Got Bed Bugs? Bedbugger Forums » Tools/ideas for fighting bed bugs

[was: alternative to Nuvan for CT resident/now: decluttering for treatment]

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  1. Rekrul

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    Posted 3 years ago
    Tue Sep 13 2016 22:43:42
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    I've postponed the Terminix treatment because I'm still cleaning/decluttering my house. Yes, I know the longer it goes untreated, the worse it will get, but I've been working my butt off to clear away a decade's worth of clutter by myself. It's getting there, but they still wouldn't be able to effectively treat all the rooms.

    Anyway, even though I haven't seen any evidence of bed bugs in my upstairs, other than one live bug I found on a box in an unused room, I have some items that may have bugs or eggs, but which can't be washed effectively. Particularly my mother had a collection of relatively expensive porcelain dolls with elaborate dresses. I always had the intention of eventually selling them, so I don't want to throw them out, but I also don't want to potentially spread the bugs to others.

    It seemed like sealing them in bags with Nuvan ProStrips would be the perfect solution, but naturally when I looked online, it says they can't be shipped to Connecticut. I think the Hot Shot brand is available here, but it's much more expensive. Nuvan strips can be had online for $28 for a 12-pack. Hot Shot strips are about $6 each.

    Does anyone know of an economical alternative to Nuvan that can be used in sealed bags to kill bed bugs, which is available in Connecticut? Failing that, is there any way to actually get Nuvan strips in my state, like through an exterminator?

    I realize that I could have someone else buy them and ship them to me, but I really don't know anyone to ask.

  2. Nobugsonme

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    Posted 3 years ago
    Wed Sep 14 2016 23:27:10
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    As far as I know, you can only get the Hot Shot No Pest Strips in NY or CT. You can get them from Amazon per the Useful Tools page, but yes, the Hot Shot ones do seem to be more expensive than Nuvan Prostrips. Bought in bulk, it seems the price is about $7 each but they do seem to be in stores like Walmart for as little as $6.

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

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    Posted 3 years ago
    Thu Sep 15 2016 1:29:01
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    Nobugsonme - 1 hour ago  » 
    As far as I know, you can only get the Hot Shot No Pest Strips in NY or CT. You can get them from Amazon per the Useful Tools page, but yes, the Hot Shot ones do seem to be more expensive than Nuvan Prostrips. Bought in bulk, it seems the price is about $7 each but they do seem to be in stores like Walmart for as little as $6.

    Maybe I can have a relative in another state buy them for me and send them to CT. He's not a close relative, so I don't know if he'd be willing to do that for me.

    Tonight, I found live BB nymphs crawling through some of the dust on my desk. I had convinced myself that the problem was mostly downstairs, but I guess I can't deny it any longer. Of course now everything in my room is suspect.

    I want to get Terminix here ASAP, but I still have quite a bit of cleaning to do. When my parents died, I never got rid of their stuff and I've had a decade to add to it. I've got the living room and their bedroom mostly cleared out, although there's some stuff left on the shelves. My room is still completely cluttered and the attic is still a mess.

    When I spoke to Terminix at one point to ask some additional questions, the operator told me that the chemical they use (she didn't identify it by name) stays in the air and would help to kill any bugs that might be hiding in objects. At this point, I'm desperately hoping that they know what they're doing and that they actually can eliminate these pests.

    I know bed bugs aren't the end of the world, but for me, it's another problem on top of the mountain of other problems that I have, and I'm really hanging on by a thread here.

    I don't have much of an appetite and I haven't been sleeping much. I get tired, but then I just lie there worrying about what I'll do if Terminix can't get rid of them. I know that others have faced this problem and won, but since this is the first time for me, it just feels kind of hopeless, especially after reading all the horror stories online.

    I was at Home Depot looking at their bed bug products and I bumped into a women who said that she had bed bugs in the recent past. She claimed that she got rid of them with foggers, which I know all the guides say are ineffective at eradicating them.

    It's just so frustrating that there isn't a simple, effective, low-cost method of getting rid of them. People talk about other pests like mice, fleas, etc. I'd gladly trade the bed bugs for any of those, or even all of them at the same time!

    And even if Terminix can wipe them out, I don't have much confidence that the guy renting a room downstairs will be able to take the necessary precautions to avoid bringing any bed bugs back in to the house. I mean, checking yourself for bugs, changing your clothes at the door, etc. These aren't the kind of things I ever had to do in the past. It seems an impossible task to keep them out.

  4. Nobugsonme

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    Posted 3 years ago
    Fri Sep 16 2016 22:54:18
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    Are you positive those are nymphs walking across your desk? Book lice are often mistaken for bed bug nymphs and are often found in such areas. You can post a photo if you find more.

    Also, did the PCO inspect? If you haven't talked to them about the treatment, they may be able to say exactly how much you do and don't need to do first.

    I hope that helps. I know it's frustrating.

  5. Rekrul

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    Posted 3 years ago
    Sat Sep 17 2016 3:41:02
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    Nobugsonme - 4 hours ago  » 
    Are you positive those are nymphs walking across your desk? Book lice are often mistaken for bed bug nymphs and are often found in such areas.

    No, I'm not 100% positive. I was going by the images online that seem to look like what I saw.

    Nobugsonme - 4 hours ago  » 
    You can post a photo if you find more.

    I would love to, but I'm not sure how I would. The largest one is only about a millimeter long. I had to look at it under a strong magnifying glass to even see any detail. For a good look, I used a pocket microscope.

    The only reason I spotted them at all is that I was carefully looking through the dust with a flashlight and saw them moving.

    Is there any definitive way to tell them apart? The images on the net look very similar and I'm not sure what to look for. The largest one is a sort of clear/yellowish color, has black eyes and it looks like a black/brown stripe toward the tail end of the body, or maybe I'm seeing its internal organs. They're also rather narrow. They're much tinier, but they basically have the proportions of a grain of rice.

    When I look at the images online, there seems to be a pretty big variety of differences even between images of supposedly the same bugs.

    At this point I should mention that other than the one live bug I found on a box in my (unused) parents' room and what I assumed to be BB nymphs on my desk, I haven't seen any evidence of bed bugs upstairs. I have looked at my pillow cases and the sheets directly under them very closely and don't see anything moving. I don't seem to have any bites on me. I did get some spots on one foot that itched, but I can't confirm that they're bed bugs bites. If I have a reaction on my foot, shouldn't I have a reaction anywhere I get bitten? There aren't any fecal spots or blood stains on my mattress that I can see.

    There were all sorts of spots on the mattress downstairs. The bead around the lower edge looked like someone had sprinkled dirt in it.

    Nobugsonme - 4 hours ago  » 
    Also, did the PCO inspect?

    Sort of. Compared to what I'm told other PCOs do, his "inspection" was extremely lackluster. In fact he called me before he was scheduled to show up and said that it would be pointless for him to make the trip unless I could show him live bugs. He said without live bugs, he couldn't positively identify the presence of beg bugs. I then went down, pulled back the sheet and immediately saw two adults crawling on the edge of the mattress. I caught them in a bottle and called him back. When he came, I showed him the bugs and he confirmed that they were bed bugs. I lead him into that bedroom and there was a live bug crawling on the sheet. He took one look at it from about 3' away, said I definitely had a bed bug infestation and that I'd need a treatment.

    The rest of the "inspection" was similarly lacking. He came upstairs to see the condition of my place (which at the time was in full hoarder mode), just looked in all the rooms and said I'd need to get rid of the clutter for them to treat. He said they just needed to be able to get 2.5' from all the walls. I pulled back the sheet on my bed and my parents' bed to show him that there were no signs of bed bugs and he just casually looked at it from a few feet away. He explained that he didn't want to risk contaminating himself and that it wasn't necessary to look further because he had already seen live bugs.

    At the time I hadn't done any research and just assumed that this was normal. Yes, I panicked.

    Nobugsonme - 4 hours ago  » 
    If you haven't talked to them about the treatment, they may be able to say exactly how much you do and don't need to do first.
    I hope that helps. I know it's frustrating.

    Apparently I was supposed to have been given a "prep list", but I never got one, either from him, nor in the emailed contract that I received.

    I have talked to Terminix numerous times with questions, mostly I think to help calm my nerves. I was told that I need to remove and bag all fabrics from the rooms in question (bedrooms and living rooms), vacuum, empty out all drawers and closets and make sure that they can reach the base of all the walls, including moving furniture if necessary.

    They said that I didn't need to clear off shelves and such. I even asked about magazines and books and was told that I could leave them. They again told me that the chemical would linger in the air and help kill and bugs that might be hiding inside things.

    I've thrown out a lot of stuff; Most of the junk I brought home, old TV Guides I always meant to go through for the articles, my parents' clothes, etc. Yes, I know I could have washed and donated them, but I'm on kind of a deadline here and I didn't want a pile of bags sitting around until I had time to deal with them. I felt guilty about tossing them, but it was the easiest solution. Now the problem is finding places to put the stuff that I want to keep. I'm going to have to put some of it in the attic, but I worry that if the bugs are up here, I could just be making the problem worse.

    Remember that I'm a hoarder and even with throwing out a ton of stuff, there's quite a bit I can't bring myself to part with. Collectable action figures, unbuilt model kits that I always wanted to build some day, a collection of video tapes (I got rid of a lot), vintage video games and computers, stacks of papers with important information on them, etc. I can't just pile it in the middle of the floor because then they wouldn't be able to move. I know the best strategy is to bag it all, but there's so much stuff and my attic is a mess as well. I know I need to clean it (I'll have to rent a dumpster), but I don't want to keep putting off the treatment until the whole house is cleaned.

    Anyway, I hope I haven't written too much and lost your interest. Just knowing that the bugs I found MIGHT not be bed bugs actually helps a little.

    (I wish this forum had a preview function!)

  6. Nobugsonme

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    Posted 3 years ago
    Sun Sep 18 2016 0:46:07
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    You can edit your post for a period of time (possibly an hour?) after you post.

    This FAQ compares book lice and bed bug nymphs. The difference is how the head attaches to the body. I think if you look at these photos in that regard, you will see it. It's the difference between having a neck and no neck, to use non-entomological terms.

