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how do i live normally with these bugs?

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  1. Paranoid and Scared

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    Posted 4 years ago
    Tue Aug 11 2015 15:57:00
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    Can anyone please help me? I cannot stand the way I feel. These little monsters are ruining my life. I have a heat treatment scheduled for 8-18 but I living out of bags and have thtown away most of my home. I'm scared. Will things ever get better?

  2. jim danca

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    Posted 4 years ago
    Tue Aug 11 2015 17:07:08
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    The first thing to ask yourself is how long have you had a bedbug problem? Is the problem from an adjacent apartment? Can you start to reduce your clutter? Do you have a good vacuum with a hose attachment? Is the bed off the floor? In the future, there will be two kinds of people: Those that have successfully gotten rid of a bedbug problem, and the people that are going to get a bedbug problem.

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

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    Posted 4 years ago
    Tue Aug 11 2015 17:17:23
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    Paranoid and Scared,

    If it's of any comfort, I read something in an article discussing one particular company doing heat treatment. It said that of 400+ treatments, they were only called about 8 times to retreat. That doesn't translate to a universal 98% of heat treatments are effective, but the point is that many times people get their treatment and don't have any more problems.

    The two bedbug infestations I was close to both had pesticide treatments, and no more bites were observed within a few days after the first treatment.

    Even if the initial treatment doesn't solve the problem, there are more options to use against the bugs. And there is a good chance that the treatment will be effective, and after that things just get better with time.

    One thing that helps me is imagining the likely future when the problem is gone and the sense of relief that you will feel that you made it through.

  4. this2shallpass

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    Posted 4 years ago
    Tue Aug 11 2015 17:59:10
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    Without knowing much about your situation, such as how long you've been dealing with the infestation, how many rooms are affected, how many people, etc, I can only give a fairly short answer to say:

    Yes, it will get better.

    I am about 2 months into my own bedbug horror story, although considering the fact that the bedbugs were actually discovered 2 months ago, we were actually living the horror story for at least a few months prior, though unknowingly.

    Short version of story (you can read the long version in my other posts) is that we discovered the bedbugs in my teenage son's room, and went completely bonkers. We were never what you call neat freaks, and had quite a bit of clutter in all bedrooms, but son's room was the worst, and PCO believes bugs were only in his room.

    Nevertheless, the discovery of the bugs led us to do probably 10 years worth of cleaning and decluttering in about a week's time, in preparation for the heat treatment. Many tears shed by son as he watched his treasures bagged up and tossed out in the trash. I also threw away TONS of things not belonging to my son, from every room in the house. Things we really didn't need. Clothing that will never fit again. Duplicate holiday decorations. Useless kitchen tools. Books we will never reread. You name it, we hoarded it, and now we are free of all of it.

    That, I think, is the upside of the bedbug nightmare - the "letting go" of things we don't need. You said in your post that you have thrown away most of your home, and that's what it felt like to us at first, but in reality, we have not lost our home (such as to a fire, a tornado, or other dreadful disaster). We have not lost family members to accidents or illness. We have, of course, lost a significant amount of money to paying exterminators and purchasing ziploc bags, but it is not the end of the world.

    Our house is spotlessly clean now. We have all (my husband, my children and I) committed ourselves to having healthier habits from now on, with respect to putting our things away (not leaving things on the floor), buying and keeping only what is needed, etc. All beds are checked every morning. All sheets are laundered each week. All rooms are vacuumed and mopped each week. We are cautiously optimistic.

    But if you'd asked me, in the thick of it, when I was staying up until 1 in the morning. sweating, dirty, imagining that creepy crawlies were attacking me if I dared to stand still even for a moment, if you'd asked me then if I could see a light at the end of the tunnel, I'd have said no. But I do see it now, that light. And more importantly, I appreciate that light - the light which represents not paradise, but simply a return to normalcy.

  5. Nobugsonme

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    Posted 4 years ago
    Tue Aug 11 2015 23:18:22
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    Paranoid and Scared - 7 hours ago  » 
    Can anyone please help me? I cannot stand the way I feel. These little monsters are ruining my life. I have a heat treatment scheduled for 8-18 but I living out of bags and have thtown away most of my home. I'm scared. Will things ever get better?

    I am sorry you have to wait until 8/18 for treatment. However, you can eliminate this problem and it will absolutely get better.

    I am concerned, though, that what you're doing now may not all be necessary, and this might contribute to your unhappiness and stress.

    Why are you throwing so many things away. Do you have a lot of clutter?

    What did the heat treatment provider tell you to do in terms of prep for treatment? Did they tell you to bag things? What kinds of things and why?

