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London Bed Bugs

(11 posts)
  1. BedBugNinja

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    Posted 2 weeks ago
    Fri Nov 15 2019 14:18:19
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    Hi all,

    First I want to say thank you so much for this website. It has been mighty helpful, although sometimes terrifying, to read everything I can possibly read on here. To me, bed bugs have always been something I would never have, a distant mysterious creature. But by god are we familiar now!

    Back in April (2019) I started to get bites. I was very suspicious of them occurring only at night. My SO tried to convince me it was only mosquito's and wasn't getting any reaction to the bites like I was. I knew in my heart it was not mosquito's but proceeded anyway with spraying bug repellent on me at night and - wow I wish I hadn't done this - bought a mosquito net.

    Long story short, bugs everywhere. All up in that net. It was sort of a bed bug jungle gym and they could feast on me with pleasure. I woke up one night and caught one on me - the first I had seen. Immediately tore the room apart with a torch. I was horrified. Some were hiding under a wire in the bedroom door frame. I found a whole nest in an old emergency button box on the wall. It was awful.

    I didn't sleep for about a month. I love sleep, so life became difficult. I would wake up at 2/3am and go on a murdering spree. I found bugs behind pictures frames. Probably killed about 30 in total before I reached out to my landlord who sent in a professional.

    Professional came, ID'd the bugs and treated the bedroom. We had two treatments and I'm not sure what products he used. After the second treatment I didn't see a bug for months. I got to a point where I could finally sleep again. I was SO happy!

    We were bug free all summer. It was glorious. But I started getting bites again around September. We immediately contacted the landlord who sent in the professionals again. We had the first treatment in mid October, and the second treatment on Thursday 7th Nov.

    I was much more relaxed about it this time. I didn't freak out and not sleep like last time. I've become somewhat of a bed bug ninja - hence the name. As SOON as one bites me, I wake up and kill it. I've recently killed about 10 bugs this way. After the first treatment this time, there was lots of activity. I found bugs about 7 nights in a row. But now, they are more infrequent. I don't get bitten every night, but last night I woke up to an itch on my ankle and I knew what that meant. I flung the cover back to find quite a small bug running away from my foot. I killed it and went back to sleep (after quickly checking the rest of the bed and sleeping SO for any more.)

    Why am I posting here? Well, this website has helped me to overcome a lot of bed bug anxiety, but I am still nervous that I might not be doing enough to tackle the problem. I think I need to start implementing some home remedies, and I feel that in the UK we don't have as many tools as elsewhere like the US. My friend in NYC recommended me a spray that solved his bed bug problem very quickly - Crossfire - but so far I haven't seen it available here (for a reasonable price at least.)

    My bedroom has floorboards with huge cracks in. I feel like the bugs can just hide in the floor and come back whenever the residuals have died down. I previously dusted with DE following instructions I found on here but that was during the first bed bug encounter and I don't remember it helping much.

    One big issue is my bed and mattress. They're very old. The bed is wooden and even the legs have cracks in that are being held together with screws and glue. It's a bed bug haven in there and I am looking at a new metal framed bed that I've wanted for years. The mattress as well is a second hand one from a previous house I lived in (over 3 years ago so I know the bugs didn't come in that - I actually suspect I brought the bugs back from a visit to Barcelona) but it has huge rips in which I suspect the bugs love. So we want to get a new mattress too. My pest control guy suggested not getting a new bed or mattress until at least 2 weeks after his last visit. But is it even worth it if I'm still seeing bugs by next Thursday?

    I am a very practical person and have followed steps on this website such as bagging clutter and clothes, washing everything on high heat and drying, I checked all clutter over a bath tub before placing back in new bags, etc. I currently have the mattress and the topper inside a bed bug cover from Amazon, and interceptors on every foot of the bed. The bed is away from the wall as are bedside tables and I'm keeping bedroom clutter to an absolute minimum. I'm keeping doors closed, keeping pets out of room, keeping guests out of house. Any bug I see I kill by squishing or previously I was spraying them with rubbing alcohol as I had some lying around (I know this is dangerous.)

    I just want to do as much as I can to get rid of them so any advice is much appreciated. Thanks in advance to anyone who replies.

