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My intro to bed bugs...such a tiny creature but yet so terrifying!

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  1. SalsaVince

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    Posted 11 months ago
    Thu Oct 18 2018 16:14:44
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    My bed bug story started earlier this year. We visited my in-laws apartment for a weekend. When we came home, the next day, both my wife and I noticed itchy bumps on our arms and hands. Mine were much more pronounced than hers like I was having an allergic reaction. I started looking up what it could be caused from. We considered several options for rashes and spider bites and even bed bugs. After another day, when the bites started to be more defined and we could see they were sets of 2 or 3 near each other, we were almost positive that was bed bugs. My wife started freaking out that we may have brought them home without even knowing. We immediately washed everything that we had packed/worn there and she started cleaning and vacuuming the bedroom and whole house frantically. I had to go buy the mattress encasement for our bed so that she could feel calm enough to sleep.
    We called my in-laws and told them what we suspected. They said a neighbor had them so that was possible and that my father in law had some bites recently and didn’t know where they came from. They checked and found them on the guest mattress! Then they found some on theirs. My father in law cleaned them up and thought he was done, but they came back. Then, he scoured the whole place, especially the beds and mattresses, in a strong bleach solution and said he got them all and it’s been 6 months since they’ve seen one.
    Although I had to suffer from my terrible reaction to those bites for about a week and have some small permanent scars from a few, we dodged the bullet on that one. We didn’t have any show up at our place.
    Last week, I got a message from my mom saying that she thinks she has bed bugs. She also lives in an apartment and one of her neighbors recently had them. She took a nap in bed during the day and woke up with bites. She thought of our story so she checked the bed and sure enough, she found one and then another and another. I went over to investigate and sure enough, they matched the pictures. I looked around her mattress and found another one and then found some on her box spring. I even smashed one on the bed and got blood on the mattress. She had taken off her linens and thrown them in a garbage bag and put them on the outside balcony of her apartment. So I told her I would come back the next day to help determine the scope of the infestation. I sat on her couch for a little bit before leaving. I went home and threw my clothes immediately in the washer with hot water and then the dryer. That night, aside from having nightmares about bed bugs, I also felt itchy on my legs. I had come over after the gym so I was wearing shorts. I looked in the mirror and it looked like I had bright red rashes on the backs of both of my thighs and my right ankle. Those ninjas bit me after just being there for a few minutes! I was freaking out about whether I brought them out of the bedroom and they bit me on the couch or if it could have been just while I was leaning on the bed. And I was so glad that I took the precaution of washing my clothes the moment I came home and leaving my shoes outside.
    Thus, began my obsession with bed bugs. I started researching everything about them. I read about where to look for them and how they grow and behave, and how impossible they are to get rid of. That terrified me! I knew I had to go back to that place and help my mom but I deathly afraid of bringing them to MY home and also of how badly I react to their bites. My legs were so swollen, they looked like they had golf balls on the backs of them around the bites. I needed to assess how bad it was and figure out whether we needed an exterminator or what. My mom is sensitive to chemicals so I knew she would be reluctant to have her apartment sprayed and she’d have to take the cat and stay somewhere else for at least a day.
    (I’ll continue the story on the next message…if you’re not too bored yet)

