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FINALLY leaving bedbug infested home

(3 posts)
  1. Cantwaitobefree

    Joined: Feb '16
    Posts: 1


    Posted 2 years ago
    Sat Feb 27 2016 4:27:07

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    Hello all! I'm new here, as in very first post! I've been lurking for awhile trying to gain as much knowledge as possible in prep for our move. But I would like to pick your brains if I may.

    A little backstory to explain: I've been living with my dad. We've had bed bugs for about 10 years now without ever having POC as my dad is stubborn and insisted on "DIY". As you can presume, it's pretty bad. And by bad I mean hell on earth. (I have killed 3 bugs in the span of writing this post) I moved out about 6 years back but moved back with my husband and children when his health went downhill to care for him about 4 years ago now. I hadn't known at the time that his bedbug problem was so bad. At this point I'd spent so much money and dropped my job to come, so moving was not an option for a long while. It has been literal hell and exhausting to try and minimize bites to my children on top of having full time jobs and school. We all have been diagnosed with anemia which I attribute to this issue. We have been spraying and stripping our rooms every week for 3 years. It has been absolute terror !!!

    To the point: We have finally bought our own home in the area and his health is well enough for us to LEAVE!! Safe to say we are planning to bring NOTHING but the clothes on our backs and our wardrobes, which thanks to the advice on this site will be dried at a laundromat for 10 mins for each load before bringing home. Mattresses and furniture will not be invited! Which brings us to a very expensive road having to buy everything new AGAIN and have it shipped directly to the new house, which is a large strain on our pockets.

    My hope: to bring my books, as I have quite an extensive library I would hate to part with. I am also hoping to bring toy boxes, and one of those square boxed shelving units with the little cubby things. As well as the kids toys. I also have lots of files (birth certs, photos, things like that) DEFINITELY our $1000s of dollars worth of televisions between the 4 of us and xboxs, piggy banks and jewelry boxes.

    Onto my question/advice request: I'm just hoping for some words of encouragement and advice to ENSURE we do NOT bring these devil spawns into our new home! Are these things I can bring or is there a way to make them ok to bring? Am I planning this right as far as the clothing? Is there anything else I should be doing? The day of the move we are washing the clothes we are wearing at a laundromat with everything else, should we be worried about our hair and such what should we do? I am really trying to bring as much as I safely can because it's a serious financial strain starting from scratch again with EVERYTHING. You know?

    Also as an afterthought: is it rude to deny my family access to my new home for this reason? I would very much hate to do all this and finally get away only to have them bring them right back to me like some sick housewarming gift. Is there someway to make sure this doesn't happen otherwise?

  2. jim danca

    Joined: Jul '15
    Posts: 2,702


    Posted 2 years ago
    Sat Feb 27 2016 10:40:42

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    You'll want to pay special attention to any wood based, cellulose based or cardboard based materials that you want to save. Bedbugs love wood. Hopefully all of this spraying didn't drive the bugs into the books. Haven't had any issues with flat screen television sets.

    PCO and inventor of a bio active bedbug trap
  3. Nobugsonme

    your host
    Joined: Mar '07
    Posts: 22,224


    Posted 2 years ago
    Sun Feb 28 2016 3:20:33

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    Safe to say we are planning to bring NOTHING but the clothes on our backs and our wardrobes, which thanks to the advice on this site will be dried at a laundromat for 10 mins for each load before bringing home.

    Just to be on the safe side, I would go for 30 mins. on hot if starting out with dry clothing. Tests suggest much less time is needed for specific items, but just to be on the safe side and account for variable fabrics, full loads, etc.

    As for the other items, if you have had a largely untreated bed bug problem for ten years, my understanding is that they could be in anything.

    That requires thoroughness. The idea of treating the clothing on your backs is not incorrect, and don't forget shoes, wallets, etc.

    A shower and clean clothing should do the trick -- I am not an expert but the only time hair is an issue I believe is when you have a style that isn't washed regularly (dreadlocks, weaves, some others may fall into this area) or people who don't get to wash regularly.

    I would personally have a car inspected if you have one. It's not normal that they are infested, but again, if you had them for ten years without proper treatment...

    And I would not bring anything else without treating it. You can treat non-dryable items in a Packtite, or in a sealed container with DDVP strips (at least in North America). You can read more about DDVP in the Useful Tools page.

    If your funds permit, it may be possible to have a truck or trailer treated most commonly using Vikane gas (or in some cases heat). This can be done to treat items being moved, en route.

    Consider carefully whether friends, family members, and other locations you frequent may have been exposed (and could therefore be a source of re-exposure). In ten years without treatment, you all could have exposed places of work, school, etc. I don't think you can cut yourself off from those (even from visitors), but there may be ways of optimising your living situation in order to make problems easier to detect if they arise. Bed bug monitors are a good idea also.

    As depressing as it is to think that you may ever have bed bugs in the new place, detecting them early would mean the problem could be eliminated.

    I do think your father is in a tragic situation and unfortunately he will be putting you at risk if you visit him or vice versa. Extreme precautions would be necessary to visit him safely, and it sounds like he may not be able to take the kinds of precautions necessary to prevent himself from bringing them to you. Some in this situation have chosen to meet the relative with the ongoing issue in a public place. That's an imperfect solution too, of course.

    Again, not an expert but I would consider getting the new home professionally treated with pesticides/dusts if possible if you're bringing items in, even ones you attempt to treat thoroughly. Yes, "preventive" treatments aren't generally warranted, but given the level of exposure, and the possibility that you may have a continued source of exposure, risk is worth mitigating.

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

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