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How bedbugs happened to me and what else am I NOT doing?

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  1. BuggedOutBabe

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    Posted 9 years ago
    Sat Oct 2 2010 15:21:21
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    My husband and I took a wonderful trip to Europe. It was our first time there together as was meant to be the trip of all trips -honeymoon- one to remember and it was, in more way than one...
    Oh I can remember that first day like it was yesterday...ah the innocence...the morning I woke up with bites all over my arm/shoulder (our beautiful 5 star hotel that I meticulously picked out). We just chalked these (swollen, itchy as hell bumps) up to mosquitoes bites and made jokes about how much they lovvvvvve me because I'm SOOO sweet. The itchy bites kept coming. I started thinking something fishy was going on. And then I said it....out loud "Babe, maybe we picked up bedbugs from the last hotel?" "No honey, it's just mosquitoes"...Wanting to believe him, I said "Okay, you're right".
    Now it started to get cold on the last night of our trip and I wore long pants and long sleeves and woke up the next morning and MORE bites. This is when I knew. NOTE: I had about 15 large itchy bites at this time and had yet to come face to face with one of these nasty creatures. Husband - no bites.

    Once at the airport back in the states I googled what to do if you think you have bed bugs. The drive to airport to home was approx 30 minutes. Since my husband was in denial, I knew it was up to me, myself, and I to devise a plan and quick.
    1) We left luggage outside in front of the house
    2) Stripped our clothes on bodies immediately and threw in washer/dryer on hot.
    3) Next we sorted outside. Clothes that needed to washed went straight to washer/dryer hot. Bagged up stuff to go to drycleaner but let sit in hot sun for few days before taking to drycleaner
    4) Shoes in hot sun then bagged in ziplocs a few days later
    5) My luggage in the dumpster
    6) His luggage sat outside for a few days before he was able to part with it

    Some shoes thrown away, my entire toiletry bag trash- dumpster, camera bag in dryer, cameras & passport in baggies, some shoes in the dryer

    At this point I'm feeling good like I'm doing everything right - as prevention (little did I know). I was exhausted from this and the traveling and fell asleep to leave my husband watching TV. I wake up at 1:30 in morning...nervous. I see that my husband had finished the laundry...and only to put it on top of our clothes we cleaned before the trip. I lift up the laundry basket and what do I find? A HUGE bed bug - still the largest I've seen. I wake him up and now he at least believes me. Down the toilet he goes. What did I do wrong? Or was he dead? Was washer not hot enough? Did he take the clothes out too soon? Was there too much clothes in there to get really hot?

    Next day I go I spray kill bed bugs every where and DE. The house was a disaster. But good news was no bites anymore since we've been back. Bad news, READY OR NOT were moving in 6 days (just to add to the stress).

    Fast forward, were sleeping sound in our new place only 4 days in and husband gets his first bite. Next day, me, my first bite since we've been back. Immediately called Terminix. They ease my mind telling me all of the wonderful things they will do to fix this problem. So within the first two weeks of our problem/moving in we have had 2 treatments and they each last 45 minutes. 1st treatment- with residual spray, growth regulators and rapidfreeze. 2nd- more chemicals and vacuuming everywhere and treating my electrical outlets. The guy says he can almost guarantee we won't see any again but I'm not so confident because I know and you know we know a lot more about these suckers and how to kill them and it's not even my job! Sad. So far they have found 3 alive, 2 maybe dead - all ONLY in our box spring and no signs anywhere else. They think its centralized in our bed so far, but one can only hope. No blood stains or fecal marks anywhere -yet. NOW (today) - our mattresses are encased and box springs. I;m constantly washing and bagging. All of our clean clothes are kept in space bags. Gave up on trash bags. However our shoes and clothes to be drycleaned still in closet (need packtite but its backordered). DE along all baseboards etc[s]. I'm still not satisfied. Even though there have been no bites in a week (and they still found 2 "maybe" dead ones during this week) I feel like I can't depend on them to solve this problem completely and need to take matters in my own hands. I think my husband is thinking I've gone mad.

