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new nightmare

(6 posts)
  1. thishastobeajoke

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    Posted 5 years ago
    Mon Dec 23 2013 3:14:49
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    Hi, sorry, there are a lot of details, please bear with me.
    I recently moved cities / into a new apartment. I was a very lucky girl all my life / very sheltered to the concept of bed bugs. I do not yet have a job in the new city. I do not exactly have savings. I could not afford a new mattress... so I bought one from someone who was moving out of the state (um. wow. I wish I were kidding.).... it was an amazing "$900 less than a year old" mattress... you "feel like you're sleeping on a cloud"..... I had to pay for the mattress and frame, and then pay movers to move the mattress and frame out of the girl's empty apartment, 15 minutes down the road and up 5 flights of stairs. (I weigh 99 pounds and am not exactly a weightlifter)... I was soo excited to not have to sleep on the floor... after I washed my bedding, I went to put it on my "new" mattress, and I saw a bug. I froze. I did not put the bedding on the mattress. I got a tissue and then flushed the bug down the toilet. I googled. It looked like an appleseed. I began to cry. I slept on the floor again. (As for the biatch who sold me the bed, she had already left the state, and I figure asking for my money back is just a waste of breath and energy.. like she'd actually answer my call. OH I hope Karma does its thing. WHO DOES THAT TO SOMEONE? She had to know. She had an empty buggybeds on the floor of her empty room. Why didn't I freak out when I saw it? WHY? Why didn't I assume the worst? Why did I figure she was taking preventative measures? yes, because I'm a sheltered idiot)...

    I never slept on the mattress, but I couldn't get it out of the apartment immediately. For one, it was the day before thanksgiving. But mostly, it was because I needed help. My roommates (who are male and macho) thought I was just paranoid, and told me I did not have bed bugs and they would not help me get the mattress out because I was being ridiculous. I didn't know what to do. Meanwhile I was starting a new temp job and barely had time to breathe. And I began sleeping downstairs on the couch. Over the course of the next few days, I would tiptoe in my room reluctantly and spray the bed and frame with lysol as best I could. I saw / killed 3 or 4 more full grown bugs crawling on the mattress and watched them die of lysol death. The mattress with the bugs sat in my room for 7 days. (um. I know.) The frame sat it in for 9. My roommates had finally moved the mattress one day when I wasn't home, but they didn't know the wood frame was also an issue. One day they had people over to watch a game, and brought my bedding and belongings from the downstairs couch, upstairs, into my closed-off room, and laid everything on the bug infested bed frame. And let my little dog in my room, who hides under beds. I got home and was livid, and immediately bagged the blanket and sweatshirt, put them in the dryer, then washer, then dryer again (I saw the bugs on the blanket.. two dries seemed necessary)... gave my dog a bath, and I threw the pillow away. (When I picked it up off the frame I saw baby bugs / nymphs? crawling all over it.) My roommates helped me break down and carry out the frame immediately. (FINALLY)

    My room has never had furniture in it since I've lived here, besides that nasty bed from hell, only clothes and/or pillows and blankets (on the floor, in a closet, or in bins). (Along with toiletries and dog toys and shopping bags and big plastic bins and a garbage can.)

    I continued to sleep on the couch and avoided my room. I washed /dried some necessities and began living out of a hall closet.
    A week or so later, we had a cleaning crew come. Before they came, I went to bag all my clothes. (I have a LOT of clothes. like, a LOT. think more than you're thinking, doubled.)... To my horror, as I was bagging, I saw a bedbug in the closet. On the floor. Alive. Before I could kill it, it had disappeared, back into the carpet I guess. I cried. I continued to bag. and cry. bag and cry. and tie.

    The cleaning crew was made aware of the situation and vacuumed every inch of my room and wiped down everything. They vacuumed one side of the room, then moved the 10 or so giant trash bags of clothes and such to the other side of the room and vacuumed. That night, I slept on the floor of my room. I put an allergan bedbug protector case on my new pillow, and somehow fell asleep after only two hours of i refuse to shut my eyes or turn out the lights paranoia.

    Since the vacuuming, (at least seven days/nights), I have not seen a single bug. I haven't had a single bite (please PLEASE knock on wood)... I've searched the walls, any belongings in the one bin that wasn't bagged, etc. and have not found anything. But I know that doesn't mean they aren't still here. I got some lavender glade solid air/room freshener and put it on the floor next to my blanket/pillow. in case.

    My white pillowcase remains bug and stain free (again, knock on wood, please and thank you). The blankets are bug and stain free (knock knock, thanks). I have not seen a single bug, and have been sleeping in this room, on the floor, for at least seven nights. I'm the kind of person with sensitive skin that reacts immediately to a scratch or to bug bites... I have to coat myself with vanilla extract in the summer to avoid mosquitoes because they adore me and I swell. I imagine I would react to a bite, but who knows.

