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long time infestation and being kicked out

(5 posts)
  1. buggies

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    Posted 5 months ago
    Fri Apr 5 2019 6:07:50
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    Hi all,
    (I think I posted in the wrong category on accident so I'm trying again, sorry for the double post)
    So this is a bit of a long story. I found out I had bed bugs about a year ago. In my country bed bugs aren't very common, so before I got them I never actually heard of them. I informed my landlord and she told me it's my responsibility.
    I live on the top floor of a house that's been split into appartments, on the floor below me are some student rooms with a shared bathroom and kitchen. I figured since no one else complained I was the only one that had them. With some financial aid from my parents we treated my bedroom and living room with steam and pesticides. The first time didn't take so we had them come back a second time. The second time we seemed to have gotten rid of them. I was relieved and unpacked all my clothes that had been bagged up. I told my landlord we got rid of them.
    We continued to be bug free for about 5 months, until November later that year. It started with a small bug walking over my pillow, I recognised it instantly: it was a baby bed bug. Now at that time the toilet downstairs was being renovated and one of the tenants moved out. And since we had had no bugs for 5 moths, I suspected they came from downstairs. I once again informed my landlord and had my level treated again. It didn't take, but what's more, after coming home I immediately found about five bugs (alive). I talked to my landlord again and said they had to be downstairs as well. She was reluctant because no one had complained, but had an inspector come anyway.
    Upon the inspector visiting, one of the downstairs tenants said he had actually had bed bugs since the summer, was aware of it, and had simply used some bug spray on them. The company adviced a heat treatment, and so the entire house was heated while I stayed with my parents for the holidays. This whole treatment cost over 2000 euros, and since my landlord believed I introduced the bugs she wanted me to pay half. My carpet was also removed, since it was very old and would be replaced with hard flooring.
    We were all instructed to report any bed bugs after that. Unfortunately there were more bed bugs. What's more, it turned out the apartment below our house, which was linked, had also had bed bugs. The girl living there had been travelling since the summer, but when her brother stayed there in early fall he'd gotten a lot of bites. After this my landlord, fortunately, admitted that the bugs could have come from anywhere and told us we don't have to pay anymore.
    Meanwhile, my apartment had no carpet (you couldn't walk around without shoes), all my clothes were in bags and sealed boxes and of course: there were still bugs.
    The company adviced we treated repeatedly with pesticides. The first treatement happened about a month after the heat treatment, the next one was scheduled for 6 weeks after that. I'd done a lot of research by then and knew that 3 weeks was a better window (because that was when a lot of the new eggs would be hatching), I convinced by landlord to do 3 weeks instead, but the treatment after that was going to be spaced by 6 weeks.
    Fast forward a couple months: none of the treatments were succesful. I see bed bugs everywhere, bed room, living room, even the kitchen. The company told us the infestation was severe and the house was difficult to treat because it's old and because of the way it's built. They said the only remaining option was to leave it to be empty for a couple months, tear all the walls down and renovate it.
    Thus, I have been asked to leave my appartment before the first of June, and leave all the rooms completely empty. They also advised me to take as little as possible, basically telling me to throw away most if not all my belongings. However they are not at all willing to help with this.
    I'm moving back in with my parents, and they also would like me to take as little as possible, preferably nothing. Some of my most valuable stuff will be sealed in a box and stored or treated. I'm probably buying mostly new clothing, and maybe taking one bag of clothes from my old place that we will wash and dry on high heat. I'm also taking my phone. Everything else will probably be left behind.
    TL;DR: I found a bed bug in my appartment last summer and after multiple unsuccesful treatments, my landlord decided the only option was to have everyone move out. I'm moving in with my parents and probably taking none of my stuff, so everything will be thrown out.
    Also to anyone out there dealing with bed bugs: this is an exception. I definitely believe it's possible to get rid of bed bugs, and you probably won't have to throw out all your stuff.
    Now my questions:
    - Any advice for moving? Limiting the risk of taking bugs?
    - Any advice for dealing with losing all/most your stuff?
    - Anyone ever experience something like this? How did you cope?
    - Kind words are welcome too, I'm kind of going through a hard time with this.