  2. thissux

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    Posted 2 weeks ago
    Fri Nov 15 2019 15:19:36
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    Thanks for sharing your story. I have a question out of my own curiosity for understanding infestation and detection dynamics: How soon after you first noticed bites did you find bugs? How many bites were you getting? It sounds like you quickly discovered you had a serious infestation, so I'm curious how long you experienced bite reactions compared to how long the infestation had likely been brewing. It has always confused me how common it is for people discover a medium or worse infestation almost immediately after first noticing bites. A medium+ infestation takes time to develop, so why weren't there bite reactions sooner? Were they initially non-reactive to bites and then suddently became reactive?

    Regarding your bed, it could be pratical to replace it as soon as possible if it is particularly difficult to treat and bedbug-proof. The more you can minimize the number of potential harborage points, the more effective treatment, monitoring and inspection will be going forward. Discuss with your PCO your desire to replace it and when best to do it.

  3. BedBugsLondon

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    Posted 2 weeks ago
    Fri Nov 15 2019 15:30:27
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    I only have three absolute no-no’s
    Do not try to treat this yourself
    Do not ever move furniture from an infested room
    Do not leave room unoccupied

    The way you describe your infestation, door frames/pictures/switches makes me suspect a neighbour may have an issue. It is more normal to find bed bugs in or in the immediate area of the bed. Speak to any adjoining neighbours.
    There should be no need to wash all of your clothes. Don’t waste your energy.
    Mattress encasements do nothing other than stop bugs getting on to your mattress, that is NOT where the majority of your bugs will be. The rips in the mattress are also not a favourite harbourage. Interceptors will only stop bugs climbing up the legs of bed, they do nothing to fix an infestation. Stop wasting money.
    Floorboards with huge cracks are not an attractive harbourage for bed bugs.
    Metal framed beds are a bad idea, a plain wooden slatted bed is easy to spot signs on and easy to treat.
    Crossfire is not licensed for UK
    I suggest you take a look at some of David’s protocols, if your numbers are low then TbyPMR may be a solution for you.
    Personally I would remove all chemical residue (after your treatment period is over) , remove interceptors and install passive monitors on the bed.
    This does not have to be a nightmare but needs a logical and focused approach.
    Best wishes

    In accordance with the AUP and FTC (legal requirements) I openly disclose my vested interest in Passive Monitors as employee of the patent holder. Since 2009 they have become an integral part in how we resolve bed bug infestations.

    For those that are curious, yes it can be challenging working for David
  4. Mawiwala

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    Posted 2 weeks ago
    Fri Nov 15 2019 15:30:56
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    The PCO meant, you shouldn‘t buy a new bed until being sure there are none left. First if there still are bugs left, they just reinfest the new one. Second moving around furniture may scatter bugs on the way.

    The bigger question is, were came the second infestation from and is there a connection.

    We have here two experts from London. I guess they can give tips on what can be used in the UK. If the infestation doesn’t get better I even would ask the landlord to hire them.

  5. thissux

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    Posted 2 weeks ago
    Fri Nov 15 2019 16:41:33
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    BedBugNinja, coincidentally I just posted this interesting case yesterday that has infestation dynamics that could very well be at play in your situation. As BedBugsLondon noted, you need to investigate the possibility of a neighboring unit being the source of your continuing infestation.

    https://bedbugger.com/forum/topic/great-read-very-educational-case-on-infestation-dynamics

  6. BedBugNinja

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    Posted 2 weeks ago
    Sun Nov 17 2019 14:33:50
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    thissux
    Back in April we didn't know they were bed bug bites for a long time. I would say we probably had them for about a month before I actually saw one. I was getting bitten 1-3 times a night. Also, I have already read your posts and links but thank you for sharing.

    BedBugsLondon
    The bed takes up most of the room as it is small, so all of these things are very close to the bed. I live in a house with 1 occupied neighbouring building, and although I did initially suspect they were coming from there, I don't know if this would really be possible through the thick brick walls. Also the occupants are horrible so I have no intention of speaking to them. Could you explain why a metal bed is a bad idea? It's white metal so surely would be easy to spot signs on? My PCO said it would be much better than the crap bed I have now but said not to buy it just yet.

    Mawiwala
    I'm not too concerned about moving it around and spreading bugs as the front door is right next to the bedroom door and we are having the living room treated as a precaution as well. Our second treatment from the landlords PCO finished last week.

    I've been getting bitten still - and woken up every time and killed the bug - they seem to be much smaller than before so probably newly hatched. No bites last night though, the first time in ages. The PCO uses a residual that lasts for a few weeks. How long should I wait until I can confirm the bugs are not gone and we need another treatment? Are there any home remedies in liquid form that are good residuals?

