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Next steps? Bed bug virgin

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  1. welcometoNY

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    Posted 1 month ago
    Wed Sep 5 2018 11:10:35
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    Hello!

    I recently posted on the ID forum just to makes sure I actually have bed bugs (I do).

    So this has been my situation:

    Moved into an apartment about a month and a half ago. Two weeks ago I found a dead adult bed bug on top of the storage container I keep my shoes in. It looked like it hadn't fed in a while. I thought maybe it had latched onto my clothing and died but I also wasn't too worried about it because I hadn't been bitten at all. Maybe three days after that I spot and catch a live one, also an adult that looked like it hadn't fed in a while (Lou said they both looked like males).

    So I called the building management and they got an exterminator in this past Saturday. They instructed me not to move anything in my apartment (ie putting clothes away). The extermination process only took half an hour and they put down those little traps after they left.

    Since they left I have cleaned absolutely every bit of laundry and put them in black trash bags, threw out most of my towels, rugs, etc., and got a mattress encasement. I've also been vacuuming constantly (and throwing out the bags!).

    Anyway, at around 12 am last night (around 5 days after the initial treatment), I spotted a live one on my wall and killed it with tape and blood went everywhere. It looked like a baby. Also two of the traps have caught 1 tiny tiny bed bug each.

    Is this normal? Wasn't the extermination supposed to have killed these baby ones? I guess this is my main question.

    I just don't know what to do and don't know if it's worth continuing to constantly wash and dry all my clothes if they're just there anyway.

    I have a tiny studio with almost no furniture besides a bed and a couch. I think they might be coming from somewhere else in the building because I never see them near my bed, only on the opposite side of the room by the wall and couch (which was bought new only three weeks ago).

  2. BigDummy

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    Posted 1 month ago
    Wed Sep 5 2018 12:06:08
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    Spam filter must've eaten the text.

    Killer of bed bugs for Homeless Empowerment Program
  3. welcometoNY

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    Posted 1 month ago
    Wed Sep 5 2018 12:48:52
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    oh, thank you, will repost!

  4. welcometoNY

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    Posted 1 month ago
    Wed Sep 5 2018 12:59:40
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    Ok wow have to write this all out again.

    So basically, moved into an apartment about a month and a half ago. Around two weeks ago I found a dead adult bed bug on top of the plastic storage bins I was keeping my shoes in, in my closet. With the knowledge I have now, I would say it hadn't fed in a while. I wasn't too worried about it because I hadn't been bitten and I thought maybe I had just picked up a dead one on my clothes.

    So around 3 days after that, I find a live adult one on the floor and put it in a plastic bag (Lou said both of these were male). I called building management and they got exterminators in a few days later (which was this past Saturday). They didn't tell me to prep any of my belongings or clothing, and basically they came in for half an hour and then told me to stay out for two hours and come back and do my laundry and vacuum. They also left those tiny trap things around my space.

    I have now done all of my laundry twice since Saturday and left it in black garbage bags (that I only open to grab a piece of clothing), I vacuum for at least 30 minutes a day and throw out the bag. I also put on a mattress encasement and all of my handbags and shoes are in storage bins.

    So anyway, last night (around 4 days after the initial extermination), right after I had finished vacuuming at around 12 am I see a tiny tiny bed bug and pick it up with some tape. It wasn't by my bed but on a wall closer to where my (new) couch is. And it exploded everywhere with my blood so I'm assuming it's been feeding on me.

    Also two tiny bugs have been caught in the traps the exterminators left.

    I thought the chemicals would have killed these? Basically, I'm asking if this is normal or not.

    I also got my first two actual bites yesterday although I understand these could have taken place several days or even weeks ago.

    I'm worried it's coming from inside the building and I don't know if there's anyway to indicate that. I'm also worried I'm somehow spreading it as I had only seen adult ones before and now I saw a baby one. It's also a bit weird how they've all been either on the floor (not near my bed) or in the closet. I've checked the corners of the bed between my fitted sheet and the encasement and haven't seen anything. Or any fecal matter or blood. Basically just confused and looking for advice. Thanks!

