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No Bites in 5 Months - How I Won a Year-Long Battle

(7 posts)
  1. toledo

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    Posted 7 years ago
    Sun Nov 13 2011 21:22:50
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    You can see by all my posts that it's been a long battle. The only thing I can say is "Don't give up." I probably did a lot of things wrong, and wasted some money, but this board taught me a lot. My daughter began getting bites about 2 months after a trip and about 2 weeks after working at a huge rummage sale. We don't know if they came from the hotel or the sale. The hotel did have bed bug reports in reviews on http://www.tripadvisor.com, so I assumed it was from the hotel. She was being bit for about a month and then it took me another month to find a PCO I believed could handle the job. Taking so long was my second mistake. My first mistake was setting off one of those bug bombs. My third mistake was hiring a dog. I used a captured live bed bug to test the dog, but he failed. He only indicated presence in my daughter's room, a place I had already reported finding bugs. The things I *think* I did right was finding a PCO who was treating public housing units in our city. I was able to get a referral and the PCO didn't sugarcoat his estimate. Three PCO's told me they could get rid of BBs in one treatment. I didn't hire them because I didn't believe them. Unfortunately (or fortunately, depending on how you look at it), I live in a city with very few bed bugs. Therefore it was difficult to find companies that have handled more than a couple of cases. We encased my daughter's very old mattress and disposed of it. We slashed the cover and put bed bug stickers all over it before getting rid of it. We put mattress and boxspring encasements on all our beds. I think that helped a lot. We also purchased climb-ups and eventually caught one bug in another room. Our first treatment was heat in one room. Either the bugs spread to other parts after the treatment or the dog missed the other room. If I were to do it again, I'd treat surrounding rooms, too. We got a chemical treatment on the remaining rooms, but it didn't work. We had to start another series of 3 treatments. That was another mistake on my part. I think you should just plan on a series of 3 treatments to make sure you get them all. My son was still getting bit after the chemical treatments, so we steamed his bed and the floorboards around his bed (even though his bed was isolated with the climb-ups). I believe the last bugs were hiding on his bed frame and the steam killed them. I've stayed in a dozen hotel rooms since this all began and now I check the beds as soon as I check-in. We never put our suitcases on the bed anymore. We also use a Pack-tite when we return. The Pack-tite was nice to use on shoes and books and things you can't put in the dryer, but I don't think it's a necessity. At the beginning of our ordeal, our daughter was scheduled to go away to college. We packed all her things and headed to the dorm's laundry room, where we washed and dried everything. Believe it or not, she did not bring any bugs with her. So I think if you are reeeeallly careful, you can move without bringing them with you. Good luck in your battle. It can be won. I hope it doesn't take you as long as it took me to win.

  2. sooverit

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    Posted 7 years ago
    Sun Nov 13 2011 23:14:08
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    thanks for sharing your story it's nice to hear the success stories!

  3. Nobugsonme

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    Posted 7 years ago
    Sun Nov 13 2011 23:22:52
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    Congratulations, toledo!

    Thanks for coming back and sharing your success story. It means a lot to others.

    I started and run the site but am "not an expert."
  4. BarelyLiving2

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    Posted 7 years ago
    Mon Nov 14 2011 9:39:18
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    All the details are helpful. Thanks for coming back for this!

  5. AshamedandScratching

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    Posted 7 years ago
    Mon Nov 14 2011 9:46:36
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    I am almost 100% that I moved without bedbugs so I agree you can, but you need to be informed and proactive to succeed, as you clearly are!

    Congrats!! This is an encouraging, hopeful post. YAY!!

  6. pleasehelp26

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    Posted 7 years ago
    Sat Mar 24 2012 3:22:54
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    I'm very happy for you...I wish one day I could share a success story too.

  7. Buggybumpers

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    Posted 7 years ago
    Mon Mar 26 2012 0:44:04
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    I hope for your sake that you are well and truly bedbug free because I fought them for as long as you did--and thought I was done--but now I'm not sure. Around six months ago I moved from my infested apartment after multiple [and, in my opinion, futile sprayings]. None of the tenants on my floor got the bugs that I ever heard about [they knew about mine] and, when a unit became vacant on the floor my manager told me to go ahead and move in there. I had gotten rid of all my furniture, most of which was less than a year old and purchased a few pieces from the children of the previous tenant, who had passed away. I moved with very little [ and what I had left was either bagged, in sealed plastic bins. or wrapped in layers of saran [paintings]. It is mostly still wrapped and I wanted to leave it like that for a year at least. I purchased a single bed that I could take apart and examine easily and I had one recliner from the previous tenant, who had never complained of bedbugs. I never saw anything in my bed or in the climb-ups under the legs--except a couple of flies that got into them and couldn't get out. They WORK! I had a small, cheap TV from my son-in-law, which gave up the ghost the other day. I threw out my own TV, but it was pretty old, anyway.

    My clothes have been in a large BB-proof suitcase encasement all this time and the encasement in a big Rubbermaid Bin. I never bought another chest of drawers so far and only felt confident enough to purchase a new couch and nice TV this past month. I thought I was in the clear. All this time I have been sitting in the old recliner while watching TV and felt no bites or saw any bugs. However, the last couple of times I had my little granddaughter here, something bit her while she was in that recliner!! The first time there was a red welt on her waist, which alarmed but did not panic me. It may have been a hive or some irritation. Today she was scratching her arm while in the recliner and, sure enough, what looked liked a red, raised pimple had appeared. I am devastated. Twice in a row has to be more than a coincidence. Nothing happened to her while sitting on the new sofa.

    I checked my granddaughter's clothes and saw two small black specks on her white shirt, even examined them under a glass--but couldn't tell what they were. After she went home, I turned the recliner on its back and examined the underside. It has what looks like some white cotton batting on the bottom--all clean. No bugs, no excrement. All the cracks and creases of the thing that I could view were likewise clean. What the heck?? I've been using that recliner for six months. Even if I no longer reacted to BB-bites like I used to, you'd think there would be some sign of infestation by now--especially on that white bottom underneath the seat. But my five-year-old grandbaby does not normally just break out in hives, either. Since that recliner is rather old and shabby, I put a plushy throw over the seat and back and keep another small blanket on the arm to cover my feet when they get cold. I wash them frequently and wonder if the little girl isn't allergic to my detergent. But she really has no history of allergies or skin reactions--except at my place. I keep a very clean apartment and have no clutter anywhere. There aren't even any books around any longer, something very odd in my history. I feel like getting rid of the recliner ASAP, but around here you have to pay someone at least fifty bucks to haul it away. I am willing but...has anybody had any similar problems with a piece of furniture where someone kept getting bitten but no sign of infestation could be seen even after months?


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