Got Bed Bugs? Bedbugger Forums » General Topics

Ohmygod, bedbugs--and we just moved in on Friday. HELP!

(26 posts)
  1. cagirl

    newbite
    Joined: Nov '12
    Posts: 7

    offline

    Posted 7 years ago
    Fri Nov 9 2012 12:12:14
    #



    Login to Send PM

    First post, hello!

    We recently moved to the NY metropolitan area (actually, I lived in Brooklyn before, but now we've moved to Jersey City). I knew before moving here that there were risks for infestations, pests, mold, etc, but being from a very nice suburb in CA, I hadn't had experience with most of those things.

    We moved in right after Sandy hit, and our storage unit was out of power, so we couldn't get to any of our things (thank god, as it turns out). We had a few boxes and suitcases at the new place, and our musical instruments, all of which came from our friend's house where we had been crashing for the last two months whilst trying to find an apartment. Friend's house is bedbug free, verified yesterday.

    On Monday, three days after we moved in, I noticed was covered in angry red welts. What could this be? I asked myself. I'm allergic to everything, so I assumed allergies. But twenty minutes later, my fiance called anxiously from the living room for me to come inspect a few bugs he'd found lurking in the memory foam sheets placed under our air mattress in the living room. They were undoubtably bedbugs. Unfortunately, my fiance had just moved our real bed and bedframe into the bedroom that afternoon. He found bedbugs in our suitcases in the bedroom 15 minutes after the initial spotting. They've since spread to the bed, and we've captured seven adult bugs full of blood from all over the apartment (EW).

    We were furious (and still are). We've just given a HUGE chunk of cash to the realty agency that owns the building, and we move in to get attacked by BEDBUGS instantly?? Totally unacceptable. We are suing them for recovery of the deposit, rent, and all damages, and we're moving out next week. They are sending an exterminator on Saturday to spray, but we know this won't be enough as the apartments around us have been infested for months (according to neighbors) and the building is ancient and falling apart. It's also listed on the bed bug registry, with four different entries from the past 3 years.

    Besides being angry, we're also really worried about our stuff. Musical instruments have tons of grooves and holes to hide in. I couldn't find a terrible lot of information about treating instruments, and I have no confidence in the exterminator the building is sending (he told us that 95% of the bugs would be killed on the first spray, which sounds impossible to me). We're so desperate that we've already thrown out (after cleaning, quarantining, and disguising the stuff so no one picks it up, of course) a ton of our stuff, but the guitars, clarinets, accordian, keyboards, and bass all have to stay. We also have a number of amps.

    We know we didn't bring the bedbugs, and unfortunately for the realty company, we can prove it. Hopefully they're willing to settle out of court.

    Does anyone have any suggestions about
    1. How soon we should move after they spray, since we really don't have any of our things in the apartment
    2. If we should just ditch everything in the apartment since the majority of our things are in the storage unit anyway
    3. How to save our musical instruments
    4. Moral support, as I'm currently in the process of breaking down completely (for the past 7 months we've been more or less couch hopping because of a previous apartment that was full of mold and backed up sewage, which we also had to leave--we are suing those unresponsive and terrible landlords, too...we know how to pick 'em).
    5. How in God's name to get our cats out of the apartment whilst they spray, since their carrier needs to be sprayed too--or how to clean the carrier so that it'll be bedbug free and can go in the car with us

    I've read over a ton of the info in the forums, and I don't think any of this is too repetitive? Sorry if it is. This is the straw that broke the proverbial camel's back, and I'm at my wit's end.

  2. buggyinsyracuse

    senior member
    Joined: Aug '12
    Posts: 555

    offline

    Posted 7 years ago
    Fri Nov 9 2012 13:02:01
    #



    Login to Send PM

    Hi. First of all let me say I'm so sorry you are going through this. However, you've found the right place to post question and receive a ton of information. I highly suggest you start by reading the FAQs.

    I'm not an expert so I can't answer many of your questions. Living in New Jersey is a negative and a positive. Negative because it has a high bed bug infestation rate. Good thing is you have so many more treatment options than smaller cities like where I live. Because you have so little in your apartment you may be a great candidate for a vikane moving van treatment for the belongings that you do have in there. I'm not sure how safe the musical instruments would be with this (I'm guessing they'd be fine), but any company that provides this service should be able to tell you.