    I started and run the site but am "not an expert."
  6. Paranoid and Scared

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    Posted 4 years ago
    Mon Aug 17 2015 10:24:01
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    Thank you all for your help. The person who said cleaning out 10 yrs of clutter in a week is about right. I have 5 bedrooms which all cluttered and borderline hoarding, not all my fault, I live with my 81 yr old mother who has issues with throwing anything away. We are not dirty people, we just keep stuff. I didn't have a problem throwing things away that were junk, I just felt I threw things away that I can use as I would rather have it gone than deal with a potential bug in it. I have not slept in my home for two weeks, I have to go back tomorrow night after the heat treatment and I am absolutely sick with worry that the treatment will not work . I have been spraying so much alcohol on my belongings, I am afraid of a spark. I can't sleep thinking that I will transport one to work when I go back, I have used so far 10 of my 20 vac days with this issue and I am not done yet.

    CAN ANYONE HELP WITH IF THE BUGS LIVE IN CARS? I HAVEN'T SEEN ANYTHING IN MY CAR AND HAVE NOT HAD TIME TO CLEAN IT OUT WITH THE MASS CLEANING OUT OF MY HOUSE, (FILLED A DUMPSTER). I HAVE A BLANKET AND BEACH TOWEL IN MY CAR ALONG WITH A BAG I HAVE TO CARRY FOR WORK WITH SPARE CLOTHES IN IT. I AM TERRIFIED TO CLEAN THE CAR OUT AFTER THE TREATMENT FEARING I WILL BRING ONE BACK IN MY HOUSE I JUST DON'T KNOW IF I WILL HAVE TIME TO DO IT TODAY. ON THE UPSIDE IT IS SUPPOSED TO BE 90 DEGREES FOR THE NEXT TWO DAYS HERE AND MY CAR SHOULD BE CLOSED UP. PLEASE HELP.

    Thank you all for your help, I honestly didn't know where to turn but it is nice to know I can talk to someone and not be judged. I don't mind the empty home, I guess just until I need something and don't have it and realize I threw it away.

    Also this process is putting me in debt, it is a nightmare.

  7. Nobugsonme

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    Posted 4 years ago
    Mon Aug 17 2015 13:01:32
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    I have been spraying so much alcohol on my belongings, I am afraid of a spark.

    Does the heat treatment provider know you've been spraying alcohol everywhere? I would stop doing that and make sure they know. Moreover, if you can't see the bed bugs when you spray, then you're not killing any, so it probably isn't even very effective.

    Bed bugs don't normally infest cars though it can happen. Since you described This as a borderline hoarding situation then yes, decluttering is probably essential and it's a good idea to declutter the car too if possible.

    Relying on ambient temperatures is not recommended but that said, leaving an empty car in the hot sun can't hurt. Remember "stuff" is insulating, so an empty car may get very hot in the sun at 90+F, but a bunch of clutter inside it would offer any bed bugs present a cooler place to harbor.

    On another note, don't take this the wrong way but please don't write in all capital letters. It's considered "shouting" on the Internet, but besides that, it's hard to read. The more people who read your posts, the better, right?

    Try to stay calm. There's only so much you can do.

  8. Paranoid and Scared

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    Posted 4 years ago
    Mon Aug 17 2015 13:49:02
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    Thank you, I apologize for the all caps, just at my wits end. This treatment cost so much, I can't imaging it not working and having to pay all over again.

  9. Nobugsonme

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    Posted 4 years ago
    Mon Aug 17 2015 14:56:11
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    Whether heat treatment is successful or not depends on many factors, including exact methods used to treat and monitor temperatures, and the skill and experience of the company. They should also have given you specific prep instructions, and following those is important.

    Many heat providers use pesticides and/or a dust as a backup in case a few bed bugs survive heat treatment.

    Ask if yours do something like this.

    Also ask what warranty is given and how they determine if treatment was a success.

  10. Paranoid and Scared

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    Posted 4 years ago
    Thu Aug 20 2015 11:01:30
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    Treatment was on Tuesday, 8-18, they said I prepped well, they had 500 BTU propane heater going throught the home. I have plaster walls and they said they would be hot the next day as well. They ran them from 9am - 2 pm. I am praying this works. They were confident it would and they told me to relax. They sprayed also once they finished with the heat and I am on a maintenance plan for 3 times a year. They told me 72 hrs after treatment would be the time to watch for straggler, and up to 7 days. Thank God have not seen anything yet and I am hoping that continues. I vacuumed up a few dead ones up the night of the treatment. They did say if I see anything after 7 days of the treatment to call immediately. I am concerned though, as I am still living out of plastic bags and I sleep in long sleeves and long pants tucked into my socks. I am guessing if they are there they will bite regardless of clothes, anyone know? I wonder if I just let go and wear shorts/short sleeves to bed and hope for the best.