  5. HifromChi

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    Posted 1 month ago
    Wed Sep 5 2018 13:15:14
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    I'm not sure what your PCO did exactly, but spraying around isn't enough. Cimexa is a great powder that can be lightly dusted around the base of the floor in the cracks and crevices near the walls, you leave it down for a good stretch, don't vacuum it up, it kicks the BB's arses. It works fast too. The multi-prong approach is best: Spray, dust, dry clothing and bedding on high settings, encase mattress/box springs (which you've done) sticky traps and interceptors were a good friend to me. I put them on the legs of my bed and isolated it (bed not touching walls or anything from the bed touching the floor). It was the only way I could get some sleep, knowing they couldn't get up the bed to me. My PCO also heat steamed my bed frame and dusted it with Cimexa powder too, as well as my furniture (couch and sofa). I knocked them out in 2 treatments, although it was a very light infestation, only saw 2 adults, never any nymphs. I think they hitched a ride in on a new mattress I had delivered.

    If you live in a big multi-unit building, you could be encountering BB's from other units being treated, they have a tendency to scatter if the treatment is approached incorrectly, I would inquire about your neighbors. If they aren't inspecting the units above, below, and side to side of you, you'll just have a reoccurring problem.

  6. HifromChi

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    Posted 1 month ago
    Wed Sep 5 2018 13:28:20
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    By the way, there's a great PCO in your NYC area, her user name here is KillerQueen, look her up, she's very good from what I've seen on this site!!

  7. BigDummy

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    Posted 1 month ago
    Wed Sep 5 2018 14:01:30
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    HifromChi - 32 minutes ago  » 
    By the way, there's a great PCO in your NYC area, her user name here is KillerQueen, look her up, she's very good from what I've seen on this site!!

    Correct on all except the gender, unless he's gone in for the final operation.

  8. welcometoNY

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    Posted 1 month ago
    Wed Sep 5 2018 14:48:50
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    Amazing, thank you so much for all your help I really really appreciate it. Yes honestly I'm not sure what the PCO did either because I had to be out of the room but they said 'it shouldn't take more than half an hour' but maybe that does make sense because I'm in a small studio.

    I will definitely call KillerQueen for a quote though!

    Thank you so so much again.

    One last thing, would you recommend Cimexa over DE? Just ordered some today.

    Actually one other question as well- as of now there is an encasement on my mattress only. I did buy a box spring one but my box spring has legs and I was probably just being stupid but I couldn't figure out to get it on. Is it possible with a box spring with legs?

  9. HifromChi

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    Posted 1 month ago
    Wed Sep 5 2018 15:39:24
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    Oh crap, thanks for the correction BigDummy, I guess that whole "Queen" part had me assuming, thanks for the correction! LOL!

    Definitely recommend Cimexa over DE, it's faster and more potent to the BB's (but not unsafe for humans) even Lou the expert here agrees, go that route.

    I don't think it's possible to encase a box spring with legs, just put some monitoring devices like climb-ups and sticky traps near the legs of your bed. I sprinkled a little talc on my bed legs as well, keeps it slippery, bed bugs aren't the most graceful climbers.

    Let us know how things go!

  10. welcometoNY

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    Posted 1 month ago
    Wed Sep 5 2018 15:53:07
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    Great, will do, thank you so much for all of your help and advice!!

  11. Nobugsonme

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    Posted 1 month ago
    Wed Sep 5 2018 22:24:23
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    It is not unusual to see bed bugs after treatment— many cases take 2-3 treatments spaced two weeks apart. Did the PMP inspect or just treat? If they inspected, how many did they find and where?

    Some people do have good success hiring their own PMP in a situation like this but keep in mind if attached neighbors haven’t been inspected (and thoroughly treated if needed), the bed bugs could be coming from them. It would be helpful if you could talk to the landlord about having a pro search attached units.

    I started and run the site but am "not an expert."
  12. welcometoNY

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    Posted 1 month ago
    Thu Sep 6 2018 17:19:23
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    The PMP treated for sure, for about 30 minutes. I'm not sure if they carried out an inspection beforehand though, as they told me to leave for at least two hours.

    Ok yes I have talked to 2/3 neighbors already and told them to ask for inspections because the building says they are not responsible, the extermination company is (which doesn't make any sense to me at all).

    I also don't think we're allowed to hire our own PMP or I would for sure. Might do so anyhow. Does it make sense to get another company to come in even though I've already had the first treatment and having the second one on the 12th? Considering I saw the live one the other day.