    Since we've only been there two weeks (two bites) is there a chance my neighbors have got now? I'm terrified. I feel like I've taken all precautions and doing everything I can and that I have a pretty good handle. Vapamore is on the way ( to steam the hell out of everything) and and TRYING to order a packtite but they are backordered. This has really turned our lives upside down and consumed me. Thank goodness I work from home 3 days a week because its like a full time job! So my question to you is...is there anything else I can do?????? Help.

    I'm stressed beyond belief. How did they get to my bed so fast after all the precautions I took? [s]How can they multiply that fast? How ELSE can I kill them. I'm obsessed and they need to DIE and I mean NOW. I think I'm losing my hair now and gaining weight. All I can do is read this stuff and eat. Eating is my only pleasure these days. After a wedding and honeymoon, new place, now we have thrown away and already lost close to 2k just because of this. What a way to start off a marriage and new place. No time to ever just relax and enjoy because I need to always be washing or reading ways to kill these mofos. I feel like I'm having huge long nightmare and just waiting to wake up. So once again...is there anything else I'm missing? What else can I do to kill them and prevent my neighbors from getting them. I would just die...

  2. omgbedbugs

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    Posted 9 years ago
    Sat Oct 2 2010 16:32:25
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    OMG, I can't believe after all the precautions you took when you got home that you still brought them with you. I'm not expert but I think you're doing everything you can/should be. I'm 3 wks post extermination (2x) with what my exterminator called a "mild" infestation. We got them from a brand new bed most likely exposed to them on the delivery truck which takes old bedding.
    The only thing you didn't mention is vacuuming. I vacuum the entire house everyday (sometimes twice), empty and clean it and store it outside. We threw every bed in the house out (we're all sleeping on inflatables), not to mention a million other things. I wash all the bedding everyday, including the pillows. We found a few dead one's for a few days after, but haven't seen anything since and believe me I'm on bug patrol all the time. I'm hoping for the best but preparing for the worst. I know your anxiety, my dr actually told me she thinks I should start taking anti-depressants...I don't think there's a high enough dose to calm me down. Keep up the vigilance, good luck!

  3. BBQueen

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    Posted 9 years ago
    Sat Oct 2 2010 17:43:38
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    omgbedbugs - 1 hour ago  » 
    I vacuum the entire house everyday (sometimes twice), empty and clean it and store it outside. We threw every bed in the house out (we're all sleeping on inflatables), not to mention a million other things. I wash all the bedding everyday, including the pillows.

    I have a question about the vacuuming. Is it more important to use the floorbrush or the crevice attachment? I'm finding the constant requirement for vacuuming difficult, because there is now so much stuff around - we're told to reduce clutter, but I have plastic tubs and bags everywhere!

    to BuggedOutBabe - I'm so sorry that this happened to you at what should be a special time in your life. I can't tell you how important it will be to you that you found this little corner of the Internet - from personal experience, it has helped me immensely. My friends/family are trying to be supportive, but I don't think they want to hear constantly about BB, and they have no idea how traumatic this is.

    I notice a common thread in many posts that husbands/boyfriends think women are over-obsessing about these things. Is it because they're less likely to be bitten or to react? It seems that way just from the posts I've read, but I'm no expert.

  4. BuggedOutBabe

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    Posted 9 years ago
    Sat Oct 2 2010 18:19:20
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    Omg- Isn't it amazing after all that? It just goes to show you can NEVER be tooooo careful.
    I do need to start the vacuuming. I guess I figured I would the exterminator do it first to take all the junk with him. I have my dyson that im afraid has buggys in it so its in my car until I can bomb my car or something. Maybe my car is infested? Uggggh. I bought a shopvac but saw that everything gets stuck in the filter so threw the fiter away after one use... I guess I should buy a cheap vacuum that has bags? I mean we have spent well over 30k in the past few months and can't afford to get new mattress when we need new couch and dining room table already. Just spent $700 on exterminator, $150 on mattress box spring covers, $300 on Vapamore and then just throwing away shoes, makeup, tory burch shoes (was completely out my mind?),le sportsac bag, travelpro bag, diane von furstenburg bag, gucci sunglasses (on accident) and more- we are at a huge loss. But whats another cheap vacuum? Another trip to target tomorrow haha. I am verrrry excited for the Vapamore!

