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New member--this forum is a Godsend

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  1. watercolorpainter

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    Posted 10 years ago
    Sat Nov 8 2008 9:08:16
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    I am joining this forum. It looks like a good source of information straight from other people struggling with the SAME problems with bedbugs, which is wonderful because everything I've read online seems to be somewhat unreliable and sometimes I wonder if the people who wrote about them have ever even had bedbugs themselves.

    My husband and I had the presence of bedbugs confirmed one week ago, however, looking back when we first saw a bug that was back in the beginning of September, we just didn't know what it was. We are unsure of where they came from. August marked the 1 year anniversary of us moving here, so there's a chance they were lying dormant all this past year. Or, they may have came in because we brought in a used couch around that time, also. Either way we're paying for it big time. We had the exterminator come the first time back in August, treated the whole apartment, set glue traps, but we didn't buy the mattress covers because we didn't know they might help.

    This time 'round we're going all out. All our laundry, blankets, towels, shoes, are in the cars after bring dried on high heat in dryers. Our bed is encased in "bed bug proof" mattress covers (allergy lux from bed bath and beyond) and is atop bed risers sitting in pans of water. We call these our moats. We threw out all our couches and upholstered furniture. This is highly demoralizing. We keep getting bit despite the exterminator blasting our apartment with chemicals. Here's the summary of the results that I wrote in an exasperated email to my mother:

    Well hello everyone. I took yesterday off as a sick day. I was feeling
    quite sick from all this so it wasn't that much of a stretch. We took
    the apartment apart yesterday. We took all the books and movies and
    games and everything off the living room shelves and entertainment
    center/coffee tables. We threw out the couches and our rocker and any
    upholstered furniture. We moved all the furniture away from the walls
    and took apart both beds. We took all our clothes, blankets, towels,
    shoes, etc in the cars to the laundromat to get dried. The pest
    people came at noon and I stayed there to ask questions while my husband got
    a head start at the laundromat with all our clothes. They said they
    were bringing out the big guns for this. The exterminator told me he
    even mixed up the chemicals extra strong...hopefully not enough to
    cause us to grow an extra head though. He approved of one type of
    bedbug cover we had bought for the one in the spare bedroom but not
    the ones on our bed so my husband and I are getting new covers for those. We
    have to order them from offline though because they weren't in stock
    at Bed Bath and Beyond, which is the only place we can buy those
    special covers around here. They told us we did a great job at getting
    the apartment ready for the treatment and it was a good thing we had
    the glue traps out or we would have taken a lot longer to notice the
    bugs. He also said we caught it before it became a much worse
    infestation.

    We did laundry and price shopped for a new couch. We won't get one
    until this whole situation calms down though. For now we just have 2
    wooden chairs in the living room.

    When we came back from doing all the laundry it was about 7pm. We
    walked in and it smelled like it had definitely been treated with
    chemicals. Then we went into the bedroom and everything had been
    moved around, we could see that they had treated everything too
    because there was this shiney, still sticky residue on everything and
    the carpet was damp around the baseboards. A couple of the dresser
    drawers still had little puddles of liquid in the bottom of them.
    They certainly went all out. We decided to put back together some of
    the furniture/move it back to where it was before we brought in our
    clothes. So we did the living room first--put the books and movies
    back on the shelves. Then we moved the stuff in the kitchen, spare
    room, then we went into the bedroom and started figuring out what to
    do. We decided to put the bed back on the frame since it had been
    thoroughly treated and then set it on the bed risers in the moats.
    But while we were standing there talking I noticed a spot on one of
    the mattresses leaning against the wall. I shuddered. No way...they
    were supposed to be dead...took a closer look....please Lord, no....it
    was a bed bug. A very much alive one. I squealed "BUG!" and my husband
    walked over and said, "I can't believe it. They are not supposed to be
    alive now, they said they'd all be dead!" and we got rid of it. Then
    I looked around the room and saw a spot on the wall. Another bed bug,
    high up on the wall. Really weird behavior from them, especially
    since the lights were blaring and supposedly they don't like lights or
    come out during the day. Then we saw another one RIGHT OVER OUR HEADS
    on the ceiling. I had to help him get a couple off the surface because
    they sort of stuck to it and didn't want to come off. It was really
    traumatizing to come home to a bedroom with them crawling all over the
    walls and ceiling. I didn't want them falling onto our heads. I told
    him we should move t he bed away from the ceiling vent in case one
    crawled into it and then fell back out at night onto our bed. I think
    we found 3 on the ceiling and 5 on the walls. They were trying to get
    away from the poison, I think. Anyway we decided it wasn't safe to
    bring in the clothes so they are still in the cars. My car smells
    like stinky feet because I have all our shoes in my car.

