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My family lied to me and others, I can't believe it!

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  1. EmberWhimsy

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    Posted 11 years ago
    Sat Dec 29 2007 3:17:47
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    I want to start off by saying that I know my situation is definitely not as bad as most on here -- however, it's still very frustrating so I wanted to share it.

    Hi, I'm new, and I recently discovered what Bed Bugs are.... much to my dismay... >.>

    It started a few weeks ago when I was speaking to my mother on the phone. I was going to visit my brother and father for the holidays, at their new place, for a week during Christmas time. My mother mentioned: Did they get rid of that bed bug problem yet? And I was like Huh, what problem? She said: They must have if they didn't mention it to you, don't worry about it. They've had exterminators in there three times.

    Anyway, so I promptly forgot about it.

    Until I got there.

    I was escorted into the guest room and was exhausted, so tried to get some sleep. It was an unfamiliar bed and I was finding it difficult to sleep.... and even moreso when I felt a bug crawling along the hand that I had resting over the comforter...I recoiled and then promptly threw it off the bed, figuring it was just a stray beetle or something. Though the horrifying thought of what my mother had mentioned did cross my mind...

    Anyway, I fell asleep after thoroughly checking the blankets for more bugs. Founds none, so relaxed and slept.

    In the morning, I could see better because of the light coming in the window. My boyfriend woke up as well. We lifted up the sheets and what we saw made us both recoil in disgust. BUGS EVERYWHERE. Little ones, big ones... ugh, we got off that bed and I rushed over to ask my brother WHAT THE HECK was going on.

    He tried to play it off: They were gone, we haven't seen any for a week! Don't worry about it, it was probably just because the room was too hot and they like heat, etc.

    Well, I didn't buy it. After me and my boyfriend researched for hours on the pests, including in this forum, we realized that they must be completely in denial and they definitely lied to us. So we ended up on the uninfested couches downstairs for the entire week. I DID see two when I was resting on the couch initially, and the first one my father tried to play it off like it was just an ant... but no, it was a bed bug, another lie of denial.... After that though, I saw and felt none so I was fine on the couch for the rest of the week, thank god.

    The real problem was and is our stuff and our luggage, which we had to leave up in the most bed bug infested room in the house. So yes, of course they were going to be coming back home with us, no matter what we did.... sigh....the worst part was all our electronics. I've read everything up on that and there's no sure way to treat them, and they were exposed that first night, on the nightstand and on the floor too.

    Also, a few days before Christmas, my father had a bunch of people come in for a Christmas Party. Without telling them.... anyone of them could have brought BB's home with them. Overall, I'm really disgusted by my father's behavior and I'm still very mad at him, he even told me not to tell my mother because he didn't want her spreading it around. Well, it's his problem -- not other people's and he really didn't seem to get how easily they spread! He acted like my luggage was safe too! Yeah right!

    Anyway, me and my boyfriend have been beyond exhausted with the measures we have taken to keep them out of our apartment. I'm pretty satisfied that they won't be in here. We've found them on our luggage, some dead, some alive, but we found a laundromat that has HUGE dryers, I'm quite impressed really! So they're safe... and we've went through all our clothes, our stuff, everything, and washed it, dried it when possible, and put all our electronics in ziploc bags until we can figure out what to do with them. We also left everything outside a safe distance from our place, including the clothes we wore home.... yup, we had to get naked outside, that was fun =P

    So that's my story. I just needed to rant!

  2. Nobugsonme

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    Posted 11 years ago
    Sat Dec 29 2007 9:34:36
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    Ember,

    This is not to defend your family's behavior, but it is important to realize that most people who get bed bugs are really not educated about them. Many PCOs (from what we hear) tell their customers that bed bugs are difficult to spread. Or that one (two, three, whatever) treatments will do it.

    Your relatives' behavior was based on bad information, and you are lucky if you managed to get home without them.