    Hang in there. You will be ok. I know what a horrible feeling it is to find out you have bed bugs, especially in the beginning, but it does get better.

  3. AshamedandScratching

    senior member
    Joined: Aug '11
    Posts: 659

    offline

    Posted 7 years ago
    Sat Nov 10 2012 9:27:17
    #



    Login to Send PM

    Hey, musician here.

    Depends on the instrument. If its brass/metal, take it apart and wash it out. You could pull off the pads/drumheads and replace those after you move. Just clean it thoroughly. Heat is even possible via a packtite.

    If it's wood....it's much rougher. I had a much beloved guitar and had to lose it.

    The truth is heat is out of the question and vikaning may also stress the fragile sound boards.
    If replacement is not an option and hand examination impossible, try vikaning. It will kill the bed bugs. I think for your average instrument without supersensitive sound woods, it will make it through pretty okay. I would be prepared to have a nicer instrument repaired or junked otherwise.

    I'm really sorry. I was there myself last summer and that part still hurts.

  4. AshamedandScratching

    senior member
    Joined: Aug '11
    Posts: 659

    offline

    Posted 7 years ago
    Sat Nov 10 2012 9:35:50
    #



    Login to Send PM

    Read the FAQs.

    I moved out successfully. In your situation, I would likely junk everything and leave unless the instruments are super valuable. It would be the easiest solution. If you wash and dry your clothes, those should be salvageable. Wash the cats, myself, and carrying them out in arms with a thoroughly inspected wallet and a ziplock of clothes.

    If you have the resources you could have everything vikaned and moved to wherever you go. There are places that do smallish cubes of stuff, but I would look into the FAQs to get a handle on what you're doing.

  5. Nobugsonme

    your host
    Joined: Mar '07
    Posts: 22,265

    offline

    Posted 7 years ago
    Sun Nov 11 2012 0:40:55
    #



    Login to Send PM

    If its not a wind instrument, treatment with DDVP strips (eg Nuvan Prostrips) may work. I am NOT an expert and there are many here who won't advise on their use. Forum user p bello is a good person to ask as he is involved its the product and has a lot of experience with it. (He may be hard to reach for a few days though.)

    You can also call companies which treat containers or trucks full of stuff if their processes will be safe for all these items. Two companies which arrange Vikane gas fumigation treatments in the NYC are Bed Bugs and Beyond and Bed Bug Fumigation Services. The scenario there is you could load all your stuff into a moving truck or pod, and get it all sorted-- furniture, books, instruments, etc. -- assuming they guarantee the safety for your musical gear.

    I understand BBFS has quoted a rate of $400+ for a 1 BR apt., so they may not be out of reach pricewise.

    People often do this en route to their new homes.

    As for kitty, hard carrier? If so, wash the carrier using hot water and dish soap, dry thoroughly, make sure any padding (towels, newspaper) is deconned (for example, a towel washed and dried on hot and sealed in an airtight bag until use). You might give the cat a once-over or brush him/her right before crating, but it seems like all of this can be done right before you walk out, to avoid picking anything up.

    I started and run the site but am "not an expert."
  6. cagirl

    newbite
    Joined: Nov '12
    Posts: 7

    offline

    Posted 7 years ago
    Tue Nov 13 2012 12:38:54
    #



    Login to Send PM

    Thanks for all the help, guys.

    Update: We're going to get a Vikane treatment done, either BBFS, or Royal Fume in Kearny. We're just waiting for a quote from Royal Fume before we decide. Holy cow, these places are crazy expensive! BBFS quoted me $700 for a 10' truck and we'd still have to pay for the actual truck from U-Haul...so probably around $800.

    As I suspected, I was able to intimidate the realty company into returning my security deposit and rent (score one for me!), so we can afford to pay for it. Ideally, the building would, but I'm not going to get greedy.

    The exterminators came and tried to tell my fiance we didn't have a bug infestation, until he showed them the bag full of bugs we'd collected during the week, and they hastily changed their minds. They sprayed, but we're still seeing bugs and getting bites. The building told me one treatment would be enough, but I told them Housing Code Enforcement was getting called either way, so they had better treat the apartment before renting it out again.

