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Low-Income Infestation Help

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  1. MichaelMyersofBugs

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    Posted 6 years ago
    Mon Feb 11 2013 19:25:01
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    I live in Kentucky and I'm a single mom of 3 kids. I work but we still live on a very limited income. I own my home so my bed bug infestation isn't something I can take to a landlord. We have a pretty bad problem with bed bugs. I called several PCO's and I about had a stroke when they told me how much treatment would cost. I actually thought the guy was joking and I even laughed at him. One company said it would cost $1,500 and the other said $3,000. Plus, I was told that it would probably take more then one treatment. One guy even said that if my infestation is bad enough, and I think it is, I would have to throw my furniture out and buy more. How on earth can I possibly afford to pay $1,500 for treatment and to also buy new furniture??? It'd be cheaper to just move to another place with just the clothes off our backs. Almost like we had a fire and we had to start all over. I even tried finding PCO's that offer payment plans but couldn't find any. I also couldn't find any laws or programs in my state that help low-income families pay for treatment. Are there no other options for poor-as-church-mice people? Are we supposed to just put up with the problem of bed bugs simply because we can't afford treatment? This is EXACTLY why poor people have the reputation of being the only people to have bed bugs. I'm ashamed to say that I used to be one of those people who thought that. I wasn't always poor and unfortunately I am now. I feel hopeless, helpless, and depressed at having bed bugs and absolutely no way to pay for professional treatment but something has to be done for my kids' sake. Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

  2. cilecto

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    Posted 6 years ago
    Mon Feb 11 2013 19:43:22
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    No one should be quoting you rates, committing to work or telling you to throw out furniture (which experts advise is not helpful or necessary, certainly not at the prices you're seeing). Whether you're going with a pro or doing it yourself, please do two things: Review our FAQ, start to finish. And read this guide. These will help you get a better understanding of what BB are (and are not), how to detect them and the best ways to beat them.

    Thou shalt not be afraid for the terror by night...
    - Psalms 91:5-7

    (Not an pro)
  3. Nobugsonme

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    Posted 6 years ago
    Mon Feb 11 2013 20:58:15
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    No one can quote you a price unless they have first verified you have bed bugs and assessed the situation. Those prices might be for a full treatment. You need to find out more about what they're talking about and also they need to assess the level of infestation.

    Cilecto is correct also that you should not have to toss out furniture in most cases.

    Have you confirmed that you have a bed bug problem? Who identified the pest as bed bugs? You can post a photo for confirmation by experts here if you like. Even if a PCO has ID'd them, I'd encourage it.

    There are some PCOs who will do pro bono work in cases where people cannot afford treatment. However, I am sure the demand far outweighs the availability. It doesn't hurt to ask.

    There is a service with sliding scale fees in Toronto (Bug n' Scrub), but it's a rare thing. I doubt there's anything like that in Kentucky. If you end up needing to do treatment yourself, there are qualified pest pros who may be willing to advise you. I would use that as a last resort, truly, because it takes a lot of research and work to learn to do it effectively and safely. But the option is there if absolutely needed.

    Instructions for posting a photo: http://bedbugger.com/forum/topic/test-13

    I started and run the site but am "not an expert."
  4. cazzap06

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    Posted 6 years ago
    Mon Feb 11 2013 21:01:20
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    It is SO upsetting that those without money suffer the most .... IF I had money my bb problem would have probably been over by now too , well I would hope or imagine it would

    It all started because I needed a break and the only accomodation I could afford was a hostel in the first place , so yes you guessed it that is how I brought them home with me from the bb infested hostel and I could not sue them because they are abroad and I could not afford to

    It is a misery trying to do it on your own but I would say research , research , research .... Find out what the best ( cheap ) products are and apply them

    I even found some products in my local chemist which were really cheap as I had been buying the same stuff on Amazon for £££ more!

    Even for basic type products I have found some in supermarkets so I have the odd one delivered with my home delivery grocery shop when I can afford it & just try and keep on top of things and see what works effectively and what doesn't!!!