    Unfortunately, they will now have to take them seriously. It is possible their guest room remained infested because it was not treated properly or because no one slept there during treatment.

    If they had three treatments and still have that many bed bugs, they may have a serious case, or have received poor or incorrect treatment. They also may not be fully cooperating with treatment (which requires, as you know, a lot of prep on the customer's end). It can also take more than three treatments.

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

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    Posted 11 years ago
    Sat Dec 29 2007 12:32:27
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    Just a comments on elctronics: They are treatable if you are careful.

  4. parakeets

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    Posted 11 years ago
    Sat Dec 29 2007 13:11:43
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    Thanks for telling your story. I think this behavior exhibited by your family is far more widespread and common than most people think. It is not so different from landlords not telling their new tenants moving in that the building has bedbugs. It is not so different from tenants with bedbugs simply moving to another building, hoping they won't have bedbugs anymore if they are in a new building. It is not so different from a hotel continuing to rent out rooms where guests have reported bedbug bites. In your case, the personal factor really hurts--that they are your family and they did this to you.

  5. EmberWhimsy

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    Posted 11 years ago
    Sat Dec 29 2007 13:29:45
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    Nobugsonme - I know that is very possible, yes, but they have computers with internet too, why didn't they do what we did and look it up like that? Apparently they've been suffering since March, and we had one encounter with them and found out ten times more than they ever did, and now it's us giving them advice... which seems silly, but what can you do. We even had a visit from their PCO's while we were there (I left that out) and I heard what they had to say, but honestly, once I read even one conflicting thing from others online I figured they had no clue about half the stuff some others had found out about BB's. They said they don't like electronics, but I found out they can in some cases, they said they can't drop from the ceiling, I found out they can, etc. They did mention that they could travel on luggage, however =P According to the PCO they've had 5 treatments, and from what my brother told me, they did do all the right things, so yeah, it must be a really bad case. They do have gaps at the edges of all their walls at the bottom, and they're going to get that caulked soon. Maybe that's the source of their problems.

    BakedBedBugs- Well, I read up on that and didn't find anything solid. They're in ziplocs and we'd like to be able to use them, it includes a laptop, two nintendo DS' and an iPodNano. I also have a brand new Toaster and Iron that they gifted us... but the boxes had gaps, so I can't trust those either. What can we do to make sure there is none in there, or eggs in any of this stuff?

    parakeets- Yes, I realize it's akin to what landlords and hotel owners do, but that's business, not someone you care about, you know?

  6. EmberWhimsy

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    Posted 11 years ago
    Sat Dec 29 2007 13:34:44
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    Nobugsonme- My boyfriend wanted me to add that they did seem to have pretty extensive knowledge on them, including that they love heat and carbon dioxide, and that they hoped that they were just gone for the week we were there. Later they admitted they didn't tell us because they were afraid we wouldn't come... but that was our choice, not theirs. They even admitted they vaccuumed and changed the sheets right before we got there. I really wish they could have thought about what they'd feel if the situation was reversed.

    BakedBedBugs- Oh yeah, and a GPS and a PDA phone. All expensive.

  7. Nobugsonme

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    Posted 11 years ago
    Sat Dec 29 2007 13:40:58
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    It's completely odious, Ember. Given the additional details you mention, clearly they are responsible and should have done differently. It is irresponsible to expose others without their consent. I'd even go further and say that --since many people don't know much about bed bugs and would consent, thinking it's no big deal--the onus is on the person with bed bugs to do everything possible to prevent someone's exposure, consent or not.

    I don't excuse businesses or family members. Keets is right that this is probably very common (though the idealist in me hopes ignorance is more common than blatant disregard, the effect is the same).

  8. (deleted)

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    Posted 11 years ago
    Sat Dec 29 2007 13:54:48
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    You and your father and brother will get over this. Perhaps seeing the distress and worry this has caused you will jolt them out of their denial.