    I know hoarding makes things very difficult. I haven't had to deal with it myself but clutter is something most of us can relate to on some scale.

    If treating items with DDVP in sealed bags inside tubs ends up being out of reach economically, then sealing items for 18 months is something people used to do before DDVP was available. (Bed bugs of most stages won't probably live anywhere near that long, but that's the point-- there won't be any live bed bugs or eggs if they're sealed in an airtight manner that long.)

    Of course, this assumes you can take such a step. You might find it means you better understand which items you really want, if you go 18 months without them. (It could be step one to releasing things, and you could rescue anything you really need.)

    It also assumes you have somewhere to put them. A storage unit, basement or attic may work as long as you're not worried about the basement/attic needing treatment, because then, of course, you wouldn't want it filled with stuff.

  7. Nobugsonme

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    Posted 3 years ago
    Sun Sep 18 2016 0:51:19
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    They said that I didn't need to clear off shelves and such. I even asked about magazines and books and was told that I could leave them. They again told me that the chemical would linger in the air and help kill and bugs that might be hiding inside things.

    That sounds strange to me. Usually PCOs are using residual chemicals and dusts, and the bed bugs have to walk through them to die.

    Killing bed bugs with chemicals that linger in the air sounds a bit like fogging, which you want to make sure is not what they mean.

    Remember there will be other PCO options wherever you are. They often cover a large area especially somewhere like CT. I'd get a few opinions. If you see more adults, post a photo just to be safe.

  8. Rekrul

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    Posted 3 years ago
    Sun Sep 18 2016 17:10:30
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    Nobugsonme - 15 hours ago  » 
    You can edit your post for a period of time (possibly an hour?) after you post.

    I know. It's just that when you post, it goes "live" and everyone can see it before you correct the mistakes.

    Nobugsonme - 15 hours ago  » 
    This FAQ compares book lice and bed bug nymphs. The difference is how the head attaches to the body. I think if you look at these photos in that regard, you will see it. It's the difference between having a neck and no neck, to use non-entomological terms.

    It's hard to tell, but I'd say that the one I have taped to the cardboard is a book louse. I mean, it's not exactly in pristine condition, but it looks like it has a neck, and it definitely is more elongated than the BB nymph. When I saw them, I panicked and cleaned my desk with alcohol and even though there's more dust that's accumulated, the bugs haven't come back.

    Nobugsonme - 15 hours ago  » 
    I know hoarding makes things very difficult. I haven't had to deal with it myself but clutter is something most of us can relate to on some scale.

    You have no idea how difficult. I never cleaned out my parents' stuff, so there was everything that they owned, plus everything I've owned throughout my live, plus all the junk I broght home in the last decade. Even before they died, the attic was a mess. My mother always said she was going to clean it out, but never did.

    When the Terminix guy said I needed to clear the rooms, my first thought was just to store all the junk in the attic so I took a bunch of it up there. Now I realize that may have spread the bugs up there. I got rid of a lot of that stuff when the two guys I hired came over for that one day, but there's still some of it left. Now, I've been taking some of the stuff out of my closet up there. I've tried to seal it as best I could, but everything doesn't fit in bags.

    Please understand that I really don't have the faintest clue what I'm doing here. I wasn't the most well organized and well adjusted person before and this has completely turned my life upside down. I feel like my whole world is caving in on me. Not just because of the bugs but because of all the other stuff going on in my life that I can't control. I'm basically hanging on by a thread here and don't know what to do.

    Nobugsonme - 15 hours ago  » 
    If treating items with DDVP in sealed bags inside tubs ends up being out of reach economically, then sealing items for 18 months is something people used to do before DDVP was available. (Bed bugs of most stages won't probably live anywhere near that long, but that's the point-- there won't be any live bed bugs or eggs if they're sealed in an airtight manner that long.)
    Of course, this assumes you can take such a step. You might find it means you better understand which items you really want, if you go 18 months without them. (It could be step one to releasing things, and you could rescue anything you really need.)
    It also assumes you have somewhere to put them. A storage unit, basement or attic may work as long as you're not worried about the basement/attic needing treatment, because then, of course, you wouldn't want it filled with stuff.

    My attic is a mess. I barely have room to store some of my stuff up there, but I may have already transferred the bugs up there in my haste to try and clear the upstairs for treatment. I plan to clean it, but I want/need to get Terminix to come in first and treat the other rooms. I'll need to rent a dumpster to get rid of all the stuff that's up there. It's literally just piled up all haphazard all over the place.

    Try to imagine what it would feel like to be lead to the backroom at your local Goodwill store and told that you have to bag up everything in there. OK, maybe I don't have quite that much stuff that needs to be taken care of, but it really feels like it to me. I have so much stuff that it seems an impossible task to do it all.

    I'm not a particularly strong person. It took me months to even get close to living a normal life after my parents died. I made a lot of bad financial decisions, I had to rely on the advice of others (which wasn't always the best idea) and was basically just winging-it. Actually, that's pretty much what I've been doing ever since. I really don't know what I'm doing. I'm not self-sufficient, I continue to make bad choices. I'm really just faking it and hoping I look normal to the outside world. I'm completely overwhelmed by this and at this point, the one thing that's keeping me sane is hoping with every fiber of my being that Terminix can do what they say they can. If they can't I have no idea how I'll be able to deal with it.

    You know those body swap movies where a father and son get swapped and the son has no clue how to deal with all the problems in his father's life? That's me (minus the son). I never learned how to be a responsible adult and now adult problems at hitting me right in the face and I'm struggling to deal with them. I'm not sleeping much, my appetite sucks, my blood pressure is up, my heart feels like it's skipping beats, I'm often short of breath for no reason (is that a panic attack?) and my anxiety is through the roof. Even though I want the bugs gone and I'd like to live in a clean house, my ambition level for continuing to clean is pretty much zero, but when I'm not cleaning, like right now, I feel crushing guilt that I'm not doing what I should be doing. Or that I'm doing things wrong.

    Sometimes I want to just give up.

    Nobugsonme - 15 hours ago  » 
    That sounds strange to me. Usually PCOs are using residual chemicals and dusts, and the bed bugs have to walk through them to die.
    Killing bed bugs with chemicals that linger in the air sounds a bit like fogging, which you want to make sure is not what they mean.
    Remember there will be other PCO options wherever you are. They often cover a large area especially somewhere like CT. I'd get a few opinions. If you see more adults, post a photo just to be safe.

    I haven't seen any more bugs up here and I haven't looked for any in the downstairs. I've looked at the boxes and other things I've taken out of the closets and I haven't seen any bugs or eggs. I pulled out some of the drawers in my parents' room and looked under them, behind them, etc, and didn't see anything. The only other bugs I saw were on my desk and I'm now pretty sure those were book lice. Well, I also seem to have carpet beetles, but that has no effect on the bed bug problem.

  9. Nobugsonme

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    Posted 3 years ago
    Mon Sep 19 2016 1:30:16
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    I am sorry you are in that situation, but since you're experiencing anxiety (and possibly depression), I'd strongly urge you to seek professional help with that. I can't recall if we discussed this in another thread. It really does make it easier to deal with bed bugs. A medical doctor is often a good place to start. This is not an aspect we can help you with but so many here have found it a helpful thing to address. This post ("If you are feeling suicidal or anxious") may help also.

    Again, if you are able to clear the clutter enough to get treated, I'd still consider calling a couple more companies for quotes and methods. That "chemical lingering in the air and killing things" business sounds a bit off. A different company might actually inspect properly and tell you how much of a problem this is. You've seen two bugs and we really don't know if there are others. This may not be a big problem.

    Do you have any people you can ask to help with decluttering? If you have a connection to a religious community, or just some friends or family who might help, it would be a good thing. (I know of one congregation where this sort of help has been discreetly given to more than one person.) They can take precautions to avoid bringing anything home accidentally.

    I hope this helps.

  10. Rekrul

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    Mon Sep 19 2016 4:16:49
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    Nobugsonme - 1 hour ago  » 
    I am sorry you are in that situation, but since you're experiencing anxiety (and possibly depression), I'd strongly urge you to seek professional help with that.

    I actually talked to a local community support center, but I didn't go back because some of the questions the intake clinician asked made me nervous.

    Let me explain; My father owned several guns. When my parents died, I inherited them. I'm not a "gun nut", but I do believe in the right of non-criminals to own guns if they so choose. I actually haven't shot any of them since the last time I went to range with my father, probably 15 years ago. It was one of the few activities he wanted to do with me, so in a weird way the guns have some sentimental value. I also look at them as a resource, since I can probably sell them for a few hundred dollars each if I need to.

    I also live in the state of Connecticut which has been SUPER paranoid about gun ownership ever since the Sandy Hook school shooting. Apparently, the police will jump at any chance to seize guns from an individual and then they have to have a hearing to argue why they should get them back. All it takes is a phone call from someone saying that they think someone might intend to harm themselves or others and a SWAT team shows up their door.

    I could have just lied and said I didn't own any guns, but it was a casual situation and I tend to talk too much, so I admitted that I did own guns. I also have ammo for them, but I'm not sure if 20 year ammo is still good. Thinking about it later, I realized that with that on the record, I'd have to watch everything I said in any therapy situation very carefully if I didn't want a visit from the police. Some people have hinted that even seeking therapy for any kind of depression is enough to have the cops show up with a warrant to take your guns.

    I tried calling the Clinician to discuss this with her, but she never called me back. So I concluded that was another bit of stress that I didn't need, and never went back to finish the intake. Also, I wasn't crazy over the idea that they wanted me to take a drug test. I don't use drugs, but why should I have to submit to a drug test just to talk about my problems?

    It's more than just the bug problem. My current financial situation isn't sustainable, but I'm not sure what to do about it. Every option I look at sees me coming up short. I'm lonely, but I've always been kind of shy in person, so it's hard for me to meet anyone relationship-wise. The few friends I have, I don't really do "stuff" with. I go to stores with one friend, or hang out at his house while he fixes stuff in the back yard. I occasionally go over another friend's house to talk for a while and a third friend comes over once a week to pick up the stuff I've downloaded for him (I have a faster connection) and then we go eat lunch at Burger King. One other friend usually invites me over on Thanksgiving, Christmas and my birthday, if her condo isn't being worked on. It's nice to not have to spend those days alone, but it's only a few hours and then it's back to my empty house.

