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How much should I expect to spend to keep safe?

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  1. LBP

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    Posted 9 years ago
    Sat Nov 27 2010 22:41:22
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    So I'm pretty paranoid about bedbugs. I expect any hotel room to have them (which may cause problems in the future - I'll ask about them when the time comes), which is why the trip I took recently has caused me so much concern.

    I don't have a lot of money to burn. I *know* that the cost of prevention is almost always a lot less than the cost of treatment later, but that doesn't change the fact that I'm not the type to spend money wildly without really good reason. (I think you know what I'm trying to say here.)

    I rent right now, which may affect the comparisons (assuming, of course, the landlord doesn't find a way to demand compensation from me - is that common?).

    So how much money should I spend to keep myself safe from this menace? I'm sure it gets into at least a hundred, maybe more, which is enough to get my "cheap" instincts going, but having some sort of number would help me figure out whether it's worth it or not. Thanks.

  2. so unsettling

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    Posted 9 years ago
    Sat Nov 27 2010 22:53:22
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    $400. This would cover a packtite, to disinfect any possibly infected items after staying in a hotel, a few monitoring devices to watch for things, and some ziplock bags to live out of for a while. From what you wrote, I assume you don't have bugs yets, and are just worried about picking them up in the course of your travels. If you want to really be conservative, skip the packtite and just monitor. Wash and dry or dry clean after you return from anywhere, and vacuum your luggage and rub it everywhere with 91% alcohol. I think the packtite is a lot more reassuring and easier. Worth the money.

    The price skyrockets once you know you have them. Probably a minimum of $2000, once you know you have them and don't have a landlord to pick up the cost of treatment.

    These are just my subjective estimates, based on my experience so far.

  3. LBP

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    Posted 9 years ago
    Sat Nov 27 2010 22:59:54
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    No *proven* bugs yet. As I said, I'm assuming I could pick them up anywhere and everywhere.

    Just edited OP to mention living situation, since you reminded me that would make a difference in balancing things, at least in the personal pocketbook factor (obviously there would be others, and with the possibility of personal impact regardless).

  4. so unsettling

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    Posted 9 years ago
    Sat Nov 27 2010 23:05:52
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    Oh, and LBP, I think most landlords pay for it. This may depend on state laws. They would be awful stupid not to pay for it, since the cost of a growing infestation will hurt them financially further down the road. Most renters can't afford to do it all themselves, although they will have to pay for the extra props and equipment we inevitably have to use. As far as I know, landlords pay only for the costs of the PCO who inspects and lays down insecticide or sprays.

  5. LBP

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    Posted 9 years ago
    Sat Nov 27 2010 23:10:03
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    "Extra props and equipment"? On the PCOs' part or personal use? Like what, used under what circumstances? And how much?

  6. so unsettling

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    Posted 9 years ago
    Sat Nov 27 2010 23:42:40
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    Well, once a person knows they have bugs, the need for one prop leads to another as we learn how to deal. They are generally things that we buy in order to be proactive; you can always consult with a PCO about it, but he/she doesn't buy or provide it and may have his/her own ideas about their usefulness. A packtite is a heating unit, into which you can place clothes and many other items which are basically clean, but could still harbor bugs or eggs. It costs about $300, but saves us money in the long run because it makes all kinds of excessive washings and dryings unnecesary. Once clothes or other items are sterilized by packtiting ( or using tradition but more cumbersome dryer methods), we put them in zip lock bags to keep them protected from bugs. Many people here live out of ziplocks for extended periods of time, through treatment and even after.

    Then there are monitors--climbups, other passive monitors, or the more active Beacon monitor. All of these may eventually yield evidence that the bugs are there. People use them simply to confirm and infestation, or to monitor the success of a treatment. You can find information about how they work in many posts here by doing a search, or checking the faq. These monitors are really not very expensive.

    Encasing the mattress and box spring is somewhat controversial, since it is believed that isolating the bed may drive bugs to other areas of your home. But many people do it anyway (myself being one), because it may save the mattress and at least help you to sleep at night. Encasing both mattress and box spring may cost over $200--plus the pillow, which is around $40 I think.

    There are other, smaller defensive or investigational tools. Contact killers are used but have minimal practical value. There are kits that will test findings that look like fecal stains. But I am really getting too far down the road here--you don't have to worry about all this yet, although it doesn't hurt anyone to know some of the things that may be involved. In the meanwhile, just relax and enjoy life and keep an eye on things! Hopefully you will never have to deal with this, but it is good that you are looking into it. Wish everyone would!

  7. LBP

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    Posted 9 years ago
    Sat Nov 27 2010 23:44:54
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    Good thoughts, but as I said, I don't (think I) have any yet, but want to know what I should spend at this point, not afterward. (Though the monitoring thing is interesting - it may help me decide whether to get some BEFORE I have *any* reason to think I have any indoors...)

  8. bushbugg

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    Posted 9 years ago
    Sat Nov 27 2010 23:49:41
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    Do you travel and stay at hotels a lot? What is your situation that makes you sure youll get bed bugs?

  9. LBP

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    Posted 9 years ago
    Sun Nov 28 2010 1:11:54
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    Well, I may have to travel to somewhere (possibly including hotel) on the East Coast in '11. My dad may be spending the night in my apartment after staying for a night in a hotel.

    I'd say after reading this forum, that *any* hotel stay anywhere is enough reason for major concern, isn't it?

  10. bushbugg

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    Posted 9 years ago
    Sun Nov 28 2010 1:33:47
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    Ah, so youre just concerned by the fact that youre not living in an isolation bubble? Fair enough. Yes, you may get bedbugs. Yes you may get them anywhere. Talk to your neighbors; educate them, get them all to be thinking preparedly like yourself. see if the landlord will get climbups and passive alert moniters for the whole building. Move your bed at least an inch away from the wall on all sides. wash your clothing regularly.

    While 10% of New Yorkers (for instance) may have dealt with bedbugs, that still means 90% have not. I think you may be over reacting. But it will help you sleep at night I guess.


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