    My guess is that they're not allergic to the bites, is that correct? In my experience, people who are not allergic are more likely (yes, I am aware this is not universally true) to give in to denial (denial is a wicked temptress) and thus not take proper measures. Nothing like itchy bites from hell to get you moving, you know what I mean?

    Are you allergic to the bites? Here's the thing, you have not mentioned bites, but it's certain that one of you, or both, were bitten badly that night. If you see bites emerge a few days from the time you were in your father's home, you should not assume you've brought them home. (But don't dismiss the possibility either, although I'm sure you're not likely to.) There are delayed reactions to bites for some people.

    If you are not allergic to the bites, then I suggest you set up an inspection routine in your home for the next two weeks. (That means inspecting not just your sheets and bedclothes every morning; some people get fixated on the sheets.) Get some glue traps and place lots of them in strategic locations. Glue traps mostly are inefficient (ha ha) but there isn't much in the way of monitoring tools. You can also try double-sided carpet tape.

    If you have no signs, no bites and all your monitoring tools show you in the clear, then get back to normal and life is sweet. But continue to advise your father. Don't let him stop hearing from you. I think they need to hear from someone else that yes, it's difficult, but they can get rid of them and they should. Bedbugs since March and the number of bugs you saw in your bed indicate a severe problem. They need to go above and beyond what they have been doing to date. They should be trying steam, caulking and asking the PCO to rotate the materials used.

    Finally, please educate them about how to take care of their clothing, linens and personal items. They could be spreading bedbugs to other people and places. People who are not allergic or who have incorrect advice do not easily understand this aspect of the problem. I think your father will listen to you.

    Best of luck...

  9. BakedBedBugs

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    Posted 11 years ago
    Sat Dec 29 2007 15:28:10
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    Ember, I'll pm you a couple of suggestions. None of whcih are easily done by you, the end user. Sorry.

  10. BakedBedBugs

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    Posted 11 years ago
    Sat Dec 29 2007 15:31:35
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    Oh,
    Most of your electronics will probably be okay if they were not producing any residual heat while in the infested residence. It is the heat that will attract the bugs.
    So cell phones, gps, pda's etc should be okay. Laptops might be a problem but if there is no place for them to get in they should be okay. They are more likely to infest tv's PCs etc.

    The boxes that you brought home would have been more of a problem than the electronics inside them.

  11. EmberWhimsy

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    Posted 11 years ago
    Sat Dec 29 2007 21:27:45
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    Nobugsonme - We're thinking of sending him (my father) an e-mail speaking our mind, but we're not sure just yet.

    hopelessnomo- Well, my brother is somewhat allergic at least. He showed me some bites of his while we were there. I have no idea if they itch him or not though. From what I can tell, it was my father telling him not to say anything, so >.> As for us, I didn't see any bite marks as of my initial post but today we both noticed we have some on our arms and legs, so they finally showed up. At least I hope they haven't gotten into our bed here within 3 days, I doubt it.... so that would be 10 days since we slept in the infested bed, is that normal? I wondering if they were on the couches we slept on for the rest of the 6 days and we just didn't see them. I will be doing that routine though, both the checking or bites and all the tools and precautions I can muster, thanks =) We just brought our luggage and clothes inside so we are a bit nervous tonight.

    I will also continue to advise them, they seem to be listening, I'll see if they've gotten rid of them when it's time for my next Christmas visit >.>

    BakedBedBugs - Well, we didn't use the laptop at all, whereas the GPS and the PDA phone might have had some heat... I'm still waiting for those suggestions via PM, thanks =)

  12. Blue_Ox

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    Posted 11 years ago
    Sat Dec 29 2007 22:28:43
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    Did you drive in your own car to see your family? If so, your car may be infested.

    Also, how did you treat your luggage such that you felt it was safe to bring it inside?

    And you mentioned that this is a new place for your father and brother, but it also sounds like they have had the bugs for awhile. Do you think they moved into an infested building, and if so, do you know if the other units are being treated?