    People have suggested that I get a dog, but I really don't want to be responsible for taking care of a living creature. I had hamsters when I was younger and didn't do such a good job with them. Plus a pet is an extra expense.

    Nobugsonme - 1 hour ago  » 
    I can't recall if we discussed this in another thread. It really does make it easier to deal with bed bugs. A medical doctor is often a good place to start. This is not an aspect we can help you with but so many here have found it a helpful thing to address. This post ("If you are feeling suicidal or anxious") may help also.

    Thanks. I'm on Medicaid and I doubt that will pay for private counseling. It would have paid for the groups at the community center, but...

    Nobugsonme - 1 hour ago  » 
    Again, if you are able to clear the clutter enough to get treated, I'd still consider calling a couple more companies for quotes and methods. That "chemical lingering in the air and killing things" business sounds a bit off. A different company might actually inspect properly and tell you how much of a problem this is. You've seen two bugs and we really don't know if there are others. This may not be a big problem.

    Four bugs total. Three downstairs and the one in my parents' room. BTW, I've stripped the bed, looked under the mattress, etc, and haven't seen any other bugs up here. Well, no bed bugs. Plenty of carpet beetle larva, and a few actual beetles.

    I've pushed this back so much now, and I'll have to delay it again as my room still isn't ready, that the guys downstairs are getting impatient. I know, I'm the landlord, I make the decisions, but I'm also not good with confrontations.

    Nobugsonme - 1 hour ago  » 
    Do you have any people you can ask to help with decluttering? If you have a connection to a religious community, or just some friends or family who might help, it would be a good thing. (I know of one congregation where this sort of help has been discreetly given to more than one person.) They can take precautions to avoid bringing anything home accidentally.
    I hope this helps.

    None of my friends will set foot in my house for fear of picking up bed bugs. One of them won't even take sealed plastic bags to the dump for me because he's afraid of the possibility of getting a bug. I don't have any close family left. I have some distant cousins and aunts/uncles living in different states, but none that I'm close with. I've never had a very big circle of friends, even growing up.

    I called a bunch of different cleaning agencies listed in the phone book, but almost none would come until the bugs were taken care of. One company said they would come and help, but never got back to me with a time. Another company sent two guys, but after 30 minutes, one of them said he didn't feel good and they left.

    That was back right before bulk trash pickup (pile stuff on the curb, the city hauls it away for free). I can get them back now to help clean out the attic for like $160 an hour, but then I still have to pay to have the stuff hauled away. I can rent a 12yd dumpster for four days for $300 (coupon), but I'm not sure everything in my attic would fit in it. Their four-day, 30yd dumpster is $500. There are other companies, but I'm not sure any of them would be cheaper, and it would still just be myself. Or I could rent a dumpster and pay the other guys to help, but that would probably end up costing me $1,000 or more. I could do what my mother always talked of doing; Rent a dumpster, open the window and just chuck the stuff out. I'm not sure how much of it would actually land in the dumpster vs. getting blown off course, or shattering and ending up with pieces flying out onto the lawn. I'd also need a cool couple of days to do it, since the attic isn't insulated and can get quite hot, even with the windows open. Then I need to get it done during the rental period. Or lug it all down ahead of time so that (I can just throw it in).

    Beyond cleaning my attic (which doesn't need to be done for the pest treatmentm just something I want to do), I still need to vacuum all the rugs (I've been concentrating on the big stuff) and to suck up all the cobwebs and crap that's lurking under my desk, under the end tables, around the edge of the ceiling, etc.

    It's not so much the amount of work as it is deciding what to do with everything. When I know exactly what I need to do, I'm fine. It's when I have to stop and decide where to put something, or should I keep this, or do I really want to get rid of that, that I get bogged down. It would help if I just had someone else here to talk to while I did all this. Someone to help make the time pass quicker, but as above, none of my friends want to come into my house. Well, actually the friend that I go to BK once a week with came in, but he has a wife and a life of his own, he can't just hang out at my place all day. He's also quite a bit older than me and not in the best shape, so not one to ask for help lugging junk.

  11. Nobugsonme

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    Posted 3 years ago
    Tue Sep 20 2016 0:52:06
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    I hope you can get some support. If talking to the Clinician again really isn't an option, remember there are also no-cost resources in the post I linked to above, if talking to someone would help.

    I'm not sure if I have anything more to suggest right now but I wish you all the best.

  12. Rekrul

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    Posted 3 years ago
    Tue Sep 20 2016 1:12:01
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    Nobugsonme - 6 minutes ago  » 
    I hope you can get some support. If talking to the Clinician again really isn't an option, remember there are also no-cost resources in the post I linked to above, if talking to someone would help.

    I actually just tried calling some of the Samaritan phone numbers. You know, the ones that say they're available 24 hours a day? None of them answered...

    Nobugsonme - 6 minutes ago »
    I'm not sure if I have anything more to suggest right now but I wish you all the best.

    Thanks.

    New development;

    I had convinced myself that the bugs were mostly contained to the downstairs since I only found one live bug up here. A few minutes ago, I felt something on my arm and it was a live, adult bed bug. I'm sure because it matches the others I caught on downstairs perfectly as well as the pictures online.

    I was downstairs briefly, but only to collect the rent from the guy downstairs, I really just stood inside the door. Besides, that was like 6-7 hours ago.

    Forgive what may be a dumb question, but why wouldn't I want Terminix to use some kind of fogger in addition to whatever they're going to spray along the baseboards? Having a chemical in the air to kill them sounds a lot easier than trying to track down every possible place that they could be hiding and spraying it with a contact killer.

    I mean, if the bugs can get into anything, they could be in my computer, my keyboard, my mouse, my monitor, my TV, my DVD player, underneath any of the furniture, along the cracks of the windows, etc.

    If I have to bag and treat every single item I own that can't be run through the washer and dryer, I'm going to go broke buying those pest strips. And that's assuming I actually have room enough to bag everything. I'm running out of room to put the stuff that I want to keep as it is!

    Even if I bought one of those heat chambers, I'd be there for months running everything through it. Then what do I do with it once it's bug-free? Bag it up for a year so that no new bugs get inside it?

    Maybe some of you live in apartments and can fit everything you own in a rental van, but I've got an entire house full of stuff for them to hide in. I mean, my parents and I lived in this house for close to 30 years. Do I just throw out everything? How do you clean and treat an entire house full of stuff?

    Now I'm freaking out again.

  13. Nobugsonme

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    Rekrul - 10 hours ago  » 

    I actually just tried calling some of the Samaritan phone numbers. You know, the ones that say they're available 24 hours a day? None of them answered...

    Try this:

    The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is a 24-hour, toll-free, confidential suicide prevention hotline available to anyone in suicidal crisis or emotional distress. By dialing 1-800-273-TALK (8255), the call is routed to the nearest crisis center in our national network of more than 150 crisis centers. The Lifeline’s national network of local crisis centers provide crisis counseling and mental health referrals day and night.

    (emphasis added)

    Forgive what may be a dumb question, but why wouldn't I want Terminix to use some kind of fogger in addition to whatever they're going to spray along the baseboards? Having a chemical in the air to kill them sounds a lot easier than trying to track down every possible place that they could be hiding and spraying it with a contact killer.
    I mean, if the bugs can get into anything, they could be in my computer, my keyboard, my mouse, my monitor, my TV, my DVD player, underneath any of the furniture, along the cracks of the windows, etc.
    If I have to bag and treat every single item I own that can't be run through the washer and dryer, I'm going to go broke buying those pest strips. And that's assuming I actually have room enough to bag everything. I'm running out of room to put the stuff that I want to keep as it is!
    Even if I bought one of those heat chambers, I'd be there for months running everything through it. Then what do I do with it once it's bug-free? Bag it up for a year so that no new bugs get inside it?
    Maybe some of you live in apartments and can fit everything you own in a rental van, but I've got an entire house full of stuff for them to hide in. I mean, my parents and I lived in this house for close to 30 years. Do I just throw out everything? How do you clean and treat an entire house full of stuff?
    Now I'm freaking out again.

    I questioned whether they are planning to use foggers because you mentioned the chemical hanging in the air and continuing to kill bed bugs (paraphrasing). Over the counter foggers are known to not do a good job killing bed bugs (and can spread them). Professionals who use foggers are sometimes using a device to treat using Cedar Oil or other products. We're told such methods also don't work well for bed bugs.

    There may be some professional fogging methods which are okay but I'd want to know the product and how it would be used and then maybe a pro here can comment. Based solely on what you said, it raised questions for me, as did the limited inspection. But you also said you were talking to an operator, and they may not be fully clued in and may be getting it wrong.

    True fumigation (usually with sulfuryl fluoride-- Vikane) can be very effective but it involves tenting your home. That's probably financially out of reach. Vikane fumigation of a truck or pod full of belongings is also possible, and more reasonable financially, but it sounds like you have too much stuff for that.

    The good news is you may have as few as four bed bugs. You do not sound like you have an enormous bed bug problem. Perhaps a close inspection will unearth more of them, but let's assume this for the moment. If that's the case, then everything in a home doesn't usually need to be treated. In many cases, the PCO just needs to treat, and steam, chemicals and dust can be sufficient. (I'd like to see a PCO inspect a little more closely, but that's another issue.)

    In your case, you have more than the usual amount of stuff, and they're telling you you can't treat without removing some of it. Again, calling more than one company may be a good idea. You may get a closer inspection and you may get more treatment options. Only they can tell you exactly how much must be removed for it to work.

    Just out of curiosity, also, if you see a specimen, I'd post a photo for an expert here to confirm.

  14. Rekrul

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    Nobugsonme - 6 hours ago  » 
    Try this:

    The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is a 24-hour, toll-free, confidential suicide prevention hotline available to anyone in suicidal crisis or emotional distress. By dialing 1-800-273-TALK (8255), the call is routed to the nearest crisis center in our national network of more than 150 crisis centers. The Lifeline’s national network of local crisis centers provide crisis counseling and mental health referrals day and night.