  13. welcometoNY

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    Posted 1 month ago
    Fri Sep 7 2018 9:29:33
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    Update: So I talked to KillerQueen (or I'm pretty sure it was him- Boot-a-pest) and he was incredibly helpful. So basically with the way I described the movements of the bed bugs and the stage in life the ones I found were in, he said he's pretty sure it's a 'migration problem' in the building and not just one that I brought in.

    I think either the building management or the extermination company they use is lying to me. I checked online and it turns out every person who has lived in my unit for the past three years has only lived there for one year each. I don't know...seems odd to me.

    Would there be any reason for them to lie to me about this? Has anyone else ever experienced this?

    Going to try and break the lease or get them to transfer me to another one of the buildings they own. Because this isn't acceptable if it is the case...which it seems to be

    OH ALSO. I talked again to my neighbor to the left of me who had previously told me he's lived here for 40 years and never had a problem and he's been inspected three times in the last several months, and he said when my apartment was getting treated last Saturday he knocked on the door and asked the extermination people whether or not he should get checked again and they said 'nah, you're fine'. How does this make sense??

    I'm so confused and I feel like they're trying to pull one over on me. I don't know if I'm just being paranoid though.

  14. HifromChi

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    Posted 1 month ago
    Fri Sep 7 2018 14:26:41
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    So sorry to hear you're getting the runaround from your building management, but it's good you're getting solid knowledge/advice from KillerQueen. I would stay in contact with him.

    There are definitely reasons why your building doesn't want to be on the level with you, the most notable one, they don't want a vacancy. If there's a body in that unit, they're getting their money. It's very probable that unit had issues before you moved in, and they are more than aware that there's a problem in the building itself, given your neighbor's account, but they let you walk into that anyway, without giving you any heads up. Which is awful. It would definitely send me packing. If they aren't treating and/or inspecting the building as a whole, you aren't going to be rid of that problem any time soon, regardless how many times you have your space treated. The BB's will just keep retreating to untreated spaces and then return.

    Did you sign a bed bug addendum with your lease? That's a very important piece of paper, it usually goes on the record stating that the premises they are providing are bed bug free and where the responsibility lies in the event of an infestation. If you signed one of these, break it out and read it carefully.

    In any event, I don't think you're being paranoid. I think you have a good reason to be concerned, and you're entitled to a knowledgeable and honest PMP/PCO. I'm hoping you get to the bottom of this soon, you shouldn't have to live like that.

  15. welcometoNY

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    Posted 1 month ago
    Fri Sep 7 2018 14:57:01
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    Thank you very much, I really appreciate this. I just emailed the leasing office the following:

    Hi {},

    Hope you’re doing well and enjoying your Friday!

    I came by the leasing office yesterday and called several times today to see if you were available, but alas. I was told to email you.

    I wanted to discuss my unit () which has been infested with bed bugs since I moved in. After speaking with several experts, it seems certain, based on the behavior and stage of life of the bed bugs that I have been seeing, that the apartment was infested well prior to me moving in.

    My apartment is uninhabitable. The exterminators that you have sent have been unable to remedy the problem. They have also not properly addressed the issue with my neighbors. This is taking a serious toll both on my job and health.

    I would really appreciate your help. I would like to resolve this with you in a cooperative and amicable manner and to not be forced to retain an attorney and/or contact relevant housing authorities.

    Best,
    {}

    I'm really hoping they're going to be cooperative.

    Also sorry I have so many questions, just one more for the moment that probably falls into the 'too much information' category but I don't really care at this point.

    So I lifted my mattress up again yesterday and checked all the corners and sides and didn't see anything (it has a mattress encasement on it - not a box spring encasement-- also I'm too afraid to check the box spring). I've also been putting my sheets, pillow and shirts I sleep in in the dryer on high heat for at least 45 minutes every other day for the past week. I haven't seen any blood stains or fecal matter or anything in my bed at night (I don't sleep until 3 am usually- and I'll see them on the floor sometimes but not in my bed so far).

    Anyway, I tend to only sleep with a large shirt on and nothing else and I was wondering if this was unwise/if the bedbugs could somehow get into 'private areas'. It just got in my head and I've been ridiculously paranoid being at work all day today. Or if being on your period would attract them to come to you more because of the increase in blood?

