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New here...unfortunately. Need help/advice

(12 posts)
  1. jeremy h.

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    Posted 8 years ago
    Thu Feb 24 2011 22:18:31
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    Hello everyone.

    I'm brand new here for an obviously unhappy reason. Just found out today that I might have an BB infestation. This morning I found four bites on my and a single dead bed bug (confirmed) on the floor. After hours of researching the signs of infestation I tore apart my bedroom and didn't find a single positive sign anywhere. As I live in an apartment, I contacted the management and Orkin came to the scene later today. We are commencing either a chemical (most likely) or heat treatment on Monday for all rooms of the apartment (just to be safe).

    What is in store for me? I understand that all my clothes and linens will be washed and dried as hot as they can take it that day. I will be purchasing mattress/boxspring encasements for immediately after the treatment. My main concern is my couch. I have rummaged through all its nooks and crannies with no evidence found. I intend to get an encasement for this too. Additionally I'm strongly thinking about getting DE and Bedlam spray to supplement my new-found war. How does this gameplan sound to all of you who have had to deal with this predicament?

    Anybody have any wisdom to pass down that will help me? This is a FIRST for this guy...and my anxiety and stress is THROUGH THE ROOF. Does it sound like I caught this early enough? I Got bites about 3-4 weeks ago and that was the FIRST instance of BB bites (though I didn't know that at the time). I'm begging for your help, please.

    Thanks,

    Jeremy

  2. heritchyness

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    Posted 8 years ago
    Thu Feb 24 2011 22:43:16
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    It's going to be ok. I am also new to this unhappy scene. I am freaking out but it helps to have people who have been there and made it through smarter and more organized. That's what I am looking at as the meager bright side. Anyway, it's good you have called in the pros. And it's good you haven't found much evidence- you probably have a very small infestation. Are they bringing in a dog? It might help if you knew were they were living. You can treat the couch and then encase it, you will feel better.
    I have 2 dogs, a cat, a husband and a baby, and I am losing my mind. Going to work is such a joke, I have to pretend I am normal when I haven't slept in almost 2 weeks. At least it gives me somewhere to go because I hate my house now. Which sucks because I loved it before.
    Anyway, there are many many success stories out there. This is the new reality of the world, so consider yourself on the vanguard. Your friends will all turn to you for advice when the plague strikes them. Think if how popular you will be!

  3. jeremy h.

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    Posted 8 years ago
    Thu Feb 24 2011 22:51:51
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    Heritchyness,

    Thanks for being the first one to post. I am getting a quote for a dog (there's a company only about 30-45 minutes away, luckily) for a post-treatment assessment. I can say my OCD just went into overdrive. I'm praying HARD that I've caught it early. These little (unmentionable)s will rue the day when they messed with me. Encasing the couch will be in my game plan. I'm pulling out all the stops within financial reason. It's racking my brain though...I don't know HOW they got here. Either bad luck or someone else next door might have bad luck too. I'm working very, very close with my apartments on this one. Again, thanks for the reply. Any sincere wisdom is be GREATLY appreciated.

    J.H.

  4. Louise

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    Posted 8 years ago
    Thu Feb 24 2011 23:12:30
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    Hi, Jeremy.

    So sorry you're going through this, but you're definitely at the right place if you want expert advice.

    Now for my non-expert advice.

    1.) Before spraying Bedlam or using DE, make sure you check with your PCO. You don't want to undermine anything he or she is doing. Also, be sure to read the DE FAQ on this site if you do end up using it. You don't want that stuff getting airborne and then into your lungs. Silicosis is WAY worse than bed bugs; you just don't want to go there. And if you're planning to get a bed bug sniffing dog in post-treatment, you may want to skip the DE altogether, since my understanding is that those dogs often won't be permitted to sniff homes that have been treated with DE. (Although again, I'm hardly an expert and could be wrong about that.)

    2.) A couch encasement can be problematic unless you're planning to not use the couch for 18 months. One little rip 6 months down the road and you could be back to Square One.

    3.) If you haven't purchased a Packtite, make that one of the first things you do (assuming you're in the U.S. where they're available, that is).

    4.) Read the FAQ about how to avoid spreading them when you go out.

    5.) Don't forget to breathe.

    6.) Remember that you will get through this.

    Sounds like you caught this pretty early. It'll all work out.

    Louise

  5. jeremy h.