    Sorry if these questions were answered in the thread already.

  13. Nobugsonme

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    Posted 11 years ago
    Sat Dec 29 2007 22:39:47
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    "From what I can tell, it was my father telling him not to say anything, so..."

    Ember,

    It sounds like your dad was afraid you would not visit if you knew. And he may be right. It doesn't mean he did the right thing--but he obviously did not get how bad it was.

    I'd wait a while to discuss it. You need to focus on your situation right now and nothing is going to undo what happened. Despite seeing them as responsible, I'd probably be kind to your dad. He obviously needs help to "get" this.

    My interpetation of the denial thing, for what it's worth, is lots of people (I notice they're often men who don't react, but sometimes with reactions, too) are just so afraid to admit it's really happening. As if that will make it not be true.

    Fighting bed bugs is impossible until you admit it's true.

  14. EmberWhimsy

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    Posted 11 years ago
    Sat Dec 29 2007 23:18:32
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    Blue_Ox- No, we went by bus... which I feel bad about on the way back, but what could I do at that point? We're VERY glad we didn't take our car now!

    We put our luggages in a huge dryer at a laundromat. For 50 minutes on high heat for each individual one. They were so hot when they came out it burned my fingers to the touch. Though they also got kinda damaged so we probably won't be using them much longer either. Chalk that up to more things we have to replace...

    Yeah, the unit was already infested for sure. I'm almost positive that some of their neighbours have them as well, and just refuse to get treated for some reason. It's a low income community church housing and a lot of people can't afford to get things replaced, so I guess they are afraid to say anything in fear of being told that's what they have to do. Heh.

    Nobugsonme- Yeah, I suppose I should. I've been talking more to my brother about it and he insists even when I do speak to my father, he won't listen. My father is positive that if they caulk the walls and do some vaccuuming, they'll go away. He also just bought an expensive new TV and stero system, and a new computer. He's kind of setting himself up for dissapointment... :/

  15. (deleted)

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    Posted 11 years ago
    Sun Dec 30 2007 0:02:12
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    Having the bites show up 10 days later is normal for a delayed reaction. However, if you saw two bedbugs when you were resting on the couch (plus keeping in mind the numbers of bugs you saw on the bed) then it's reasonable to assume that bedbugs are fairly well spread in your father's place and therefore you could also have been bitten in the couch. Not seeing or feeling the bugs is how it is for many people up until a certain point (an accidental discovery, the onset of allergic reactions, or the inevitable increase in the population).

    I think you have now done everything possible and I hope both that you will be okay and that you will prevail with your father and brother. I didn't realize it was a building you were talking about. If what you suspect is true, and several units are infested and not being treated, then it's even more difficult and you should concentrate your efforts on helping them learn how to minimize the potential for spreading their bedbugs to others. Having guests, even if they are not sleepover guests, is something they should be persuaded against. So you should still keep at it with them.

    Good luck to you. I will think good thoughts and hope this is soon behind you.

    --
    PS: This is just intended for others who may be reading this now or who may find this thread months later and not read the FAQs: if someone encounters bedbugs while traveling, that is a known exposure and probably the best thing is for luggage and clothes to be immediately isolated/sealed in plastic bags until they can be inspected, washed, treated etc. This would minimize the potential impact on trains, planes...

  16. EmberWhimsy

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    Posted 11 years ago
    Sun Dec 30 2007 19:00:06
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    Thanks for all your help, everyone. =)

    I did try to give some suggestions to my brother, since he's more rational, but right now even he is saying things like being cautious around others is too much work. I'll see if that attitude remains later on, or if they do get rid of them.... if they don't change their tune, I'm not letting them visit me in any case. XD

