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My bed bugs story

(6 posts)
  1. OCDme

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    Posted 2 years ago
    Fri Jan 6 2017 10:52:46
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    I believe it started a few months ago (4 maybe 5) in my baby's room. He has a Sniglar cot set at the lowest level. So at the same time we had a ladybug infestation. I wouldn't even call it that because I like ladybugs, they are cute. So when some bugs started making their nest in the empty holes I just squished them with a couple of Q-tips. Then I noticed that they left black marks outside all the way up and down the holes, so I covered the holes with caulk and washed the marks (except I couldn't get rid of them, they'd just become less noticeable). We went about our way, but soon enough the dark spots reappeared in the tiniest places on the cot. I turned the cot upside down, killed some of the baby bugs, took the cot apart and washed everything on hot and scrubbed the cot with a hard wire brush.
    In our stupidity, we went to the supermarket and bought a Raid spray for cockroaches. Spray the baby room with the entire can of spray, left the cot as it was, threw away my baby's blanket, pillow, pictures on the walls, washed the curtain on 60. I then googled and realized how stupid it was of us to spray the whole room with Raid. That night the baby slept in our bed (the horror). This happened over Christmas time. We aired the room for 2 days but it was not enough. A few details about that room:
    -old carpet, we live in a rented 2 bedroom 1850's flat with tall ceilings (our bedroom has the kitschy cornice)
    -cracked paint on door
    - cracked paint on window frames
    - small cracks and crevices (very fine)
    So in the spur of the moment, I took some strong duct tape, taped around where the carpet meets the wall, taped the window frame, bigger cracks in the walls and caulked around sockets, cracked paint on door, wall so on. I still have to buy some tall step ladder to reach all around the window frame.
    What I did so far:
    - decluttered. Heavily. I dumped all clothes I did not wear in a long time or would never wear again. Dumped baby's old clothes, toys, books. Placed them in plastic bags, sealed them with duct them and binned them
    -hoover extensively. Poured 1 tub of baby powder on carpet. Then hooved. Hoovered walls, mattresses, doors used mostly the crevice tool. Dumped the inside straight out. I have 2 hoovers. I'll use the bag one in our bedroom and living room, and bagless one in baby's room from now on. Will dump the bag every time, and pour boiling water in the other one. The PCO said to freeze the filter for a few days.
    - glue traps (the strong ones, we caught mice on those in previous flats) under baby's cot.
    - caulked the cot (bad idea; it's started coming off).
    - poured boiling water on cot slats and where I could find bed bug excreta.
    - called PCO. Unfortunately, I had no bug for him to identify, but all the other signs: dark spots on cot, blood stain on sheet, no actual bites on baby, but a rash, nest in cot's holes. He placed 6 bed bug traps in the room (room is smallish). His credentials are good, but I was better at looking at things, I'm afraid.
    - checked our bedroom. Ziploc-ed our clothes, dumped everything from the drawers (we have only 2 ikea billy chest drawers for clothes), bagged, cleaned the insides, washed whatever clothes we might need now and labelles the unwashed&bagged them.
    The problem:
    - we wave old wooden floors with gaps. I duct taped some of the big ones
    - big spacing where the floor meets the walls. Duct taped some of those as well
    - just spacing prettu much everywhere... we'll have to buy pipe collars, use foam around other pipes...
    - cornice in our bedroom. The PCO told us mice might hide there and come down the curtains. Yikes. We no longer have curtains, just cheap blinds from IKEA.