    (emphasis added)

    Thanks. I saw the suicide part and skipped the emotional distress section.

    Nobugsonme - 6 hours ago  » 
    I questioned whether they are planning to use foggers because you mentioned the chemical hanging in the air and continuing to kill bed bugs (paraphrasing). Over the counter foggers are known to not do a good job killing bed bugs (and can spread them). Professionals who use foggers are sometimes using a device to treat using Cedar Oil or other products. We're told such methods also don't work well for bed bugs.
    There may be some professional fogging methods which are okay but I'd want to know the product and how it would be used and then maybe a pro here can comment. Based solely on what you said, it raised questions for me, as did the limited inspection. But you also said you were talking to an operator, and they may not be fully clued in and may be getting it wrong.

    She said she was going to check with someone higher up before answering my questions, but I'm not sure exactly who she talked to.

    For what it's worth, I bumped into a woman in Home Depot who saw me looking at the bed bug products and said that she had them a while back. She claimed that she got rid of them with over the counter foggers and hasn't seen them since. I didn't feel it was my place to tell her that people online don't think that's an effective way to get rid of them. She didn't go into details though, so maybe it was just one room in an apartment.

    Nobugsonme - 6 hours ago  » 
    True fumigation (usually with sulfuryl fluoride-- Vikane) can be very effective but it involves tenting your home. That's probably financially out of reach. Vikane fumigation of a truck or pod full of belongings is also possible, and more reasonable financially, but it sounds like you have too much stuff for that.

    If everything in the house needs to be treated, then yes, I have too much stuff.

    For reference, this is what the alcove in my bedroom currently looks like;

    This is is one of the areas I still need to clean before the house can be treated. Before I started, most of the upstairs looked like this. I couldn't even walk into my living room there was so much stuff and the only way to get to the far side of my parent's bedroom was climb over the bed. This is the living room now;

    The stuff on the floor all came out of the closet. As you can see, the shelves are still a little cluttered. Minus some stuff that I threw out, that's basically the way they were when my parents were alive. The dolls belonged to my mother (there are more in their bedroom) and I always figured that I would sell them one day. Now I find that they're really not worth much and my best bet would be to hold a tag sale, but I can't sell them if they might have bed bugs in them.

    Nobugsonme - 6 hours ago  » 
    The good news is you may have as few as four bed bugs.

    Five total. Three on the bed downstairs, one on a box in my parents' room and one crawling on me. All unfed adults.

    Nobugsonme - 6 hours ago  » 
    You do not sound like you have an enormous bed bug problem. Perhaps a close inspection will unearth more of them, but let's assume this for the moment. If that's the case, then everything in a home doesn't usually need to be treated. In many cases, the PCO just needs to treat, and steam, chemicals and dust can be sufficient. (I'd like to see a PCO inspect a little more closely, but that's another issue.)

    For what it's worth, the mattress on the bed downstairs shows all the classic signs of bed bugs. I can't post a photo because the guy who rents that room is asleep, but the bead around the bottom looks like someone sprinkled dirt in it, there are spots on top of the mattress, etc. I don't see any of that up here.

    Here's my parents' mattress;

    The whole thing looks like that, with the exception of a stain where someone spilled something. Nobody has been sleeping in that room, I've only been using it for storage.

    Here's the bottom corner of my mattress;

    The rest of it is also free of any telltale signs of bed bugs. I'd post the whole thing, but the mattress is in pretty bad shape. It has a couple holes in it where the springs have poked through and the upper part of it is dirty. Not bed bug dirty, just generally a darker color than the rest. I plan to replace it soon. I do have some spots on the top of my right foot that look like they might be bed bug bites, even though I've been sleeping with socks on since this started. They itched quite a bit at first;

    It was just three spots, but I developed a couple more a few days later. I may have made them worse by scratching.

    Also, the mattress in the other bedroom downstairs has no evidence of bed bugs. That guy stripped the bed before leaving to stay in a hotel until the bugs get treated, and the mattress is clean as far as I can see.

    Nobugsonme - 6 hours ago  » 
    In your case, you have more than the usual amount of stuff, and they're telling you you can't treat without removing some of it.

    Well, it's mostly an issue of being able to access all the walls. Please refer to the photo of my alcove above.

    Nobugsonme - 6 hours ago  » 
    Again, calling more than one company may be a good idea. You may get a closer inspection and you may get more treatment options. Only they can tell you exactly how much must be removed for it to work.

    I called Orkin, but it was after business hours for the local branch so I got routed to the national call center. I tried to set up an inspection ($101.03), but they couldn't do it without a credit or debit card number. They said they'd have to have the local branch call me. I can pay them when they come out, I just don't have a credit card to give them over the phone. Why didn't I call them earlier? I spent most of last night clearing out my closet, bagging the stuff and taking it up to the attic, so I was pretty tired. I haven't been sleeping well and even though I know I should get off my ass and clean like my life depends on it, I just wanted to sleep. Hopefully, they will call me tomorrow.

    Nobugsonme - 6 hours ago  » 
    Just out of curiosity, also, if you see a specimen, I'd post a photo for an expert here to confirm.

    Here are the two bugs I caught up here;

    The closer one is the one from my parents' room. It seemed to be dead after 24 hours in a sealed pill bottle so I taped it to a piece of paper. The top one is the one from last night that I squashed as it tried to get away. The earliest two, I flushed because I didn't think I'd need to keep them for anything and the third one was the victim of an alcohol test by the other guy downstairs (the one now staying at a hotel) who wanted to see if it would kill it.

  15. Nobugsonme

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    I will post at greater length tomorrow but in the meantime, this FAQ cites a research study showing foggers don't work well for bed bugs: http://bedbugger.com/2012/06/04/why-are-foggers-and-bombs-still-being-marketed-for-bed-bug/

    Experts here told us this for the first six years the site was running, before that study was published. But it's good to have a study to cite.

    There are always people who will tell you X solved their problem. The thing is, a lot of people feel "bites" and think they have bed bugs. They may have some reaction to something else or even bed bug bites they got elsewhere, but they think they have them at home. And any treatment will work if you don't have them.

    Or they have bed bugs and get treatment and still have bed bugs and then do something themselves (salt, foggers, magic incantations-- the last one is not _entirely_ facetious) and then they believe that's the one thing that finally worked. But it could have been the residuals they were treated with just taking time to kill everything.

    I don't blame desperate people for trying things (been there) or blame them for being mistaken about what (probably) did the job in the end. But we try to stick with what's known to work around here.

  16. Rekrul

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    Nobugsonme - 2 hours ago  » 
    I will post at greater length tomorrow but in the meantime, this FAQ cites a research study showing foggers don't work well for bed bugs: http://bedbugger.com/2012/06/04/why-are-foggers-and-bombs-still-being-marketed-for-bed-bug/

    I understand.

    Small update;

    I cleaned out all the stuff from under my bed (well, I have a couple more things to pull out) and as expected, there were some major-league dust bunnies. More like dust bears! Under my bed hasn't been cleaned or vacuumed in over a decade. A couple of the magazines that I pulled out had so much dust on them that you couldn't even see the cover, it was just gray fur. I went through each one, carefully brushing the dust off into a trash bag and didn't see any bed bugs, or evidence of them. Nothing that looked like eggs, no dead bugs, husks, etc. I shook some of the magazines and nothing fell out. I flipped through a couple of them and didn't see anything between the pages.

    I realize that this isn't proof of anything, I'm just taking it as a good sign. Looking under my bed, I see a ton of cobwebs, carpet beetle larva in the rug and little while balls under the box spring that I assume are sacks of spider eggs, but no bed bugs that I can see.

    To clarify, the white balls are attached to the cobwebs, are about the size of peas and round, so I'm reasonably sure that they're not bed bug eggs.

    Maybe the out of control spider population is keeping the bed bugs at bay.

  17. Nobugsonme

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    Those are not bed bug eggs, for sure.

  18. Nobugsonme

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    Rekrul - 17 hours ago  » 
    The dolls belonged to my mother (there are more in their bedroom) and I always figured that I would sell them one day. Now I find that they're really not worth much and my best bet would be to hold a tag sale, but I can't sell them if they might have bed bugs in them.

    Go back to our discussion on DDVP. You have to decide if the cost of treating them is worth what you can get for them.

    For what it's worth, the mattress on the bed downstairs shows all the classic signs of bed bugs. I can't post a photo because the guy who rents that room is asleep, but the bead around the bottom looks like someone sprinkled dirt in it, there are spots on top of the mattress, etc. I don't see any of that up here.

    I understand.

    I don't see anything bed bug related on the mattresses you posted photos of, but postimg isn't a great way to post close images. For next time, there are some other options in the FAQ on posting a photo.
    If you want an expert to look at those, I'd post them in a new thread where the title of the thread makes it clear you want an ID.

    Nobugsonme - 6 hours ago  » 
    In your case, you have more than the usual amount of stuff, and they're telling you you can't treat without removing some of it.

    Well, it's mostly an issue of being able to access all the walls. Please refer to the photo of my alcove above.

    That's more or less the same thing to me. They need some of the stuff removed in order to treat.

    I called Orkin, but it was after business hours for the local branch so I got routed to the national call center. I tried to set up an inspection ($101.03), but they couldn't do it without a credit or debit card number. They said they'd have to have the local branch call me. I can pay them when they come out, I just don't have a credit card to give them over the phone. Why didn't I call them earlier? I spent most of last night clearing out my closet, bagging the stuff and taking it up to the attic, so I was pretty tired. I haven't been sleeping well and even though I know I should get off my ass and clean like my life depends on it, I just wanted to sleep. Hopefully, they will call me tomorrow.

    Maybe they will be more help if you can talk to them today in the local office. If not, it's possible you may be able to explain that better and have it accepted by a smaller local company. Maybe, maybe not, but worth a shot.

    Ultimately, it sounds like you know what needs to happen. It's a lot of work. Be kind to yourself. It's not going to happen overnight.