    Present day: I want a bed. I need a bed. My body hurts and aches. (It always does, I have fibromyalgia.. but moreso from not having a bed for over a month)...... I found a BRAND new mattress I can afford. BUT - here's where I need help --- what steps do I need to take before bringing a new mattress into this room?
    Order a bedbug cover for the mattress and put it on before the mattress enters my room? I don't think it would be wise to bring in a boxspring... since that means more wood..... so this means I need a platform bed... that isn't wood...? Where do I find this (an all metal platform bed, yes?) that I can afford? I can't just put the mattress on the floor... can I?
    What is the best mattress protector / case that is affordable?
    I will attempt to vacuum again myself before bringing in the bed.
    I will finish washing and/or drying everything in the remaining giant trash bags that are still sitting in my room, tied tightly. (I'm embarrassed they are still here, but I got sick and had fever / needed antibiotics and again, am 99 pounds, and didn't have the energy or strength to carry the heavy trash bags full of clothes down the flights of stairs / into my car / to a laundromat)... but - isn't it risky to put the trash bags in my car? Is there a chance I could get bed bugs in my CAR? if they are in there and alive? What if a trash bag breaks? rips / tears?

    HELP!
    Nobody I know understands. Lucky lucky people.

    ALSO, a pillow (a really nice expensive pillow) and sheets sat on the floor of the room on a wall away from the infested bed/frame throughout the entire experience, until they were bagged before the cleaners came. They remain in the bag. I can dry the sheets. Wash dry. BUT: What should I do with this pillow? Is there hope? Do I need to throw it out (please no)...? Do I take it somewhere? It's memory foam, I believe, with a removable velour cover.

    Please advise!! I am so terrified of never getting rid of them. I don't want to stay in this apartment forever. I don't want to move bed bugs with me wherever I go. I don't know what to do and feel so alone! But I know I'm not alone..... It couldn't have been that easy.

    thanks a million in advance for any words of wisdom. sorry this was soo long. it was therapeutic. thank you for reading! and for being there!

  2. thishastobeajoke

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    Posted 5 years ago
    Mon Dec 23 2013 3:29:43
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    PS - I still do not have a job. (My "temp" job was less than temp.) I cannot afford an exterminator. Seriously. I cannot even afford rent right now. There is no way I can afford an exterminator. My building does not seem very helpful. I called the company the building uses. It will obviously cost hundreds of dollars... confirmed. I do not have this money.

    PPS - I am kind of amazed the bugs haven't spread. My roommate's room is ten steps away from mine... he's been sleeping in it every night, when I was downstairs on the couch. (I tried to tell him to get busy on protecting himself, in case, but he is macho and I don't think he understands what could happen here.)

    PPPPS- I believe I'm going to need furniture at SOME point for all the clothes that have been in bins (and bags) since I moved here... any recommendations on furniture types? Avoid wood? I really just need some drawers/storage. I don't plan on staying here forever. It's month-to-month. I'm just so thankful no suitcases were in the bedroom at any time....

    thanks again!

  3. Alberta has bugs

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    Posted 5 years ago
    Mon Dec 23 2013 3:38:33
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    Wow, yes it is a nightmare, however I think you are doing what you can after reading your comments.
    Please keep reading the FAQs on this web-site and keep doing the right thing, inspecting the area etc.
    Hopefully all it took was the vacuuming and washing.
    I would definitely use DE but please read how to apply it.
    Wish you the best on finding a job, getting healthy and no more bugs.

  4. Ohdearno

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    Posted 5 years ago
    Sun Jan 5 2014 20:39:16
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    I understand the panic type feeling, but since you have already found this website, you are on the way to finding your best answers. I am hoping for you that since it was almost kept to your room, you will be able to get the bbs dead quickly. There is a product called nuvan strips that can be used to kill bugs if you put them in plastic containers, like for your shoes and handbags. Each day you become less fearful and more determined. You can kick some bug butt! The professionals will help with their input. I was a wreck for about a month and after I found this website, it was such a major help - in every way! Just check back in with us and let us know how things are going and good luck!

  5. buggingoutinToronto

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    Posted 5 years ago
    Sun Jan 5 2014 23:47:41
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    Hi Everyone and/or to the one person who will likely stop reading this about half way through...

    This is the first time I have ever joined an internet forum or sought out any advice from complete strangers online. Ever since learning that I had bed bugs in my house (about 3 weeks ago- but if I'm being honest- I suspected something was up long before that) I have been scouring the internet for any signs of hope that this can be overcome. Reading through several of these forums has both encouraged me and discouraged me all at the same time. I thought I would share my story nonetheless.

    It's long winded but I have to get it out:

    I had suspected that I was being bitten about 3 months ago, I asked my roommate if she had any similar experiences but she said no. I supposed I kept dismissing the bites as something else, I mean surely if we had bed bugs she would be getting bitten too? (Ah, not so much as the internet has shown me). It never occurred to me that I could have bed bugs as I have lived in this apartment for 5 years without issue. (Which I understand really doesn't mean anything, but in the early stages of denial I have found that you are willing to tell yourself just about anything)

    I had several bites on my forearms and into my hairline. I thought I was suffering from a rash of some kind, when I showed my doctor my arms he said "they don't impress me as bites, probably due to dry skin". I felt reassured somehow thinking that this man with 12 years of education, who works in a city with a bed bug epidemic would certainly come to recognize bites on sight?? Needless to say my doctor no longer sits on the pedestal he was once placed. He was so very wrong...they were bites alright.