    BBQueen- This site really has been SO helpful. What did people do before the internet??? And yes it seems to be a common theme that the men are laxidasical about it. Makes me think that has a lot to do with why its so bad. Other being uneducated - its The laid back attitude or just plain denial. After having him read all of this stuff he still seems to be shocked that they even found two this week after one treatment. And at first there was almost some resentment like it was my fault because they liked me and must have been in my luggage. They were even on my side of the box spring. WTH!

  5. omgbedbugs

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    Posted 9 years ago
    Sat Oct 2 2010 18:23:20
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    I have a question about the vacuuming. Is it more important to use the floorbrush or the crevice attachment? I'm finding the constant requirement for vacuuming difficult, because there is now so much stuff around - we're told to reduce clutter, but I have plastic tubs and bags everywhere!
    I notice a common thread in many posts that husbands/boyfriends think women are over-obsessing about these things. Is it because they're less likely to be bitten or to react? It seems that way just from the posts I've read, but I'm no expert.

    idk which attachment is better. i use the floor brush the most, i guess my thinking is the brushes might cut the little f'ers to bits. lol

    as for the husband/boyfriend thing - my husband thinks I'm outta my mind. He just asked me (as I was vacuuming for the 2nd time today) when we could stop vacuuming everyday. By "we" he meant me, he usually does it once a week. I told him when I can sleep at night without worrying and I don't see that happening anytime soon.

    the ONLY positive thing that's come from this is I finally lost the 10 lbs I've been trying to get rid for months....

  6. BuggedOutBabe

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    Posted 9 years ago
    Sat Oct 2 2010 18:30:43
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    OMG sooooo funny its only been 2 weeks and he asks me how long this "white stuff" will be all around the house. And "when do we get to put the clean clothes back in the dresser?"
    I love that your losing weight and I'm gaining!!!
    We call them them our "kids" because they need us to live. We walk in the door "Kids! Were home!" " We should probably get home to "feed" the kids" and talk about how excited we will be when "the "kids" are out of the house and we are empty nesters"...Gotta find some humor in it right?

  7. cacutie

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    Posted 9 years ago
    Sat Oct 2 2010 18:32:25
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    Yay for losing 10 lbs., boo that it's from so much stress, frustration and constant freaked out bb activity.

  8. BBQueen

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    Posted 9 years ago
    Sat Oct 2 2010 18:42:00
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    Gotta find some humor in it right?
    Indeed. I'm calling myself a moveable feast. That's in my good moments.


    the ONLY positive thing that's come from this is I finally lost the 10 lbs I've been trying to get rid for months....

    two positives for me if you put it that way. I cleaned out those darned closets and was ruthless. (I may regret that in the future, but I don't think so) I've lost a little weight, but I don't appreciate that it is through stress.

  9. omgbedbugs

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    Posted 9 years ago
    Sun Oct 3 2010 13:55:42
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    . I cleaned out those darned closets and was ruthless. (I may regret that in the future, but I don't think so)

  10. omgbedbugs

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    Posted 9 years ago
    Sun Oct 3 2010 14:00:06
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    i'm with you on cleaning and throwing stuff away. i've thrown out so much stuff my husband is ready to divorce me. i stored our winter clothes under the beds in totes and super large zip lock bags, i tossed em all out. no way am i buying and bringing anything new here for at least another month, so it looks like i'm gonna be freezin till the end of the month..