  19. Rekrul

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    Nobugsonme - 8 hours ago  » 
    Go back to our discussion on DDVP. You have to decide if the cost of treating them is worth what you can get for them.

    I was slightly wrong about the online price of the Nuvan ProStrips. I was looking at the 3-pack of the larger ones for $28. The 12-packs of smaller ones are $41 from Amazon, or $36 from eBay. The $36 price works out to $3 each, and I could probably treat multiple dolls in a single bag with one of them. If I could get $10 each for the dolls, it would be worth it.

    Nobugsonme - 8 hours ago  » 
    I don't see anything bed bug related on the mattresses you posted photos of, but postimg isn't a great way to post close images. For next time, there are some other options in the FAQ on posting a photo.

    Sorry, I didn't know. I only used PostImg because it's the simplest photo hosting site I'd found. Just upload the photos and get a link. I've also used them in the past because they're one of the few sites that retain the original names of the files, rather than changing it to some random string of letters and numbers.

    Nobugsonme - 8 hours ago  » 
    Maybe they will be more help if you can talk to them today in the local office. If not, it's possible you may be able to explain that better and have it accepted by a smaller local company. Maybe, maybe not, but worth a shot.

    This afternoon I called the number for the local branch and naturally I was connected to the national call center. Why have local numbers if they're just going to go to the national call center? Anyway, I explained the situation, they contacted the local branch and were told that they would be glad to accept cash, as soon as I gave them a credit card number! They claimed that too many of their inspectors weren't getting paid, so they now insist on having a credit card number on file. Even the operator I was speaking with didn't understand why they wouldn't simply ask for payment before conducting an inspection. He said that they were one of the few branches that wouldn't just send someone out and ask for payment first. So I went to Walmart, got a reloadable debit card, put enough to cover the inspection fee on it (plus a $4.50 card maintenance fee), called then back and scheduled an inspection for tomorrow afternoon.

    Nobugsonme - 8 hours ago  » 
    Ultimately, it sounds like you know what needs to happen. It's a lot of work. Be kind to yourself. It's not going to happen overnight.

    I know, I just don't want to keep putting it off, as the longer I wait, the worse the problem will get.

    Also, I get burned out on cleaning. I've been bagging stuff from my closet and under my bed and piling it in the attic, but space up there is getting a little tight. I still need to clear off the top of my dresser, my chest, under my chest, the corner, all the drawers in my chest (no clothes, just assorted stuff), a pile of books, etc. It gets to the point where I just want to stop. Plus I don't know what I'm going to do with the bags of old utility bills and other documents that I have just sitting in the hallway, or all the stuff that I took out of the living room closet that I don't want to get rid of (sewing machine, cleaning supplies, etc) that is just sitting in the middle of the floor, or the guns, which are still in my parents' room, or all the stuff that is cluttering up my room, but that I don't want to pack away in bags for months...

    I haven't even vacuumed any of the rugs yet. I've been concentrating on the big stuff first, like making sure that I can actually get around the rooms that need to be vacuumed.

  20. Nobugsonme

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    Rekrul - 14 minutes ago  » 

    Nobugsonme - 8 hours ago  » 
    I don't see anything bed bug related on the mattresses you posted photos of, but postimg isn't a great way to post close images. For next time, there are some other options in the FAQ on posting a photo.

    Sorry, I didn't know. I only used PostImg because it's the simplest photo hosting site I'd found. Just upload the photos and get a link. I've also used them in the past because they're one of the few sites that retain the original names of the files, rather than changing it to some random string of letters and numbers.

    No worries. The FAQ also recommends imgur.com, which is not quite as good as flickr but is easy to use and as you describe-- you upload and get a link. The images can be full-size, they provide BBCode if you want to embed, and the site doesn't set off virus warnings on users' computers (which sometimes happens with some sites).

    This afternoon I called the number for the local branch and naturally I was connected to the national call center. Why have local numbers if they're just going to go to the national call center? Anyway, I explained the situation, they contacted the local branch and were told that they would be glad to accept cash, as soon as I gave them a credit card number! They claimed that too many of their inspectors weren't getting paid, so they now insist on having a credit card number on file. Even the operator I was speaking with didn't understand why they wouldn't simply ask for payment before conducting an inspection. He said that they were one of the few branches that wouldn't just send someone out and ask for payment first. So I went to Walmart, got a reloadable debit card, put enough to cover the inspection fee on it (plus a $4.50 card maintenance fee), called then back and scheduled an inspection for tomorrow afternoon.

    Sounds good!

    I know, I just don't want to keep putting it off, as the longer I wait, the worse the problem will get.
    Also, I get burned out on cleaning. I've been bagging stuff from my closet and under my bed and piling it in the attic, but space up there is getting a little tight. I still need to clear off the top of my dresser, my chest, under my chest, the corner, all the drawers in my chest (no clothes, just assorted stuff), a pile of books, etc. It gets to the point where I just want to stop. Plus I don't know what I'm going to do with the bags of old utility bills and other documents that I have just sitting in the hallway, or all the stuff that I took out of the living room closet that I don't want to get rid of (sewing machine, cleaning supplies, etc) that is just sitting in the middle of the floor, or the guns, which are still in my parents' room, or all the stuff that is cluttering up my room, but that I don't want to pack away in bags for months...
    I haven't even vacuumed any of the rugs yet. I've been concentrating on the big stuff first, like making sure that I can actually get around the rooms that need to be vacuumed.

    That sounds good too. I don't think you should put it off, just be realistic about how much you can do in a day. Take care of yourself.

    Do you need the old utility bills? If you have questions about treating specific things, we can help with that part.

    I hope the inspector is helpful.

  21. Rekrul

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    Nobugsonme - 14 hours ago  » 
    No worries. The FAQ also recommends imgur.com, which is not quite as good as flickr but is easy to use and as you describe-- you upload and get a link. The images can be full-size, they provide BBCode if you want to embed, and the site doesn't set off virus warnings on users' computers (which sometimes happens with some sites).

    I have most all advertising servers blocked with my hosts file, so I tend to forget that my experience with some sites differs from what other people may get. I'll try Imgur next time.

    Nobugsonme - 14 hours ago  » 
    Sounds good!

    The Orkin inspector just left. He checked all the rooms upstairs and downstairs and said he didn't see any evidence of bed bugs up here or in the other bedroom downstairs. The only place he found evidence of them was in the one bedroom downstairs where he saw live bugs crawling on the mattress. He said that doesn't conclusively mean that they aren't there, but he didn't see any signs of them, which he said was a little strange if I've found (two) live bugs up here. He said they might have hitchhiked from downstairs and just went exploring. He said that with two adult bugs up here, there should be some evidence of them and there wasn't any.

    He also pointed out a baby bed bug, which was small, but larger than I thought. I was under the impression that they were so small, you'd need a magnifying glass to see them, but I could easily see it crawling on the mattress. Now I feel a little better, since I was thinking that there could be bugs on my clothes that I wouldn't even be able to see and that I might transport them elsewhere. Now I know that a thorough visual inspection should reveal any hitchhikers.

    Nobugsonme - 14 hours ago  » 
    That sounds good too. I don't think you should put it off, just be realistic about how much you can do in a day. Take care of yourself.

    I could probably do more, I just get kind of discouraged and a little depressed and want to stop after a while.

    Let me clarify; If it was just a matter of moving the stuff, that's no problem. What saps my enthusiasm for doing it is the uncertainty. I've been bagging stuff and putting it in the attic, but I don't know if any of it is contaminated or not. I don't know if it all needs to be treated, or if I can trust any of it.

    Nobugsonme - 14 hours ago  » 
    Do you need the old utility bills?

    Probably not. It just seemed wrong to just throw them all out though. Aren't people generally supposed to keep records like that for a certain time period in case of disputes or IRS problems? Granted, I'm not someone the IRS would probably want to pick on, but you never know. Maybe it's just my hoarder side talking.

    Nobugsonme - 14 hours ago  » 
    If you have questions about treating specific things, we can help with that part.
    I hope the inspector is helpful.

    I hope so too.

    As for treating specific things...

    Last night I bagged up my boxed Atari 5200 game system and put it in the attic, along with a shoebox full of game cartridges. It has been under my bed for years. Many people would say that I should get rid of it, but I like classic video games, and having it brings back fond memories of a time when I had far less problems. The box was very dusty and had cobwebs on it, but I didn't see any evidence of bed bugs. However, if they're up here they could be inside the console, the cartridges, the controllers, etc. It's really not practical to take it all apart and clean inside it.

    I also put a ton of books into a cardboard box (it was all I had that was big enough), bagged it and put it in the attic. They have been stacked up over in the alcove. I went through each one, carefully wiping off the dust and all I saw were cobwebs and the occasional carpet beetle husk (oblong, curled, like little worms). I looked inside the covers, held them up and shook them, flipped through the pages, etc. I didn't see any evidence of bed bugs, but can I trust them?

    What about the magazines I had under my bed? Again, no evidence that I could see of bed bugs, just tons of dust and carpet beetle husks.

    EDIT:

    When I wrote the above, the Orkin guy hadn't come yet. I showed him my attic, which is quite warm today even with the windows open. He said that it would probably get hot enough in the summer to kill any bugs that might be in any of the stuff that I took up there. I really should buy a thermometer to see how hot it actually gets. As for the stuff I brought up that wasn't bagged (when I first started cleaning), he said that bed bugs generally don't stay where there's no food, so if there were any up there (not in bags) they would probably migrate back down to the upper floor.

    I showed him a magazine from under my bed and he didn't see any evidence of bed bugs either.

    He also said the Orkin price to treat all the rooms would be slightly higher than what Terminix is charging me. Off the record, he said that since they're already scheduled and that since what I described of their treatment sounds pretty much like what Orkin does, I should probably just stay with them.

    I described how the operator told me that I would have to leave the house after the treatment and that it would help to kill any bugs in my possessions. He said that Orkin also requires the customer to leave the house for four hours and that it would not kill any bugs hiding in other stuff directly, but that the chemicals would kill them when they came out to feed and then came in contact with the chemical.

    EDIT 2:

    I forgot to mention that he also thought it was strange that his branch required a credit card and that they wouldn't just let him come out and collect payment in cash before doing an inspection.