    "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 11 months ago
    Thu Oct 18 2018 16:46:24
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    The next day, I got very little work done at my job because I was so consumed with this new nightmare. So I read and I read and I read some more. As is usually the case on the internet, most were horrific stories and pictures. Others were biased advertisements for whatever product or service that they were hocking. But I did find some sites like this one that gave really insightful advice. I kept reading about people who tried to beat them on their own and struggled for months or even years without success because you just can’t find them all. Only two solutions can really wipe them out. Heat treatment which takes them all out in one day no matter where they are hiding or sprays which will keep killing them for days after when they come out of hiding. I knew I had to talk my mom into contacting her property manager. Until they could take action, I had to plan my attack and figure out how to prepare for an exterminator. I learned about some of the weaknesses that we can exploit against bed bugs. Heat, extreme cold, diatomaceous earth! I went on Amazon (the first of many purchases for this battle) and bought encasements for my mom’s mattress and box spring and pillow. I had already read about the benefits of those. I also bought a small handheld steamer. I was surprised to read how effective steam could be. Then, I discovered that there was such a thing as a bed bug trap. I thought, cool! I can just set the traps and check them later. Nope. For these traps, WE’RE the bait! Wow. So I got 2 sets of interceptors for her bed legs and my own bed. I learned about this wonder powder called diatomaceous earth which can cut up and kill the bed bugs from the inside out? Sounds fun.
    I stopped at Walmart during lunch and got some spray (which I read only works with direct contact) and some diatomaceous earth, some gloves, rags, and some storage containers and bags. I told my mom that we were going to have to declutter her tiny and over filled bedroom if we were ever going to get these pests under control. I walked into that bedroom, heart pounding, slowly stepping in as if the bed bugs were going to spring on me from the walls and ceiling. I started at her computer desk on the other end of the room from the bed because I needed some room to work. I didn’t see anything but I threw away a lot of junk and papers and even an old monitor that was in the way. Then, I went for the bed. I found another bug on the mattress. . I looked at the seam of the box spring near the head of the bed and found a bunch of little ones and nasty dark spots and stuff. I vacuumed it but her vaccuum was very weak from being clogged with cat hair. Then, I sprayed it and wiped it. I didn’t know what to expect when I lifted up the mattress from the box springs but to my surprise, it was clean in between. Just the head of the mattress had some black spots on it. I vaccumed under the bed and cleaned out the dirty forgotten boxes and shoes that were hidden under there for years. I checked around the edges of the walls and curtains and didn’t see any bugs other than the few on the bed itself. It appeared as though we caught it early enough that it hadn’t gotten out of hand and that we could salvage her mattress and box spring but she had 2 box springs. I still wanted to get rid of one just to simplify things and since it was from before I was born anyway. Overall, I was pleasantly surprised that it wasn’t as bad as I was expecting. I checked the rest of the apartment quickly including her chair and didn’t see any evidence of them. Now, I just had to worry about whether I had been bitten while working over there. I wore bags over my shoes rubber banded around my legs and long pants this time. I thought about wearing a long sweater but knew I would get too hot working in that so I opted for a plain white t-shirt that I could easily spot things on. Before I left, I called my wife and had her bring over a change of clothes (dropped off at the door of the apartment). I undressed in the shower and put my clothes in a bag and tied it up. I took a hot shower and changed. My mom said she found several small bugs in the tub after I left! When I got home, I left my shoes outside and went straight to laundry room and washed my bagged clothes and thew in the clothes I was wearing too. Then I ran straight to the shower and washed up again just to be safe. I somehow managed to avoid getting bit that night but I was so worried I may have brought some home. I didn’t sleep well and kept checking the covers. I slept on our couch because I could tell my wife was nervous to have me in our bed. Didn’t see anything the next morning though. So next time, I would try out my new steamer on her mattress and box spring and another day, put them in the cases. I knew that the longer that she continued to sleep in her recliner in the living room, the more chance that they would spread out there, so I wanted to get her back into her bed.