    So trial and error , persistance and WHENEVER you have a bit of spare cash look for the next thing you think may work or buy more of what is already working as it usually takes more than one treatment to get the hatchlings

    I am trying to find the right cocktail of cheap chemical warfare products to kill them off for good , but that is probably not the right approach anyway as overkill will probably just spread them / scatter them elsewhere but do NOT use foggers or any product which has a scattering effect at all!!!!

    My problem is they are in at least 3 rooms , infestation started in the kitchen where I left my suitcase , they found me in the living room and occupied the settee , then they found me in the bedroom which has been their local restaurant ever since but even if I get rid of them in the bedroom I still have the problem of them in the other rooms

    ( I didn't treat the other rooms at all , or move furniture to scatter or spread them - I think they just found me themselves from the first access point which was the kitchen & looks like they made for the soft furnishings in the living room & found me in my bed of course for night feeds , bless! )

    I was SOOOOOOOO grateful to be getting FREE PCO treatment for my council property but they are so ABSOLUTELY USELESS that I am pretty much in it on my own now anyway & they have not 'treated' for 2 months and are refusing to treat anyway as I have not seen any since the 1 I found in the kitchen but I am still being bitten to date xx

  5. bed-bugscouk

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    Posted 6 years ago
    Mon Feb 11 2013 21:39:31
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    Hi,

    OK, lets start with the basics. Step 1 is always going to be to confirm the infestation and establish the level of infestation.

    If its light and you are willing to put a lot of your own sweat equity into the situation you can resolve an infestation but it is hard work but also does not require the disposal of your possessions. In fact you can do a lot of good with less than $35 per room if you are willing to put in the hard work yourself.

    That will always start with reading up on the subject and the FAQ's here are the best resource for getting the basics down.

    Once you have confirmed the infestation as bedbugs by posting images on here I will help you with some of the next steps and what you can do.

    However one of the key things you need to go is remain strong for the sanity of your family and yourself and don't fall into the "misery loves company trap and waste efforts and energy making posts about how bad life is".

    There are feasible solutions out there but as a rule of thumb you need to put a few hours reading in, then a few minutes posting and then a few days getting your program up and running.

    Yes it can appear overwhelming at the start but you will get through it if you choose to fight.

    Hope that makes sense and ignites the desire to start the process off.

    David Cain
    Bed Bugs Limited

    I am happy to answer questions in public but will not reply to message sent directly or via my company / social media. I am here to help everyone and not just one case at a time.

    In accordance with the AUP and FTC I openly disclose my vested interest in Passive Monitors as the inventor and patent holder. Since 2009 they have become an integral part in how we resolve bed bug infestations. I also have a professional relationship with PackTite in that they distribute my product under their own branding. I do not however receive any financial remuneration for any comments I make about pro
  6. theyareoutthere

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    Posted 6 years ago
    Mon Feb 11 2013 22:03:14
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    Hope it's ok but I'm going to link to someone who took advice from David Cain, and talks about how her attitude changed:

    http://bedbugger.com/forum/topic/bed-bug-free-for-5-months

    Yes, she had the funds for a major company and for a packtite, but that didn't work at first. Several PCOs here, who donate their time, have helped people come up with solutions. If someone is quoting $1,500-$3,000 without coming out, that is of concern.

    They
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    = TAOT
  7. RWhit

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    Posted 6 years ago
    Tue Feb 12 2013 9:13:11
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    Theyareoutthere - Thank you for linking my post, I hope it helps someone. It's the main reason I posted it

    MichaelMyersofbedbugs - First off, sweet name! Second off, I hope you take Davids advice and live up to that name. There are some companies that will come out and do a home inspection for free in hopes to gain your business. I'm not sure, but if it were me I would most definitely want a visual confirmation. As sad as it is there are a lot of people out there taking advantage of the bed bug epidemic to make a few extra bucks. I did hire a large pest control company and I purchased a packtite, however the only useful thing I actually purchased was the packtite and passive monitors. I could have saved myself a few thousand dollars had I done research first. I had myself so worked up over bed bugs I lost even more money by shutting my home based business down, what's more is I lost precious time with my children because my entire life was bed bugs. There are PCO's on here that give awesome advice, you just have to really listen and really do the work. I hope this helps you, keep your chin up.