  22. Rekrul

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    Fri Sep 23 2016 2:46:39
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    I was feeling good after this afternoon, now I'm back to being disheartened. I just found live bed bug #3 up here. It was on a box that was over in my alcove, but...

    When I first pulled out the box (fairly small), I gave it a quick once over, and didn't notice anything strange. I tossed it in my hallway for maybe half an hour and when I picked it up to use it to put some assorted computer parts into, the bug was clinging to one of the flaps. I caught it with a piece of Scotch tape, stuck it to the card with the others and squished it.

    Now I don't know if I missed it when I first inspected the box because I wasn't expecting to find any more bugs up here (I'd convinced myself that the other two hitched a ride from downstairs), or if this one hitched a ride up here and has been waiting in the hallway and just now decided to climb up the box I randomly tossed there.

    I didn't go over the box originally with a fine-toothed comb, so it could have been in the box all along.

    It was an unfed adult. When I squished it, hardly anything came out of it.

    Other than the three live bugs I've found, I still don't see any of the other signs of a bed bug infestation.

  23. Nobugsonme

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    Fri Sep 23 2016 23:06:51
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    Rekrul - 1 day ago  » 
    He also pointed out a baby bed bug, which was small, but larger than I thought. I was under the impression that they were so small, you'd need a magnifying glass to see them, but I could easily see it crawling on the mattress. Now I feel a little better, since I was thinking that there could be bugs on my clothes that I wouldn't even be able to see and that I might transport them elsewhere. Now I know that a thorough visual inspection should reveal any hitchhikers.

    Yes-- you can see first instars. They're 1mm long.

    Let me clarify; If it was just a matter of moving the stuff, that's no problem. What saps my enthusiasm for doing it is the uncertainty. I've been bagging stuff and putting it in the attic, but I don't know if any of it is contaminated or not. I don't know if it all needs to be treated, or if I can trust any of it.

    If you are sealing it in an airtight manner, are careful about that, and can leave it for 18 months, then you don't need to worry about that. It may also help with decluttering in the long run -- when you realize you didn't miss some things, you may be able to let them go.

    Nobugsonme - 14 hours ago  » 
    Do you need the old utility bills?

    Probably not. It just seemed wrong to just throw them all out though. Aren't people generally supposed to keep records like that for a certain time period in case of disputes or IRS problems? Granted, I'm not someone the IRS would probably want to pick on, but you never know. Maybe it's just my hoarder side talking.

    I am not a tax pro but I understand that you should keep tax related documents for 7 years. If you are a landlord, perhaps that's an expense you need records of. I wasn't thinking of that.

    When I wrote the above, the Orkin guy hadn't come yet. I showed him my attic, which is quite warm today even with the windows open. He said that it would probably get hot enough in the summer to kill any bugs that might be in any of the stuff that I took up there. I really should buy a thermometer to see how hot it actually gets.

    I would be cautious with that idea. It may get hot enough in the attic, on a very hot day, but it may not get hot enough in the core of items in a bag full of stuff. Stuff is very insulating, and bed bugs will move to the cooler core. This is why leaving a bag of stuff outside or in a hot car is not reliable.

    As for the stuff I brought up that wasn't bagged (when I first started cleaning), he said that bed bugs generally don't stay where there's no food, so if there were any up there (not in bags) they would probably migrate back down to the upper floor.

    I am not a pro but that sounds plausible.

    Rekrul - 20 hours ago  » 
    I was feeling good after this afternoon, now I'm back to being disheartened. I just found live bed bug #3 up here. It was on a box that was over in my alcove, but...

    You mean in the attic?

    Well, don't let it get you down. You know you have found bed bugs in your part of the home in the past, and you know the tenant has them. You need treatment, but will get through this. It sounds like you're making progress with moving things.

    Anything you can actually part with permanently (perhaps the magazines, for example?) is probably good as well-- you don't have to worry about dealing with it later or about filling up the attic.

  24. anonabug

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    Sat Sep 24 2016 6:52:25
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    I feel just horrible for you. It sounds as if the clutter has overwhelmed you, and delayed treatment. It sounds as if the entire house is infested.

    Please take a look at my post regarding use of Cimexa. It is certainly worth a shot. You don't have to declutter to use it. Dust the mattress, boxspring, bedstead, and around the legs of all the places people sleep in the house, including of course the boarder's bed. Also do the couches, chairs, etc. As long as you keep sleeping in the beds and sitting/lying on the chairs and couches, all bedbugs should eventually cross over into the Cimexa and die, as they try to get at you and the boarder.

    It's cheap, and worth a shot.

  25. Rekrul

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    Sat Sep 24 2016 19:39:18
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    Nobugsonme - 19 hours ago  » 
    If you are sealing it in an airtight manner, are careful about that, and can leave it for 18 months, then you don't need to worry about that.

    I hope they're airtight. I've been twisting the bags as tight as I can get them, then putting twist ties on them as tight as possible. Of course now I'll probably learn that that's not enough...

    Nobugsonme - 19 hours ago  » 
    It may also help with decluttering in the long run -- when you realize you didn't miss some things, you may be able to let them go.

    The thing is that a lot of the stuff I've moved out of my room/closet is stuff that I bought at one point or another specifically because I wanted to have it. I like having it.

    Already there's some stuff I've gotten rid of that I kind of regret. For example, I had a lot of video tapes stacked up at the foot of my bed. When I first started cleaning to get stuff out for bulk trash, I made the decision to get rid of them all, telling myself that I would never watch them again. Now I realize that among them (the removable label had dried up and fallen off) was a tape of the first six episodes of a TV show that has never been released on DVD. All the copies floating around the net are cut syndication copies.

    Nobugsonme - 19 hours ago  » 
    I am not a tax pro but I understand that you should keep tax related documents for 7 years. If you are a landlord, perhaps that's an expense you need records of. I wasn't thinking of that.

    I'm not sure. I think I may have inadvertently thrown some of them out anyway...

    Nobugsonme - 19 hours ago  » 
    You mean in the attic?

    No, in the alcove in my room. I had a small cardboard box with junk in it. I pulled it out and spent a few minutes going through it, saving a couple items, then I dumped the box in a trash bag and shook it. After that, I tossed it in the hallway right by the entry door to the upstairs. A half hour later (or so) I picked it up to use for something else and spotted the bug on the outside of one of the flaps. I don't know if it was hiding in the box the entire time, or if it was near the door and climbed onto the box. It wasn't moving when I saw it, although it was alive (it started wiggling when I stuck it to the tape). The place in the alcove where the box has been sitting is almost literally the farthest away from my bed you can get without leaving the room.

    Nobugsonme - 19 hours ago  » 
    Well, don't let it get you down. You know you have found bed bugs in your part of the home in the past, and you know the tenant has them. You need treatment, but will get through this. It sounds like you're making progress with moving things.

    The uncertainty is what gets me. Someone obviously brought them into the house (I'm leaning toward that tenant, since the infestation seems to be the worst in his bedroom), so what's to prevent it from happening again? Please don't say "vigilance" because there's no way he's going to be that careful. He's not even following standard bedbug advice now, even after I told him. He washed his clothes, but then he brought them up, folded them and "briefly" laid them on the couch where he's been sleeping before bagging them! He hasn't vacuumed his mattress or rug since this started. Now he's talking about buying a new box spring and mattress for peace of mind, even though Terminix is going to put encasements on both. I don't know whether he thinks he'll switch the encasements to any new ones he buys or if he thinks that just buying new will make the problem better.

    Why don't I make him be more careful? I'm not good with confrontations. Refer back to where I said I never really learned how to be an adult and handle adult problems. In real life, I'm basically a wuss.

    Terminix is still scheduled for Monday and after they come, I plan to tell him that Terminix said to do these things. Every time I try to tell him what I've read on the net about dealing with bed bugs, he gets upset and says he doesn't want to hear it.

    I don't want to spend all this money only to have it wasted because he can't be bothered to take precautions.

    And even if he does, how do you know when the bugs are eradicated completely? Most people say that the traps aren't that effective at catching them, even in heavily infested rooms, and like I said, I don't see any evidence of them up here, but I've found live adult bugs. So how do you know when the bugs are truly gone?

    Nobugsonme - 19 hours ago  » 
    Anything you can actually part with permanently (perhaps the magazines, for example?) is probably good as well-- you don't have to worry about dealing with it later or about filling up the attic.

    Unfortunately, I've already filled a good deal of the empty space with stuff I've taken up there.

    With things like the magazines, I know that realistically I could live without them, but I look at them and I see all the money I spent on them over the years. Also, many of them, like the old video game magazines, invoke very nostalgic feelings for a time when I was younger and had few worries and time spent with family and friends.

    Cleaning out the drawers in my chest last night, I emptied out the one containing a lot of model railroad kits and projects that I never finished. I no longer have anywhere to set them up, but they bring back fond memories of the times I spent with the simple (but large!) layout that my grandfather had set up in the basement. The rest of my trains are in a shallow box buried on that table. I was dumb and never kept the boxes for any of them, so now I have no practical way to pack them up safely.

    I know I don't actually need that stuff, but it's extremely difficult for me to part with it as well.

    anonabug - 11 hours ago  » 
    I feel just horrible for you. It sounds as if the clutter has overwhelmed you, and delayed treatment. It sounds as if the entire house is infested.

    The Orkin guy said he didn't see any evidence of them upstairs. I'm surprised at that too. I would think that there would be some sign that they're around, but all I've seen are three adult bugs, two of which were discovered after having gone in downstairs. Possibly the first bug could be traced back to there as well. For a long time, the only way to get around my parents' bed was to climb over it and I had to do that on a few occasions. I haven't done it recently, but if this problem has been going on for a while, one could have hitchhiked upstairs and fallen off when I went over the bed.

    It's a long shot, but I'm hoping the bugs I've seen have all come from downstairs. It's what's keeping me sane at the moment.

    anonabug - 11 hours ago  » 
    Please take a look at my post regarding use of Cimexa. It is certainly worth a shot. You don't have to declutter to use it. Dust the mattress, boxspring, bedstead, and around the legs of all the places people sleep in the house, including of course the boarder's bed. Also do the couches, chairs, etc. As long as you keep sleeping in the beds and sitting/lying on the chairs and couches, all bedbugs should eventually cross over into the Cimexa and die, as they try to get at you and the boarder.
    It's cheap, and worth a shot.