  3. SalsaVince

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    Posted 11 months ago
    Thu Oct 18 2018 17:17:06
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    My steamer arrived on Sunday. I practiced with it on my couch, also because my wife was still nervous that I might have brought some home. I was just glad I hadn’t been bit again since the first day. My swelling was finally going down a little but so itchy. I was very happy with my steamer (Pursteam brand). It was just a little handheld with only 12 oz capacity but it seemed like it created some nice heat and it was quick to refill and only took about 5 minutes to pressurize, 3 minutes to cool off in between uses. It came with several attachments but from what I read, the best one was a wider one which didn’t cause that much wind so it wouldn’t blow things around. It came with a cloth cap that you could use to “iron” with which seemed like a good idea but I didn’t want to have that come in contact with bed bugs so I tried it with a small sock on the end and it seemed to work just as well to absorb some of the moisture and focus on the heat. I gave myself a day off from the battle zone which I much needed. My mom was still content in her recliner in the living room for the moment and not getting bit (or was she?).
    The next day, my mom spoke with the maintenance man and told him about the problem. He said that 2 of the neighbors also had reported it and were going to get treated soon. He was nice enough to come check her apartment and saw the remnants of them but didn’t see any new ones. He commended my efforts at keeping them at bay. He said they would do her apartment too next week. They would spray all beds and mattresses dressers and fabric furniture and the base boards. We would have to make sure everything was pulled away from the walls a few inches and all dressers emptied out and clothes bagged up. They would come back in 2 weeks and do it again and then, 2 weeks later, one more time.
    I was happy to hear that they were on top of it and it sounded like they knew what they were dealing with. My mom was more open to the idea of the spray even though it would be inconvenient and uncomfortable because she was willing to do whatever was needed to get rid of these pests. I made arrangements with a friend to help take out one of my mom’s box springs even though it wasn’t really infested. I was surprised to see that someone else in the apartment had already taken out their mattress and box spring to the dumpster and I could tell they were both spotted from bugs. The box spring was pretty bad but the mattress was probably salvageable. They didn’t bother covering them or indicating that they were infested. I tried to be responsible and put my mom’s box spring in a big mattress bag that I got from Walmart for $6 and attached a note that said, “Do not use”. The bag made me feel more comfortable carrying it around the apartment and down the steps and hallways to be considerate of her neighbors and my friend helping me carry it. He admitted that he and his wife had to deal with them a few years ago in their house. Bed bug stories are like bed bugs themselves, they seem to come out of all the cracks when you start talking to people.
    After that, I helped my mom get rid of some clutter in her bedroom, did some vacuuming with that terribly weak vacuum. Then, I focused on the mattresses and bed. I didn’t see any more bugs until I pulled back a little plastic corner lip on the box spring. Under that were about 4 little babies. I think they were stage 1. I sprayed and wiped them off. Then, I fired up my steamer. I thoroughly steamed her mattress and box spring especially focusing on the seams and corners. I steamed the bed frame and headboard and took my time on the holes for the screws and slats for the frame. Seeing that steam rise from the fabric really gave me a sense like the mattress was sanitized and ready to be used again. The steamer worked great although it did take several fill ups. I took advantage of the time waiting to get a drink in between. So now all that I needed to do was come back in a day or two and throw the cases on and make the bed and put the interceptors under the legs and wait for the exterminator. I could see the light at the end of the tunnel and I wasn’t feeling so overwhelmed any more. My mom felt it too. She was spending time in the room with me when she was afraid to go in there before. She was cleaning out drawers and bagging clothes and in a better mood. Maybe we made it through the worst. But, maybe not.

