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HELP PLEASE! Found bed bug. Freaking out.

(5 posts)
  1. js11cb

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    Posted 4 years ago
    Fri Sep 4 2015 0:27:28
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    Okay, so here’s my situation. My sister and I moved our stuff into an apartment August 1st, and then went back to our mom’s house until this past Sunday when we came back to the apartment for school. The second night here my sister woke up with around 8 bites. We tried to convince ourselves that they were mosquito bites, but I eventually found a bed bug on the underside of my mattress. After that, we were looking around the apartment more, and found a lot of dead bed bugs under the kitchen counter. The carpet in the living room and bedrooms makes it impossible to see anything on the floor, so I don’t have any idea if there’s any signs of them.

    We used Raid on the apartment because when we found the first living bug we started freaking out and wanted to do what we could we could until the office opened the next morning. We have not found any living bugs since the first one, nor has my sister received any bites (that she’s noticed). We took the bugs to our building manager yesterday morning, who had them identified as definitely dead bed bugs that were left over from a treatment of the previous tenants. Today, the maintenance people came and used some type of freezing machine on our unit, and we put mattress encasements on our mattresses and our futon. On Tuesday, PCO is supposed to be coming to spray the place.

    We’re starting to do laundry tomorrow, and putting everything in totes boxes and ziplock bags. We’re washing and drying everything we can on hot. But there’s some things that cannot be washed. Is drying already dry items sufficient to kill the bugs? We’re both students and don’t have extra money to accidently ruin our belongings.

    What about books, movies, calendars, picture frames, dishes, TVs, video game systems, microwaves, laptops, iPads, board games, lamps, curtains, toiletries, etc.? Does absolutely everything have to go in totes? How do we make sure we’re not putting bugs into the containers with our belongings, just to be released when we unpack? How long do we have to live out of plastic bags and tote boxes for?

    Also, what are the odds that we took some bugs home with us after we moved in? Our luggage was on the floor for the night and then taken home. I am really worried about having infested my mom’s house, because after seeing how much work it is dealing with a two-bedroom apartment, I can’t even imagine the disaster that would be of our house. We also cannot afford the treatment of a house. At the apartment, the manager is paying for our laundry, the PCO, the tote boxes and anything else we need to be comfortable staying here.

    I also read that spraying rubbing alcohol on things will kill bed bugs. Is this true? Would that work on suitcases and other items too large to throw in the washing machine and dryer?

    What about plastic items, like laundry hampers? Do we have to do anything special with them? Will the spray the PCO use protect these items? Also, what are the odds of my taking bugs to school with me? Should I just use plastic bags until the unit has been sprayed?

    Sorry for the novel, but I start school on Tuesday, and this was supposed to be my last week of freedom, and I’m freaking out. I’m so frustrated with trying to deal with this. I go between excessively researching to crying and back again. I’ve been a little calmer since talking to the building manager, but I just found two dead bugs on the ceiling in my closet, and started freaking out again.

  2. jim danca

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    Posted 4 years ago
    Fri Sep 4 2015 13:42:37
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    It may be a small population that got really excited when it had access to food for the first time in weeks. You'll want to do inspections on the mattress and box frame every week for the next month. Consider a monitoring system.

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

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    Posted 4 years ago
    Fri Sep 4 2015 17:27:26
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    The good news is that the landlord is taking responsibility and paying for the treatment. It would be a good idea to ask exactly what kind of treatment they are planning, then run it by the pros here for some feedback.

    Don't let them use a fogger under any circumstances. That would be a huge red flag that they don't know what they're doing and releasing a fogger will just make the situation worse.

    The most important thing is to not let anxiety cause you to make mistakes you will later regret. It's normal to be freaked out, many of us have been there ourselves. Just don't let panic get the best of you. Don't try to do any other self-treatment at this point.

    js11cb - 16 hours ago  » 
    We used Raid on the apartment because when we found the first living bug we started freaking out and wanted to do what we could we could until the office opened the next morning.