    Also anyone know about suitcases? My suitcases were in a back bedroom, like a storage room off a bedroom and they were just all lined up. They didn't open them. He said the heat would go through. He said the upstairs was up to 150. I just as usual, am worried.

    Thanks anyone for your input.

  11. Nobugsonme

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    Posted 4 years ago
    Thu Aug 20 2015 12:35:39
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    I am guessing if they are there they will bite regardless of clothes, anyone know? I wonder if I just let go and wear shorts/short sleeves to bed and hope for the best.

    Waiting to see if you are bitten is not a reliable method for determining if bed bugs are still there. Skin reactions can have other causes and relying on your skin to monitor for bed bugs can make you crazy. Did they install any monitors? If not, you can do this. Passive harborage or interceptor monitors are commonly used to tell if bed bugs are gone. We have a FAQ on bed bug monitors.

    Also anyone know about suitcases? My suitcases were in a back bedroom, like a storage room off a bedroom and they were just all lined up. They didn't open them. He said the heat would go through. He said the upstairs was up to 150. I just as usual, am worried.

    Is there some reason you're worried about the suitcases specifically? Have they been up there a long time? Empty?

  12. Paranoid and Scared

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    Posted 4 years ago
    Thu Aug 20 2015 13:29:20
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    Thank you, I put climb up interceptors on the bed legs and I bought Buggybeds. Are either of these good options?

    I travel a lot with my job and I keep them on the floor in a spare room, they are currently empty. Prior to this I would leave the basics in one carry on bag because I used it several times over the last few months and it was just easier to leave the stuff in it. I just called the Pest Control man and he said they would be fine, he said the heat was like a convection oven and it was about 140-150 in that room.

    I have another question that maybe you can help with.

    This Saturday, I am traveling to NY and I will be in a car with two others for about 4 hours. This is the family we stayed with for 2 weeks while in the midst of our bb nightmare. They have no signs of bb and we were diligent to change clothes and use 91 alcohol to spray things off and clothes right in dryer but now I am afraid as I just had the $2000 treatment on Tuesday and I am afraid to go in the car with them for so many hours and feel I won't enjoy myself but I need a break and the trip has been planned for months.

    What precautions can I take to avoid me giving anything to them or I picking something back up from them. It's like a bad dream. I have to wear clothes and I would hope the car would be ok, I just worry constantly about all of this.

    Thanks

  13. Nobugsonme

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    Posted 4 years ago
    Thu Aug 20 2015 16:22:22
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    Thank you, I put climb up interceptors on the bed legs and I bought Buggybeds. Are either of these good options?

    Lots of pros have recommended ClimbUps. I don't know as much about BuggyBeds, but my impression is I don't think glue traps are that effective.

    I travel a lot with my job and I keep them on the floor in a spare room, they are currently empty. Prior to this I would leave the basics in one carry on bag because I used it several times over the last few months and it was just easier to leave the stuff in it. I just called the Pest Control man and he said they would be fine, he said the heat was like a convection oven and it was about 140-150 in that room.

    We're told that when using a Packtite, you should ideally leave the luggage empty and open. I expect the same rules would apply. An empty bag is going to heat more thoroughly than a full one, and an open one might do even better. If it was empty it was probably fine, but something full of stuff might have insulating properties.

    I have another question that maybe you can help with.

    This Saturday, I am traveling to NY and I will be in a car with two others for about 4 hours. This is the family we stayed with for 2 weeks while in the midst of our bb nightmare. They have no signs of bb and we were diligent to change clothes and use 91 alcohol to spray things off and clothes right in dryer but now I am afraid as I just had the $2000 treatment on Tuesday and I am afraid to go in the car with them for so many hours and feel I won't enjoy myself but I need a break and the trip has been planned for months.

    The break will probably help you. Look at our FAQs on how to avoid bed bugs when you travel and try and enjoy the trip.

    Note also that spraying things with alcohol doesn't really help unless you SEE bed bugs and spray them directly. And it creates a flammable situation. So please be careful!

    What precautions can I take to avoid me giving anything to them or I picking something back up from them. It's like a bad dream. I have to wear clothes and I would hope the car would be ok, I just worry constantly about all of this.

    The FAQS I linked to above should cover this. There's one about how to avoid picking bed bugs up and another about how to avoid spreading them to others.

