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HELP - been battling since Sept and can't get rid of them. Feeling defeated.

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  1. BBComandoMom

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    Posted 11 months ago
    Thu Dec 6 2018 2:07:34
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    Hi all. It's 1:30am and I just did a run looking through my 5 yo's room and found another bb on her bed. I'm defeated. Help.

    Details
    Initial Find/Discovery: My son started having horrible blistery bumps in a row that looked like terrible hives and bites all at once. He reacts to most bites badly, so we suspected bedbugs and looked for them. We found them in his room, on his bed, and in one chair in the house.

    PCO: I googled and looked at the reviews for local BB treatments. I found one with great reviews. Charged us about $1K. They came out Sept 18 and did something that was odd. First, they were only in our home for about 2 hours. We have a 5 bedroom house. The tech said he only found them in my son's room. He said he steamed his bed, put "some stuff down to make them come out" then he "dusted". Said the dust would kill them over time and to change bedding and in a week. Leave dust down for 6 weeks. He just dumped the stuff all along the walls. Suggests we get rid of my son's bed. Son sleeps in another room.

    Time passes, about 4 weeks or so. He is still getting bites. I go into my sons now closed off room. Instantly begin coughing. Look at the bed and under the mattress cover, I see black. Lots of it. the mattress has molded. I immediately call the PCO and complain, they say they've never heard of this happening before and agree to come back out. I begin searching the house for bugs. I find a few more here and there, one on the couch, one in the room my son has been sleeping in, and 3 or so on my 5 yo's bed. I lose my mind on the phone.

    When they get there, he resprays the "stuff to make them come out" (literally he says this every time) and puts down new powder. Son's room, chair and other room. Not 5yo room.

    DE is EVERYWHERE. Clumped, piled, slopped, sprayed. Just everywhere. I buy more, vacuum up his mess and reapply neater so that it's not stirred up every time we walk. (I'll buy a new vacuum when this is all over.)

    Another few weeks go by. I am pulling all the bedding and washing/drying it again. I see a small nest of bb's on my 5yo's bed, on the corner closest to the radiator. There are about 3 on one section with fecal matter. I swipe two into a jar for identification and accidentally squish/smear one. Needless to say, everything this washed and dried. I have a thermal gun and my clothes get to 165-170 and I do it on the "sanitize" cycle on the dryer (1hr, 30 min).

    So, I call them AGAIN and lose my shit. The tech tells me that 1, it may take a few weeks to kill them all, (It's already been months), says she had no bb's in her room, and that they would come back out free of charge. I ask for a manager to call me. I have to basically harass them and they come back out and do a "follow up" for free. The manager tells me it was a special, the $1k, but that they'll come back out again for free.

    Every night, some days, I go into the 5yo's room with a flashlight, sticky tape and a jar. I find 3 total bb's on her bed. large, but not an adult.

    They come back one week later. He says he's treated our whole house and seen NO live activity.

    I come home after treatment and AGAIN he's clumped the DE EVERYWHERE. Piles of it. And not evenly spaced, so yea, there's a pile, here's a pile everywhere's a pile. Meanwhile, I'm worried about a cough my 5yo has.

    I broke down her entire bed and vacuumed, sprayed & wiped her entire bed minus the mattress that is encased in a BB mattress cover with duct tape on zipper just in case. NO holes I checked multiple times. It's not against the wall. No dust curtain.

    Tonight - I found ANOTHER BB on her bed that had fed!!!!

    I'm so frustrated.

    We are now at 3 visits.
    The second visit was 4 weeks after the first. The third was about another 4 weeks later. Today marks about another 4 week period.

    How we are treating:
    I have mattress covers on all beds except mine but I just took mine off yesterday it had a hole and I am getting a new one tomorrow.
    Beds are away from walls.
    Nothing draped onto beds from surrounding walls.
    Every week I vacuum and reapply DE where I removed it.
    I do laundry every week (Bedding)
    Our clothes were washed and dried and are in bins in the basement and clothing from the bedroom does not go on floors in the basement. It gets put either directly into the washing machine and washed or into a large plastic round bin that I tested a live bb in to see if it can climb and cannot.
    I vacuumed my couches and chairs, pulled the bottom cheesecloth off my chairs and vacuumed, steamed and DE'd the insides of my rattan furniture.
    I washed and steamed my cushions and stuff.