    We did put 2 of those clear plastic storage drawers inside of bigger
    bins filled with water so that we each have 2 little drawers that are
    safe for clothes. The moats seem to keep anything from getting into
    stuff because we have found a couple bugs in our bed moats in the past
    2 days. We are hoping there are no bugs on our bed frame because that
    should cure the problem eventually, if we can just make sure there are
    none on the bed ALREADY we can PREVENT them from coming up via the
    moats. If we get bites in the next week or so, or find any in the
    sheets....we will buy a new bed frame. We also threw out our box
    spring because we figured that was one more place for them to hide and
    one big clunky thing we had to move around every time we checked the
    bed for bugs so my husband went to Lowes to get more wood slats and now we
    just have the mattress on slats.

    Last night in my dreams I felt something really itchy on my ankle. I'm
    not sure if I dreamed the itch or if it was real. Today that ankle
    itches in the same spot but I don't see a red mark yet so I'm not sure
    if its a bite or not.

    I've started getting used to the idea that there may very well be bugs
    in our bed even if we have pest people treat the frame, wash the
    linens, use the protective covers, and keep it on moats. We can do
    all that but there still could be bugs there somehow, and every night
    they may very well come out and bite us. I still sleep lightly but
    I've at least been sleeping-- the past 2 nights were better. I'm
    getting used to the fact that it is somewhat out of our control and we
    just have to deal with it.

    Then, the following evening after I got back from work I had this experience:

    Well. I went over to the bed a couple hours ago to go to bed and
    watch a movie. There was a bedbug sitting right there on my pillow,
    plain as day. I freaked. Husband captured it. Then we stripped the bed.
    We found one more in the covers. We took the laundry down to the
    dryer and flipped up the mattress, spraying the bedframe, mattress,
    all around it with lysol for good measure. We taped saran wrap up
    above the bed covering the 2 ceiling vents in case the bugs were
    dropping from there. A half hour later I walked back in to look at
    the bed. There was a bed bug on the mattress protector. A while later we
    found one on the wall. Then a few minutes later, another one on the
    bed protector. This is getting rather disheartening. They must be
    coming out of the woodwork, literally. We will be buying a new bed
    frame tomorrow. I will look all day if I have to, to find one that we
    can use to put up on the moats again and hope that this time our bed
    will be isolated from the bugs.

    Blah. Off to check the bed one more time and get the laundry out.
    This is unbelievable.

    Even after having our wood bedframe taken apart and sprayed with insecticides, then thoroughly checking each piece before putting it back together, they are somehow coming out of the bed frame and walking over our mattress. They can't be coming out of the cover, its brand new with no holes, and we put duct tape over the zipper for good measure. I don't think they are dropping from the ceiling, and we had even covered our ceiling air vents with saran wrap and duct tape to prevent anything from falling out onto our bed. The bed is on moats which drown anything that try to crawl up to the bed. They must be coming from the frame but I don't know how. If we buy a new bed frame and set it up right on top of the moats, will it keep our bed isolated FINALLY????

    I guess that's my question after such a long winded introduction. Thanks for staying with me if you got to this point. I'm at my wits end and feeling angry, depressed, defeated, and of course exhausted.

  2. bugbattler

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    Posted 10 years ago
    Sat Nov 8 2008 10:58:12
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    water color - sorry & welcome. I'm sorry that you are going through this too

    It's hard for me to say where they are coming from. Is the bed near the wall?, could they be falling off the ceiling? (they do that, I know from horrible experience - yuck!). I wouldn't advise buying a new bed until they have been eradicated. Perhaps removing potential infest sites one by one until you discover the source?

  3. lynnee82

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    Posted 10 years ago
    Sat Nov 8 2008 11:05:39
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    Oh, I am so sorry you and your husband are having to deal with this! It is truly awful, and you will get alot of support on this site. We have been dealing with it for 3 weeks now. We did the same things with our mattress and still were getting bites but never saw a bug. We now shower and get directly in bed at night. This has helped. I think we were bringing them from the living room to the bed on clothes. Hang in there. What I am learning is that there is not a quick simple solution. It takes time and patience. One of the hardest things is not feeling at home in your own home. Hope it is a better day today!

