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Four Treatments and No Success

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  1. Jordan21

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    Posted 2 years ago
    Mon Sep 12 2016 22:35:22
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    Hey guys, first post here. So I had my first treatment for bbs back in June of 2016, and it's now September 2016. I had my 5th treatment today, and I'm hoping for the best. After my first three (in ten-day intervals), I was good for about a month or so, but then I found a few more bugs/bites. I found 8 nymphs before my 5th treatment today, 4 of which I killed before they could feed, and 4 after. During today's treatment, we found a few hiding in my trading card binder, nothing on or around my bed. The binder has been placed in a trash bag and sealed...but I'm really losing hope here. I believe my initial infestation came from work. My job involves an amount of risk for this type of thing with the clients I work with. Typically, we avoid transporting and visiting clients known to have bbs, however, sometimes you just don't know until after the fact. This is what I believe happened to me. I don't know if I am reintroducing the bugs into my apartment through work or if they had just been hiding really well all this time. Ideally, they would all be gone, but things don't usually work out that way for me. My PCO told me that the pesticide should kill them even if they come in with me from work, but I don't know what to think anymore. I'm trying to find another job, but that's far easier said than done. I do have a 6th treatment scheduled for ten days from now, but it's all feeling really hopeless, and I already have depression as it is. If anybody could offer some advice, I would really appreciate it. Thanks.

  2. Nobugsonme

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    Posted 2 years ago
    Mon Sep 12 2016 23:06:34
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    It's possible some eggs or bed bugs survived the 3rd treatment and then in the intervening month, they bounced back.

    But it's also likely that you could have reintroduced some.

    Are you taking steps at work to avoid this? There are FAQs for people exposed at work in the external resources page under Resources for Home Visitors. That may not be your job, but the advice should translate to another setting where you're being exposed. Our travel FAQ which covers what to do to avoid bringing bed bugs home should help too.

    If you're in a building with attached neighbors, they need a professional inspection as they may actually be sending them to you.

    Is anything being done at work in terms of treatment and prevention?

    Yes, pesticide will kill bed bugs you bring in, or which come from attached neighbors, but it means you will keep seeing them when they come in newly.

    Finally, please consider getting professional support (therapy and/or medication) if you're dealing with depression and aren't already doing so. Bed bugs may be exacerbating it, but treatment can be effective and will help as you deal with this other stuff (bed bugs, job search).

    I started and run the site but am "not an expert."
  3. Jordan21

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    Posted 2 years ago
    Tue Sep 13 2016 17:14:45
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    Thank you for your reply. I currently do my best to try to avoid bringing items into the homes of the clients I work with (I am a social worker). The clients, however, do sit in my car, and I keep seat covers on at all times. I'm not sure if anything is being done at my job. I may have to bring it up to my supervisor in the near future. I actually found a bed bug full of blood on my pant leg upon returning to my apartment today. I always change my clothes as soon as I get home, and shake them out onto my kitchen tile. This is actually the first time I have seen one upon returning home. I'm not sure where I picked it up, though. I did kill it immediately.

    It's really rough. I can't afford therapy as things are right now, and I am highly considering quitting my job. The only trouble is that they are currently paying for some of my bed bug treatment, so I don't want that burden to fall entirely onto my own shoulders. I don't want to keep potentially reintroducing them into my home either, though. I just wish the job search would go better. I've been looking for nearly six months and haven't had any luck. It's all awful

  4. Nobugsonme

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    Posted 2 years ago
    Tue Sep 13 2016 17:32:16
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    Talk to your workplace-- the resources links are very relevant if you're a social worker who visits homes. IMO every such workplace should be helping employees avoid picking up or spreading bed bugs, as well as helping rid them if they get into workers' homes. The problem may be exacerbated if clients can't get treatment. But you can still reduce risks.

    Helping you with treatment is great, but they need to also think about the office or other shared space/vehicles and all your coworkers. Anyone can bring them in or out at any time so it's really about having a game plan for the whole organisation.

    And of course, if this is a big part of why they're losing you, that's a real shame too for them as well as you.

    I hope your search picks up. It's really rough in so many fields right now.

  5. Jordan21

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    Posted 2 years ago
    Tue Sep 13 2016 17:34:35
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    Thank you for the support.

