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New here need advice!

(9 posts)
  1. ljpizzo

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    Posted 11 years ago
    Tue Jan 29 2008 15:15:06
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    I'm a new Bedbugger. I just discovered bites on my legs and hands a couple weeks ago and I did some research and started to suspect bedbugs although i hadn't seen any bugs yet. I am a student living in a hole in the wall apartment close to campus. So I called my mom and and explained to her the bites and my suspicions. Before i could even be certain they were bed bugs my mom went ahead and spent $100 on this "Diatect natural indoor insect killer" that is supposed to work for bed bugs (after doing some reading i realize it is a DE) and safe for my dog. Finally just yesterday I saw my first bug, a second or third stage nymph crawling towards me on the sofa while watching TV. Now that I know for sure that I have them, and the DE should be arriving any time today or tomorrow I'm starting to wonder if I should just use it and see what happens or hold of on using it and talk to my landlord and neighbors first. I read the FAQ on this but it didn't say anything about Michigan laws so I have no idea if it's my or my landlord's responsibility. My roommate and my boyfriend (both don't seem to be affected by bites) think that I shouldn't do anything, that it's not a big deal. Also I don't know how they got here... i've been living in this apartment for 4 months and just started seeing signs of them, and I haven't been traveling (other than to parents house, who have never had bed bugs) so I don't think I brought them in. And just a few weeks ago we got new neighbors, maybe they brought them in. I don't know what to do! Any advice?

  2. angie

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    Posted 11 years ago
    Tue Jan 29 2008 15:19:06
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    You have to be patient as it may take a couple of days for some one to comment back to your posts. I stop by frequently as do others on this site but I run an in-home daycare and it requires me to leave often. I also know that others here are stopping by on a break or what have you. I will leave the questions you have to the more qualified to answer persons as that is not me.

  3. (deleted)

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    Posted 11 years ago
    Tue Jan 29 2008 15:53:54
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    NO, you should not use DE before consulting your landlord.

    Your non-allergic roommate and boyfriend are not giving you correct advice.

    Bedbugs will NOT go away on their own.

    A bedbug infestation can spread or become harder to resolve if you ineffectively self-treat. Eradication requires concerted preparation and work from everyone in the home. The FAQs (there are several you should read) should give you plenty of information about what is generally entailed.

    I'll try to help you find some information about Michigan. In the meantime you can try to find a tenant advocacy group in your area, or a legal clinic, or the city or town's housing department or health department for a lead and information.

    Do not throw out anything right now as you might spread the problem.

  4. (deleted)

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    Posted 11 years ago
    Tue Jan 29 2008 16:17:03
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    What city are you in?

    [correction] Here is some information specific to Kalamazoo that indicates your landlord may be responsible: http://www.tenant.net/Other_Areas/Michigan/p3/land_mai.html

    And this is general information that is less specific: http://www.tenant.net/Other_Areas/Michigan/p1/maintena.html

    I suggest that you contact your landlord and inform them of the bedbug problem. Indeed, it's possible that you may be responsible to notify your landlord under the law.

    When the landlord is notified, that is the best chance of having adjacent apartments professionally inspected. But you can talk to your neighbors yourself.

    DE is something you can use yourself safely but it's unlikely to eradicate your bedbug infestation. Your best bet is to have a professional (experienced and bedbug-savvy) PCO treat your home. You can then supplement your PCO's work with some measures.

    MSU's rental housing legal clinic: http://www.law.msu.edu/clinics/rhc/

    Please contact them to get specific information and advice about your location.

    More info about the tenant's right to repairs:
    http://www.michiganlegalaid.org/library_client/resource.2005-05-30.1117489737707/html_view

  5. (deleted)

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    Posted 11 years ago
    Tue Jan 29 2008 17:21:37
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    http://www.michigantenants.org/

    Top Five Ways Landlords Mislead, Deceive, and Otherwise Cheat Students

    Okay, I guess you're on solid ground in Michigan with regard to pests. Call the landlord and politely ask for help. If the landlord tries to tell you that you are responsible, you can get help. All these documents recommend a written request and documentation of the problem.

    Good luck.

  6. ljpizzo

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    Posted 11 years ago
    Wed Jan 30 2008 21:53:01
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    thank you hopelessnomo. This is all just so overwhelming, I'm a full time student and when i'm not in class or doing homework I'm working part time at a restaurant. I'm starting to get worried that i won't have the time to deal with this problem, reading about all the work that needs to be done to get rid of them (the bagging and cleaning and disassembling). Plus I'm a student and occasionally like to have parties but now i'm worried about inviting people over... what if they take a bug home with them? Or what if i want to go to someone elses house? The bugs could be tagging along with me inside my purse. I'm so bummed out!

  7. Bistec

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    Posted 11 years ago
    Wed Jan 30 2008 23:16:10
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    I wonder if spraying alcohol around the floors and beds work have you tried this?

  8. fightorflight

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    Posted 11 years ago
    Thu Jan 31 2008 0:46:35
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    WRT to this epidemic, there is a fine line between not wanting to alarm people and send them into a hopeless or apathetic despair on the one hand; and not wanting people to delay and dick around with ineffective measures while their problem gets worse and harder to treat.

    Because of the real difficulty of eradicating the bugs and all the work involved, I think it's natural for people to minimize their potential problem and fall prey to optimistic denial. Goodness knows I did at first and so reiterate my first two rules of the War on Bedbugs (regulars here are tired of this but I think they are helpful for newbies): 1) Do not underreact; and 2) Do not underestimate the bug.

    Read the information on this site very carefully. Trust it before you trust your roommate, boyfriend, landlord or even PCO (they are learning, too). The Uninfected do not know; you, however, will learn quickly. There are some other knowledgeable resources out there.

    Yes absolutely, it is overwhelming. If/when this ever happens to me again, the first thing I will do is try to take a leave of absence from work or several weeks "vacation" (should really sick leave). There are other students on this site who have wondered how they will juggle school and dealing with their BBs. I don't have the answer for that. This is a problem that can cause tremendous and unhealthy disruption in sufferers' lives. But it seems to be getting worse, not better, so we have no choice but to get through it.

    One final, depressing caution wrt your boyfriend: be careful about people spending the night at your place and vice versa. You can spread them this way unless you take measures not to.

    best of luck,
    ForF

  9. (deleted)

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    Posted 11 years ago
    Thu Jan 31 2008 1:04:38
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    No parties until the infestation is eradicated. And you'll get through this. Everyone does somehow. And no one has time or money for bedbugs. But wanting them gone is usually enough motivation. It's not a permanent change in your lifestyle or your time resources. It's temporary. Be smart about it and you can put this behind you relatively quickly.

    Concentrate on getting a qualified PCO in asap. They will give you instructions on how to prepare. Don't delay because bedbugs reproduce very quickly. On the other hand, do not do anything without thinking clearly and acting methodically. Do not throw away things. Do not move things out of your room.

    Read the FAQs. But first call the landlord.

    It gets better. If you and your roommate pool resources and share the work you can get it done. FoF is right about the tendency to denial. Your roommate clearly is not on board and should be. Having a chat is one of your next steps. Good luck.


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