  4. SalsaVince

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    Posted 11 months ago
    Thu Oct 18 2018 18:14:00
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    Still no more bites since the first day, which I really didn’t think I could pull off. And still no sightings in my house. I still have been doing my routine before leaving my mom’s of showering, bagging my clothes, putting on a new set. Then coming home, washing and drying both sets of clothes immediately and showering again. I feel like I’m cleaning up a nuclear meltdown or something, but hey, it’s working so far.
    So I’m ready to just go over and have a quick visit this time to put on the cases and help clean up the rooms a little bit for the exterminator next week but then I get a message from my mom. She found 6 bugs in her CHAIR within the past day. She noticed them because she got bit in the back. Then, another message. Simply, the number “7”. Oh boy. My heart sank. I thought we had it contained to just her bedroom and had a plan ready to stop this thing. We were so close to getting her back into her bed but we must have been too late. It had only been 5 days. Was it from the one that bit me on the couch the first day maybe? I was ready to cry. I had finally gotten over the really bad anxiety even though I still wasn’t sleeping, but now I was lost again. How do I treat a chair, with all of its little nooks and crannies? It was a lift recliner chair with a remote control with electronics and mechanics inside. And what if it was in her couch and other living room furniture too? Maybe it was in the whole apartment now. Ugggh!
    I started obsessing again. I was snapping at people at work and so out of it. I started looking up stories again specifically involving living room furniture. It was so disgusting! You can’t put a case over a recliner. I bought some more stronger spray during lunch not knowing what else to do. After lunch, I did find a video that was really therapeutic on youtube. Someone showed bed bugs next to a thermometer. As the temperature rises to over 100F, they start squirming faster, then, when it gets to 114, they slow down, then at 120, they STOP! That was strangely gratifying to watch. I highly recommend it to all of my fellow buggers. I’ll include a link if I can find it again.
    I went over that night and tried to stay positive for my mom. She was sitting in a wheel chair that she had from a previous injury and looking so frazzled that she didn’t have anywhere safe to sit in her own apartment. I started in the bedroom according to my original plan. I put her bed together and encased her mattress and box spring. They still looked good with no signs of bugs. I put the interceptors under the legs and sprinkled some DE in them and around the head board and baseboard of the wall. We put her new bright white sheets on so she could easily see any visitors. And there you have it! Her bedroom was her new safe zone! We hereby reclaim this territory as ours! No bed bugs welcome!
    Now, on to the living room. Eww. We spent a lot of time going through a small table next to the chair which has her pills and a bunch of other junk on it. It took forever because there were so many small things but I only found one tiny critter that might have been a stage 1 baby. Then, the chair. I started at the top and worked my way down. Nothing in the seams on the top or in the seat or on the back. I opened up the foot rest and looked underneath. Oh wow! In one of the seams under the foot rest, I could see 3 third or fouth stage nymphs looking at me. Then, I moved over a little more and saw 4 more. Then more and more. There were dozens under there. It was like bed bug city, but they were all confined to 2 specific seams under the foot rest. I felt my heart start racing and I was freaking out. I said, “Should I vacuum first or steam first or run?” I read that you should vacuum an infestation before steaming so I got the stupid weak vacuum and tried to suck them up. It wasn’t working well and I felt like I was moving them around so I gave up on that and threw it back outside on the balcony. Then, I got my trusty steamer. I heated it up and tentatively walked over to the chair. I couldn’t see well under the foot rest so I was just steaming away blindly taking my time especially on that one seam. I stopped to check if I was having any effect. I shined the flashlight on them and thought I still saw them, but then as I touched them with a piece of plastic, they just dropped off and I could see they were just little husks. Skeletons to be exact. Mwahaha! I vaporized those little suckers! And then I looked at the seam next to the one I was focused on. Same thing! Even the indirect steam was enough to zap them. I can’t possible explain how satisfying that was to fry those bugs. I steamed that whole chair inside and out. I steamed the back without even looking under the skirt. When I lifted the skirt, I could see the shells of 3 bugs that were stuck on the other side. It fried them even through the fabric from the other side! With the vacuum and my spray bottles, I felt so outmatched and vulnerable. With my steamer, I felt like I had a machine gun and I could take out a hundred of them within seconds.
    Although it was terrifying to know that those bugs were under there, it was a relief at the same time. That explained why my mom was seeing them. And why she had bits on her ankles, she later admitted. I don’t know which was first, the chair or the bed, but the chair seemed more established. Could they have multiplied that fast in just the 5 days that my mom was sleeping in the chair? Maybe she brought them from the chair to the bedroom. In any case, I felt like I dealt them a huge blow that night. Now, we could make it through the rest of the week until the exterminators come. I disagree with the advice of vacuuming first. I say, steam first, ask questions later. Fry them and the eggs and then you can vacuum up the remains. You don’t have to worry about them crawling around live in your vacuum that way either. Steam, my friends! Steam!
    So I set some interceptors at the base of the chair even though it doesn’t have legs to put in them. I told my mom to continue using her wheelchair for now and to wipe it off daily with alcohol. I’m sure there’s still some in there but not many. She slept in her bed knowing that even in the living room, we had done some serious damage on their population. I told her to dedicate sleep clothes for just the bed to avoid bringing in anything from outside her safe zone.
    And that takes us to today. She reported that she had no bites or sightings last night or this morning in bed or the entire bedroom, including the traps. She found one small bug in the interceptor in front of the recliner. She’s at the laundramat now doing a bunch of bags since all of the washers in her building are broken. That brings me to my next fear. What are the odds that one of her neighbors is not going to be responsible with cleaning these things up and they’re all going to get reinfested over and over? Well, at least I feel light I’ve educated myself enough now to know how to keep them at bay until they can be exterminated. The hardest part is knowing where to look. But maybe not that hard since it seems like they are primarily hanging around within just a few feet of their next meal. Wherever you sleep or sit for long times is where they’re gonna be.
    Well, I’ll keep you all posted on how it goes after the exterminator comes. As you can tell, I had a lot to get off of my chest and I doubt anyone read this far anyway but if you did, thanks for listening. This forum is great and so much needed. I’m convinced this is one of the most traumatic experiences anyone can go through and we need to support each other because those that haven’t gone through it don’t understand or worse yet, they judge you as dirty and bringing it upon yourself. Hopefully, we can change that stigma with time so that people won’t hide what they’re going through and we can get a grasp on this plague that is taking over the world.