  17. fightorflight

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    Posted 11 years ago
    Sun Feb 3 2008 3:25:41
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    EW - I'm with you on the electronics. Dude in England detailed a method (involving super-cooled computer cleaner?), but it still does not put me 100% at ease. Some of my concerns might be, would sloppy execution (operator error) mess it up or is the compressed computer cleaner a bit of a contact kill, so if you miss a spot...? I am wondering myself about dispersing some kind of residual poison in baggies at 2-week intervals. I have not gotten all the information I need (MinisterofInfo will be on my case), but it's moot because, as you already observed, it's a shot in the dark anyway. I have not seen anything that fills me with confidence that I can reliably treat my electronics, myself. I think some of the advice here for electronics only works if they are not actually in your computer or PDA ;o)

  18. (deleted)

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    Posted 11 years ago
    Sun Feb 3 2008 4:19:10
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    Hi fightorflight,

    I have nothing to get on your case about and indeed I have not the faintest idea how to disinfest electronics. You can read about what others have done but I don't think anyone here can guarantee any results.

  19. fightorflight

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    Posted 11 years ago
    Sun Feb 3 2008 5:51:18
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    NoBugs - you are so right about the denial. Though I will always be in denial myself about the gender angle. About the family I gifted the bugs to, the mother, my close friend, admitted to me that she would not do the kind of research I had done and insisted on going forward with her normal life, including dinner parties. Also, the other homeowners in my building - all women, single women love to buy cool urban condos- continue to be in pretty determined denial. I kind of think the denial (or "optimism") is a natural reaction for both sexes. Because when you finally admit what the problem is, oh hell, it is a *huge* problem.

  20. persona-non-bugga

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    Posted 11 years ago
    Sun Feb 3 2008 9:11:28
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    EmberWhimsy,

    Is your dad still having people over? He needs to get over the fantasy of being Mr. Hospitality. This is not the time.

    I think your outrage and anger at the time this happened were totally justified. I'm assuming your father isn't mentally impaired, so he understands the risk he's putting people under. He knows full-well there are bedbugs in his home. He isn't suffering from a psychotic fugue, where he sincerely believes his apartment is bedbug-free. To me, this situation goes beyond willful denial. Your father acted deceitfully in an intentional and premeditated manner - eg. colluding with others to conceal & lie about the situation. It's a huge breach of trust, injuring his friends and family this way.

    I hope when he sees how seriously you're taking this, it'll help him snap him out of this behavior. It's a big lapse in judgment. Maybe your disapproval will show him that acting this way has severe consequences.

    I believe it's possible to simultaneously: love your dad, have compassion for him, and express anger & disappointment at his behavior. Because, the way he's acting is truly unacceptable. If others in his life - mom, bro - are enabling it, then I'm glad he has you, at least, to see with a clear eye.

  21. fightorflight

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    Posted 11 years ago
    Sun Feb 3 2008 17:31:26
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    Persona-non-bugga - good post.

  22. EmberWhimsy

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    Posted 11 years ago
    Mon Feb 4 2008 4:04:40
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    persona: I *think* he is taking it more seriously now, but I'm stilll having to push him and my brother. I told him about my new discovery, and how important it was for him to do the same methods so treatments will work, with ziplocs, vaccuuming, etc. I hope he's listening.

    As for my mother, she lives elsewhere since my parents are divorced, but once I told her she refuses to let either of them visit her until they start taking it more seriously as well. For example, my brother sent her books for Christmas that he had kept in the bb infested home. If I found one in that baggy with my address book, one might have travelled in those books, pregnant and infested her. So far, so good, but I told her the signs to look for, and prevention methods and she's taking it more seriously than they ever did. It's too bad she doesn't live with them because I'm sure she could put some sense into them as well =P

    The biggest damage it has done is really make my boyfriend see my father and brother as bad people. It was his first time really spending time with them, so I don't blame him. So next year I'll be visiting them alone. It's kinda sad it's come to that really

  23. Winston O. Buggy

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    Posted 11 years ago
    Wed Feb 6 2008 16:21:29
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    Education, education, education.


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