    Tomorrow I will be steaming/vacuuming and washing the upstairs again. Thinking of vacuuming up the DE and reapplying Cimexa. I have Harris BB spray that kills eggs and am thinking about steaming, then putting that down, letting it dry applying the cymexa?

    My steamer is a McCulloch MC1275 Heavy-Duty Steam Cleaner Steam Pressure-43 psi. Steam Rate-33-37 g/min. Hertz-60HZ. Volts-120V. Amps-12.5.

    What am I not doing that I keep finding these aholes? It's been 3 months! Is that normal? I can't be more diligent than I am. No shoes upstairs to downstairs. I'm vigilant about toys, clothes, etc. I'm losing my mind.

    Also, here are the pictures of what the PCO did.

  2. BBComandoMom

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    Posted 11 months ago
    Thu Dec 6 2018 2:11:29
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  3. BBComandoMom

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    Posted 11 months ago
    Thu Dec 6 2018 2:16:22
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  4. lsdrg706

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    Posted 11 months ago
    Thu Dec 6 2018 6:54:39
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    I am really sorry you are going through this. I am very interested in what the experts will say, because in all honesty it sounds like your PCO is doing a terrible job, based on the info you provided. It can easily take 3 months (and more) to get rid of them if the infestation isn't handled properly, and can in fact make it worse. I think you are doing everything you can to contain things, but as much as it financially sucks I think you need a new PCO that actually knows what they're doing.

  5. bed-bugscouk

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    Posted 11 months ago
    Thu Dec 6 2018 9:07:36
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    Hi,

    Sorry to read this and please bear with what I am about to say, it's for your own good and will actually help.

    You need to stop tackling this the way you are and get ahead of the blaze, something you simply cant do with bed bugs.

    The underlying issue here is one of how are the bed bugs coming into your home not one of how to kill the bed bugs. You stuck in the logic that seems sensible but your not actually addressing the cause.

    At this stage the best thing you can do is stop and take stock of things, ideally I would suggest you work through the following links in order:

    https://www.bed-bugs.co.uk/educational/schrodingers-bed-bug/

    https://www.bed-bugs.co.uk/relaxation-resources/

    https://www.bed-bugs.co.uk/educational/panicked-or-confused-about-bed-bugs/

    This will help you to frame the understanding or terms like "local source infestation" and to see this is about dealing with where you son is getting bed bugs from as much as dealing with the situation in your home.

    With regards an excessive application of DE , I would refer you to the link below to see how it is correctly applied:

    https://www.bed-bugs.co.uk/DE/

    From a personal perspective I can see a few things that have been done which could lead to dispersal but its about limiting that moving forward.

    I would advocate that you have a look for my documents on TbyPMR and understand that the first phase of that will take a lot of effort and while it can be done room by room it will require the users of those rooms to be kept from the uncleared rooms as part of the process.

    You might want to think about a PackTite for the bags and school books if that applies.

    Lastly there is a lot of work in resolving this kind of issue which is why you need to be sensible with your energy and time or it becomes a viscious circle.

    Hope that helps.

    David Cain
    Bed Bugs Limited

    I am happy to answer questions in public but will not reply to message sent directly or via my company / social media. I am here to help everyone and not just one case at a time.

    In accordance with the AUP and FTC I openly disclose my vested interest in Passive Monitors as the inventor and patent holder. Since 2009 they have become an integral part in how we resolve bed bug infestations. I also have a professional relationship with PackTite in that they distribute my product under their own branding. I do not however receive any financial remuneration for any comments I make about pro
  6. BBComandoMom

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    Posted 11 months ago
    Thu Dec 6 2018 11:18:36
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    Hi David,

    Couple things:

    It was 1:30 in the morning and I was exhausted and frustrated so I didn't mention some things.

    First - the bed bug infestion was light, with maybe a dozen young bugs and a couple mature ones found in my sons bedroom. He had begun to be bitten shortly after a trip to Arizona where, upon returning, his bags were lost at the airport and returned to us a day or two later. We found activity inside of his bags that he had opened and left on his floor for a couple days after they were returned. We found fecal matter in his bag and no shed but a couple squished bugs. Pretty sure we know the source of the infestation. The bag was new, we had gotten him a backpack for school, so I suppose the infestation could have occurred from the online store we bought the bag from but either way, the bag was the culprit. We washed, dried, and then it's been in an enclosed & sealed bin with Nuvan strips since.