  5. SalsaVince

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    Posted 11 months ago
    Thu Oct 18 2018 22:26:49
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    Here's the link to the video that I mentioned earlier. Enjoy.
    Video of bed bugs dying from heat

  6. loubugs

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    Posted 11 months ago
    Fri Oct 19 2018 6:41:56
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    only male bed bugs in the video

    Professional entomologist/arachnologist. I consult on all matters dealing with insects and arachnids, including those of natural history and biology to pest management and forensic entomology investigations.
  7. SalsaVince

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    Posted 11 months ago
    Fri Oct 19 2018 13:56:13
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    Today's update. Another good night for my mom in her bed. No bites or sightings in the bedroom and the traps under the bed were empty. However, the traps at the bottom of her recliner picked up one small bug in 3 of the 4. Apparently, it's still a hot spot. I'm going to have to steam it again and maybe spray the seams. She's getting uncomfortable in the wheel chair in the living room so she said she switched to the sofa. I kind of wish she would stick to the recliner but it's very likely she'll get bit in that right now. But now, I'm afraid she's going to draw them to the couch. I'l have to steam that as well. I wasn't expecting to be able to get them all with just the one steaming of the recliner but I'm still feeling disappointed.

  8. BiteInTheNite

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    Posted 11 months ago
    Fri Oct 19 2018 20:43:16
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    Watching that video, the way the heat made them totally freak out and attempt escape does not give me a warm and fuzzy feeling about the use of heat treatment, particularly for apartment buildings. Just seems some would escape to hiding spots the heat can’t reach or to adjoining units in their freak out mode. (A unit in my building was just heat treated for bbs). Anyway, I’m enjoying your thread as it feeds my obsessive anxiety. I sure hope you prevail. Keep us updated.

    Please let it be my paranoia.....
  9. SalsaVince

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    Posted 10 months ago
    Mon Oct 22 2018 6:56:42
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    Saturday was a nice quiet day. No more found in traps or bites. As I said, my mom has been moving around more in the living room and using the couch which had me concerned. She also sat on her recliner that I steamed for a few hours without having any issues. Yesterday, she took a nap on the couch and later realized that she had three new bites on her knee. She suspects it was from the couch. So today I will be going over there to steamed the chair again and to steam the couch. 3 days until the exterminators come to spray. The apartment finally sent her a formal letter giving us instructions on what is necessary to prepare. I am going to have to do everything by myself which is pretty overwhelming. As I suspected and already started doing, we need to remove all items from her bedroom furniture. They also want her closet completely empty. That is going to be a challenge because it is a walk in closet and her main storage for her little apartment so it is full of clothes and bags and boxes. I don't know where I'm going to put all of this stuff. Still have to move all of the furniture in the living room away from the walls which is going to be exhausting by myself. And I'll be throwing away a bunch of clutter. Makes me wonder what some of the other tenants are doing who may not have family that is in a position to help them prepare since her building is specifically for elderly and disabled. I would appreciate any suggestions for helping to keep her from being bit while we are waiting for the exterminators.

  10. keephopealive

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    Posted 10 months ago
    Mon Oct 22 2018 10:03:27
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    Hey there,

    Just wanted to say that it's great to read about how supportive you are of a family member in need.

    I find it really saddening to hear the stories of people on this forum who have been given the cold shoulder from friends and family members after suffering with this issue, which can befall anyone.

    It sounds like you're on the right track with the steaming, which seems to have received excellent reviews from many in the forum, including some success stories where it totally got the problem under control, along with desiccant dust such as cimexa etc. It may be worth confirming with the exterminator what the protocol is once he has sprayed and ensure that you leave sufficient time before steaming again, in order to ensure the chemicals are not rendered ineffective or released into the air inadvertently as I'm guessing you don't want to breath that stuff in while it's in the air

    I think at this stage all you can do is your best, especially in light of having to work and maintain a home life with your wife. I think in terms of preventing bites, it sounds like ensuring there is a clean space that has been thoroughly decontaminated with the steamer (ie chair and bed) and then using the climbups would be at least a good temporary measure. From what I understand sleeping/resting in other locations which are clear could result in dispersal which you don't want.

