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Found bed bugs in hotel room, what to do now?

(6 posts)
  1. Emily88

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    Posted 4 weeks ago
    Thu Mar 22 2018 11:56:24
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    I live in NYC where bed bugs are as common as yellow taxi cabs. I actually have never dealt with an infestation in my living quarters in the US though I have had several false scares. My paranoia last year was terrible as bed bugs were found twice in my old office and I was so scared of accidentally bringing them home, but it looks like I never did (I had the exterminators come over several times to check).

    I had to go all the way to Paris, France for a work trip in order to meet these lovely bloodsuckers in person. The second night at the hotel, I found a bug crawling around on the white bedspread. When I saw it, I knew immediately what it was, I've seen enough pictures. I smashed it in the bathroom and when blood came out of it, my fear was confirmed. Not to mention I ended up with clustered bites (including the typical 3 in a row) on my neck and right arm the next day which has never happened in any of the bed bug scares I have dealt with. And that wasn't the only one I spotted, I spotted two more after the first one. FYI for anyone traveling to a country outside the US who finds bed bugs in a hotel--they will most likely not really know what to do. The hotel was taken off guard and said they would "disinfect the room" which from what I can tell when I collected my belongings later that day to move them to the new room (I had stowed all my belongings in the bathroom after finding the bed bugs) meant simply vacuuming and airing out the room. I doubt they even called an exterminator. I'm not even sure exterminators use the same products US exterminators use to eradicate bed bugs.

    The hotel gave me a new room for my last night but I knew already the damage was done. My suitcase had been on the floor the entire time and I had clothes hanging in the closet. So when I got home, before even entering my apartment, I quarantined all my clothes in black trash bags and taped them shut along with my shoes, backpack, and handbag. I did have to transfer things like my phone, work computer, wallet essentials (old wallet is in a trash bag right now), toiletries into my apartment but I did wipe them all down with 91% rubbing alcohol for peace of mind. Anything non-essential was thrown out, as well as my suitcase (which was old anyways and I'm not particularly attached to it so it's a good excuse to get a new one at some point). I immediately took a shower upon entering my apartment and only wore clothes I had not brought on my trip. I had ordered interceptors last year during the height of my paranoia so I was able to bring those out and install them under my bed before I went to sleep in my apartment.

    The next day, I was able to go to the laundromat and get everything through the washer/dryer. I threw out the trash bags and now all my clothes are back in my closet/dresser. When I spoke to the exterminating company, they said based on everything I'd already done, it sounded like I had done everything possible to keep the bed bugs from coming into my apartment. They said to wait a few days before calling them to come check whether I had brought any home. I've only noticed a few new bites (which could have been there all along) and they said I could still be reacting to the bites from the hotel for a few more days due to delayed reaction (which I was already aware of).

    So is there anything else I should be doing besides waiting and seeing? Does it sound like I did everything possible to keep these pests out of my home? Is there anything else I should be doing?

    And what do I do with all my shoes/backpack/handbags/books/other assorted items that can't go through the dryer? They are currently sitting in trash bags in the hallway outside my apartment but knowing the tenants in my building, they will probably complain at some point, I can't leave them out there for weeks on end. I've read about steaming/spraying rubbing alcohol/running a blowdryer at them but not sure how effective any of these methods are.

    If any of you have any pointers, I'm all ears! Thanks.

  2. SS864

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    Posted 4 weeks ago
    Thu Mar 22 2018 16:03:55
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    Why are the items you can't run through a dryer in the hallway and not in your apt? If it's because you are worried about a possible hitch hiker bed bug escaping the bags, isn't that kind of messed up to leave them in the hallway and expose your neighbors?

  3. Emily88

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    Posted 4 weeks ago
    Thu Mar 22 2018 17:04:51
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    It's a 3 floor building, only one unit per floor. We don't share our floor with any neighbors. The bags are sealed shut with tape. I think our neighbors are just fine but thanks for your concern.

  4. hearty

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    Posted 3 weeks ago
    Fri Mar 23 2018 12:42:12
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    Hi Emily,

    "And what do I do with all my shoes/backpack/handbags/books/other assorted items that can't go through the dryer? "
    Are we to assume that these items were in fact with you in Paris? If so you could spread them out somewhere safe (like on a large plastic garbage bag in the bathroom or tub), inspect, clean and alcohol spray each item thoroughly, throwing the rags or paper towels you use in a plastic bag and hot wash the rags, close the plastic bags and throw away... you get the idea. Just a matter of sifting through/ inspecting and thoroughly cleaning and spot spraying. I put alcohol in a small spray bottle for this purpose.

    Best of luck! Hope no more bites!

    I am not an expert, just someone who has and still is fighting them

  5. Emily88

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    Posted 3 weeks ago
    Wed Mar 28 2018 2:31:15
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    Yes all those items were with me in Paris. They are still in sealed trash bags but I might do as you suggest and wipe/spray them down with alcohol.

    I am still seeing a few bites a day, not a lot but enough to make me nervous as I have been back a week. No idea how delayed bites can be but I was at the hotel 3 nights (2 nights in the bed bug room and I just assume they traveled with me to the second room as my suitcase was on the floor and probably with me on the plane). I have not actually seen any bedbugs which is a good sign but I know that doesn’t mean much. I am hoping to have an exterminator come soon and check my room for peace of mind. I know I’m not alone in the fear and uncertainty. Such a hassle and inconvenience!!

  6. Emily88

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    Posted 1 week ago
    Fri Apr 6 2018 22:43:36
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    So update: the exterminator came to check out my apartment and didn't see any in my room or the couch I typically sit on yesterday. Which is good news! I actually haven't been home this week because I am cat sitting (but I made sure to wash all my clothes and put them through the dryer before I came over to my friends' apartment and yes they know I was exposed to bed bugs).

    However I found a raised looking bite on my left arm near my wrist and another dark red circle looking bite near my belly button. They do not look like the bites I got while I was at the hotel and since they aren't clustered like the bites I have, I'm super confused (which I still have my old BB bites but they are slooowwwllyyy starting to fade). I don't want to go jumping around to conclusions since the exterminator gave me the all clear and I've been with a cat all week so I dunno, maybe it's fleas? But could they just be super delayed bed bug bites? How delayed can BB bites be once you are exposed to them? It's been 2+ weeks now so I was just wondering. My old roommate told me she didn't start seeing bites until 3 weeks after they were introduced into her apartment but I have no idea how she can tell they were delayed by 3 weeks.

    And of course I could just be super paranoid but... I just want peace of mind! If anybody else has... insight, let me know.


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