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    Posted 8 years ago
    Thu Feb 24 2011 23:20:58
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    Thanks Louise. I'm still thinking about the couch covering (I don't want to lose my couch...don't make that much money) and I intend to be careful when encasing and sitting. And I'll avoid the DE and talk to the PCO about Bedlam. I mention Bedlam since it supposedly is ovicidal...egg-killing. I don't intend to use Bedlam right after the exterminator applies the pesticide. I'm gonna play this right and keep at it. Additionally, will a carpet steam cleaning company that will clean couches and chairs be a good idea? I only have a couch and a big beanbag-style chair in my study (both microfiber, btw). I'll look into a packtite. Thanks.

  6. Nobugsonme

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    Posted 8 years ago
    Fri Feb 25 2011 0:37:20
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    I agree with Louise about talking to the pro before you do anything. Some pros won't even treat you once you start putting things down.

    Also, we have a FAQ on dogs, and the key point is before you hire one, make sure they visually verify all alerts.

    Others FAQS are here.

    I started and run the site but am "not an expert."
  7. Louise

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    Posted 8 years ago
    Fri Feb 25 2011 10:39:08
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    jeremy h. - 11 hours ago  » 
    I'm still thinking about the couch covering (I don't want to lose my couch...don't make that much money) and I intend to be careful when encasing and sitting.
    .
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    Additionally, will a carpet steam cleaning company that will clean couches and chairs be a good idea? I only have a couch and a big beanbag-style chair in my study (both microfiber, btw). I'll look into a packtite. Thanks.

    I'm pretty sure there are other people who have had couches that have been infested, but who have been able to keep them by getting treated. I don't *think* it's a given that you have to either encase your couch or toss it.

    As far as steam cleaning goes, I am now really leery of renting/using anything that has been in other people's homes (who knows if THEY didn't have bed bugs?!). After the Packtite, I think my next purchase would be a high quality dry steamer that I could use myself, over and over again as needed, and which wouldn't be traveling to other homes. Perhaps that's just paranoia on my part...but sheesh, these critters tend to do that to a person, don't they?

    And yes, Nobugs (as always) is right. If you do hire a dog, make sure all alerts are confirmed by hard evidence (bugs, casings or fecal matter).

    Keep at it. You're on the right track. You'll get through.

  8. jeremy h.

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    Posted 8 years ago
    Fri Feb 25 2011 11:30:32
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    Again, many thanks to you all for giving me your wisdom! I'm really starting to hone in on a game plan. As of this morning...no new bites. Whatever this is...it's either small, just the beginning or my neighbor has it and they are JUST beginning to migrate. It's funny (but not really), I learned I was the FIRST case EVER in my apartments to have a positive for BB (even if it's one found dead on the carpet). Any experience with minor infestations regarding electronics? My laptop is in my bedroom 75% of the time. I'm thinking Nuvan strips and sealing in plastic for the prescribed few weeks...along with the rest of my electronic goodies. I have plenty of stuff to read anyway. Am I going too Gung-Ho considering the evidence/circumstances?

    And, Louise, I'm beginning to breath again. Thanks.

  9. Louise

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    Posted 8 years ago
    Fri Feb 25 2011 13:53:15
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    If I'm remembering correctly, I think Nuvan strips could possibly "degrade" (not sure what the right word is just now) your electronics.

    I also believe it's unusual for electronics to become infested, although I suppose if you're using your laptop while in bed...although, truly, it doesn't sound like you have a major infestation. I would suspect that your laptop is likely okay. And could you live without it for weeks?

    Going too gung-ho? I dunno. It's hard to find the right balance in the midst of the panic...especially when the learning curve is so steep at first. You seem to be willing to read and research instead of just acting wildly and doing EVERYTHING all at once...which I think is generally a recipe for disaster - and for spreading bed bugs everywhere in one's home!

    Keep reading, and stay calm. A clear head will help you beat this far more efficiently (and painlessly) than panic will.

  10. Nobugsonme

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    Posted 8 years ago
    Fri Feb 25 2011 14:50:45
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    Please click the DDVP tag at the top of your post. You will find other discussions about DDVP use (Nuvan Prostrips or Hot Shot Strips). I am pretty sure the electronics issue has been addressed.

  11. jeremy h.

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    Posted 8 years ago
    Fri Feb 25 2011 19:31:26
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    The DDVP may not be necessary at all. Fine visual and K9 inspection (very, very good crew, btw) inside my computer came back negative. And considering the circumstances...IsoTech confirmed a very small infestation (boxspring only) and a VERY early catch on my part...I'm not going to worry too much about the laptop. I'm going to take a break from the forum for a while...my brain is kaput right now. I'm now cautiously optimistic. Talk to y'all later. And, everyone, you all have my thanks.

    J.H.

  12. Denise

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    Posted 8 years ago
    Fri Feb 25 2011 19:36:33
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    Good luck to you!


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