible but I blamed this on my acne prone skin, granted it was worse than ever before but I blamed myself and when little blood spots started appearing on our sheets, my husband and my mother both blamed it on my 'picking'.

    so cut to two weeks ago. I wake up and see the tiniest two mite looking things run across my pillow, I mean tiny but I saw them, squished them in papertowel and blood mark. I did this and my husband now decides to tell me a few days / week ago he saw a bigger bug in the bed and killed it, about the size of a ladybug, but flat and just thought we live in an old house and it was a bug. Can you believe this? I love him but come on. So we lift up the brand new 2000.00 6 mo old mattress which is encased in a bb cover and we see nothing. I go down to the white ruffled bed skirt and there are all the signs, black fecal stains, some nymphs running around I pull up box spring and find the harborage, one or two adults and others in various stages including lots of eggs on the black backing of the box spring.

    I go into panic mode. Big time. The only mistake I made in this whole thing (before doing any research) was I called a 'Bed Bug' PCO from teh city (Philly) who could come out in two days, rather than waiting the two weeks for more reputable companies to come out or discuss heat remediation. We had them come out and spray / steam, and dust, we did get chemical info and sheets and it was in line with what is discussed here, so it's not that they did a bad job it was just expensive 800.00 for us to then when we calmed down decide we wanted heat treatment to the tune of 2400.0. We found a PCO we trust and like and a week later they came to do heat remediation. They also sprayed and dusted first then heat treated most of the day. They will be coming out again 10 days later this Sat for a liquid treatment. So all and all since we caught it we had it treated and what I'm hoping is contained for now in a matter of 6 days. We did dispose of our bed and box spring. We did this properly after it was treated and encased and labeled and taken to a proper dump off site. I also know perhaps this isn't the best thing we should have done but I mentally just couldn't. We are now sleeping in the guest room. Passive monitors on our couch shows nothing yet, nor do they in guest room, active volcano monitor in original bedroom shows nothing also. No blood stains on sheets but I do feel like I'm getting one or two tiny tiny hives, bites, it's hard to tell I have so many. I know we are not out of the woods and I know it will be months of monitoring and living out of bags which is the hardest part. I know this has changed the way I look at things forever and that makes me so despondent and I know others here are going through the same.

    I'm just wondering if it does get better? My husband seems to be able to live his life while we are dealing with this and I don't get it. How to go on, how to not look at bed bug info all day long. The worst is that I am so down on myself like how stupid was I not to even think of this or know this. I blamed the itching on my food sensitivities and the marks on my acne. How far back does this go? 10 years ago I traveled the world with my job often to third world countries, have I been carrying this thing with me from apt to apt, town to town, house to house. ( I know this is unlikely but it's just my mind is going there), is my skin really gorgeous and these have all been BB bites :) I just feel like an idiot and I'm running through everything I've done over the past few months. I traveled twice, we got a rescue dog from a known hoarding situation, we hosted my mom who had been traveling overseas, my husband went on a humanitarian trip to Haiit in Jan, have we had them that long? Then we have the issue with our attached neighbor who rent and the owner is total jerk. He did allow an inspection from our PCO and it did come out clean so far, but we know how these things spread from one to another and you can bet he isn't taking preventative measures, so now we feel like our new home is forever tainted. I grew up in this area and left when I was 17, I just came back less than 2 years ago and I'm 40, it's been very isolating here, as my life was back there, and just when my business starts taking off and I start making friends, this happens. I feel so disgusted with myself for not catching it sooner and for even having it, I am having a hard time seeing anyone. Which makes my job extra hard as I am a health care practitioner who works mainly with my hands touching people. A thing that gave me great great joy and that helps a lot of people is now my worst anxiety and nightmare every day. I would love to take a chunk of time off but it's just not financially feasible, esp after the treatment cost. But I don't know how to get over this feeling. I'm obsessively cleaning myself, changing three times a day or more, showering 3 times a day......and from what I see on here these behaviors are reinforced as the right thing to do, but I can't live like this forever.

    Anyway thanks for listening. My husband is wonderful and doing everything I need and ask but emotionally he just has an easier time than me and is able to keep things in perspective and keep a positive attitude that things will be ok. I guess that's part of why I married him, but right now that attitude just makes me feel a bit more alone. Thanks again for reading and for any responses. It's truly making such a big difference for me.

  2. Nobugsonme

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    Posted 2 years ago
    Fri Jul 7 2017 0:02:04
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    There's a lot to be positive about here. You have had heat treatment backed up with other pesticides in case there are survivors. Your PCO was allowed to inspect your single attached neighbor and found nothing. That's awesome! Many people don't get such an opportunity and that would be my main source of concern regarding the problem persisting.

    Make sure your immediate family know how to find signs of bed bugs, how to search a room when they travel, and you're in a good situation.

