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My Intro to Bed Bugs (continued)

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  1. SalsaVince

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    Posted 2 weeks ago
    Thu Nov 1 2018 10:39:33
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    Hello all. Just giving a quick update on the battle at my mom's apartment.

    The beginning of the story

    As a recap, here's the timeline.

    Oct 11 - My mom was bit while taking a nap in bed and discovered bed bugs on her mattress. I went over to check it out and found some more on the box springs and got bit while there. She slept her recliner in the living room while we worked to get the bedroom bug free.

    Oct 12/13 - Cleaned mattress and box springs with some sprays and put down DE (improperly) on wall and legs and mattress and box springs. Started removing clutter from her bedroom. Inspected rest of room and didn't find any bugs other than near the bed.

    Oct 15 – Found a couple more bugs on the box springs and a small harborage under the plastic strip on the corner of it. Steamed mattress, box springs, bed and area around bed. Maintenance man said they would be treating another apartment on the 25th and would also do my moms. Continued removing clutter from bedroom and moving furniture away from walls in preparation for treatment. Bagged clothes and contents of drawers. Brought bags out to balcony for now.

    Oct 17 - My mom found 7 bugs on her recliner in the living room throughout the day and began sitting in a wheel chair instead. She had several bites on her legs. I found 2 large harborages in the foot rest of the recliner. Started removing some clutter around the chair and living room. I steamed the chair and fried them good. Put her mattress and box springs in cases. Lifted her bed with risers and put them in interceptors. Did a better job of applying DE on and around bed.

    Oct 21 – Bedroom still completely quiet of activity. My mom got bit while napping on the couch and is still seeing new small bugs in the traps at the bottom of her recliner.

    Oct 22 – Steamed recliner again and couch for the first time. Put some Cimexa on chair and couch. Finished prepping bedroom for treatment except for closet.

    Oct 23 – Finished closet prep. Found one bug on recliner but none in bedroom still.

    Oct 24 – TREATMENT (supposedly) – Apartment appeared completely undisturbed after. Couldn’t smell anything except in the bedroom. I suspect that they only treated the mattress, box springs, and a desk chair in her bedroom. The recliner (which needed it the most) and the couch seemed untouched. My mom stayed out our place because we expected the fumes to be so strong.

    So now on to the rest of the story…

    Tell me a success story, please!
    Vince
  2. SalsaVince

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    Posted 2 weeks ago
    Thu Nov 1 2018 11:17:33
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    So I'll start with the good news. The bedroom has still not had any activity in it at all since I steamed the mattresses 2 weeks ago and encased them. The interceptors are clean. I think I may have wiped them out in there by just removing the couple of harborages that they had on the mattress and box springs and killing everything with steam. The DE might have got some of the stragglers too if I missed any. My mom has been doing a good job of making sure she changes her clothes before going to bed to keep her bed from getting reinfested. I inspect the mattresses and traps every time I go over and it all looks good.

    Now, on to the living room. Things have improved but still not perfect. I bought her a new vacuum and finally got to clean up the living room the way that I wanted to. She found a couple of bugs on her chair on Saturday (after the supposed treatment). Sunday was a good day with no sightings and she spent most of the day in the chair. On Monday, she found a larger one, possibly an adult (male if I had to guess) crawling on the arm of her chair. Nothing on Tuesday.

    Yesterday, we were planning on washing and drying (or just drying if clean) all of the bags of clothes stacked on her balcony and organizing them into clear ziplock bags and zippered bags to keep in her drawers. I want to keep them in there so we can pull them out easily for ongoing treatments if needed. My mom wanted to help by organizing the bags out there and labeling whether they needed washed or just dried. Afterward, she realized that she had bites on her arm! She thinks it happened while she was moving stuff around in the bags. She made the mistake of coming inside afterward and sitting in her chair before realizing she was bit. As you can imagine, that was pretty frustrating. I am wondering if she brought bugs back inside with her and we would have to start over again in the living room. Or did she get bit on her chair?

    I went over after work last night and checked out the bags and balcony. I found a squashed adult bug on the balcony. I'm hoping that that was the one that bit her and it was its last meal and that she didn't bring any inside. Based on where the bites were on her arm, it could have been from the armrest on her chair too so I'm still not sure. However, she hasn't seen any activity on her chair for 3 days now.