    Second, we were told (incorrectly) to have him sleep in another room. Of course this meant that the ones that survived whatever that idiot did in my son's room had to travel elsewhere to find a meal, thus spreading the infestation.

    Third, since his bed was ruined by an IDIOT (I really can't stress how mad I am with this company) who steamed a bed, then enclosed it in plastic and doesn't understand why it molded, I had to buy him a new one. We went to ikea, bought a bed with 4 legs, put interceptors under it, and moved him BACK into the bedroom. All he has in his room is his bed and a chair. The chair holds his phone. The chair doesnt' touch the bed. The phone charger is the only "attached" thing and it doesn't touch his bed. Bedsheets are white. Pillows and all other bedding white so I can see any blood spots, smears, fecal matter, etc. He's a 16 year old boy.

    Additionally, he's definitely getting bites again. But they could be from the couch in the middle room where he was sleeping. It's like a den/playroom thing. That's the next room to be "nuked" by me. I'm tossing everythign that isn't important, played with or needed to sit on. Decluttering is something I'm fine with and it's working to pare down our crap.

    With regards to clothing, shoes etc. Our 5 year old comes downstairs and we put her on the couch. Yes she could be transfering the BB from her bed to the couch. I am aware of this. I'm try8ing to get my husband to stop doing that or her to stop coming downstairs with clothes on but that is a hard thing to get a 5 year old to comprehend. Her clean clothes are in a bin downstairs. I remove her clothes, take htem down in a plastic bin, dump them directly into the washing machine and wash them. Then I get her clean clothes out of the clean bins downstairs and bring them up and put her in them. We take her to school. She doesn't wear shoes upstiars. I suppose seh coudl be carryhing them from her school on her body to her room, but they would have to stay there until she goes to bed every night and without me seeing them on her body when I put her pjs on. Seems highly unlikely. No backpacks or books or toys are allowed upstairs that are downstairs.

    As far as getting another exterminator, I can't - literally - until I either get money back from teh sham company or get a lawsuit or something. I just don't have it.

    With regards to relaxing, I'm not freaking out over the possibility of a bedbug, the whole "shroedingers philosphy" thing. I'm frustrated because we were given bad information that probably made the situation prolonged if not worse. I definitely know we have them. As to what kind they are - that's maybe becoming a possibility that it's batbugs. They are an issue in my area apparently. We do have bats in the area, but what I don't know is if we have them in our attics and eaves. Thats my next task to determine. If I find another adult, which i havne't found an adult in awhile, only instars, I will photograph it and see if I can get an identification.

    So - without being able to hire a new PCO, and armed with the knowlege here and what I've found which is
    steaming
    vacuuming
    decluttering
    keeping things washed/dried
    putting toys in nuvan bins
    putting down fine layers of DE (with a real respirator meant for fine particles/pesticides, gloves and eye coverings)
    Vacuuming and steaming the beds and floors.

    I will begin caulking the baseboards/wall gaps this weekend.

    IS there anything else that folks here think I can be doing? I have two of the Harris BB sprays, one is supposed to kill eggs and one is an "on contact" killer.

  7. bed-bugscouk

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    Posted 11 months ago
    Thu Dec 6 2018 11:37:01
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    Hi,

    I had picked up on the occupation information with regards the room.

    The aspects of Schrodinger's I was referring to is the fact that stress does not make for good decisions and that the cycle of distress is not one you need to endure.

    It's hard to get an accurate feeling for what you mean by clumps of DE but if you have over applied you need to reset that in order to move it forward. I would also advise against the insecticide spraying as and to be careful if the steamer is too high a pressure.

    If you found the insects in the bed of your son they are not bat bugs, bat bugs never occupy human sleeping areas unless isolated there, they will always head up for harbourage and are more likely at the wall ceiling junction.

    David

  8. BBComandoMom

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    Posted 11 months ago
    Sat Dec 8 2018 0:16:42
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    Also the above post wasn't meant to sound terse or angry, just trying to lay out facts. I'm not a reactive person really, but at this point I am not trusting the PCO I had and there's no bb's anywhere else that we can find. The only source seems to have been my son's trip and his luggage issues.

