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Day 39 It does get better!

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  1. jax322

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    Joined: May '15
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    Posted 4 years ago
    Mon Jun 15 2015 18:12:05
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    Here is the link to my previous post:
    http://bedbugger.com/forum/topic/totally-exhausted-please-help

    Well, it has been 39 days since I started this journey. I have been cruising through the forums some, but not as much lately because the kids have gotten out of school and summer class started for me. It has been busy around my house!

    I can honestly say that it does get better though! I feel like we are winning the battle for sure. I have had several bites and rashes, but I try not to worry because I live in the South and we have many bugs and critters that bite and sting. Plus, the more I worry, the worse my skin is.

    39 days ago, I was in a very, very different place though. I honestly didn't see a light at the end of the tunnel. I just wanted to come back and share what we did and what I think worked best for us.

    1. I reacted to the bites, and they were unlike anything I had ever gone through before. So, I knew that something was different. I assumed that it was some kind of skin reaction I was having to soap or lotion, but when I thought about it, I hadn't changed a thing. So, I started researching bites and what they could be. I found bedbugs online, and thought it could be a possibility, and I did a preliminary search, but I didn't find any bugs. I did find all of the signs that they were around such as fecal matter and blood stains. But still, no bugs. (I think this was because I didn't know where to look just yet - this was about a week prior to finding them)

    2. Research was key! I was convinced that bedbugs were highly likely, especially since my husband had just spent a month staying out of town for work. I learned everything and anything I could about the little critters from this site. I looked at hundreds and hundreds of pictures. Then, after about a week, armed with more knowledge, I looked again and found them. But they weren't on my mattress like one would think. I have never really slept under my comforter (I know kinda weird, but we just sleep on top of it with a blanket) So I started searching everywhere, pulled out my loupes and went to town.

    3. Found them on my comforter near the edge where the piping came together at the seams. They had set up camp on my side and my huband's side. There weren't very many of them, maybe 15-20 in all . . . I think we were lucky that we found them when we did. (my husband thought I nuts, but not so much after I showed him a picture) Even after all I had read and learned, I still freaked!! I am a total OCD freak, and this was just not good for me mentally. BUT . . . I calmly bagged the sheets and comforter in my bedroom (they were old anyway) and tied them up. Then I immediately went and purchased a mattress and box spring cover for the bed. I got rid of all of our pillows and bought new ones. I picked out a new sheet set, light colored, and I waited for my husband to get off work to help me. I called a professional company, and got a VERY high quote for treating them. They said that we absolutely HAD to have them in every room of the house if we had them in one. And they said it ABSOLUTELY had to be done by a professional. Well, we had the extra money, but we would've been dipping into summer vacation money, so I opted for the self treat route first. Then we agreed that we would spend the $$ if we had to.

    4. We were very lucky that I was out of school and my kids were still in school and my husband had just gotten laid off (he's a contractor for nuclear plants) so we had plenty of time to do all that we needed to. I think the key was: we were very thorough. The only things I threw out were the comforter, sheets, and pillows. I didn't get rid of anything else at all. I can understand not being able to self treat if you are working full time and have kids home all the time. The amount of work we put in was exhausting! I worked every single day for a week, and between that and the stress, I lost a much needed 8 pounds!

    5. I checked all rooms, furniture, and beds. The only place I found them was in our bedroom. I also found carpet beetles and tons and tons of ants! We started in the master bedroom. I bought some Temprid spray and DE, and the process began. We cleaned each and every room in the house! We got rid of a ton of crap and garbage that we didn't need, we got rid of clothes that hadn't been worn in years! We majorly decluttered!! We bagged up everything and set it out in the sun for about a week (that's how long it took us to do the whole house - one room at a time) We vacuumed everywhere, and I mean, everywhere! Baseboards, cracks, crevices, under dressers, everything got a major cleaning. we sprayed the Temprid, and waited for it to dry, then went back and dusted (lightly dusted) every nook and cranny! We took the outlet plates off the wall and dusted there too! We sprayed and dusted the dressers and everywhere in our room. We sprayed and dusted the bed frame. Then we moved to other areas. We did not use the spray in areas that we hadn't seen the bugs. W just did some major cleaning, decluttering, and then lightly spread the DE along the baseboards and dusted inside the couches. The MAIN focus was the bedroom and the living room. I finally worked my way to other rooms, and I even bought mattress covers and such for each of the 4 kids beds. I dusted the other rooms in the house with the DE, but it was mainly a precaution, and it was helping to rid us of the ants too! I vacuumed every day and searched every day and washed the sheets and dried them every day (didn't have to but it made me feel better). I kept the vacuum outside. Once the house was done, I started bringing things back in from outside . . . one bag at a time. They immediately went in the dryer for 30-40 minutes on high heat. After about 2 weeks, we vacuumed everything up and re-dusted.

    So, that in a nutshell is what we did. It must've worked because I still have yet to see any definite signs of the little buggers, but I think we were very lucky because of my paranoia and also catching them pretty early. I also know we were very meticulate about how we did everything and how we cleaned. We left absolutely no stone unturned. I was also fortunate that my husband was such a big help, even when he thought I had lost it!

    Now the downside . . . I definitely feel like this experience has changed me. I am not who I was a month ago. My husband left for a golf trip yesterday, and I made him swear he would check the beds and the room as soon as he got to the hotel. I probably won't even let him bring his things inside until I have checked them or thrown them into the dryer. I was an emotional wreck even though I had educated myself and felt like I had a pretty good idea of what I was doing. I vacuumed every day, drove myself crazy searching with flashlights (to the point where my husband threatened to hide them from me), and I was SEVERELY sleep deprived. I resorted to taking some melatonin before I wanted to go to sleep every night. It actually worked and let me fall asleep easier and rest better. Wine also helped! I thought every speck of dust and every piece of lint was something that needed to be examined, and I worried and worried and worried.

    HOWEVER . . . it did get better with every passing day! I started to distance myself from the forums until I was mentally in a place where I could come and read without it taking over my thoughts and sending me into a panic again. I never thought I would be at 39 days bug free . . . but here I am. I am smarter and better prepared to deal with them if need be. I have stopped taking the melatonin to sleep, and I am down to washing my sheets every week and vacuuming every few days (with kids this is necessary anyway). I do think that I am constantly on the lookout though, because I am not completely out of the woods just yet, but I feel pretty good about the progress we made. Take that exterminator man, some people can self treat, if done properly and thoroughly and the infestation level is small. I think that made all the difference in the world.

    Thanks to everyone on here that runs the site and comments! I couldn't have done it without the knowledge and tips that I got from here. I will hopefully be posting again in another 20 days or so to say that it has been 60 days!!

  2. Nobugsonme

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    Joined: Mar '07
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    Posted 4 years ago
    Tue Jun 16 2015 1:01:01
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    Great to hear you're doing well
    And glad the site was helpful. Thanks for coming back to update us on your progress.

    The emotional trip ("hypervigilance") is something most find also gets better in time.

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

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