    But however you approach it, it sounds like you're on the right track and I'm sure your mum will always remember what a great son you are for helping her in her time of need.

  11. keephopealive

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    Posted 10 months ago
    Mon Oct 22 2018 15:43:34
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    Hey there,

    Just wanted to say that it's great to read about how supportive you are of a family member in need.

    I find it really saddening to hear the stories of people on this forum who have been given the cold shoulder from friends and family members after suffering with this issue, which can befall anyone.

    It sounds like you're on the right track with the steaming, which seems to have received excellent reviews from many in the forum, including some success stories where it totally got the problem under control, along with desiccant dust such as cimexa etc. It may be worth confirming with the exterminator what the protocol is once he has sprayed and ensure that you leave sufficient time before steaming again, in order to ensure the chemicals are not rendered ineffective or released into the air inadvertently as I'm guessing you don't want to breath that stuff in while it's in the air

    I think at this stage all you can do is your best, especially in light of having to work and maintain a home life with your wife. I think in terms of preventing bites, it sounds like ensuring there is a clean space that has been thoroughly decontaminated with the steamer (ie chair and bed) and then using the climbups would be at least a good temporary measure. From what I understand sleeping/resting in other locations which are clear could result in dispersal which you don't want.

    But however you approach it, it sounds like you're on the right track and I'm sure your mum will always remember what a great son you are for helping her in her time of need.

  12. SalsaVince

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    Posted 10 months ago
    Mon Oct 22 2018 17:52:23
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    Thanks so much for the encouragement keephopealive. (You're living up to your name). It is difficult having a parent with health limitations in this situation suffering. I am glad I was at least able to make her bed safe so far. She said she's been staying there for this afternoon (in tears of and on) because she's tired of being stuck in the wheel chair in the living room since it's not safe on her recliner or sofa right now. She found 5 bugs on the sheet we had over the recliner so it's still very active. I'm going to go over there now to steam it again and the couch for the first time. I will definitely ask how long before it's safe to steam treated furniture again. I also have to move furniture and vacuum, etc. for the extermination. I'll probably be there till 1am again. But reading your message definitely picked me up during a difficult time. I hope that I can pay it back on this site for years to come and look back at this time as a distant but painful memory.

  13. keephopealive

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    Posted 10 months ago
    Tue Oct 23 2018 3:27:14
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    I've no doubt whatsoever that you will beat them; I really believe that the bad stories online represent exceptional and unique cases that are just not applicable to most situations and that most people get rid of them with some effort and time. I wouldn't let occasional setbacks deter you from your goal; you're significantly knocking the population back with your actions as each bug you find and kill would have taken a while to get to that stage, especially the adults and larger nymphs.

    I think that the more methodical you are, the easier it will be to compartmentalize the problem and focus on it as individual tasks to give yourself a sense of moving forward a bit at a time; attention to detail is key. Clearing even a really tidy house of all clutter accumulated over years is a massive task and I found to be the most annoying part of the whole thing. Once the exterminator is on board you'll also feel like it's more of a team effort, which will help greatly.

    As you're doing this for someone else, it may help to mentally frame it as working another temporary job, with your eventual payment being far more valuable than any amount of money you could be offered right now; peace of mind for yourself and those you love is worth fighting tooth and nail for. I've no doubt that you, a human with a steam machine gun can beat some annoying insects! I'd remember that an occasional lost battle or tactical retreat can just be a strategy for helping you understand your enemy better and eventually will allow you win the war.

    To give some perspective, a friend of mine who didn't react to the bites ended up with the whole first floor of the house where he lived with his parents infested; they were in his room, his parents rooms, everywhere and nobody knew for over 4 months (they were in a guitar case he'd borrowed and put under his bed) When he finally spotted one late at night, he looked down at the floor and saw a line of them going from the floorboards to his bed. At that point he spent the next 3 days hoovering, spraying and putting DE down. Remarkably after 2 months and with no additional work, all activity stopped. He cleared 3 rooms in 2 days and 4 years on, they've never come back; I've no doubt that he was very lucky but THAT gives me some hope that they are not normally an impossible problem to solve, just one that requires hard work and a little luck.

    Stay strong brother; victory will be yours!