  11. BuggedOutBabe

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    Posted 9 years ago
    Wed Oct 13 2010 10:58:55
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    Just checking in and I got my vapamore yesterday and I LOVE IT! We haven't really had any bites for a few weeks - just some "maybes". I steamed the entire rooms, floor boards, entire headboard with nooks and crannys and the night stands. I think I found a buggy in the one drawer that I had forgot to clean out that had papers in it. Anyways, im feeling pretty good since none of them came out running for their lives during the attack.
    Also, I'm still really annoyed that my protect a bed box spring covers ripped and have holes all over it.

  12. Az Kev

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    Posted 9 years ago
    Wed Oct 13 2010 15:31:25
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    BoB - I too am sorry to hear that happened at such a horrible time; not like any time is a good one, but the timing of your situations seems incredibly poor indeed.

    Just for the record, I am a man myself - a single dad raising 2 kids - and I am taking my situation VERY seriously. Of course, I think I have gotten in touch with my feminine side more than most men from being a single dad, and I have always been a little more - what's the word... thoughtful maybe? - than most men.

    I too am ordering a steamer, and am totally excited for it to get here. It sounds like of all things, it is the best overall way to get at the little buggers wherever they may be, and in a way that is environmentally safe and all that. And I couldn't agree more with what you said about this forum : what a Godsend! Just being able to share thoughts/stories/ideas/feelings with others who can relate is SUCH good therapy for this guy, I tell you what.

  13. BuggedOutBabe

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    Posted 8 years ago
    Thu Oct 13 2011 10:42:24
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    After steaming my house with my vapamore, DE everywhere, 2 Terminix treatments - no bites A YEAR AGO

    Now I'm back to tell you they are BACK! Ugh I just don't think I have the fight in me this time around. Looking for inspiration and encouragement.

    We just bought a new mattress and threw our headboard away yesterday. My hubs got his first 3 bites last week and i got my bite yesterday which looks like nymph bite. Now the vacuuming begins again, the DE, the Bedlam, encasing the new bed, washing and washing and drying and drying. I cannot believe this is happening to me.

  14. OhNoes

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    Posted 8 years ago
    Thu Oct 13 2011 10:57:16
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    Have you seen any bugs/casings/fecal yet?

  15. AshamedandScratching

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    Posted 8 years ago
    Thu Oct 13 2011 10:58:51
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    Have you seen a bug yet?

  16. BuggedOutBabe

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    Posted 8 years ago
    Thu Oct 13 2011 11:02:34
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    Nope. I never really saw them when I had them a year ago. Only saw two bugs the first time and never any casings or fecal ever...before they were mostly in my box spring. But yeah no evidence except for the bites this time around. And I know my bed bites

    If they are hiding now, they are hiding good. Should I throw away my nightstands? Husbands been keeping all his shoes under the bed in their shoesboxes...he wont let me touch them.

  17. AshamedandScratching

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    Posted 8 years ago
    Thu Oct 13 2011 12:03:54
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    I would look for confirming signs before tossing anything or starting treatment. A good PCO will ask for confirming signs anyway.

  18. mam417

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    Posted 8 years ago
    Thu Oct 13 2011 12:21:54
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    OMG, Buggedout...I am SO sorry that this is happening to you again! I can relate, because I have also experienced a re-infestation. This to me is the MOST distressing part of the whole ordeal - you can go through Herculean efforts to get rid of them...only to get them again! And then what - MORE Herculean efforts??? I read through this whole thread, and I see that you, too, lost hair and gained weight. Since April, I'm guessing it's like 20 - 30 lbs for me - NO I am NOT kidding. I agree with your sentiment, that food seems to be the only pleasure, and the stress adds weight as well. This is why I am on an insane, OCD, crazy MISSION to try and figure out how to keep from getting infested yet again. I am researching like a mofo and there are no answers out there. I mean, you can monitor, but even if you do catch it early...same stupid ridiculously expensive amount of money you have to part with (I KNOW it just will be easier and quicker to resolve if it's an early infestation - but you don't get a discount because it's "lite" just saying...)