  8. MichaelMyersofBugs

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    Posted 6 years ago
    Tue Feb 12 2013 15:00:22
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    Thanks all for the advice. Thanks RWhit for the compliment. I chose MichaelMyersofBugs name because, because just as the name says, the devil bugs don't die!

  9. MichaelMyersofBugs

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    Posted 6 years ago
    Tue Feb 12 2013 15:15:00
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    Oops... I hit enter too soon. I know for sure I have bed bugs because they look exactly like the pictures I've seen but I went ahead and took a picture of a bug anyway. I almost wish I didn't. I found that my problem is SERIOUSLY worse then what I thought. I was looking for a bug to take a picture of and I happened to look at the top of our living room wall behind our couch and found a massive nest or something. I took a picture of that as well. If I wasn't depressed before about not being able to afford treatment I most certainly am now. I feel like just sitting down and cry but I know that won't help my situation. I definitely feel more despair now then I did yesterday. I hope I post the pictures correctly.

    Bugs1

    Bugs2

  10. BugsInTO

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    Posted 6 years ago
    Tue Feb 12 2013 20:56:44
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    BUMP
    I see your picture of the harborage. I hope someone will post some comments for you soon.

  11. bed-bugscouk

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    Posted 6 years ago
    Wed Feb 13 2013 0:19:30
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    Hi,

    Yes sorry its bedbugs.

    Sorry its also been there for sometime.

    The good news is that every bedbug you put in a jar or stick down on tape cant produce more, cant bite you again and is a step closer to the goal of being bedbug free.

    From the second image its been there for at least a few months.

    If you feel like crying do so, get it out of your systems, expend that stress and reset your determination to tackle this head on. As hard as it sounds emotion and upset will not help you, it gets in the way of you taking action and taking control.

    Have a read of the following documents and get ready to work out your action plan:

    http://www.bed-bugs.co.uk/bedbugslimitedadvancededucational.html

    http://www.bed-bugs.co.uk/tbypmr.pdf

    Combined with the FAQ's here.

    Hope it starts to help, remember each bedbug you remove brings you one step closer.

    David

  12. Overcast

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    Posted 6 years ago
    Wed Feb 13 2013 12:26:33
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    We recently found a couple of these nasty things as well. You may want to consider just keeping with Diatomaceous earth - and keep it dry. If you haven't tried that - it's a power and I suspect that it causes microscopic holes in their exoskeleton (like boric acid for roaches) - since the bugs need an intact exoskeleton to hold in water - they dehydrate to death. That's how boric acid kills roaches in any event.

    I worry that pesticides - since they cannot penetrate the walls, etc - are only going to scatter them and drive them deeper even more. I have a feeling, like a roach these things are well aware that these sprays are clearly 'no good' for them. I suspect they don't notice the toxicity of the Diatomaceous earth as much, if at all.

    So for starters, we got a steamer from Wal-Mart, already had a shop vac (I do keep a few cans of spray, to spray the inside of the shop vac after I use it to clean - no sense in letting them crawl back out), and we're using the Diatomaceous earth liberally. We cleaned out a couple squeeze bottles (ketchup/mustard) - used rubber gloves and a breather as well - and use the squeeze bottles to apply the powder behind baseboards and such. Most baseboards can be easily pried out just a bit if there's a gap behind them for good penetration. Also a small funnel would be a plus to have for other hard to reach spots.

    As for the couch and other hard to get items - get a solid funnel from the auto parts store with a long neck, get a good breathing filter from the hardware store - fill the funnel and move it around in the cracks - we just loaded the cracks in the couch up with this stuff. So for maybe $15.00 for the Earth, $5.00 for a funnel, $10 for the masks, $5 for the rubber gloves; you can dust under 50 bucks.

    As luck would have it, we don't have any in our bedroom just yet (we stripped it down to the bed frame totally and inspected it with a flashlight inch by inch). We're lucky enough that we have a metal frame and the box springs have been sealed in plastic since we bought it.

    I think my sister-in-law left us a little 'gift' the last time she needed a place to stay (she slept on the couch), but I'm not in blame mode - I'm in kill bug mode. What annoys me is that she likely lied about the whole 'situation' as to why she needed to stay with us - and now, I think it was Bed Bugs...