  14. Paranoid and Scared

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    Posted 4 years ago
    Fri Aug 21 2015 7:55:31
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    Thank you nobugson me. I am going to go to NY. Thing I'm looking forward to is maybe I will get some sleep.

    So heat treatment was 8-18, no live bug sightings, but last night when I went to get into bed, into brand new white sheets, only on since Tuesday, I swear there are some fecal stains, they look blue though, I looked at them Tuesday and Wednesday and never saw anything, now Thursday night, boom, there. I have no new bites and did not see any bugs but I am completely freaked out. Ididn't get much sleep after that. Also found a dead bug this morning near my mom's recliner where she sleeps. Glad it was dead and I know they said that I might see some stragglers for up to 7-10 days after treatment but in my bed? Would they poo if they didn't eat? Did they eat and I didn't notice bites? I am going to call the Pest Control co today to see what they say. Any thoughts?

  15. BigDummy

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    Posted 4 years ago
    Fri Aug 21 2015 8:20:08
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    Fecal stains wouldn't be blue, not bed bug related.

  16. Paranoid and Scared

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    Posted 4 years ago
    Fri Aug 21 2015 15:21:33
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    Now another one on the wall today, sprayed with alcohol, it fell, I am stressed out over this. Daylight, one on the wall three days after heat treatment. I can't take much more of this. They said it would be normal to see them up to 7 days after but they would be damaged. Help me understand this, please, I want my home back.

  17. Nobugsonme

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    Posted 4 years ago
    Fri Aug 21 2015 17:06:27
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    Paranoid and Scared - 1 hour ago  » 
    Now another one on the wall today, sprayed with alcohol, it fell, I am stressed out over this. Daylight, one on the wall three days after heat treatment. I can't take much more of this. They said it would be normal to see them up to 7 days after but they would be damaged. Help me understand this, please, I want my home back.

    I am not sure what you need help in trying to understand. You're telling us the PCO claims it's normal to see them up to 7 days after treatment. That means you may see them.

    Pesticides were also applied which should help with any stragglers.

    Try to be calm. You can get through the seven day period.

  18. FormerlyBuggy

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    Sun Aug 23 2015 17:30:12
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    Nobugsonme - 1 day ago  » 
    You're telling us the PCO claims it's normal to see them up to 7 days after treatment. That means you may see them.
    Pesticides were also applied which should help with any stragglers.
    Try to be calm. You can get through the seven day period.

    I totally agree. Waiting is hard but you can get through it if you take it one day at a time.

    Try to trust that the treatment is working and remember that your PCO has agreed to come back for additional treatments if you still find live ones after 7 days.

    (Not sure what the 3X a year maintenance plan means, but I assume that means they'll do up to up to 3 additional treatments as needed. I don't know of any reason for them to come out and do a "maintenance" treatment in the absence of an active infestation, but I'm not an expert)

    I'm worried about you still using alcohol because it's highly flammable and it only works as a contact killer, which means you have to see them to hit them with it.

    There are other less risky ways to kill the stragglers you find. My personal favorite was trapping them with a piece of packaging tape, folding the tape over on itself so the bug was fully enclosed, then squashing or stopping the life out of it.

    Little embarrassed to admit that I found it morbidly satisfying... but it's a heck of a great stress reliever

    Hang in there. It does get better.
    Melanie

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

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    Posted 4 years ago
    Tue Aug 25 2015 13:02:07
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    Thanks Formerly Buggy. Found a live one today, nymph, they told me they shouldn't be able to reproduce. They are coming back to spray tomorrow.

    I don't know how long I can do this. I am really worn out. I know there isn't a quick fix and boy do I wish there was. I'm just tired of crying and drying clothes!!

  20. anxiety13

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    Posted 3 years ago
    Sat Aug 20 2016 7:57:04
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    Following this post as I have a heat treatment scheduled for 8-30 and feeling the same way.

  21. damnbb

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    Posted 3 years ago
    Sat Aug 20 2016 17:53:47
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    I know it doesn't look like it but there is a light at the end of the tunnel. You will get through this and you will definitely be stronger from it. Patience is always key in situations like these. I wish I had known that but of course being sleepless and anxiety driven doesn't help any. I'm currently 2+ months without seeing any live ones. Just dead ones and a few skin casts I may have missed when cleaning unfortunately. But no bites, no new fecal stains. No movement anywhere and the claim ups free. My neighbors are also bed bug free of activity so far too. (The infestation started in one of the bedrooms and went to the third and first floor, it was traumatic to say the least).

    You can get through this!


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