  4. Livingagain

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    Posted 10 years ago
    Sat Nov 8 2008 11:23:18
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    Do you have soap in the water in the "moats"? I've heard that you need that or they can kind of float across the water. Also, you can put double-sided tape slightly bigger than the bed on the ceiling to prevent them from climbing up and dropping down. This has been documented to happen.

    Don't be too discouraged about seeing bugs around, the pesticide makes them crazy sometimes. That may be the kind of pesticide that is repellent and bugs are starting to get resistant to, though, you can check w/ your pest control guy to see which kind he used. When we got treated I didn't smell it, except the one time that the PCO used Gentrol which I insisted he not use again after I found out that there is no proof it works on bed bugs. So you might check if he used that.

    Having the PCO spray in the right places is more important than the chemical being "extra strong" by the way. Did he put Drione (or something like that) dust in the outlet and switch openings? He could also spray the back of those plates. Make sure he comes back on the right schedule for your pesticide.

  5. Livingagain

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    Posted 10 years ago
    Sat Nov 8 2008 11:24:56
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    PS make sure you are careful w/ washing and bagging up clothes, you don't want to transfer these somewhere (like work) where you'll just get them back from.

  6. watercolorpainter

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    Posted 10 years ago
    Sat Nov 8 2008 11:39:55
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    Haven't tried soap but I will put some in if it might help. Whenever we caught them we would put them in a glass of water, flush them down the toilet. We noted that they just sort of stay motionless in the water and don't swim around, and read online they can't swim, so we figured it was worth a shot.

    Every measure we've taken so far has seemed ridiculous and extreme and paranoid at first. But then you find another bug, and it doesn't seem so silly at all. So are you suggesting putting sticky tape all over the ceiling in a solid square in order to keep them from falling off directly over our bed? We've already started using sticky tape on the legs of the bed for extra measure and sticky tape all around our door frame because we want to keep them contained in the bedroom.

    In a couple hours we are going out shopping in hopes of returning with a brand new, simple metal bedframe that we can use and just set our ornate antique wood one against the wall. I think the wood frame has too many hiding places for the bugs. We'll have to re-sanitize the bed risers too and re-dry the mattress cover so they're all sanitized at the same time. Will spraying the bed risers with lysol kill any bugs that are in direct contact with it? Otherwise should we just soak them in hot water in the tub? Sorry for all the questions. I'm so thrilled to have found a place where there is honest to goodness real information and help for bedbugs.

  7. bitten123

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    Posted 10 years ago
    Sat Nov 8 2008 13:56:26
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    Watercolorpainter, all I can say is HUGS HUGS HUGS. Oh you poor thing, I feel so bad for you and your husband. I so hate bedbugs, I hate how they just rip us apart emotionally.

    I am so proud of how you and your husband are attacking this situation! Wow, you guys are doing great. You have taken it seriously you are at war and the way you are thinking, you are thinking how would a bug move/react, and you are trying to block them. That is great! I do not think that any of your procedures are extreme, I think they make great sense.

    I need to reread your posting later, but my advice for now:

    Keep the mattress as you have it encased

    A new metal bed frame seems a good idea to me.

    Risers: Boilling hot water will kill any eggs on them

    Are you using vaseline in addition to the double stick tape. I also concur about double stick sticky tape on ceiling, but remember to put up painters tape first, then the double stick sticky tape so you don't ruin your ceiling.

    I would have your PCO thoroughly give your new frame a treatment before you put mattress on it (check into waht he is using).

    that is it for now, hang in there!

  8. DougSummersMS

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    Posted 10 years ago
    Sat Nov 8 2008 16:23:51
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    Boiling water is hazardous & problematic... Lysol is not an insecticide or a chemical that you would want to inhale for an extended period. The alcohol content will kill bed bugs, but so would rubbing alcohol.

    There are a number of safer alternatives. Steam would be a more controllable thermal treatment.

    There are a number of substances that will kill bed bugs on contact. Isopropol alcohol will kill bed bugs on contact along with a number of enzyme sprays, Steri-fab, cedar oil spray, Murphy's Oil Soap, ect.

    You can buy many of these products from the Bedbugger.com store page.

    I worked as a Paramedic for many years & have seen boiling water produce serious burns. Steam is much easier to direct & control.

    Be sure to keep Lysol, Steri-fab & alcohol sprays away from open flames, obviously.


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