  6. Jordan21

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    Posted 2 years ago
    Sun Sep 18 2016 9:34:59
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    Well, the fifth treatment is over and done...found four more bugs this morning
    There were three nymphs and one adult/near-adult. The nymphs were on my bed and the larger bug was just clinging to the wall. In theory, they would have all had to cross the pesticide to get to me, so hopefully they were dying, but I don't know PCO is coming again in 3-5 days, so hopefully that will be the last time.

  7. m1thru10

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    Posted 2 years ago
    Tue Sep 20 2016 2:00:13
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    Hi Jordan. It's been about 4 weeks for me. I'm using 92% rubbing alcohol which kills the bugs and the eggs on contact. I wholesale use a steamer. I bought a steamer from bed bug supply for $300 that gets over 200 degrees. It kills everything on contact. Then I use diatomaceous earth or residual spray and I've had really good luck with that. I also use the interceptors under the bed legs and the nightstand legs. This seems to catch even the tiniest ones and it keeps them out of my bed. I haven't been bitten since I started using them. It's my understanding that you can't just use one form of treatment you need to do two or three different kinds; steam is a big winner. I still see occasional stragglers, but I understand that that's come in for a while. They are a pain in the butt, but we can win if we are diligent about winning.

  8. m1thru10

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    Posted 2 years ago
    Tue Sep 20 2016 2:02:14
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    Sorry about the spelling errors I didn't catch.

  9. Jordan21

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    Posted 2 years ago
    Thu Sep 22 2016 21:06:26
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    I cannot really afford a steamer at the moment, however, I am glad it is working for you! I just had my sixth treatment today, and I have already found 4 dead bugs. I am hoping so badly that it this is the end. I plan on purchasing some climb-interceptors within the upcoming days, but I may need to special order them from Home Depot, as my bedframe has some larger legs (3x3 square). I'm going to decide on it tomorrow, most likely.

    I seriously cannot do this much longer. I want to quit my job so badly, but money is already incredibly tight. I'm constantly worried about bringing bugs home, and if there are some still living even after all of these treatments. I just want it all to be over. Life is hard enough as it is

  10. Nobugsonme

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    Posted 2 years ago
    Thu Sep 22 2016 23:04:34
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    Six treatments is a lot. At that point, it may be a case of reintroductions.

    I'd try to talk to the landlord about having attached apartments inspected. They could be coming from a neighbor and maybe even did so originally.

    You can also talk to the workplace.

    Sorry this is still going on.

  11. Jordan21

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    Posted 2 years ago
    Sat Sep 24 2016 9:49:12
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    I've brought it up at work, but they haven't gotten back to me about it yet. I'll say something again on Monday. I was fine after the 6th treatment until today. I woke up with a decent-sized blood stain on my sheets. I am assuming I crushed the one that was feeding on my leg. I picked up the box spring and mattress and looked it over, but I didn't see anything. I sprayed the top of the mattress and my pillows with 91% rubbing alcohol, and I'm going to wash all of my bedding again this afternoon.

    I just don't understand how they are getting to me. My bed is essentially coated in bb dust from my PCO. I understand that it does not always kill instantly, but man I hope this is it. I did end up purchasing some interceptors for the legs of my bed. They won't be here for another week and a half, though.

    As far as speaking to my landlord goes...I really don't want to bring it up unless I have to. He was not too happy about it when I told him to begin with. My PCO did treat the light sockets, outlets, etc, so in theory, they should not be moving between units. I will see how things go once I get the interceptors, and then let him know if need be.

    Thanks for the support.

  12. frightened

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    Posted 2 years ago
    Sat Sep 24 2016 13:34:44
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    Hi. Seems to me as you have already spoken to your landlord once about the issue that there is no reason you can't speak to him again especially as it could turn out to be an infestation in an another apartment. Even though the light sockets have been treated there may be other access points.