  14. SalsaVince

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    Posted 10 months ago
    Tue Oct 23 2018 13:01:21
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    Finished up last night at about 2am. I got all of her bedroom furniture emptied and moved from the walls. I started on the closet but that's going to be a project. It's a large walk in closet and her primary storage room filled with stuff. She's been good about letting me toss out stuff that she's accumulated even though I know it's hard for her. I encouraged her to keep some of the sentimental stuff and just store it in bags for now. We've got to find the balance of decluttering without giving up all of her special memories. It's such a slow and tedious job though. I got half of the living room done. I steamed her recliner again and the couch for the first time. I was surprised I didn't see any bugs on the recliner since she found 5 on it the day before. Maybe they're coming from somewhere else? I did find 2 on the back skirt of the sofa. Like before, I was happy to see that they were thoroughly fried before I even got the tip of the steamer over them. Just getting any steam near them is effective. I put down some Cimexa that I got yesterday lightly on the bottom skirts of the recliner and sofa and in some of the folds. Hopefully, that will be ok to leave on when they spray Thursday. I decided to throw out her vacuum because it was pretty much useless. I'm going to have to get her a new one because it's too important of a tool not to have during this battle.
    I'll head back over there tonight again to try to finish the closet at least and then tomorrow night, I can finish the living room and dining room. I thought I might have to take a day off of work on Wednesday but she's been feeling good this morning so she was able to do some smaller tasks that will save me time so hopefully, I can knock it off in 2 nights without having to stay past midnight.
    Thanks again for the encouragement.

  15. keephopealive

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    Posted 10 months ago
    Tue Oct 23 2018 14:32:28
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    I could be wrong but I think generally its better to use cimexa after any pesticides are sprayed as otherwise the spray renders the cimexa less effective and may allow the pesticide to become airborne as particles?....you'd need an expert to confirm this but if it's only in crevices you may be OK?...

    Yes, I understand that a good bagged vacuum would definitely help; I think if you can get one with a HEPA filter that would probably be good too. Also may be a good idea to use the stocking trick, where you put a knee high stocking in the tube of the vacuum, this in then rolled over the top of the tip and held in place by the crevice nozzle when you slide it onto the end...I think this prevents the bag becoming infested and saves having to replace it every time.

  16. BigDummy

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    Posted 10 months ago
    Tue Oct 23 2018 15:40:10
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    BiteInTheNite - 3 days ago  » 
    Watching that video, the way the heat made them totally freak out and attempt escape does not give me a warm and fuzzy feeling about the use of heat treatment, particularly for apartment buildings.

    That was in a lab setting as a demonstration, in the real world those bugs would be in the creases of furniture or screw holes in a frame or anywhere other than out in the open.

    Lou,
    I noticed that too, playing it safe when they shot that video, eh?

  17. BiteInTheNite

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    Posted 10 months ago
    Tue Oct 23 2018 18:46:30
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    Oh, that makes sense bigdummy, I had not thought of that (bbs freaking out due to being trapped in tiny space with crazy heat?) When the PCOs were treating the apartment in my building he asked me if I wanted to go up and see them. I declined but I really wanted to see how they were dying up there. Kinda wish I did....but glad I didn’t...just in case.

    When I read lou’s Comment I laughed as I found it random. Just goes to show how much I don’t know!

    Salsa Vince, hope you’re not working too hard tonight. It’s great how you are helping your mom.

  18. SalsaVince

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    Posted 10 months ago
    Tue Oct 23 2018 23:21:39
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    Got the closet done. Made 12 trips to the dumpster. It was rough but I actually made it home before midnight. Only saw one bug tonight on the dreaded recliner. Bedroom is still surprisingly clean. Haven't found a single bug in the climbups except a spider. One day till first treatment!