    I've dealt with other pests to the extreme - as I've lived in the housing projects and many crappy apartments. A *CONSTANT* offense is the best defense against bugs - every single day clean, hunt and kill - put down more of the Diatomaceous earth... Just keep it up big time. Keep in mind, even the food grade Diatomaceous earth is still really a 'poison' - treat is as such. Keep children and pets in mind at all times - we vacuum up the excess that inevitably lands on areas we don't want it in, of course. Keep in mind, it may scatter that dust in the air - so use a good vacuum, or keep on the breather - heck - do both.

    Since you want to keep risk to a minimum and are on a tight budget - persistence is your best asset now.

    No comment on my next step - I'll just get flamed for it.

  13. Koebner

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    Posted 6 years ago
    Wed Feb 13 2013 19:17:38
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    Michael Myers - It's important that treatment is appropriate to the individual case & in your case, I suspect DE alone isn't going to cut it. Stick with David. His experience & knowledge of BBs is vast & he has helped many of us here to return to a life free of BBs.

    For now, the most importat thing you can do is try to keep the worry in check, so that you can spend time reading this site's FAQs; http://bedbugger.com/faqs/

    The better you understand the problem & what you're asked to do, the better your chances of success.

    Overcast - I'm a bit concerned that you may have been misinformed about the risks of DE - for example, you're concerned about your kids eating it but oral ingestion is less of a risk than inhalation. It really, really shouldn't be used anywhere where it might be disturbed, so treating furniture with it isn't best foot forward.

    As a stand-alone treatment it has disadvantages. Even if a BB receives an optimal dose, it takes time for the wretch to die. Time during which it can bite & potentially breed.

    You also need a very, very light hand when applying DE. No more than the merest film.

    Less is more & delivery by funnel may be laying it rather too thick. BBs aren't rational creatures but if it's plainly visible to us, they can see DE too, & given the choice between walking over a visibly loose surface or a solid one, you can see how BBs might wind up avoiding DE if overapplied.

    Please do have a look at this on DE; http://bedbugger.com/2007/03/30/faqde/

  14. Overcast

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    Posted 6 years ago
    Thu Feb 14 2013 14:13:58
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    Koebner - 18 hours ago  » 
    Michael Myers - It's important that treatment is appropriate to the individual case & in your case, I suspect DE alone isn't going to cut it. Stick with David. His experience & knowledge of BBs is vast & he has helped many of us here to return to a life free of BBs.
    For now, the most importat thing you can do is try to keep the worry in check, so that you can spend time reading this site's FAQs; http://bedbugger.com/faqs/
    The better you understand the problem & what you're asked to do, the better your chances of success.
    Overcast - I'm a bit concerned that you may have been misinformed about the risks of DE - for example, you're concerned about your kids eating it but oral ingestion is less of a risk than inhalation. It really, really shouldn't be used anywhere where it might be disturbed, so treating furniture with it isn't best foot forward.
    As a stand-alone treatment it has disadvantages. Even if a BB receives an optimal dose, it takes time for the wretch to die. Time during which it can bite & potentially breed.
    You also need a very, very light hand when applying DE. No more than the merest film.
    Less is more & delivery by funnel may be laying it rather too thick. BBs aren't rational creatures but if it's plainly visible to us, they can see DE too, & given the choice between walking over a visibly loose surface or a solid one, you can see how BBs might wind up avoiding DE if overapplied.
    Please do have a look at this on DE; http://bedbugger.com/2007/03/30/faqde/

    Thanks for the hints - in the case of the couch, specifically - it's down in the cracks enough so I don't think that'll be an issue - that was why I used the funnel - to get it down in there deep, rather than just on the surface.

    We let it sit for a bit, then vacuum up the excess to help prevent the dust from getting airborne.

    Luckily for me, my kids are teenagers or older; so it's not much of an issue with them. My dog is the main concern with it; which is why we are a bit cautious. I find behind the couch, under the headboard, deep in the openings in the couch, behind the bookcases are good spots for it.

    I did have a thought however - these things are attracted to CO2; which is why these 'bait' monitors work - couldn't you find an inconspicuous spot, surround the bait monitor with DE and then let them come dine?