  9. BBComandoMom

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    Posted 11 months ago
    Sat Dec 8 2018 0:36:20
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    Also, I'm not sure why, but my last couple posts won't show up. Says there are 8 responses but I can't see them. Posting this to see if it shows up.

    My previous post said that I didn't want my PREVIOUS post to sound terse or short or rude. I was just trying to be factual and straightforward. Sorry if it sounds rude.

    BBCM

  10. Sleepless2

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    Posted 11 months ago
    Sun Dec 9 2018 10:00:03
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    Hey,
    I think you come across as quite together and not particularly irrational.
    PCOs really make me mad. YOu soo want to believe them when they first come around and say that they will solve all your problems, I mean you pay them enough, but in my experience they don´t make the situation better and very often can make it worse. It´s clearly a great business to get into. Promise the world, then charge a fortune, don´t do what you say you will do and then walk away. Zero ethics and there clearly should be more legislation in this area. I´d say that good PCOs for bbs are very rare indeed.
    So if you can find one of those, a good company, I would use them. I understand the financial aspect, but peace of mind and quality of life is fundamental and you need to move forward and reclaim yours and your family´s life.
    ON the self treating front, I think what you re doing sounds good. I would swap the DE for Cimexa though, as that´s what Ive been using and it´s pretty good I think. I don´t want to jinx it, but I think just by washing and vacuuming and applying Cimexa it seems to have worked. But it´s all about patience and following your protocols, which i know is difficult for lots of people, kids, adults whatever.. but I think that is the key. Be meticulous. Cimexa everything. Lightly. It´s an amorphous silica gel that works much faster than DE and is less damaging to us if inhaled.
    I have Cimexad everything in my house. All fabric is washed and bagged and I´m staying at a friends and only go and sleep at mine once every 5 days, ensuring that what ever I do sleep on, the bugs have to walk through the Cimexa. I´ve been doing that for 3 weeks now and I slept there two consecutive nights this weekend and think I only got one bite. So that´s a lot less than it used to be. Fingers crossed.
    Good luck!

  11. BBComandoMom

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    Posted 11 months ago
    Thu Dec 13 2018 13:07:57
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    I finally got the photos to upload. Here's some of what I found.

    Side note - posts are showing up to the right of the page on this thread. Like, the main column is fine, then there's a small window of space on the right where posts are showing up. I thought it wasn't posting, but it is. Just over there. It's weird.

    Ok, another question for those that have used Nuvan Strips - could I put them in a room, seal the room with plastic, and not use it for 2-3 weeks? Would that kill off what's in there (if anything is in there)?

    We are seriously thinking about making our bedroom a closet and moving to another room since one child is gone off to college. Her room is just sitting there. I feel like it's mocking me lol.

    I can't use IMGUR for some reason, so I'm using a google account that I have for items that I don't want spam from and an account that I use for "remaining anonymous" My name is not Natalie Whalen.

    The powder on the floor is what the PCO did, not me. I have since vacuumed it up and reapplied with a puffer and brush.

    The mattress with mold is what the PCO did on the first trip, and the picture is before the second.

    Google Album for PCO Jerk face

  12. Nobugsonme

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    Posted 11 months ago
    Thu Dec 13 2018 19:40:39
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    BBComandoMom - 5 days ago  » 
    Also, I'm not sure why, but my last couple posts won't show up. Says there are 8 responses but I can't see them. Posting this to see if it shows up.
    My previous post said that I didn't want my PREVIOUS post to sound terse or short or rude. I was just trying to be factual and straightforward. Sorry if it sounds rude.
    BBCM

    A previous post of yours had a missing tag and this made the formatting go haywire for the subsequent discussion. I have fixed it above. That may be why you could not see the responses. There aren’t any posts missing from this thread (eg in the spam filter).

    I started and run the site but am "not an expert."
  13. bed-bugscouk

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    Posted 11 months ago
    Fri Dec 14 2018 8:32:51
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    Hi,

    I cant see any confirming signs of bed bugs in those images but equally they are not the typical places to get bed bugs unless its an advanced infestation that has been there for long enough to spread out.

    I would suggest you watch the video at the bottom of the page linked below:

    https://www.bed-bugs.co.uk/educational/

    Then inspect the beds using that approach and document anything that you find. If you don't find confirming signs, using Passive Monitors in the rooms and get them occupied as normal.

    Hope that helps.

    David


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