  13. Jordan21

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    Posted 2 years ago
    Sat Sep 24 2016 15:18:40
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    Well, I spoke to my landlord and he said that there have not been any other issues in the apartment building. He offered to put diatomaceous earth down in my unit. I told him that I would check with the PCO first and get back with him. I found what I believed to be eggs inside a part of my bed frame, so I sprayed it with alcohol. Hopefully, it reached the eggs to kill them, because I think it may have washed out the dust that my PCO put in there

  14. Jordan21

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    Posted 2 years ago
    Sun Sep 25 2016 0:48:52
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    It's about 1am and I have yet to sleep. I found one young bed bug crawling on my shirt while sitting on my couch today (PCO has never found them in the couch). I also found two adults just a few moments ago, one was at the side of my bed, under the sheet, and the other was on the wall. I seriously do not know what to do. I thought that they were not supposed to be able to make it to my bed with all the dust on it. I don't understand how they are not dying...

    Do I need to get a different PCO? He gave me a 6-month guarantee for service. They were supposed to be all gone after 3 treatments. This is ridiculous. I can't afford it, and I doubt my job is going to be too helpful come Monday. Someone please help

  15. Nobugsonme

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    Posted 2 years ago
    Sun Sep 25 2016 1:46:55
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    Jordan,
    If you have so many treatments and the problem isn't solved, it could be the PCO.

    However, there are at least two other possibilities:

    1. They're coming from an attached neighbor. I stress that this may be so even if the landlord is unaware of it, AND it may even have been the source of your original problem. Don't assume you were the original source unless there's strong evidence of that.

    Landlords often think a building is bed bug-free because no one is brave enough to come forward (or in some cases, people don't recognise the problem or don't know what to do).

    2. They may be being brought in again from
    work. That may be a slim chance if you are taking precautions, but possible.

    Not knowing much about the PCO, it's hard to say if they're the issue or not, but remember if bed bugs are being reintroduced by other methods, even the best PCO can't solve the issue without addressing that.

  16. Jordan21

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    Posted 2 years ago
    Sun Sep 25 2016 10:52:42
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    Nobugs, I really appreciate your insight on my post especially, but also on everyone else's.

    I'm going to talk to my work about getting another PCO here on Monday or Wednesday, and from there, maybe they can figure out if they are coming in from another unit. I'm not entirely sure how to ask my landlord to have the other units inspected, as I don't believe Ohio law mandates he does so.

    And I'm trying to take precautions at work to the best of my ability. I don't go inside the homes of clients unless necessary, I use seat covers in my car, and I have even had the car sprayed down with pesticide once. Apparently, my work sprays the office once a week, but I do not even know what to think anymore.

    I wish my climb interceptors would come in sooner, but they aren't due until the first week of October. Until things change, I guess I will just keep hoping :/ As always, thanks for the support.

  17. Jordan21

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    Posted 2 years ago
    Mon Sep 26 2016 23:17:20
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    An update, for those who are interested, as well as myself.

    I spoke to my employer about the issue today, they will be having a different PCO come out this Thursday or Friday. The new PCO is supposed to do an inspection, and if they find any, give me an invoice with the necessary information. I am then to return said paperwork to my employer so it can be processed, and a treatment can be scheduled. In theory, I should have my place treated within a week or so. I am hoping for this weekend, but things do not typically go the way I would like them to.

    In the time between my 6th treatment and now, I have continued to find at least one or two adult bbs on my wall every day. They are just sitting there, so I really do not know what is going on. Ideally, they are dying from the pesticide and do not know what to do with themselves. If anyone could confirm this, that would be great. I have no idea where they are coming from, though. As I said, they are always adults, and my PCO has only been able to find them once during these extra treatments. They were found in my trading card binder, which has been tightly sealed in a plastic bag since then.

    Either way, I have been spraying the sides of my mattress with 91% rubbing alcohol each night. I have read that this dissuades them from approaching the surface. I am aware of the alcohol's flammability, however, I do not know how long this risk persists. Is it only as long as the alcohol is active? As in, once it dries and one can no longer smell it, does it continue to pose a hazard? If so, that is going to make my plan to make it in between PCOs significantly more difficult. My reaction to the bites is inconsistent as far as I have been able to observe, so, unfortunately, I am not able to use that as a solid basis for whether or not I am getting bitten up each night.

    With that being said, I am having major difficulty sleeping. I wake up every so often with the compulsion to check my bed for bugs. I almost feel like it is worse than it was back when this first happened, and my infestation seemed much more severe. I am worried about a lot of things right now, and this sits right at the top of the list of things that I really do not need. I just hope that by the end of next week, it's all over.