    It's doubtful that they can find anyway around it in or under the couch; I know I need to be cautious - but that's the main place I've found them. So we are just outright avoiding the couch for now.

    This weekend, I planned on prying out my baseboards and putting DE in the wall at the base and then re-attaching the baseboards and cleaning up and residual on the floor. Since I'm going to be painting soon anyway, that won't matter at all. Even if I wasn't, I think I'd still get it behind those baseboards.

    It's time consuming for sure; but it needed to be done. So far I cannot find *any* evidence of them, other than finding a couple of adult bugs. I wish I could find where they are 'holding up' - they don't seem to make a real obvious mess; but I'm hoping in my case it's just because we caught it early.

    With the crazy numbers of infestations, we've been on guard in general.

  15. arianacassie

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    Posted 6 years ago
    Thu Feb 14 2013 14:52:52
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    I like you, did not have the money for a PCO. I have resorted to absorbing every bit of advice on here about doing it yourself. I have only thrown out my sons mattress, a chair in his room and bunkbed . (wanted to pitch the bed anyway so it was a good excuse ) I had not been on here so i panicked. Wish i had read this before starting my war. But water under the bridge. My sons room was infested everywhere. I did a lot of decluttering , then spent vacummed like crazy and used my H20 mop and shark steamer to go mental on the house. It has been since September. The week i got sick and was a little lazy on the cleaning we had a bite. I have to say I do see a light at the end of the tunnel. The work and elbow grease has paid off!!!! you can win with diligence on your own. Dont give up hope and dont let them get the best of you. it may take a bit but you can do it. I have three kids, 15 , 13 and 7 . They all think im insane because if these bugs but i dont care because it has been weeks and i havent seen one or been bitten!!! i will not say im clear until the spring but i am winning and you can too ! keep your head up and a smile on and you will win!!!! The first steps are the hardest......

  16. Overcast

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    Posted 6 years ago
    Tue Feb 19 2013 11:45:05
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    keep your head up and a smile on and you will win!!!! The first steps are the hardest......

    Yep - this weekend; we encased all the mattresses and the couch in plastic. Here's what I did - the encasements are a bit pricey; so I went to Lowes - got about 5 rolls of good duct tape, a few tubes of fast drying silicon, two large rolls of contractor's construction grade plastic (10' x 100' each), and about 6 plastic painting drop cloths.

    We then wrapped the mattresses like presents basically, using the silicon on the folds and applying liberal amounts of duct tape. Hardly notice it with the sheets on the bed, of course; I can't say that much for the couch, lol.

    The 'key' is - when they start holding air - you know they are sealed good. We had to use a thumbtack to poke a small hole in the plastic to let the air out, then taped over the small hole good. For the couch - I put a good layer of duct tape under it's legs so that it doesn't easily get ripped. If any small holes do surface; we'll just duct tape over those as well.

    Oh, I should mention - Tractor Supply has 20lb bags of Food Grade DE; put a good amount of that inside of the plastic as well, then seal it.

    Next weekend is the baseboards - and here's my plan on those... I'm going to pull them from the wall - put DE down in the crack between the wall and the floor - then seal that with duct tape (half the width on the floor, half the width up the wall - then I'll silicon any problem areas and reattach the baseboards. I need to paint anyway, so I might just go ahead and primer them to seal them up real good after.

    DE here, DE there - DE everywhere. Food grade, of course.

    Only seen one in our entire weekend, so no bites on any humans - but I suspect they've been getting the dog; since his normal skin condition is worse than usual. Someone on other forum mentioned that "Dawn" dish-soap also kills them on contact (as it does fleas) - so we washed the dog and cat in dawn water; rinsing completely. It may or may not, but I know it kills fleas and is safe on Animals.

    The one we did find, oddly, was on the tile floor in the bathroom, but it was long after we washed the animals. Not sure how it made it in there, no real place to hide - unless it was from my clothes after showering; I was all over the furniture all day.

    I figure - a PCO, heat treating, pesticides, - all that jazz is a 'one time' kill - we're prepping for long term killing power and control. With DE behind the baseboards; we'll not only kill what's here now - but we will have proactive killing power for any possible recurrence in the future.


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