    Plus our cats are sick from the pesticides and we're going to have to take them to the vet. At least the exterminators were cooperative in giving me the list of ingrediants in the pesticides they used (they had no idea what a neurotoxin was and sure enough, they are in the pesticides). I've also developed a wheeze and my bites are scarring.

    We also have to check my desk at work for bedbugs and the car before we move. Luckily I ordered those passive monitor thingies so we should be cool.

  7. buggyinsyracuse

    senior member
    Joined: Aug '12
    Posts: 555

    offline

    Posted 7 years ago
    Tue Nov 13 2012 12:54:04
    #



    Login to Send PM

    I'm really glad to hear that it's working out for you. I know it sounds like a lot of money, but it's worth it for peace of mind.

    Also, don't get yourself too worked up about work and the car. The likelihood that you carried them to work is low, and from what I've read on these boards car infestations are very rare. However, always good to remain vigilant.

  8. Nobugsonme

    your host
    Joined: Mar '07
    Posts: 22,265

    offline

    Posted 7 years ago
    Tue Nov 13 2012 15:11:13
    #



    Login to Send PM

    Thanks for the update. Your landlord sounds... Special.

  9. almartino

    newbite
    Joined: Oct '12
    Posts: 6

    offline

    Posted 7 years ago
    Tue Nov 13 2012 15:19:46
    #



    Login to Send PM

    for a drumset, or any type of drum, make sure to remove heads and look under the cracks in the rims.

    for an electric guitar, try taking off all strings and cleaning the body, paying attention to the headstock, which id imagine would be the only spots for them to dwell. the amps may be a bit trickier, but remove the covers and clean around the tubes inside. those get warm and can be a good spot for hiding.

    be careful with heat and ANYTHING wooden...you dont want anything to warp!

    never really thought about bed bugs invading my music equipment...thanks for the heads up!

  10. cilecto

    oldtimer
    Joined: Aug '08
    Posts: 4,085

    offline

    Posted 7 years ago
    Tue Nov 13 2012 15:47:41
    #



    Login to Send PM

    CA Girl. Your icon looks like it may be revealing who you are. The forum recommends that non-pros not disclose personal information, as this may lead to social or job problems. Speak with the host "nobugsonme" (via Private Message "PM") to get this fixed.

    Thou shalt not be afraid for the terror by night...
    - Psalms 91:5-7

    (Not an pro)
  11. Nobugsonme

    your host
    Joined: Mar '07
    Posts: 22,265

    offline

    Posted 7 years ago
    Tue Nov 13 2012 15:55:02
    #



    Login to Send PM

    Thanks, Ci.
    People can change their Gravatars any time by either changing the email they use to login (in their profiles) or changing the image associated with the Gravatar, via Gravatar's site.

    Cagirl,
    Here's how to get a Gravatar removed or changed:
    http://bedbugger.com/forum/topic/how-do-i-get-a-cool-picture-next-to-my-name

    If you want to keep it on the site, that's up to you. I don't worry about Garavatars as much as I do names and phone/email info., simply because it can be changed by the user at any time, in a way posts can't.

  12. cagirl

    newbite
    Joined: Nov '12
    Posts: 7

    offline

    Posted 7 years ago
    Wed Nov 14 2012 11:07:49
    #



    Login to Send PM

    Thanks cilecto and nobugs--I changed the Gravatar (I forgot I even had one) but it hasn't yet updated on the site. I'm not too worried because I doubt anyone could identify me from that photo anyhow.

    Does anyone know how Vikane treatments might be successful in our current cold weather in NYC? It's been low 40s here at night and I've read on the forums that Vikane is not as successful in cold weather (lowest temp is 40 degrees--correct?). Worries me a bit since I'm about to fork over major dough to pay for this potentially useless treatment. What is the likelihood of running into trouble? I haven't been able to get a call-back from BBFS as of yet...they want to charge us an extra $150 for some facility fee, could this be for a heated building? I certainly hope so.

  13. cagirl

    newbite
    Joined: Nov '12
    Posts: 7

    offline

    Posted 7 years ago
    Wed Nov 14 2012 11:15:05
    #



    Login to Send PM

    Nobugsonme - 20 hours ago  » 
    Thanks for the update. Your landlord sounds... Special.

