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Exposure/bitten at hotel---What else can I do???

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  1. AnxiousItchy

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    Posted 7 years ago
    Tue Jul 10 2012 19:12:24
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    I was in a hotel room 7/3/12-7/9/12 and received what I am sure are bed bug bites. I had three clusters of bites the first night (thought it was a rash) and the second night got one more cluster of three on my right hip but no new ones that I know of after those first two nights. Thought I was going crazy and debated if it was bugs or not because I could not see any evidence of them other than maybe a few old marks (rust colored? Scrubbed off?) by a baseboard and some light pinkish powder around a power outlet behind the bed which I saw when I went looking. Nothing was on sheets or headboard that I could see. I always thought I did a pretty good inspection and inspect all rooms I stay in, but obviously I didn't do a good enough job because I am sure these are bb bites.

    I checked the usual places every day with a LED light and saw no actual bugs. The last night we were there I was still looking as I was getting more and more convinced the room did in fact have bedbugs and I found a few black dots on a corner of the mattress sheet but I got them wet and they did not smear or anything. Old stains maybe? I think housekeeping replaced the sheet earlier that day and they were not there the previous day when I was looking.

    Anyway, while there I tried hard to keep clothes off the floor and kept my luggage on a rack. My iphone and ipad were by the bed often, though.

    I had no ziploc bags so I just packed everything in my suitcase. At my home town airport I had garbage bags in my car and put my carryon and smaller suitcase in garbage bags but my large, hard-shelled suitcase was too big for the bags. I checked the seams and zipper and didn't see anything and the hard shell did not have anything attached to it that I could see. I put them in my car. I got home I took my clothes off outside in the back and put them in a plastic bag, then ran inside and got new clothes. I brought my luggage into the backyard as there is no place for it inside where I can keep it like that in plastic bags that are tied but not sealed.

    So, I am in the process of washing, drying, and inspecting. I kept my ipad in a ziplock bag once inside my house but I used my iphone on the way home after taking off the cover, inspecting it, and rubbing it down with a wet wipe. All my toiletries had been on the bathroom counter and I doubt anything got in them, and they were in small ziplocks to begin with.

    I actually have a packtite----I went to NYC in the height of the media blitz on bedbugs in 2010 and had made reservations at a hotel right by Times Square. To be careful, I bought a packtite figuring it was better to spend 300 and avoid possibly spending thousands if I brought them home I used it that once as a precaution and then it has been packed away ever since. I always inspect hotel rooms for bed bugs but I've never been bitten that I know of before.

    So, things I can't wash are going in the packtite (last night I tried but it only got to 117 degrees so I am going to unload a bit of the stuff in there today and try again tonight). A few things are just sealed in ziplocs as they can't be washed or dried nor put in heat, so I don't know what to do with them other than to keep them sealed. I have to use the packtite while at home so I will only be able to do a load a night due to time constraints.

    Since that means this will take me a few days, everything is still in tied off garbage bags on my deck in my backyard. : ( I am just praying they cannot escape the bags and get in my house from outside. It's 80 or so degrees here and my deck gets relentless sun and heat but I know it's probably not enough to kill them.

    And, I wore my clothes in my car. : (

    What else can I do? How do I make sure my car doesn't have any?

    With getting only a total of about 6 clusters of twos and threes on just my right side of my body (kind of under right arm area, right side of abdomen, and right hip) I think it was not an awful infestation, correct?
    What are the chances I brought bed bugs home and what else can I do?

    This is just awful. I completely feel for you all in battling this. My time and anxiety just trying to prevent getting them in my home is overwhelming. I cannot imagine the time, money, and worry involved in a long term battle. : (

  2. AnxiousItchy

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    Posted 7 years ago
    Tue Jul 10 2012 23:34:55
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    Anyone? Please?

  3. Eve

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    Posted 7 years ago
    Tue Jul 10 2012 23:46:51
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    For what it's worth I think you did all that you can do. The chance that you caught bed bugs even without your cleanup precautions is, amazingly, not that great. I believe that Apple products are pretty well sealed. Unless the infestation was crazy intense (and you did an inspection and didn't see many signs), bed bugs tend not to infest electronics. In fact, they tend to stay in their harborages during the day.

    Some of the experts here say that for some reason cars are rarely infested. But perhaps someone who is more familiar with both the bugs and cars can speak to this.

