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My Intro to Bed Bugs (continued)

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  1. SalsaVince

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    Posted 4 months ago
    Thu Nov 1 2018 9:39:33
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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…

    "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
  2. SalsaVince

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    Posted 4 months ago
    Thu Nov 1 2018 10:17:33
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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 4 months ago
    Thu Nov 8 2018 19:06:01
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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.

  4. SalsaVince

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    Posted 3 months ago
    Thu Nov 29 2018 13:51:09
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    Update on my mom's apartment. Last time I checked in, we were at 8 days without any sightings or bites. Well, I think it was only 1 day later that I did find a dead nymph in one of the traps by her recliner. She also experienced bites that night (she slept in her chair as she sometimes does). That was 2 weeks ago. Last Tuesday, she had her second treatment. She told the PCO that she was still experiencing the occasional bite in her chair. When she came back into the apartment hours after they sprayed, she sent me pictures of the place. It looked like her apartment was ransacked by 20 gorillas. Her recliner and another chair and the couch were all flipped upside down and the cushions were everywhere. Her mattress and box springs were removed from the frame and leaning against a wall and her desk chair was flipped in the bedroom. The bright side of that is it appears as though they did a really thorough job spraying. Makes me wonder if they had even sprayed the living room furniture last time or not. It would have been nice if they put back the furniture when they were done since she was not capable of fixing it herself. She did manage to get her recliner upright again and had to sleep in it until I could come over to help put her bed back together the next day. And while in the recliner...she again said she got bit. I checked all of the traps and they were all clean.
    So fast forwarding to today, it has been over a week since that last spray. She has another one scheduled for next Thursday and I believe that is the last one unless more are needed. She has not had another bite since last Tuesday night (9 days ago). I went over last night to check the traps and everything was clean. I have 16 traps setup now, 4 of them black, just as an experiment. 4 on the bed, 6 around her recliner, and the rest scattered around the living room furniture. I haven't seen a bug in her bedroom for over a month I think and we're at 9 days for the living room now. It's been over 3 weeks since we've seen a live bug. No bites since last Tuesday in the chair and she has slept in the chair a few nights since.
    Having everything bagged is definitely a challenge. We're gradually opening up some of the non clothing bags that we couldn't heat treat. I feel like it's better to open these now while there's residual on everything than waiting to open them later and releasing bugs into the untreated rooms. I am inspecting each bag carefully before I open them and remove the contents. Like last night, we took out her machine that helps her breathing at night but we couldn't find one of the parts to it. She frustrated not being able to find things she needs sometimes but I keep reminding her that there's a light at the end of the tunnel now. Things are looking good. I was honestly ready for a longer fight but I'm starting to get hopeful that we're almost done. I'll keep you posted after next week's last treatment.
    Vince

  5. BigDummy

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    Posted 3 months ago
    Thu Nov 29 2018 15:04:00
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    SalsaVince - 2 weeks ago  » 
    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.

  6. SalsaVince

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    Posted 3 months ago
    Thu Nov 29 2018 15:43:05
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    I still feel that way BigDummy. I'm not downplaying the importance of professional treatment. I really do feel like in our case, if we HAD to, we were lucky and could have contained this on our own since I have not seen a live bug for so long and she's only had 2 bites in several weeks, but since having the professional treatment was also an option, I would always prefer that. If it's just not possible for financial or other reasons to get a professional, I think it is encouraging to see the results that I had from self treatment before the spray.

  7. Iwantmylifeback

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    Posted 3 months ago
    Thu Nov 29 2018 15:49:15
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    SalsaVince !!!What a remarkable man you are .Your Mama is a very lucky lady to have son like you !!!!.
    Your information here about your battle been very helpful .Thank you Thank you for cheering me/people up !!!!You are the best !!!!Iam glad that for your Mom the battle is over .Unfortunately I am still fighting .Had done 2 professional treatment since early July when I have discover the problem .I suspect they the problem been there for awhile but i have dismissed the symptoms and that is why the "problem had escalated. I sprayed by myself with RestAssure,Zemprox ,Temprid ..last Saturday sprayed with Crossfire and the very next day being bitten ....yesterdays night to my horror in secure bed!!! Must have brought it in when going to the bathroom at night ...I dont see them but they are there ..invisible. I steam my clothes before I go to bed and before go out in the morning. And checking all the time ..dont see anything but they bite ..loosing my mind .I going to use Cross fire again next Saturday (I could have done it this coming Saturday but waiting for the order.I have some Zenprox left but Iam not sure if it would put bb in frenzy..maybe stick to one product now would be a better choice ?
    Good luck for You ...and keep doing what you doing ..you give people hope ..and it means a lot .Iam crying ..it is so hard to live like that .Sometimes i just feel like I never get rid of them ..but thanx to that site I know I can't give up .Need to repeat loundry ,steaming ,vacuuming, spraying
    Thank you SalsaVince and give your Mom a big hug .