    Can you be more specific on which product you used? (Hopefully not a fogger)

    In my (non-expert) opinion, it's important to let the PCO know what you have done already so they can factor any potentially negative effects into their treatment. Also, if possible, check with them on what you should be doing to prepare for treatment.

    Hopefully some other folks will weigh in soon... but here are answers to some of the more urgent questions:

    js11cb - 16 hours ago  » 
    Is drying already dry items sufficient to kill the bugs?

    Yes. If the items are clean and dry, you can just treat them on high heat in the dryer for 30 minutes. That will kill all life-stages of bed bugs - including eggs. If you wash items first you need to dry them on high heat for 30 minutes longer than it takes for them to become completely dry.

    js11cb - 16 hours ago  » 
    I also read that spraying rubbing alcohol on things will kill bed bugs. Is this true?

    "Technically" yes, but practically NO and it's not a good idea. 91% alcohol can kill bed bugs on contact (that means you have to see them and hit them directly with it for it to work). Spraying or rubbing alcohol on things will not do anything to help you and it can be dangerous because alcohol is highly flammable.

    js11cb - 16 hours ago  » 
    ...I’m freaking out. I’m so frustrated with trying to deal with this. I go between excessively researching to crying and back again. I’ve been a little calmer since talking to the building manager, but I just found two dead bugs on the ceiling in my closet, and started freaking out again.

    Try your best to stay calm. You can get through this and you'll get through it a lot faster if you don't make critical mistakes. This is a great place to reach out for support when you are feeling anxious. It does get better, I promise.

    I hope this helps.
    Melanie

    I am NOT an expert - just a grateful bed bug survivor willing to share my experience, strength, and hope with others.
  4. js11cb

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    Posted 4 years ago
    Sat Sep 5 2015 9:18:06
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    Thank you so much for your input. We used Raid Max Home Insect Killer spray. It was the only thing at the store that had bed bugs on the label.

    And I think the PCO company is supposed to be using a fogger. They said they were going to spray around all the baseboards and furniture with some kind of pesticide and then fog the entire apartment. Is the fogging supposed to bring the bugs out of hiding? That's kind of what they said. They said we'd see more bed bug activity for a couple days after they've been here, because they'll be drawing the bugs out, and then when they cross the pesticide barrier they will die.

  5. loubugs

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    Posted 4 years ago
    Sat Sep 5 2015 10:20:20
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    js11cb - 16 hours ago »
    We used Raid on the apartment because when we found the first living bug we started freaking out and wanted to do what we could we could until the office opened the next morning.
    We used Raid Max Home Insect Killer spray. It was the only thing at the store that had bed bugs on the label.
    It's too bad you overreacted to having found bed bugs. If you do nothing, they just go about their business and you have the opportunity to see how the population has arranged itself in your home. You can see where the harborage areas are. Using an insecticide just makes them move about to places that may never have had any bed bugs harboring to begin with.
    And I think the PCO company is supposed to be using a fogger. They said they were going to spray around all the baseboards and furniture with some kind of pesticide and then fog the entire apartment. Is the fogging supposed to bring the bugs out of hiding? That's kind of what they said. They said we'd see more bed bug activity for a couple days after they've been here, because they'll be drawing the bugs out, and then when they cross the pesticide barrier they will die.
    Obviously, that PCO company is NOT the one that should be called in. Bed bugs do not come out of hiding but stay where they are. They also move about to get away from those insecticides (most likely certain pyrethroids) and will crawl into places that they had not yet been in and may never have gone into. You will see more bed bug activity after fogging, but those are the ones that crawl out into your space, not the ones that you don't see that get behind moldings and into electric outlets and switch plates, plus further into walls and voids and could certainly crawl about on wiring or pipes to gain access to other rooms, other apartments (if in an apartment situation): Places that they would most certainly not get into if proper pest management procedures were followed. Print out these posts and present it to them.

    Professional entomologist/arachnologist. I consult on all matters dealing with insects and arachnids, including those of natural history and biology to pest management and forensic entomology investigations.

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