    My advice would be to try to relax until you confirm you brought them home. And, no, I don't think they have the navigation skills to enter your house from the bags kept outside.

    And people do successfully get rid of them these days without spending thousands. Especially if it's a mild infestation and you found a knowledgeable PCO.

    Eve

  4. AnxiousItchy

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    Posted 7 years ago
    Wed Jul 11 2012 3:21:58
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    Thank you so much for responding! I have been so worried. I do think it was a mild infestation---in fact, I would bet that the room I was in had been treated shortly before I was there based upon what I saw with what looked like cleanup and the powder. Probably they missed a few or some eggs. : (

    I was only able to run one load n the packtite tonight but it did reach 122-125 degrees and stayed in that range for 2 hrs. The whole thing took about 3.5 hrs though and I don't home till 7pm each night so this will take me a while. I still didn't like bringing those items inside afterward but I am trying to stay semi-rational about it.

    I guess I just watch the car and pray.

    I was thinking about getting the coaster things for my bed legs to monitor from now on. I do travel quite a bit and my boyfriend is starting to travel more to Denver for work and that seems to be another city with a larger than average infestation rate. : ( I keep telling myself that with bad luck we could bring them home from anywhere.

    I reported on bedbug registry.com and tripadvisor. I did tell a girl at the desk about it it I did express checkout and only went to the desk to report it and she seemed completely bored and I got the feeling she hears that complaint a lot. She did not writes down or type in my room number even though I told her three times. The hotel obviously just does not care. Is there anything else commonly done to report this?

  5. Nobugsonme

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    Posted 7 years ago
    Wed Jul 11 2012 9:37:37
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    I think monitoring is a good idea.

    There are FAQs linked from the Useful Stuff page about the "coaster things" (ClimbUp Interceptors are the most popular ones) and BbAlert Passive which is a quite different approach, but one you should consider also.

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

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    Posted 7 years ago
    Wed Jul 11 2012 15:29:44
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    I am going to purchase some. This whole thing just makes me sick. I keep having an itchy, crawling feeling---even where I did not get bites. I had a new one show up this morning very close to two other bites and I am hoping it was just a delayed reaction. : ( I have white sheets and wore a light yellow top to bed and no marks anywhere on the fabrics.

    Besides monitoring, is there anything else I should have done or should be doing?

  7. AnxiousItchy

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    Posted 7 years ago
    Wed Jul 11 2012 15:33:55
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    Oh---and I just read on here someone suggested that 120 degrees isn't hot enough? He/she said something like 140 or 150 for 6 or 8 hrs? My packtite stayed 122-124 for a solid two hours after taking 1.5hrs to heat up----was that enough? I thought the instructions said at least 120 and not 140. I pretty much had just clothes in it (before washing---I could not even bring myself to take them inside to the laundry room and it was not packed full---I allowed space for air all around and put the probe right in the middle of the stacks at the deepest point from any side.

  8. Eve

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    Posted 7 years ago
    Wed Jul 11 2012 15:36:30
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    There's a distinction between the temp you need to heat a structure (where there are cool spots) and an enclosed area like a Packtite. Actually the kill temp is 113 F. If you could heat an area at exactly that temp it would work, but you know that's now how heat works. So you have to add extra heat.

    Eve

  9. AnxiousItchy

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    Posted 7 years ago
    Wed Jul 11 2012 15:55:32
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    Is there something I can do to make the packtite hotter? Even less stuff?

    I had a few books and a makeup case in the first load and put those inside (I admit I didn't really want touring them inside) and I took the clothes that were treated in the and put them in a plastic garbage bag and took them to the washer and washed on cool. Washing on hot would ruin them and so I will dry them on cool and then once dry I will run the dryer on high/hot for 30 min. The heat is less likely to ruin the clothes once they are already dry, I figure.

    The clothes are still in the washer now as I was not able to fall asleep till 4 and I woke late and didn't have time to transfer them carefully this morning.

    I hope I don't get them. I just won't be able to live like this for long. I am so careful changing clothes and bagging but I am getting farther and farther behind with laundry and the packtite process is slow when I am working 12 hr days and not home to have it running. I would run it while I am gone (it is in a place where it could not burn anything but the contents and itself) but I can't monitor the temp remotely to make sure it is high enough. : (


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