  2. SalsaVince

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    Posted 5 months ago
    Fri Apr 5 2019 9:51:30
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    Buggies,
    Sorry you are stuck in such a bad situation that is out of your control. Sounds like you are suffering the consequences of a lack of education on this pest from the property owner and even the so called professionals that have been hired. If they would have inspected all units in the building from the beginning, they would have saved everyone a lot of grief as well as time and money. I'm really concerned by their suggestion of how they're going to solve the problem now.

    buggies - 3 hours ago  » 
    They said the only remaining option was to leave it to be empty for a couple months, tear all the walls down and renovate it.

    Why would renovating the property help with a bed bug infestation? And leaving it empty for a couple a months will accomplish nothing. Sounds like it's a good thing you are getting out of there because this problem is going to drag out for a long time with the approach that they're taking.
    So focusing on your options now, you don't have to throw away all of your possessions to make this move but you do have to take a lot of precautions. All clothes and bedding are treatable. You just have to throw them in the dryer on high heat for about a half hour or longer for thicker and heavier loads. Keep in mind that you don't have to wash clean clothes. Drying is all that's needed.
    Normally, furniture and other stuff besides beds, couches, and fabric chairs have a low risk of containing bugs but in your case, if you really found them in the kitchen and other unusual places, some of the ineffective treatments that were used may have spread the bugs everywhere so you'll have to take precautions with even these. If you have something that's worth keeping, you could treat it with alcohol or a detergent mixed with water or steam it. If you want to try to starve them to death, you'd have to put your stuff in storage for at least a year or more.
    After you move to your parents, I would recommend monitoring for several months with passive monitors or interceptors just in case you did bring a few with you. That way you can catch it early and not make the same mistakes your landlord made. Good luck on the move and leaving behind this nightmare.

    "If you know the enemy and know yourself, you need not fear the result of a hundred battles."
    Not an expert. Just a survivor who's still learning.
    Vince
  3. buggies

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    Posted 5 months ago
    Fri Apr 5 2019 14:49:26
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    Thank you for your reply My parents are very scared about what happened to this house, and so they want to take no risks whatsoever, so they don't want me to take anything at all (not even clothes which can be treated, they're just too worried). I do understand them, and they are doing a lot for me so I'm fine with their decision.
    And yeah... the professionals are indeed not that great, I at times felt like I knew more than them, but any kind of questions or comments from my side were usually ignored or made fun of (even got laughed at by one of them when I said "I don't think putting my bedding on the balcony to air will get rid of bed bugs" because appartely I was being dumb idk).
    I do plan to leave the stuff I'm taking in storage for maybe as long as two years, it's mostly memorabilia so not things I'm going to need any time soon. We're just talking about one box.
    I think the point of the renovating is that the bugs are hiding between the walls (there are a lot of "fake walls" that are just thin boards in front of the actual wall", they'll tear those down and renew them. To be fair, the house could use renovation regardless of bed bugs.
    The monitors are a good idea. I think with all the precautions we're taking there's zero chance we'll take any bugs, but it might ease my parent's mind. What we plan to do now is: I'll take a shower, then my dad will bring a set of brand new clothes and shoes, I'll change into the new clothes and we will leave, taking nothing whatsoever. (Except the box, which has only sealed bags inside, and the box itself has a seal as well).

  4. mp7ski

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    Posted 5 months ago
    Mon Apr 15 2019 6:07:30
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    I spent over $10000 treating and moving... And ended up taking them with me, if I could do it over... I would have walked out of that house naked.

    I am not an expert, any advice I give should be considered as amateur advice and not taken as fact. I mean well with all my posts and try to give back. If you plan on using any of my advice, I suggest doing research into said advice to make sure it is in your best interest.
    Study on Thermal Death Points(pages 18-29 of pdf) : http://www.propanecouncil.org/uploadedFiles/Council/Research_and_Development/REP_12221%20Efficacy%20of%20Heat%20on%20Bed%20Bugs.pdf
    Study on Cimexa: http://www.pctonline.com/article/pct0814-silica-gel-research-bed-bugs/
  5. Iwantmylifeback

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    Posted 5 months ago
    Mon Apr 15 2019 17:27:52
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    mp7ski !May I ask how did you finally got rid of those bloody monsters after 2 years of fighting them ?Please share your experience?
    Thank you


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