    Chin up and stop looking at bed bug websites! It can get you down. If you want to see success stories, there are nearly 600 here: http://bedbugger.com/forum/forum/success-stories

    Most people forget to write one, but I hope you will be posting yours soon.

    I started and run the site but am "not an expert."
  3. cuddlebug920

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    Posted 2 years ago
    Fri Jul 7 2017 6:06:39
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    Thanks Nobugs

    I'm trying. Got my first real sleep last night since this thing happened and got my moms house inspected and set up with monitors. I know in time things will get better. Right now it just feels worlds away. Can you ever really be bb free or are you just in remission after these things.

    On a comical note: things not to do when you have a bb infestation, eat an everything bagel for breakfast.

    Thanks again for the kind words. They are much needed.

  4. Nobugsonme

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    Posted 2 years ago
    Fri Jul 7 2017 23:34:45
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    Can you ever really be bb free or are you just in remission after these things.

    You most certainly can be bed bug free. Hang in there!

  5. kw128

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    Posted 2 years ago
    Sat Jul 8 2017 20:00:31
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    Hi! I'd say "welcome" but no one really wants to find themselves here. I've been dealing with a minor infestation that we just discovered about 2 weeks ago. I can't imagine finding the harborage and seeing them in the different stages of growth--I think I would've thrown up. That must've been a horrible feeling, I'm so sorry.

    I had been in denial about ours, thinking it wasn't so bad, until I had to check the air mattress that my friend had been sleeping on (she had what looked like bedbug bites in a line). I remember taking off the sheets and seeing all the black fecal stains on the new bed. I felt absolutely repulsed. Then as I was throwing out the air bed, I found a bed bug crawling across my curtain. After that, I saw red blood stains right underneath my pillow--I must've crushed one shortly after it fed from me.

    I couldn't sleep. I couldn't concentrate at work. I just searched online for info about bed bug infestations. Everything seemed more and more hopeless. I didn't realize how relentless they were, that sometimes it was truly impossible to get rid of them. My parents refused to let me stay at their house for 4th of July and I cancelled going to my friend's beach house out of fear that I'd bring them there. I felt exhausted, stressed, isolated. I couldn't imagine ever unpacking my clothes or casually sitting on a bed. I never wanted to be home. I'd wake up in the middle of the night and turn on the lights, looking to see if I'd catch anything.

    The exterminator came and we haven't seen them since. I'm sure he will come back out again as I'm expecting that some eggs will still hatch. He has a 90-day guarantee and will come out as many times as we need.

    But every day I sleep a little better. Encasing my bed and boxspring plus drying all of my clothes and putting them in plastic containers also helped--I felt like I had some control over my environment. I told my friends what had happened and found out that 2 of them had also had bed bugs--AND defeated them.

    Keep us updated on what happens. It sounds like you are doing everything right. You will get your life back--it's understandable to go a little crazy right now. Remember to keep doing things that make you happy; distractions really helped me.

    All the best!

  6. caesg

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    Posted 2 years ago
    Sat Jul 8 2017 20:32:03
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    Just wanted to pop in and say "Hi!" as it looks like we are the two newest bites, here. Are you feeling any more calm?

  7. cuddlebug920

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    Posted 2 years ago
    Sun Jul 9 2017 18:39:49
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    Hi kw128 and caesg,

    Thank you both for the moral support. Who would've ever thought we would find ourselves here right? I'm trying to take each day as it comes, some moments I feel like myself and can not think about it but then I come home to plastic bags and bins and tons of laundry left to do in the basement and I break down and cry. The mental and financial toll this is taking is wearing on me and the isolation it is creating has me down. My mom and I are super close and the fact that she won't let me in her home right now is awful. I understand why, she had a 'rash' around the time I had bites and her home has been inspected and found clean for now but she wants to isolate all to make sure she doesn't have them in her home. I can't bear the thought if she does. She slept here over memorial day weekend when we had them but didn't know. We meet out for lunch or to swim and that's how it has to be for now, I understand but it's hard. On a positive note, we had our first treatment post heat remediation and we haven't seen a live bug since the heat treatment 12 days ago. Nothing in the passive or active traps we have set up and it appears no new bites though to be honest I have so much scarring and bites that it can be hard to tell. I often feel like things are crawling on me or get a weird (not itch) but like jolt or twinge in my legs or feet and part of it is probably mental but I've read on here others experience it too, it's like I'm more sensitive since all of this. Have either of you experienced this. KW128 I am a total freak when I wake up in the middle of the night with teh flashlight, I'm driving my husband nuts Last night was my first restful sleep in a few weeks and today the first day I didn't wash and dry my sheets and blanket right when I woke up, we are moving to do it every other day. I've only changed clothes two times today instead of 3 or 4 and so far only 2 showers So progress. I know we can beat them, right now the anxiety is stemming from not knowing where they came from and hoping it isn't a place we frequent. Here is hoping we all beat these bb's and live to tell about it Hope you all had a bb and bite free weekend. Thank you so much for the support.


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