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My story so far...new apartment since March

(3 posts)
  1. kirads09

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    Posted 9 years ago
    Fri May 21 2010 14:16:26
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    My story thus far…

    I thought I would introduce myself.

    I found and joined this forum while doing some research seeking to gain information on bedbugs and how to treat them. I am a total novice and know nothing. What a fantastic group of folks and indispensible wealth of experience and knowledge. I have already learned a great deal. just reading and reading. Thank you! It is not a pleasant subject frankly (I hate bugs of all kinds!) but I believe information is power and in being proactive.

    I live in Denver and like many other places, bed bug infestations are an ever increasing problem here. I work as an administrative assistant for state government here. I am a happily single, middle age woman.

    I moved mid March and downsized into a studio apartment mainly because the rent price was right. I found out after signing a lease the building next to mine had bedbugs. It is on bed bug registry! The building I am in is not but I am assuming at this point probably has them as well. The complex I just moved from did not have any bedbug problems.

    I do not have any hard physical evidence whatsoever in my apartment (yet). I have not seen any marks on my sheets. I have not seen any actual bugs (of any kind, at any stage), no skin casts, etc. I have had itchy skin a lot and what may be a handful of possible bites in various places (that were mostly covered by clothing). I am not convinced this is from bb’s. First, I have very sensitive skin and allergies (which are raging at this time of year). Nearly anything could be causing me to react. I had itchy skin and small bumps on my back prior to moving in here . I have had that most of my life. Also I have read some of the threads where others have had bites, but virtually no other physical evidence of bedbugs. Seems many other things could also cause this besides bedbugs. I know I haven’t been in my new place very long yet – barely 2 months. The landlord did a pest control treatment (exactly what was used or what they did I don’t know) about a week before I moved in. I am wondering if that could be just keeping any bedbugs at bay and I could be in for a rude awakening once it wears off ??? I almost wish I would see a bug just so I would know for sure if I have a problem or not.

    One of my main concerns is I have a 3 year old cat. I don’t want to expose her to any chemicals or anything that could possibly hurt her. I don’t want her getting bitten and suffering either. I honestly am afraid I might have to find her a new home if I do end up with an infestation and have to pursue (professional) treatment. Just for her protection and well being. That would be very difficult because I have only had her since last September and she has become the love of my life.

    I also bought a new sleeper sofa which arrived last week. Was I really stupid to do so? I know I am taking a huge risk with that, but I wanted to be comfortable and live my life. It is a traditional upholstered piece of furniture. If I do get bedbugs, I do plan to sofasafe it. I hope to preserve it obviously. However, I don’t know how effective encasing would be. I imagine the smaller stages of bedbugs could still slip through the pin holes a cat’s claws could put in the encasement, and wouldn’t be air tight anymore in that case either.

    I have a fairly extensive vintage doll collection (vinyl - like Barbie). Nothing horribly valuable but I would hate to have to get rid of them. They are stored in my closet for now (been afraid still to set up shelves and put them out). The only I can think to do is put them all in the ziplock bags to protect them. The heater thingee obviously wouldn't be an option to treat them if I had to.

    I have been keeping an ever vigilant eye out for any signs of bedbugs. Examining myself , sofa, mattress, pillow, sheets, etc daily. Again, nada so far. Am I in denial? Or am I worrying too much and just feeling the paranoia? I do feel quite anxious knowing how difficult this can be to deal with and to get rid of. I am literally praying just not to get them.

    Anyway, thought I would share a little about myself , my situation and why I joined here in the first place.

    If I do end up with these pests, I may be asking for lots of advice on moving out without taking them with me or spreading them when my lease is up next March.

    Thanks.

  2. kirads09

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    Posted 9 years ago
    Wed May 26 2010 12:11:16
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    Unfortunately, I have now seen and killed 3 adult bb. Bites are about on the same level. I have some health concerns and can react severely. Have a Dr's appt to discuss with him in about a week.
    My anxiety and depression level about this has been off the charts.

    I contacted my landlord to see about treatment this morning. The landlord said they are getting to each floor aand spraying all units every 6 weeks. Obviously they seem to know they have a problem. She is going to have a different company come out and inspect my apartment “in a little more detail” and see what further/different treatment they suggest. I am planning to get some DE and caulk on my own in way of mitigation. Going to see what this company says and does. Want to give treatment a chance and my LL the benefit of a doubt. I do feel somewhat better after talking with her.

    So now the hard part in dealing with all of this and how to mitigate any loss. My plan of action with tons of questions. Any advice/info greatly appreciated.

    I have a sofa bed which is what I am sleeping on. I am going to encase the mattress but what do I do about the upholstered part? Is a regular mattress encasement ok ? As someone else mentioned, a sleeper sofa mattress is much thinner. My cat is on there constantly . With a cat, don’t think a sofa encasement would end up being effective due to claw holes, but I could try one. I am willing to get a steam cleaner. Do the ones made for cleaning your carpet with upholstery attachments (like a Bissell) get hot enough for sofa and baseboards? Or do I need to just get rid of the sofa bed totally? It has lots of crannies and folds where they could get to. It is new, $800 so hoping to preserve it if at all possible.

    How much do I really need to worry about electronics like a TV (brand new)? Do they need to be/Can they be treated in any way?

    I will put most of my belongings (doll collection, CD's, DVD's, books etc) in XXL ziplocks and the bugsafe zipper storage bags and duct taping the zipper and duct taping plastic storage containers. I can't afford a packtite and the dolls can't be "cooked" without ruining them. Should I put strips in with this stuff?

    Any instructions for vacuuming? I have a Dyson which I love but not sure it is the best for this situation as it is bagless and hard to clean out. I have been using it in this apartment so it is already contaminated so to speak.

    As far as clothes. My plan is to dryclean what needs to be (my wool dress coat and nice suits) and immediately when I pick them up (while in the car), put them in a bugzip garment bag, duct taping the zipper. Is that sufficient? Same with washables. Wash and dry on hot a couple times and immediately after getting them out of the dryer put them in that type of bag. What about the stuff I need to wear to work and access daily? I am thinking about getting a couple pair of scrubs to wear only at home and washing them and my bedding nightly (all on hot of course).

    I drive in my car about 20 minutes a day. More on weekends running errands and such. Is getting it detailed sufficient (needs it anyway) or does it need to be specifically treated in some way. It sits parked outside on asphalt.

    If worse comes to worse, I can pay off and get out of my lease, which isn't up until March 2011. I would then have to do a so called scortched earth move. To me that is a last resort. I really don't have the finances to replace my entire life, so would be an incredible hardship for a long time to come. The TV and sofa are big ticket items recently purchased. Or should I be strongly considering doing this and just getting out now before this gets much worse?

  3. Jacksfullofaces

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    Posted 9 years ago
    Wed May 26 2010 13:30:48
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    I'm sorry about your infestation. Obviously I can't speak for your pest controller but the stuff my one uses hasn't hurt my cats and is low toxicity. I also have vinyl dolls. Fortunately they are stored at present.I doubt that the dolls will appeal to bed bugs. They prefer wood, and paper to set up home in. When you vacuum you should immediately empty the contents into a bag seal with tape and discard the contents.
    Jacks


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