    I realize this is personal but not many people to ask and you're all very knowledgable and helpful and I am SO SCARED

  16. HifromChi

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    Posted 1 month ago
    Fri Sep 7 2018 15:19:36
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    No worries on the questions, I get what having these things can do to your mind.

    BB aren't attracted by blood, they are attracted by the Carbon Dioxide (C02) we emit through breathing so don't worry about what you're wearing or which day of the month it is.

    I hope you get an acceptable response from your building soon, keep us posted!

  17. welcometoNY

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    Posted 1 month ago
    Fri Sep 7 2018 15:40:58
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    Ahaha far too true. It's exhausting it's only been like three weeks to a month at this point and I forget what I used to do with my afternoons/nights before this.

    Thanks a million again, always helps to ease my mind a bit!

    And yes I definitely will keep you posted

  18. welcometoNY

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    Fri Sep 7 2018 16:22:41
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    Wow ok he's replied already.

    He said in order to break my lease I have to either:

    1) Pay a penalty in an amount equal to two (2) months of rent, as per the lease break rider you signed in your lease contract.

    2) Be approved to find a new tenant and avoid paying a penalty. We would need to inspect the apartment to determine if it is in rentable condition. After we inspect the unit and we can approve you to move forward with this process we will give you the New Rent (the rate for a new tenant) and paperwork to go through the process so you can start advertising to find a new tenant. If we have a 12 month lease signed with a new tenant before you move out, and they take possession of the unit after you move out, we will waive the penalty which is an amount equal to two (2) month of rent

    The lease break move-out date is by the 20th of the month you would like to vacate the unit; you are liable for the whole month of rent and any additional days until the new tenant takes possession of the unit. After you vacate the unit by the 20th of the month you are breaking your lease we will only paint and clean the unit. The new tenant will be able to move in on the 1st of the following month at the earliest.

    ......this should be fun. also, like no explanation or apology or offer to help or anything. so odd

  19. HifromChi

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    Tue Sep 11 2018 9:19:11
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    This just goes to show they could really give two shits. They know there is a bed bug problem, yet they are willing to keep introducing this infested unit to additional unsuspecting people. What scumbags.

    I'd cough up the 2 months penalty and be done with them for good. I couldn't in good conscience even try to sublet it out knowing there are bloodsucking devils lurking there (bed bugs and the bldg management).

    If there's a way to leave a review of the management company on yelp or google, I'd do that too, (after you've left).

  20. welcometoNY

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    Wed Sep 12 2018 10:53:31
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    Yep!

    That's exactly what I'm doing, good to hear I'm not crazy.

    It's evil how they'll just throw someone else in there!! And they want me to do that? Yeah no way.

    Paying the two months rent and trying to move into a slightly cheaper place so hopefully the difference doesn't end up being too awful by the end of the year. Been looking at apartments all week during lunch hour/after work and got Bed Bug Laundry NYC to come pick up all my shit yesterday to treat and store it in the meantime- progress I suppose.

    Updates on my investigation:

    So I had already found out that no one has lived in my unit for more than a year for the last three years and that no one lives in the apartment directly below me and I figured something sketchy was going on (especially since the only live bed bugs I saw were coming from near the wall furthest from the bed).

    So yesterday I took a sick day from work to deal with Bed Bug Laundry coming and also because the exterminators were coming to do their second round of spraying and I wanted to ask them a few questions and watch as they inspected. They found NOTHING on my bed, my couch, or my curtains and pretty much guaranteed the problem was coming from next door (where my neighbor who has lived there for 40 years has lived).

    Later in the afternoon when I went to drop off the rent I asked the lady working at the rental office if she could be nice and disclose information past a year about my unit and she said that MY UNIT had had them 'a few years back but they marked it as clear...I guess they're back.'

    So I guess that solves that mystery. My shithead neighbor who made me feel crazy and assured me he had never had a problem in his 40 years living here and he didn't know anyone else on the floor who did either was definitely lying to me and treating it himself. Trust no one, I suppose.

    But yeah definitely gonna wait until after I get my deposit back to leave any negative reviews (which I 139% will) but until then I'm getting a lot of pleasure catching people looking at the building with private brokers and telling them what's going on.