    Thanks. I'll probably still have Terminix come, but I may buy that to use as well, if it won't conflict with what Terminix is using.

  26. Rekrul

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    Sun Sep 25 2016 7:57:03
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    I just wanted to clarify that when I talk about wanting to keep magazines, I'm not referring to things like Time and People, but rather to more collectable titles like Starlog, Fangoria, etc. Not that I really think they'll be valuable some day, just that they're more the type of things that people do collect rather than the ones that people normally buy, read and then discard a week later.

    I do have a bunch of old computer magazines that I really don't have much excuse for keeping other than the nostalgic value, but the majority of my magazines are sci-fi and horror related.

  27. Rekrul

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    Mon Sep 26 2016 11:25:54
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    Today I took the majority of the coats that were in my living room closet and ran them through the dryer to make sure that they were bug free. I figured I'd keep a couple and donate the rest. Since the dryer was pretty much packed, I set it for 45 minutes to ensure that they all got nice and hot.

    They got hot alright; Two of the plastic zippers melted! At least it was on the old coats that I didn't really care about that much. However that leaves the question of what do I do with my own personal coat that has a plastic zipper? I don't want to ruin it, but now I don't trust putting it in the dryer.

    What are you supposed to do with coats that have stupid plastic zippers that might melt in a dryer?

  28. Nobugsonme

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    Wed Sep 28 2016 1:32:56
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    Rekrul - 1 day ago  » 
    Today I took the majority of the coats that were in my living room closet and ran them through the dryer to make sure that they were bug free. I figured I'd keep a couple and donate the rest. Since the dryer was pretty much packed, I set it for 45 minutes to ensure that they all got nice and hot.
    They got hot alright; Two of the plastic zippers melted! At least it was on the old coats that I didn't really care about that much. However that leaves the question of what do I do with my own personal coat that has a plastic zipper? I don't want to ruin it, but now I don't trust putting it in the dryer.
    What are you supposed to do with coats that have stupid plastic zippers that might melt in a dryer?

    Traditional dry cleaning methods kill bed bugs (though some worry dry cleaners may not all know how to properly handle such items). So that's an option.

    Some would use a Packtite or other bed bug heater.

  29. Rekrul

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    Wed Sep 28 2016 15:31:41
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    Nobugsonme - 13 hours ago  » 
    Traditional dry cleaning methods kill bed bugs (though some worry dry cleaners may not all know how to properly handle such items). So that's an option.
    Some would use a Packtite or other bed bug heater.

    Great, more money I really can't afford to spend...

    All because some idiot decided that metal zippers weren't good enough. I mean, what exactly is the rationale for plastic zippers? Are they cheaper? Is it just because they can be molded in color? Why make them out of soft plastic? I've never had a button melt in the dryer, why don't they make them out of that type of plastic?

  30. Nobugsonme

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    Thu Sep 29 2016 1:39:35
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    Sorry. It does sound really poorly made-- that's a shame. All plastic might not melt. But if the label doesn't specify things can be dried on hot, there is always some risk. Many things can be dried on hot if they start out dry, even when not labelled for this, but there's always a risk.

  31. Rekrul

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    Sat Oct 1 2016 16:31:01
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    Terminix came yesterday. Turns out that while the technician really appreciated all I did and said that it was probably good for me, I really didn't have to do as much as I did.

    He gave the downstairs bedroom and living room the full treatment, vacuuming the bed, couch, chair, etc. Spraying Borax into the box spring, covering the box spring and mattress, spraying around the walls, etc. However upstairs, he checked my mattress and box spring and said there was absolutely no sign of bed bugs. He didn't put covers on my bed because I'm going to get a new mattress next week and he (or another technician) comes back on the 14th, so he said he'd do it then. He did a little spraying upstairs, but said it was mostly just preventative.

    He did say that they might not be able to get rid of the bugs in the downstairs couch and recliner.

    He also said that it looked to him like the infestation had been going on for a long time, possibly as long as a year. He found bugs on the mattress, on the box spring, in the couch, in the recliner, etc. He couldn't find anything up here though. Even though I found three live bugs, he couldn't find any fecal spots, shed skins, live bugs or eggs.

    I asked him if he thought there could be any bugs in any of my stuff, like my mother's dolls and he just shook his head and said no. He said that in his professional opinion, the bugs hadn't spread beyond the bedroom and living room downstairs. He did say that treating the upstairs was important to make sure that the bugs don't spread, so it doesn't seem like he was just being lazy and trying to get away with doing a half-assed job.

    Anyway, the guy downstairs has been more cooperative, although he doesn't like having to keep his clothes bagged. So far, he's been leaving them in the basement. After asking Terminix (I should have asked the technician while he was here), I suggested to him that he get some clear plastic bins, and to keep them in the basement, or at least the kitchen. In other words, keep them in the areas that the bugs normally don't go into. Honestly, i think it will be an improvement because he doesn't seem to be sealing the bags of clean clothes, he just lightly ties the drawstrings. However, remember that so far he's been keeping the bags of freshly washed clothes in the basement, not his room. Terminix told me that there shouldn't be a problem doing this just as long as he doesn't put the bins near those rooms.

    So does this sound like an OK idea, or did Terminix give me bum advice?

    EDIT:

    I'm pretty sure that I have carpet beetles as well, but probably not as many as I originally thought. I showed him some husks that I found in boxes and between sheets of paper and he identified them as bird lice. I'd always find them in the bottom of boxes, in old folded up papers, etc, and just assumed that they were a type of carpet beetle.

  32. Nobugsonme

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    That sounds pretty positive overall.

    Are you sure the Terminex guy was spraying Borax? That's not a typical treatment and I'd be interested in hearing experts comment on that.

    Storing the clean clothing in clear bins which are closed and in rooms where bed bugs haven't been found sounds good.

    I'm pretty sure that I have carpet beetles as well, but probably not as many as I originally thought. I showed him some husks that I found in boxes and between sheets of paper and he identified them as bird lice. I'd always find them in the bottom of boxes, in old folded up papers, etc, and just assumed that they were a type of carpet beetle.

    Did he say bird mites or book lice?

    I don't think there's such a thing as "bird lice".

    If it's book lice (psocids), those are harmless.

    Bird mites are a big problem and you'd probably have had a lot of itching if you'd had them.

  33. Rekrul

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    Sun Oct 2 2016 9:10:21
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    Nobugsonme - 7 hours ago  » 
    That sounds pretty positive overall.
    Are you sure the Terminex guy was spraying Borax? That's not a typical treatment and I'd be interested in hearing experts comment on that.

    I'm sorry if I wasn't clear; He sprayed (puffed) Borax into the box springs and into the crevices in the sofa and recliner, but he used a different chemical to spray around the room. Unfortunately I forget what it was called, but he mixed a small amount with water in a sprayer.

    Nobugsonme - 7 hours ago  » 
    Storing the clean clothing in clear bins which are closed and in rooms where bed bugs haven't been found sounds good.

    Good to know.

    The guy downstairs was pretty happy when I suggested it. Well, as happy as anyone can be under the circumstances.

    For myself upstairs, he said I didn't have to go quite so far, although he did recommend keeping my clean clothes out of my bedroom just as a precaution. Because I'm somewhat lazy, I've gotten in the habit of washing them, then just leaving them in the laundry basket in my parent's room. He said that should be OK, since even though I found one bug in there, it was near death (died after one day in a sealed pill bottle) and he didn't see any signs of bugs anywhere in there.

    Nobugsonme - 7 hours ago  » 
    Did he say bird mites or book lice?
    I don't think there's such a thing as "bird lice".
    If it's book lice (psocids), those are harmless.
    Bird mites are a big problem and you'd probably have had a lot of itching if you'd had them.

    I'm sure he said "bird lice". Maybe he misspoke.

    I'll try to scan the husks that I found later and post in the appropriate forum, but to describe them; I find these skins/husks in the bottom of boxes, between folds of paper, etc. Anything that's been left sitting near the floor for long periods of time. I had some old video games still in the boxes stacked up at the foot of my bed for years and when I opened the boxes to inspect them for bed bugs, I found these skins in almost every single box. They sort of cling to the cardboard such that it's often necessary to reach in and brush them loose. They usually look like a flattened football, about the same length as an adult bed bug, but narrower. They're sort of clear-ish in color, segmented with the segments having a brown hi-lite to them. To me, they kind of look like trilobyte fossils. They look very similar (but exactly) like the photo in this thread, which identifies it as a carpet beetle skin;

    http://bedbugger.com/forum/topic/do-i-have-bedbugs-again-multipart

    On mine, the brown is most prominent on the ends and much lighter in the middle. I've seen these in old boxes for years, even occasionally back before my parents died, over a decade ago.

    Maybe they are carpet beetle skins and he misidentified them.

    I had a bit of a scare last night. I washed all my bedding and when I went to put the blanket back on my bed, a dead bed bug fell out onto the sheet. My first thought was "Oh no, I DID have bed bugs in my bed!", but then I realized that since the guy downstairs has been washing and drying his stuff, there are probably some dead bugs inside the dryer and one probably ended up getting tumbled into my blanket.

  34. Nobugsonme

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    Rekrul - 14 hours ago  » 

    Nobugsonme - 7 hours ago  » 
    That sounds pretty positive overall.
    Are you sure the Terminex guy was spraying Borax? That's not a typical treatment and I'd be interested in hearing experts comment on that.

    I'm sorry if I wasn't clear; He sprayed (puffed) Borax into the box springs and into the crevices in the sofa and recliner, but he used a different chemical to spray around the room. Unfortunately I forget what it was called, but he mixed a small amount with water in a sprayer.

    Sorry-- I probably was unclear also.

    Borax sprayed or borax puffed-- neither is a typical treatment for bed bugs. Are you sure it wasn't some other dust? Or did he tell you it was Borax?