  8. Sleepless2

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    Posted 3 months ago
    Thu Nov 29 2018 16:20:12
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    Yeh man. You are so meticulous and an inspiration. Thanks for sharing your story.

  9. Nobugsonme

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    Posted 3 months ago
    Thu Nov 29 2018 18:57:26
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    Good luck, SalsaVince!

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

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    Posted 3 months ago
    Fri Nov 30 2018 8:53:33
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    SalsaVince - 17 hours ago  » 
    I still feel that way BigDummy. I'm not downplaying the importance of professional treatment. I really do feel like in our case, if we HAD to, we were lucky and could have contained this on our own since I have not seen a live bug for so long and she's only had 2 bites in several weeks, but since having the professional treatment was also an option, I would always prefer that. If it's just not possible for financial or other reasons to get a professional, I think it is encouraging to see the results that I had from self treatment before the spray.

    But if you're still having the place treated how can you call what you did/didn't do successful?
    Knocked them back, held them, but certainly not eradicated them.
    I know you think that you're helping, but assuming that an infestation is gone after self-treating and posting this information as confirmed when it hasn't been can confuse people. I like what you're doing, and glad you're updating, but your method of determining whether a treatment worked and your assessment of work being done lacks working experience and can lead to problems.

  11. SalsaVince

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    Posted 3 months ago
    Fri Nov 30 2018 12:45:58
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    I've tried to be very clear that my belief is that if you have the option to get professional treatment, that is always the way to go. It's not worth just trying to save a few hundred dollars to try to face bed bugs on your own because it's going to be much harder without the experience and knowledge that a professional would offer you. I'm sorry if I've confused the message with that quote that you brought up.

    The context of those words though was that I had been under the assumption that for the previous 2 weeks, we had been seeing the benefits of the spray in action and that's why there had been no activity in the bedroom and very little in the living room. I was scared to know that wasn't the case because the spray hadn't been done 2 weeks ago but only an inspection. At the same time, I was encouraged to realize that the results I was seeing were completely from self treatment up to that point. And I do believe they are measurable results. 20 days without any activity in the bedroom where there had been dozens of bugs on discovery and 8 days without activity in the living room where there at least a hundred before is an indication that self treatment was working, don't you agree? I did not mean for it to sound like a declaration of victory and that's why I added the stipulation afterward that I realized it was too early for that. I do believe that in our case, based on those results, we would have been able to eradicate them if we had to by continuing the methods that we were using, but since I did have professional treatment at that point, anything afterward is pure speculation. Again, I've tried to be up front with that so that readers can draw their own conclusions from my results. I don't think I've skewed the truth with false optimism. I think our case is demonstrating that it takes a collaboration between professionals and the residents and a multi layered response to beat bed bugs. Some refer to it as Integrated Pest Management (IPM). You will never hear me dismiss professional treatment as unnecessary though.

  12. BigDummy

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    Posted 3 months ago
    Fri Nov 30 2018 14:41:52
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    It is nice to know that with persistence people can knock out a large chunk of their bed bug infestation. It's not magic, it just takes patience and you have to pay attention to what you're finding. That being said there are some pieces of furniture that can appear to be cleared week after week, even with a decent inspection, but still harbor bed bugs.
    I'm not a fan of modern furniture to begin with, add bed bugs to the mix and it becomes even more annoying. What was hardwood and pegs or hardware is now particle board, fabric, staples and cardboard. Cheaply manufactured, easily had, but incredibly hard to treat for a homeowner. Even my Polti will not penetrate certain sections of a modern sofa without having to pull it apart. These areas can easily be exploited by bed bugs. Recliners have similar issues.
    Damn, now I'm going to search Stickley furniture on eBay...

  13. SalsaVince

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    Posted 1 month ago
    Fri Feb 8 2019 19:52:41
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    Click HERE to see the successful end of this story.


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