  21. HifromChi

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    Wed Sep 12 2018 13:09:37
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    You're definitely making progress. I think the having your stuff professionally treated and stored until this nightmare is over was a great call. You'll be happy you did that later when you're settling into your new digs. Just make sure to inspect that place as well, before signing on the dotted line. Big cities are getting overran with this problem and all it takes is a clueless bldg manager like the one you're dealing with, to ruin an entire building, which can cost tenants so much money. If the treatment is handled by knowledgeable people, things don't get so out of hand. It can be managed and rectified.

    Your neighbor does sound like the problem. It makes sense to be finding them the way you are if he is self-treating and trying to hide the issue, they are just going to scatter. Keep up with your treatments and monitoring until you leave so they don't get into your things before you move, at least the ones that come into your dwelling area will cross poison and die, before they can take hold in your furniture and bed.

    I'm hoping you're out of there soon!!

  22. welcometoNY

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    Posted 1 month ago
    Thu Sep 13 2018 9:59:12
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    Thank you so much!! Yes will definitely try to keep everything free of infestation before I leave here (only 7 more days to find a place, scary!). I'll definitely keep you updated though

    Can't thank you all enough for keeping me semi-sane during the last couple weeks (esp. HifromChi!). Hopefully it's mainly up from here

  23. welcometoNY

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    Posted 3 weeks ago
    Wed Sep 26 2018 16:49:07
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    moved into my new place two days ago. so, so scared

  24. HifromChi

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    Posted 3 weeks ago
    Thu Sep 27 2018 10:26:38
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    Just keep monitoring, and living your life, you'll be fine. You handled the last situation as quickly as you could, and got out before the problem really took hold. A lot of people don't have the resources to get away from something like that, so consider yourself very lucky!

    Best of luck to you, and keep us posted!

  25. welcometoNY

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    Posted 3 weeks ago
    Thu Sep 27 2018 15:46:24
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    No you're so right I am so so lucky that I was able to and I fully realize that. But yes thank you! Will keep monitoring and keep you guys posted

  26. welcometoNY

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    Wed Oct 3 2018 16:25:01
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    Been in my new place for like a week now. I literally didn't take anything with me except my credit cards/ID/medications/jewelry in plastic bags. I went to my gym and threw out all my clothes/bag/shoes and put on new ones that I had just bought.

    Before I come in my house every time I spray myself down with 91% alcohol and take off my shoes before I enter/bring out a storage bin and put them in the storage bin. I've put monitoring traps on my bed legs.

    Bed bug laundry NYC just brought my stuff back this past Friday but I've only opened one of the plastic wrapped sets of clothes because I'm too scared to take them all out.

    These pictures are from last night/this morning. Help.

    https://imgur.com/a/Otz2BE5
    https://imgur.com/a/QJuforA

    What do I do.

  27. HifromChi

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    Posted 2 weeks ago
    Thu Oct 4 2018 10:09:16
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    Hey there!

    Most everyone here will tell you that bites can't be identified, but I will mention the 2nd pic of your shoulder looks a lot like a mosquito bite. They are still very active in Chicago right now, I was sitting outside last night and got a couple myself.

    Did you give your bed a good once-over? Just keep monitoring and inspecting your bed and furniture occasionally if something gives you pause. You will see evidence soon(fecal, cast skins, actual bed bugs) if you brought any hitchhikers with you, but from all of the precautions that you took, I would be surprised if you did.

  28. HifromChi

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    Posted 2 weeks ago
    Thu Oct 4 2018 10:13:39
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    If anything, you can always call someone like KillerQueen to come in and do an inspection, that may give you some peace of mind. Which can go a long way.

  29. welcometoNY

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    Tue Oct 9 2018 14:37:21
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    Hi! So I took your suggestion and called Boot a Pest and they referred me to Jonathan with Bed Bug Inspection Group because at this early stage (with only being moved in for a couple weeks) it would be more likely for a dog to pick something up than a person if I wasn't seeing any signs after inspecting myself.

    Jonathan came with his dog Sway (so cute) and was great and did a very very thorough inspection himself before getting Sway to sniff around the unit and on/under/around my bed. No signs found by either of them! Which finally gave me some peace of mind and I finally took my things out of the plastic wrapping/storage bins thank goodness.

    Thanks again for all your help!!! Still taking precautions when I come back into my house (ie taking off shoes outside/spraying bag and clothes with 91% alcohol) but hopefully that paranoia will also diminish soon.

    Also would definitely recommend Jonathan to anyone


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