  19. SalsaVince

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    Posted 10 months ago
    Fri Oct 26 2018 13:28:32
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    Not feeling very confident in my mom's property management being capable of resolving the infestation right now. The paper that she received in advance stated that a company called Nolia Pest Control would be handling the treatment. They required that all furniture be removed 12 inches from the walls and that they had easy access to the mattresses and all fabric furniture and dresser drawers. As you know, I busted my butt to meet these requirements in time for Thursday when they were to do the treatment. Since my mom had a medical appointment she was not able to be present when they arrived. We left a note that said to please call me so I could tell them where we found the bugs and check if there's anything else we can do to make it easier for future treatments. She also left a bag of sample live bugs with this note and put them on top of the couch by the door so they would see it when they walked in.
    I never heard from anyone during the day. I called the property manager and they said they hadn't arrived at the apartment yet but that they should be calling soon but I never got the call. I went after work to look around and it looked like no one had touched the place. The pillow and note were exactly where we left it and I noticed we had forgotten to remove the sheet that we had over the recliner. It was still in place. We were able to smell a faint scent in the bedroom on the mattress and even on her desk chair in the bedroom. It seems as though they only sprayed the mattresses and a few things in the bedroom but did not touch the furniture in the living room or the base boards. We even had interceptors next to the chair and couch so you would think that would draw their attention to the fact that those needed treated as well, not to mention the bag of bugs on the couch!
    So frustrating! I had been counting down the days to get this treatment thinking this would be the beginning of the end for this infestation. Now I feel very alone again in my fight. I called the property manager and left a message but I think she's avoiding me. She told my mom earlier that she would get a report from them on Monday of how things went. I don't understand why they wouldn't want to be diligent about this so that they could eradicate the problem quickly and avoid additional costs of a drawn out process.
    The only silver lining is that it seems like my efforts to steam the furniture again and putting down some Cimexa has really quieted the activity in the living room. We've only found a few dead ones in the traps under the foot rest of the chair within the past 2 days. Thank goodness I did some self treatment since I can't count on support from management.

  20. BigDummy

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    Posted 10 months ago
    Fri Oct 26 2018 14:06:47
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    BiteInTheNite - 2 days ago  » 
    Oh, that makes sense bigdummy, I had not thought of that (bbs freaking out due to being trapped in tiny space with crazy heat?) When the PCOs were treating the apartment in my building he asked me if I wanted to go up and see them. I declined but I really wanted to see how they were dying up there. Kinda wish I did....but glad I didn’t...just in case.

    It's not as impressive as the aftermath of a tenting. We had a property that was scheduled for termite tenting and the resident had been dealing quietly with bed bugs for about nine months. The bed bugs were everywhere. In the walls, in a notebook on the floor, wandering the floor in the kitchen and living room, everywhere.
    Most of the cost of fumigation is in the tenting, so it was only another $200 to increase the dosage to kill the bed bugs along with the termites. I went in to open the house back up and there were bed bugs all over the floor, like a snow drift. They had all come out to try and escape and were killed out in the open. A beautiful and disgusting sight all in one.

  21. Proudmommyto3rottenboys

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    Posted 10 months ago
    Fri Oct 26 2018 15:20:00
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    Been reading your story..I also think it is so sweet of you to be helping your mother like this.I wanted to comment to let you know to also check the very top of her curtains.They love to hang out there...I wish you guys the best of luck beating these.Ive been dealing with them for about 5 years off and on.Ive had sprays and 3 heat treatments done which have all failed and I live in a house.We are getting ready to have a Vikane Treatment done in a few days.This mess has completely wore me out and broke us.Also please be very careful going home.Make sure to strip all your clothes off outside and be careful bringing them in to wash and dry.When washing your clothes the best way to do it is to dry them first so you kill and anything on them.And then wash and dry them.I was washing first and then drying but the bug company Im going through now told me to always dry them first cause the bugs can live through the wash.Also I would treat your car with something just in case.

  22. SalsaVince

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    Posted 10 months ago
    Fri Oct 26 2018 16:05:01
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    Thanks ProudMom. My heart goes out to you if you've dealt with them that long. Just a few weeks has been overwhelming. I will double check the curtains. I will keep that in mind about the drying first too. I've been as careful as I can be to not bring them home with me. We check regularly at home too. I'm especially nervous since we had my mom stay at our place last night because they were spraying and she was having a medical procedure. We brought clothes over ahead of time and threw them in the dryer and she changed into those when she got there. The clothes she was wearing to begin with were from her "clean" bags at home and she put them on right before leaving for the doctor. Still makes me nervous though.

  23. BiteInTheNite

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    Posted 10 months ago
    Fri Oct 26 2018 16:58:51
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    I swear if you end up with bedbugs after all you are doing to help your mom, that would be SO WRONG. Just be careful.

    Big dummy, did you take any pics?

  24. BigDummy

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    Posted 10 months ago
    Fri Oct 26 2018 20:11:16
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    My boss took pics, no idea where they are now.


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