    As for your situation, I know that the bites are unmistakable (at least they were for me), so I don't doubt you may be correct in assuming they are back. A few things - and if you already know or have done these, I apologize for not being more helpful. If you have cardboard boxes under the bed, you may be providing the little f*&kers with excellent harborage. They LOVE cardboard boxes, or so I've read. Please explain this to your beloved (if you haven't already...). That may get him to deal with the shoes. If you can afford it, you may want to get a dog in to inspect. They are not 100%, more like 97% I have read, but it can help you determine where they are. In the alternative, or in addition as you prefer, there are PCO's who will not have you remove everything, wash bag, etc, so you may want to check them out. I don't know where you live, but in NJ (and I think maybe NY, not sure) you can check out Cooper, aka "bedbugcentral". I know their methods are controversial at the moment, at least that is what I have gathered, but I watched a video created by one of their experts, Jeff White (who frequents this forum). He explained that they do not put people through that, and why. If you search (in the box above) you can probably find it (sorry I can't figure out how to just post a link...)

    Anyway, happy one year marriage anniversary, btw... It's hard to think about the good parts of our lives when these horrific vampires rear their ugly heads, especially the second time :(, so I just wanted to acknowledge that.

    Best of luck, and please update us and let us know how you're doing.

  19. bite_n_scratch

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    Posted 8 years ago
    Sat Oct 15 2011 13:01:27
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    the large card board (archival) box under my bed for circa 13 years was the first thing to go.
    As well as some of the larger water color/gouache painted posters I'd made for my daughters school over the years. The smaller stuff is still bagged, not sure about PactTite vs. art work.

    Any bedguggers out there with experience in PactTiting unframed art work: oils, water color, gouache, or pen and ink???

    BuggedOutBabe, I agree with AshamedandScratching when it comes to throwing out possesions. Your not a HOARDER and that said I know it's PRACTICALLY IMPOSSIBLE to find an HONEST PCO to treat without the old bug-in-a-bag. I've come to believe that too many of them are spending more time priming callers over the phone with their F*ucking brat reps who lure our angst ridden souls and ipso facto our hard earned money straight to their FAT ACCOUNTS PAYABLE DEPT.

    I actually imagine that some of the reps are the teenage/live at home prodigy of these unscrupulous PCO's...........I picture them in their bedrooms or in the basement playing eight ball as they take our calls on their cell phones-- straight-up.

    Sorry about the rant...just trying to suggest that throwing out what you really want/need to keep can be avoided (until the infestation becomes more extreme}. Sounds like you are engaged in alot of self-treatment? This is NOT a judgement. It is often the only possibility for a variety of reasons. Most commonly IM FLAT BROKE AND UP AGAINST THE WALL [expletive deleted]! (sorry. that last bits a protest reference from the 60's lol.)

    I hope that you are able to connect with a bug and a really good PCO to end the TROUBLES.
    It just gets my Irish up.

    bedbugsuptown

  20. Rosae

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    Posted 8 years ago
    Sat Oct 15 2011 14:37:39
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    You should be cautious with the steamer; it produces so much heat, I don't know what it will do with the used chemicals, maybe they won't work anymore or maybe the vapors will be poisonous. So ask your PCO first.

  21. laststrawsue

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    Posted 8 years ago
    Wed Oct 19 2011 12:08:41
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    BuggedOutBabe: Just want to say that from everything I've read about these beastly creatures, cardboard boxes & shoes underneath the bed sounds like a recipe bed bugs would love! From what I've read shoes are pretty difficult to treat if they get infested, and the bugs like cardboard! If I were you I'd get them out of there ASAP & into plastic bags. I would consider divorcing a husband who insisted on keeping the perfect bed bug housing underneath the bed!!! If you read even 1% of the information available about bed bugs, you'd immediately know that if you suspect a bed bug infestation, shoes in cardboard shoe boxes under the bed is a really bad idea.


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