    Now the questions:
    1) It might be a coincidence, but a few months ago we left our buggy in the staircase because we both have back problems and it became harder carrying it all the way up (plus the baby as well). The staircase leads to a shared back garden. People store stuff in the small space underneath the stair (our buggy is 10 stairs up, ouch). There is a yellow stained mattress in there. So yeah... Could it be that? I will cover myself in plastic, buy a powerful torch and inspect the mattress. Should I keep the buggy in the staircase or give it a scrub and bring it inside?
    2) I did not find signs in other rooms. Myself or partner have not had bites, no blood stains, no excreta. Mattress is 2-3 months old, bought new by our landlord. I stayed up all night at Christmas while our baby slept in his cot in our room (with glue traps under feet). I inspected him while sleeping with a torch. [b]Is it possible we have them as well. Remember, the cornice...
    3) The PCO said we still need to send him a sample, otherwise, he'll not spray. I bought these bed bug interceptors over Christmas link http://amzn.to/2iYyIsL
    They did not seem to work (had them for 2 days only, then put new glue traps again. Sorry, I don't want my baby's cot to become their nest again and bite him).
    Should I put them back?
    4) After all this, I (think, although pretty sure) have found very small dark spots on the cot again. Where I caulked and it cracked a bit. [/b] Is it possible they're still in the cot?
    5) Mattress is not encased. Should I? I live in the UK. It's pretty hard finding a good mattress protector. I could just tape it all haha.
    6) I'm planning to talk with my neighbors. I have good relations with one (ashamed). He's a decent guy, homeowner, mows the garden on his own, poor lad. I trust he'll be very hands on with this issue.

    We'd want to move, but it's not possible at the moment. The rent here is cheap, and in November we signed another 1-year lease. Breaking the lease would not be a problem, I don't really care about that, but other places are much more expensive (we'd want something with laminate flooring, lower ceilings, in better shape pretty much). So my approach over the next 2 months is:
    - buy a condenser tumble dryer so we can take it with us when we do move. Laundromat is a no no. I have a 19mo old so it's impossible. Plus, I've worked in one and they can become infested pretty quickly
    - continue to hoover daily
    - keep the place as minimalistic as I can
    - caulk walls (not wood, lesson learned), tape, check, recheck. Seal pretty much everything I can.
    - buy white sheets

    Background: We are on a tight budget. I'm a bit of an OCD. I'm currently looking for a job, my partner works. We are avoiding public libraries (strange smell in our neighborhood one, but we started going after the bugs). I'm staying up late reading articles in ScietificAmerican and the like to become more knowledgeable and avoid mistakes.
    I told my landlady about it, said she never had them. But the PCO told me stories about how landlords just lie so that they avoid paying money to fix things. But I keep my landlady updated. If we are to move, we'll leave with flat only with our clothes on, I'm afraid. Sorry about my English, I'm not a native speaker.

  2. bugged-cdn

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    Posted 2 years ago
    Fri Jan 6 2017 16:21:54
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    Try not to panic because you don't know yet if you have bed bugs. A good PCO should be able to detect an infestation. Too bad it sounds like he did a so-so inspection. What kind of "traps" did he leave behind?

    I'm not sure why you are using baby powder in your vacuuming routine but FYI it doesn't kill bed bugs (wouldn't it be great if it did though?!!).

    The stuff you bagged: did you treat it before bagging? If not, once you open those bags, and if there were any bed bugs in them, you will just be re-infesting your place.

  3. OCDme

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    Posted 2 years ago
    Sat Jan 7 2017 10:43:57
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    I'm pretty sure they are bed bugs because they leave dark spots on the wood. They smear when I wipe them. The PCO placed these

    It's too late for not panicking, I'm afraid and it's affecting my relationship with everyone in the house and I can't concentrate on anything else.

    I used baby powder because well ... it smells nice.

    I didn't wash all the clothes, but I placed all of them in bags and labeled. I'll treat them all after the dryer comes.

    I inspected my bed last night and found I small black dot on a pillow. I wiped it and it smeared. I washed the pillows at 60.

  4. Norestnosleepnopeace

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    Posted 2 years ago
    Mon Jan 9 2017 7:27:20
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    Baby powder does smell nice...

  5. BBuster

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    Posted 2 years ago
    Wed Feb 1 2017 13:10:11
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    Mattress is not encased. Should I? I live in the UK. It's pretty hard finding a good mattress protector. I could just tape it all haha

    You can find affordable encasements at Ebay Germany (ebay.de)

  6. Nobugsonme

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    Posted 2 years ago
    Thu Feb 2 2017 23:16:27
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    David Cain (bed-bugscouk here) is a London bed bug killer who argues that UK beds don't really work with encasements, and he also thinks they're the wrong idea.

    There are different approaches. You can read the pro and con arguments in our encasements FAQ.

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

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