  7. BedBugsLondon

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    Posted 2 weeks ago
    Sun Nov 17 2019 14:42:20
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    Metal framed beds give very little harbourage for bed bugs to live and breed while doing nothing to stop them getting to you. They will feed but go somewhere else to live, other pieces of furniture or skirting boards. In beds made from other materials the main harbourage would always be the bed/headboard which makes it easier to treat.
    Having read all your post I’m happy to hear that you were bite free and your sightings have diminished.
    Best Wishes

  8. thissux

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    Posted 2 weeks ago
    Sun Nov 17 2019 14:54:42
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    I live in a house with 1 occupied neighbouring building, and although I did initially suspect they were coming from there, I don't know if this would really be possible through the thick brick walls. Also the occupants are horrible so I have no intention of speaking to them.

    Sorry, it isn't clear to me - is your house stand-alone or joined with your neighbor? If joined:
    Your neighbors may be horrible, but what if they are the source issue? I refer back to the post I made about infestation dynamics and the repeating cycle of infestation when there's a local source you don't identify and address. If you have the same landlord then go through your landlord to have the PCO inspect their unit -- inspecting neighboring units is standard protocol for proper infestation assessment.

  9. thissux

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    Posted 2 weeks ago
    Sun Nov 17 2019 15:36:55
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    Your PCO should advise you on how you should proceed, but they will almost certainly advise against self-treatment - this will usually void any warranty.

    Once the PCO has finished their last round of treatment (when no more live activity is observed), it's time to implement monitoring protocol (e.g. fresh passive monitors, climb-up interceptors). Additional treatments would be warranted if live activity is observed or fresh evidence is found in monitors.

  10. Proudmommyto3rottenboys

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    Posted 2 weeks ago
    Mon Nov 18 2019 23:21:22
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    My story is somewhere deep in here.Ive been posting about my situation for a few years.We are finally bed bug free but I still come back in here to support others.Not always helpful for me cause I always freak myself out by reading everything but I just feel its important to be here for everyone else.I will just give you a quick overcap of my story.Had a light festation of bed bugs in our house.Landlord paid for pest control to come in and spray.They did that 3 different times.Didnt help at all.So then I paid for a heat treatment of $2,200.They were gone for almost a year and then back.Was told that the heat couldnt het through my new thick couch so it didn't work.So we got rid of the couch and paid for our 2nd heat treatment of $2,200.Again they were gone for about a year and then they were back.I was told this time that we had to have brought them back in on us.Ok so I paid for our 3rd heat treatment of $2,200 again.Again we were bed bug free for over a year and they were back.So Im getting really fed up by now and super broke.So I call the pest control place back and tell them whats going on.They tell me that Heat treatments do NOT take care of it.Yes they kill a lot of them but some will run and go deep in your walls and stay for a long time before coming out.So they told me they no longer do heat treatments and they only do fumigations.So I paid $4,600 to have a fumigation done on our house.So we paid over $10,000 to get rid of bed bugs.Im so glad to have it done with but it would of been nice to know that the heat treatments didnt work before I paid to have 3 done.Lots of stuff got broke in our house because of the heat too.Not including a new $1,300 dryer it broke.It was all a mess.But I also went on Amazon and bought Crossfire Spray and I use it once a month on all the beds just to make sure in case we ever come.across bed bugs again.Crossfire is the best stuff ever...So if you cant get it where u live then have someone here get it for you.I hope everything works out for you I really do.

  11. BedBugNinja

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    Posted 2 weeks ago
    Tue Nov 19 2019 7:04:37
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    BedBugsLondon
    Thank you! We are very hopeful. You're right about the bed, I think we will hold off until we are sure the buggers are gone.

    thissux
    We are adjoined. And I mean horrible as in the police are involved. It's a house split into about 6 flats, no idea who the landlord is but I've checked and it's not council owned. Recently some tenants were evicted, hoping they're the issue flats and the bugs get sorted if they do have any. Still pretty sure I brought them back from Barcelona though - the dates make sense and we stayed in a hotel for once.

    Proudmommyto3rottenboys
    Thank you for sharing, I believe your story was one of the first I read on here. Sorry that you lost all that money, I can't even imagine having that to spend in the first place! I experienced bad timing as I discovered the bugs were back just as some family members returned from the US, although not sure if Crossfire would be allowed through customs if found.

    Three nights without bites! It's getting a little harder to fall asleep now I'm definitely expecting to get bitten...


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