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Just found bed bugs....is this a bad plan of action?

(6 posts)
  1. so-grossed-out

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    Posted 8 years ago
    Fri Jun 3 2011 12:40:28
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    hi, this is my first post here. Bedbugs are rampant in this city and nobody seems to know about it...I never even knew they were real until a couple years ago.

    My kid asked me to sleep in her room 4 nights ago so i did that night and the night after. The next day I went to lay down in my room for a nap and i woke up to 2 adults and 2 tiny bright red ones crawling around. I figured out what they were, caught 2 of them, took a while and definitely they are bedbugs. I spent that night reading everything i could in this site.

    I've checked my mattress a bit in the visible places and it is a disgusting mess but only in 2 places. I really have been just avoiding my room since then, keeping it warm and dark and hoping they don't get hungry enough to come out of my room. My plan TODAY FOR SURE is to vaccuum the mattress really good, spray it with alcohol all over and especially on the bad areas and inside the box spring. I could throw it in the ally and mark it so nobody tries to take it or I could just keep it in the garage. It would be a major pita to wrap it all up in plastic, however, it gets really hot in the summer so the benefit is that some hot afternoon I could probably heat treat it if I wrapped it in black plastic. My garage is separate from the house and it's really nice and cool in the summer so I imagine as long as they didn't find their way back into someone's home, the heat would shock the hell out of them. I think it gets to 33 or 34 C here, 31 quite often...and even higher with the humidex. Is that option totally far-fetched? I could even leave it out there til winter...It stays below 0 for probably 6 months and gets down to -40 for a month or two here.

    I've never liked that bed so it won't be missed, and i know i don't have to throw it out, but it's uncomfortable anyway and my dog has chewed holes in it so springs stick out at my bf when he sleeps over. Plus I might be able to get a cheap futon right away.

    Just to be on the safe side, after that damn bed is out of my house I'll start cleaning everything else in the room probably just with warm soapy water, then spray with alcohol after. I have a deep freeze that's been sitting empty but i'm going to turn it on and put all my books and junk-boxes in there, then of course do my bedding and check the inside of my dresser. I've always washed blankets and clothes together often in cold water so I hope that doesn't mean they're everywhere.

    The bed is my biggest concern for today...as long as the room isn't swarming I think I can risk getting a bit bitten tonight. At least I'll get to see if they're still in there, or how much. I think I must be pretty allergic to them because I've had these bed-bug-bites all my life and they always do itch a bit.

    anyway, thanks for any advice offerred. This is a great site but it's a little too big to find all the answers asap

  2. hopeful123

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    Posted 8 years ago
    Fri Jun 3 2011 13:15:20
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    I won't comment on your plan, but I will comment on heat vs. cold to kill BB..

    I do know that people have mixed results with killing BB via cold. Heat seems to be a better option, though you are still leaving it up to chance by throwing your stuff in a plastic bag and hoping for the best.

    For killing bugs in most smaller items, you may want to invest in a PackTite.

  3. buggyinsocal

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    Posted 8 years ago
    Fri Jun 3 2011 13:19:50
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    The fastest and most cost effective way to get rid of a bed bug infestation is to do the research to hire a good, experienced pest management professional who knows how to deal with bed bugs.

    We don't suggest DIY treatment because bed bugs don't just harbor on beds. If you remove the bed, you may spread the infestation.

    Keeping the room dark will not keep the bugs from feeding. Bed bugs will feed during the day if they are hungry enough.

    My advice is not to start moving beds around.

    My advice is to do the research to find a reputable PCO who knows bed bugs in your area and have that professional come out and inspect and help you plan a multi-pronged treatment.

    If you are responsible for pest control costs, it will seem more expensive up front, but poorly treated infestations tend to spread and get more entrenched, and then you end up spending a lot more in the long run when months later you break down and hire a professional to deal with a now worse infestation.

    Treating items--esp. big items like mattresses and box springs--by storing them outside is very unlikely to be effective.

    I know that's not what you wanted to hear, but it's the most accurate information I can give you.

  4. so-grossed-out

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    Posted 8 years ago
    Fri Jun 3 2011 14:02:39
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    Oh sorry, I should've stated as well....ummm...I'm not a very well-off person and won't be able to ever afford any type of PCO. I suppose then my best option would be to let my landlord know what's going on and contact the rentalsmen to see laws there are between landlords and tenants about bedbugs. Thanks alot for the advice you 2. Anyone else out there who has 2 cents to throw out there I'd love to hear it thanks

  5. buggyinsocal

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    Posted 8 years ago
    Fri Jun 3 2011 14:29:47
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    In that case, I would contact your local tenants' rights organization to see what the local laws are. The laws concerning bed bugs are usually *city* laws, not state laws, so they vary widely. (Also, I'm not sure whether you're in the US or somewhere else, in which case I should say city or province, if you're in Canada, or something else if you're elsewhere.)

    If your landlord is responsible for payment, then I would contact your landlord AFTER you contact the local tenants' rights organization.

    If your landlord isn't responsible for payment, I would still contact local PCOs to see how much they would charge. Trust me. I do not say this lightly.

    If that's really, really, really not an option in any way, then before you do anything else (other than contact the local tenants rights organization to see who pays in your locality), then the next thing you must do is basically give yourself a crash course--as if you were earning a college degree in bed bugs--before you start trying to self treat.

    I cannot stress this enough; self-treating is very labor intensive. It's also very counterintuitive. A lot of things that you would think make sense will only make your problem worse. Self-treatment can also be dangerous to your health and the health of those around you. So you really, really have to do a lot of work to educate yourself before you attempt it. For those reasons, we generally suggest professional treatment.

    Honestly, if your landlord doesn't have to pay for treatment, before I attempted self treatment, I would look to see if there were any local non-profits that might be able to help out with the cost before I would try to self-treat. From your description, it doesn't sound like it's a small or new infestation, and those are much, much harder to get rid of.

    Again, I don't say that to stress you out or put you in a place of despair, and I get--I really do--that for some people, the few hundred dollars it may cost is just not a possibility. But I would exhaust every other option before I'd self-treat, given what I know now about bed bugs.

    I would love to see the laws changed so that renters everywhere didn't have to pay for treatment since we're more likely to see people who really don't have the resources to afford treatment as renters than as home owners or landlords. Until that time comes, people fall through the cracks, and it's not only unfair and unjust, it's bad for everyone. And I know that stressing the need for professional treatment can come across as being unaware of those realities, but a lot of people on the boards say they can't afford it, when they can--they just don't want to. I'm not suggesting that you're in that category. I'm just trying to explain why I start with professional treatment if at all possible; I can't see how much people pay for rent, utilities, food, and such from a post.

    And I don't say it lightly. My suggestions really do come from a place of wanting you to be able to get rid of the bed bugs as quickly, safely, thoroughly, and inexpensively as possible.

    Hang in there.

  6. Nobugsonme

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    Posted 8 years ago
    Fri Jun 3 2011 21:56:46
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    buggyinsocal has some good advice there.

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

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