    After staring at my phone for 20 minutes and typing in 'signs of bed bugs' into my google browser...it took a shot of vodka and several cigarettes before I had the courage to hit enter. Because I knew then...it would be real.

    My stomach dropped into my feet and it was like someone flushed all the blood from my body down the drain taking small pieces of my soul. I looked at the most horrific pictures online (as you do..) and I knew.

    Mustering the courage of a thousand warriors, I pulled my mattress from the wall and saw the evidence, black spots dotting the braiding, a couple bugs just loitering about - oblivious to the fact that their meal ticket was quietly dying inside.

    I marched down the hall to announce to my roommate that I had bed bugs, she said "EW.." and stared into the distance (I took this to mean that she was in shock...) I stood in her doorway searching for some kind of reassurance or that she was going to magically fix it somehow. After about 5 minutes of staring at her staring into the distance, I knew for at least the rest of the night...I was on my own.

    I called my landlord the next day and he said that he would take care of the extermination. (Thank God!) After reading some of the other posts, I know I am extremely lucky to have a responsible landlord and a great support network behind me ( aka MOM!!! Who now gets daily phone calls from me- I just sometimes need her to tell me everything is going to be okay...did I mention I'm a full grown adult?)

    We set up our treatment for 3 days after my discovery and set out to bagging and packing up our stuff.

    I don't know how many hours it took (but it took the full 3 days with very little sleeping)...but we are both clutter bugs (no pun intended) and are both avid readers......which means....we have a lot of books...we are also girls...so we have a lot of clothes and shoes as well.

    Too compound the book issue, our basement (living area...where we usually keep the books on shelves) was badly flooded during a storm back in July. Our house was and is still under construction. So instead of having our books on shelves safely tucked away ...far from my bedroom, they were stacked on the floor down our hallway just outside my room.

    (They are now sealed in rubbermade bins in our garage in the middle of winter....we are going to open them up dust them with DE and seal them back up for another couple of weeks before bring them back into the house- hopefully a good idea)

    We don't make a lot of money, so the idea of throwing out our stuff...is not cool. Especially an estimated $10, 000.00 worth of literature.

    So far the bugs appear to be isolated in my room, for which I am grateful, because I am hoping this means that the problem isn't so bad (also confirmed by our pest control guy- but he might just be saying that because he doesn't want to see me cry).

    I have 2 vent/grate things on either side of my bed and have seen a bug crawling along the wall out of the vent (I may or may not have puffed some DE in there- maybe a bad call but it's food grade so it seems to be less harmful)

    So after bagging and washing the s*** out my bedding and clothes in hot water, packing up all the books and purses etc in bags, vaccuming`and crying here and there just for good measure we were ready for our first treatment.

    We packed up our cats and headed out while the guy came and did his thing. We came home and put mattress and box spring encasements on our beds. I found some live bugs that very same night some dead ones too.

    Continued to get bitten, even though I now sleep with my socks tucked into my pants and a hoodie tied up tight around my head (I'm so hot but I don't care) they were still getting me. And I have been killing them on site ever since. Though the black marks on my sheets were way less and less bites - it didn't make me feel better.

    Today we just had our second treatment, came home and killed 3 live bugs that were setting up shop in the zipper of my box spring encasement (very small ones...but still)

    Is this the part where I lose all hope? I'm worried because I live in a very old victorian house, there are cracks and crevices everywhere, a million places for them to hide...will they ever really be gone?

    I've told my story because I wasn't expecting the emotional fallout that these little guys cause. The feelings of isolation and anxiety- even though my roommate is going through it with me- she doesn't have them in her room so she doesn't really understand in the same way.

    I'm trying to stay positive and be as diligent as I can but this is one of the hardest things I've gone through (worse than the flooding somehow).

    I can't seem to think about anything else, I actually feel like I'm dealing with PTSD. I have to drug myself with gravol to sleep through the night.

    My hope is that I will eventually be able to post my success story and that it won't be a year from now.

    Am I hoping too much that this second treatment will do it?

    I don't know, congratulations if you're still reading this. I guess I just want to know that there is light at the end of the tunnel.

    At any rate, thanks for listening

  6. Ohdearno

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    Posted 5 years ago
    Mon Jan 6 2014 18:21:24
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    Just accept that after you have a routine for going about your daily life without fear of spreading the bb's, it becomes easier. I would put everything in dryer while I showered and then dress. My kitchen was my safe zone and where the washer and dryer are located. Since you have books, I would also sugggest you read up on the nuvan strips. You can put them in plastic bags with the books and seal them while they are treated. I did this with purses and shoes (girl has to salvage those Uggs). Not feeling free to tell people what you are going thru is difficult, but you will regain your life routines, and after you get your treatments, you will still be looking everywhere to see if you see any bb activity. Good luck to you!


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