    The really encouraging thing is I looked at the adult bug that she had bagged from Monday. There was a little one from Saturday in the same bag that was moving but the adult one was dead. And I could tell there was like a white frosting around its edges. Cimexa baby! That means that although that bug was able to crawl up to her arm rest, it had come into contact with enough dust on its journey that it didn't survive for more than 24 hours. That means the dust is working. Even though there might be a few bugs that I missed with the steam because they were not on the chair or deep within it, if they come to her to feed, the dust is gonna get them eventually. And I put a really light layer underneath the chair and the back of it but that's all it takes.

    The management said that they will be treating the WHOLE building on Nov 8. Hopefully, they will do a better job than they did last time. I'm glad that they're not just going to try to spot treat and just move the bugs around. My mom said that all of her neighbors are in a panic now because of reading what they have to do to prepare. We've already been through it so we're ready now. She's been doing a good job of trying to encourage them to prepare well and take it seriously. Her one neighbor keeps wanting to down play the fact that she only found "1 baby one". Yet, she threw out her love seat by dragging it down the steps of the building on her own. She said the apartment is going to charge her for doing that without notifying them and having it removed correctly. I'm afraid they're going to have to deal with this for a long time because of neighbors not cooperating and being uneducated. I put a layer of cimexa on the outside and inside of my mom's hallway door because I suspect that's where they entered from the neighbor across the hall who had them 2 months ago. We also made a makeshift door sweep with tape to close the gap underneath.

    My wife and I helped her get all of her clothes washed and organized last night. I definitely recommend the zippered clear cube bags for storage. They fit nicely in her drawers so you can just take them out when they are spraying and put them back in when they're done. It was awkward at the laundromat. We handled those bags with care since we knew my mom may have been bitten from one of them but we didn't want to announce to the world that we were dealing with them for fear they would not let us use the machines. I carefully rolled up the bags after we emptied them into the machines and put them into another big bag which I put in a garbage can outside. We just kept telling everyone that we were helping my mom organize her clothes and store some of them. My wife heard one of the other people there whisper to her daughter, "You can't sleep in your bedroom tonight. I think they're gonna spray." I guess we weren't the only ones there with a secret.

    So that's where we're at. I'm foolishly optimistic that I'm winning the battle and have a good plan in place. We'll see how the treatments go next week.

  3. SalsaVince

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    Posted 1 week ago
    Thu Nov 8 2018 20:06:01
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    So it was Spray Day today at my mom's apartment. We were told that this would be the 2nd treatment and that the first was done 2 weeks ago. When we called the property manager to tell them that it seemed like nothing had been done and that we were confused, they were defensive and adamantly said it had been treated including the living room furniture. Well, my mom was home this time when the PCO and maintenance man arrived so she got to speak with him. He said that he did NOT spray last time but was only there for an inspection. After finding the bag of bugs and my mom's note when entering her apartment, he confirmed they were bed bugs and left. So there you have it. It will do no good to argue with the idiots that run the place though. So moving on...

    The PCO said that only 3 apartments have bugs. The original man who lives on her same floor diagonally and the woman directly across the hall from her. My mom told him our concerns of how to protect her apartment from them coming in from the neighbors and he said it was a myth that that they travel through buildings and walls and that they can only enter a new apartment if someone carries them in on themselves or something else. I'm hoping she misunderstood him since I wasn't there in person to hear it. If he really said that, my confidence in this guy and the company is really low. In any case, he did listen to her when she explained where she has seen them and treated both the living room and bedroom.

    The good news is that now I know that I was able to get rid of them on my own in just 3 weeks without the help of any sprays. When I say, "get rid of", I stipulate that by saying I realize it has only been 8 days since any sightings (over 20 days in the bedroom) and that there's the potential of eggs hatching and some stragglers appearing but based on the results that I've seen from the cimexa, I'm confident that it would be effective at finishing those off and maybe another steaming on the recliner if we spotted any more. Of course, that's only possible because we caught it very early. The spray is another layer of defense that can keep them from coming back and get them if they come in from the neighbors as "impossible" as that might be. He'll be back for 2 more treatments over the next few weeks.


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