    It may be the insect remnants are carpet beetles or their shed skins. Start a new thread with a photo to confirm. Bird mites would be a big deal, but it doesn't sound like there's any evidence of that.

  35. Rekrul

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    Mon Oct 3 2016 0:54:33
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    Nobugsonme - 1 hour ago  » 
    Sorry-- I probably was unclear also.
    Borax sprayed or borax puffed-- neither is a typical treatment for bed bugs. Are you sure it wasn't some other dust? Or did he tell you it was Borax?

    He specifically said it was Borax. He described it working like DE to dry out the bugs and cut up their exoskeletons. Whatever it was, he had it in a little hand-held, accordion-style puffer.

    Nobugsonme - 1 hour ago  » 
    It may be the insect remnants are carpet beetles or their shed skins. Start a new thread with a photo to confirm. Bird mites would be a big deal, but it doesn't sound like there's any evidence of that.

    I looked up bird mites, and I haven't seen anything like what the photos on the net showed. I didn't get around to scanning the skins yet.

  36. Nobugsonme

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    I did some digging on this.

    This "Insecticide Primer" article in PCT Online explains the methods by which various insecticides work.

    Of the class of chemicals including Borax, it says,

    Chemical Class: Borates. This includes the active ingredients borax, boric acid and disodium octaborate tetrahydrate. For decades, borates have been known to have insecticidal properties. Although an essential micronutrient for both plants and animals, at higher concentrations boron can be toxic. As a micronutrient, it aids metabolism and promotes enzyme function. Boron-based active ingredients are exclusively oral toxicants — they neither exhibit contact toxicity nor act as cuticular desiccants as do silica gels and diatomaceous earth (see later in article). Borates must either be consumed in baits or groomed off the insect's body after having been picked up as a dust formulation.

    Although the exact mode of action of boron-based active ingredients is not fully understood, available evidence suggests that these materials are general cellular toxins or non-specific metabolic disruptors (perhaps even mitochondrial disruptors). Boric acid is used both in dry dust formulations and as a bait active ingredient for cockroaches and ants. Although a feeding deterrent to some pests at high concentrations, boric acid exhibits excellent water solubility and is slow acting at low concentrations —characteristics that make it a desirable active ingredient in liquid and gel baits. Disodium octaborate tetrahydrate is an active ingredient in preventive wood treatments targeted at both wood-destroying insects and fungi.

    Emphasis added.

    Bed bugs don't have the mouth parts to engage in grooming behaviors, and they are not going to eat the Borax.

    Sean Rollo is a Vancouver PCO who is a reliable source known in person to some of our other experts; he doesn't post here now, but he confirmed that while Borax might kill bed bugs, it could take "months of exposure":

    thebedbugresource - 6 years ago  » 
    Borax contains Boric Acid. Boric Acid works most efficiently when ingested (eaten) by an insect.
    Bed bugs and fleas CANNOT ingest (eat) boric acid.
    With that said ... boric acid will be absorbed via the exoskeleton and the spiracles but this is NOT at all fast acting. It could take months of exposure to kill a bed bug.
    Science has proven over and over how boric acid works for insect control and bed bugs is not one that it works on.
    Sincerely,
    Sean

    Other dusts like diatomaceous earth and Cimexa (now preferred over diatomaceous earth by many PCOs) are known to be more effective/faster at killing bed bugs. By comparison, DE is known to kill bed bugs 10 days after they walk through it.

    Cimexa appears to be faster and more effective than diatomaceous earth (see this PCT Online report on a study by Michael Potter which compares dusts in bed bug control).

    As far as I can see, no professionals are even discussing Borax as a treatment method for bed bugs. If it were in use, studies like the one in PCO Online would probably be addressing it along with other dusts. And remember, the other article from PCO Online above does affirm Borax's value in treating against other insect pests. Just not bed bugs.

    I would talk to the management at your branch of Terminex and ask them for some documentation on their choice of Borax as treatment method. I doubt they have anything. I don't think we've heard of other PCOs using this since the information above is widely known, and in my non-expert opinion, they owe you an explanation and quite possibly a removal/retreatment with more valid product selection.

    I have asked a few experts to weigh in in case I am off-base.

  37. Rekrul

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    Nobugsonme - 15 hours ago  » 
    I would talk to the management at your branch of Terminex and ask them for some documentation on their choice of Borax as treatment method. I doubt they have anything. I don't think we've heard of other PCOs using this since the information above is widely known, and in my non-expert opinion, they owe you an explanation and quite possibly a removal/retreatment with more valid product selection.
    I have asked a few experts to weigh in in case I am off-base.

    Well, I was feeling more relaxed, but after learning this, my anxiety is way up again...

  38. Nobugsonme

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    Rekrul - 5 hours ago  » 
    Well, I was feeling more relaxed, but after learning this, my anxiety is way up again...

    Please don't stress out or get overwhelmed by this. The scenario above -- needing to remove Borax and retreat-- is probably not likely.

    The more I think about this, the more I think they probably didn't use Borax. They're a major pest control chain and they're going to use products registered with the EPA and labelled for bed bugs. It's possible the tech told you it was Borax when it's actually some other kind of dust. I'm not saying it's okay to mislead you about that but there could be several reasons why they might.

    I do suggest talking to the manager. It's likely the manager can tell you what was used and put your mind at rest.

    Another option: PCOs leave a slip detailing what was used and where -- did you get anything like that? It might have been attached to a receipt, and you may have filed it without looking.

  39. Rekrul

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    Posted 3 years ago
    Wed Oct 5 2016 10:08:44
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    Nobugsonme - 19 hours ago  » 
    Another option: PCOs leave a slip detailing what was used and where -- did you get anything like that? It might have been attached to a receipt, and you may have filed it without looking.

    Yes, I forgot about it before, but I've now scanned it (hopefully I'm using Imgur correctly, I didn't see any thumbnail option);


    http://imgur.com/a/Whxr7

    OK, after editing this message about five times, I've finally got the image to show up in the message, although it's scaled down and you have to right-click and view the image at the original size rather than just clicking it to open the Imgur site. I now vaguely remember that this was why I never liked Imgur. It also makes me wish even more that this forum had a preview option. Posting a message "live" just to test it seems sloppy.

    They also gave me a disk with the label information for the various products that they use. I have zipped up the PDF files for the products listed on the above sheet and uploaded it to Sendspace. My apologies if Sendspace is a poor choice of hosts. I wasn't sure where to upload the file and Sendspace has always worked reasonably well for me;

    https://www.sendspace.com/file/v6uxuj

  40. Nobugsonme

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    Posted 3 years ago
    Thu Oct 6 2016 1:46:14
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    So the dust was Tri-Die, not Borax. That makes sense.

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    Thu Oct 6 2016 10:54:50
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    Nobugsonme - 9 hours ago  » 
    So the dust was Tri-Die, not Borax. That makes sense.

    It's weird that he specifically told me it was Borax though. In fact I asked him if by "Borax" he meant the same stuff that you can buy over the counter and he said that yes, it was the same stuff. I even joked that some customers, upon hearing that he's using Borax would just go buy some and sprinkle it over everything and he said that he's seen people do that, but that they use too much and that he just vacuums it up so he can apply it properly.

    I don't know what idea bothers me more, that he intentionally mislead me, or that he doesn't know exactly what he's using...

  42. Nobugsonme

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    Fri Oct 7 2016 1:03:45
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    Rekrul - 14 hours ago  » 

    It's weird that he specifically told me it was Borax though. In fact I asked him if by "Borax" he meant the same stuff that you can buy over the counter and he said that yes, it was the same stuff. I even joked that some customers, upon hearing that he's using Borax would just go buy some and sprinkle it over everything and he said that he's seen people do that, but that they use too much and that he just vacuums it up so he can apply it properly.
    I don't know what idea bothers me more, that he intentionally mislead me, or that he doesn't know exactly what he's using...

    Well, the good news is he's being provided a dust which is labelled for bed bugs. It doesn't matter so much if he knows what it is and was just BSing you because he has lousy people skills and tries to dumb things down for the public, or whether he doesn't know what it is. He's applying it as he was trained to all the same.

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    Posted 3 years ago
    Sun Oct 16 2016 0:00:16
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    An update...

    Two weeks have gone by and yesterday the same tech came to do another treatment. I didn't ask him why he told me that the Tri-Die dust was Borax.

    He again treated the bedroom and the living room downstairs, spraying the (covered) mattress and box spring (only the underside of the mattress), along the walls etc. The tenant has been sleeping in the bed since the last treatment, and the tech only found one dead bed bug on the floor. None on the bed itself, or in any of the glue traps that he left around. However he did find live bugs still in the couch and recliner. He's coming back on the 28th and said that if there are still bugs in them on his third visit, I'll have to get rid of them. He sprayed in the crevices and (it pulls out into a sleeper) on the frame and mattress, but said he didn't really think it would be effective.

    He then came upstairs and put covers on my box sprint and new mattress and sprayed along the walls.

    He assured me that there were no bed bugs upstairs and said that the only way they would get up here is if I accidentally carry one up from downstairs. He also sprayed in the downstairs front hallway (which is right outside the downstairs living room) and along the edges of the stairs.

    He said he felt confident that I didn't have any bugs up here.

    I was out for most of the day, although I've been home for about three hours or so. Just now I felt something on the back of my hand and saw a tiny, red bug. It wasn't biting, just walking around. I calmly captured it with a piece of sticky tape and stuck it on apiece of paper. It looks like a tiny bed bug, although all the photos of nymphs show them to be clear and round when unfed and elongated when fed. This one is round, and red;

    Note that I had to scan the penny separately. Every time I attempted to include it in the same scan as the bug, it raised the paper off the glass and the bug came out blurry. It was scanned with exactly the same settings, so it's in perfect scale to the bug.

    Every time I convince myself that I don't have to worry about bed bugs upstairs, I find another one!

  44. Nobugsonme

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    Posted 3 years ago
    Sun Oct 16 2016 0:40:34
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    The photo isn't very clear, but the colouring is consistent with a fed first instar.

    Please post the image to a new thread so we can label it an ID and an expert can confirm. They aren't likely to scroll through this thread looking for an ID.


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