    As always, any advice/input would be greatly appreciated. Thanks for the support.

  18. Distressed in NJ

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    Posted 2 years ago
    Wed Sep 28 2016 17:39:59
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    In my experience the exterminators never completely eliminate the problem, even with heat treatment.

  19. Jordan21

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    Posted 2 years ago
    Wed Sep 28 2016 20:13:23
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    I am majorly hoping this next PCO is able to finish everything up. I woke up in the middle of the night last night with one right on my neck

  20. Nobugsonme

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    Posted 2 years ago
    Thu Sep 29 2016 2:30:08
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    Distressed in NJ - 8 hours ago  » 
    In my experience the exterminators never completely eliminate the problem, even with heat treatment.

    Sorry that's your situation, Distressed, but that's not a typical experience here. My impression is that ongoing problems which can't be resolved usually point to continued sources of exposure rather than the PCO.

    Heat can fail but it sounds like everything you've done -- multiple methods -- have failed.

    Where multiple treatment methods have failed, I'd consider carefully whether there's a continued source of bed bugs coming in. And of course, confirm the problem visually (not just from skin reactions, which can have other causes.)

  21. Jordan21

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    Posted 2 years ago
    Thu Sep 29 2016 17:36:21
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    Well, the second PCO has come and gone. He found nothing but the traces of when the infestation was bad. He still gave me a quote for a chemical and heat treatment, though I guess he does not entirely believe I need it. I have no idea what to do now. I guess I will turn in the paperwork and see what my employer prefers. He said it is possible that the ones I had found were the last of the group and were dying, but I seriously don't know.

    I'm so worried that they are still here, and that they are hiding somewhere...

  22. Itchyallover

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    Posted 2 years ago
    Thu Sep 29 2016 20:00:10
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    Hi

    I know that this has been mentioned before, but if the attached units to you have not been inspected, they could be the source of the bed bugs, 6 treatments should be able to get rid of the problem. If the landlord is waiting to hear from the tenants in other units to see if they have a problem, we all know that if there are no skin reactions people can live with bedbugs for a while before they even realize they are there.

  23. Nobugsonme

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    Posted 2 years ago
    Fri Sep 30 2016 1:07:23
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    Itchyallover - 5 hours ago  » 
    Hi
    I know that this has been mentioned before, but if the attached units to you have not been inspected, they could be the source of the bed bugs, 6 treatments should be able to get rid of the problem. If the landlord is waiting to hear from the tenants in other units to see if they have a problem, we all know that if there are no skin reactions people can live with bedbugs for a while before they even realize they are there.

    Yes.

    Some with reactions also won't tell the landlord because they are afraid -- especially in areas where tenants pay for their own treatment.

  24. Jordan21

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    Wed Oct 12 2016 19:26:04
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    Well, it's been a while, but here is an update on my situation. I have seen a few bugs show up in my traps since installing the climb-up interceptors. Today, I had the heat treatment done on my apartment. It has been nearly four hours since I got home from work, and it is still incredibly hot in here. They told me that they found one bed bug while doing the treatment, but everything should be dead now. The not-so-great part is that the heat damaged a few of my things, notably the blinds in the apartment and part of the window. I told my landlord, and he wasn't happy about it. He said he would get back to me about coming out to look at things. What also sucks is that I am willing to bet my electric bill is going to be astronomical from the heat.

    This whole thing has been an absolute mess. I just hope it's over now.

  25. Canyousurvive

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    Posted 2 years ago
    Wed Oct 12 2016 19:36:37
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    Please keep us posted I had heat treatment done sat

  26. Jordan21

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    Posted 2 years ago
    Wed Oct 12 2016 19:52:20
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    I will keep you updated. As of now, I have noticed that the people who treated my place also ate some of my food. I'm really not happy about this.

  27. plsnobugs

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    Posted 2 years ago
    Wed Oct 12 2016 20:21:23
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    Jordan, I am so sorry. I hope that this treatment at least is successful.

  28. Nobugsonme

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    Posted 2 years ago
    Wed Oct 12 2016 23:18:29
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    Jordan, in addition to the heat, are they applying a residual chemical and/or dust?


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