    If you think that landlord is special, the first one (lived there two months before breaking the lease) will sound like a space alien--they let their sewer pipes drain into their basement for over four months and refused to repair it, then refused to remove a wall that was soaked and moldy from a pipe rupture, also months old. They took our deposit hostage! We gpt burgaled and attacked by mosquitos that bred in the sewage water whilst we were there. Bedbugs are even more tolerable in comparison!!

  14. cagirl

    newbite
    Joined: Nov '12
    Posts: 7

    offline

    Posted 7 years ago
    Wed Nov 14 2012 11:19:09
    #



    Login to Send PM

    Oh, and thanks about the gravatar.

    Additionally, can someone advise about the effectiveness of Vikane in winter? It's currently dipping below 40 in NYC at night (I read on here that the threshold is 40 F for optimal effectiveness). BBFS hasn't returned my call yet so I can't verify with them whether or not this will work. Our quote included an additional $150 charge for facilities so I am wondering if this is for a heated building. Fingers crossed that it is. I read the other posts on Vikane and winter, but most of them discuss Chicago, which is not relevant to my situation as Chicago gets beastly cold, and NYC is somewhat tolerable.

    BTW for anyone wondering--Royal Fume is no longer based out of Kearny, they now operate out of Delaware.

  15. Nobugsonme

    your host
    Joined: Mar '07
    Posts: 22,265

    offline

    Posted 7 years ago
    Wed Nov 14 2012 15:40:38
    #



    Login to Send PM

    cagirl - 4 hours ago  » 
    They took our deposit hostage! We gpt burgaled and attacked by mosquitos that bred in the sewage water whilst we were there. Bedbugs are even more tolerable in comparison!!

    It sounds like you live in NYC. When I share my NYC housing nightmare stories (one of which, like yours, involving serious leaks leading to much worse), I always get the same in return. Only the rich live here without housing nightmares.

  16. Nobugsonme

    your host
    Joined: Mar '07
    Posts: 22,265

    offline

    Posted 7 years ago
    Wed Nov 14 2012 15:42:09
    #



    Login to Send PM

    You have to ask the service provider or BBFS about the temperature issue. I would guess they have something worked out.

  17. rAVENSFAN99

    member
    Joined: Nov '10
    Posts: 273

    offline

    Posted 7 years ago
    Wed Nov 14 2012 15:57:44
    #



    Login to Send PM

    I'm really sorry you're going through this. I live in Hudson county and previously had an infestation in NYC. I used BB&B to Vikane my (very few) belongings and I thought they were competent. I'm not sure if they can help you at all, but you might want to reach out to Green Earth Pest Control in Hoboken and see if they have any local contacts you can use. . . I use them for my roach problem in my current building and I'm very pleased with them.

    I took my cat to the vet's in NYC for each of my treatments, until they refused to take him b/c they were afraid of the bugs. Then I sat outside my apartment with him in his crate for 8 hours. Then I moved. I hope your cats are ok. I know that the Petsmart Pet Hotels don't ask a lot of questions. My cat hated it there, but he's old and cranky. If yours have each other to keep each other company, I'm guessing they'd be alright should you ever (G-d forbid) have to board them again for a chemical spraying.

    Good luck.

  18. bubbaD

    newbite
    Joined: Nov '12
    Posts: 3

    offline

    Posted 7 years ago
    Thu Nov 15 2012 1:40:32
    #



    Login to Send PM

    So sorry to hear of your adventures. I have just moved into a place in Astoria last week and the "baby cockroaches" are now confirmed to be bedbugs. Now I'm wide awake, and after reading this thread, am terrified about my upright bass. What should I do to protect it? I am a musician and need it.

  19. cilecto

    oldtimer
    Joined: Aug '08
    Posts: 4,085

    offline

    Posted 7 years ago
    Thu Nov 15 2012 12:03:00
    #



    Login to Send PM

    Bubba. If you are staying in your apartment long-term and the landlord is reputable and works with a good exterminator, then not every single item in your home needs to be treated, just the places where the bed bugs actually are or are likely to cross (on & near where you sleep or sit).

    That said, as you are likely taking the bass (and its case) to performances, there's risk that you could be carrying a stray with it, that would then infest where you go. As a bass will not take well to heat, best is a thorough inspection and vacuuming (instrument and case) and going forward, keeping it isolated from the infestation (like placing it in a giant plastic "banana bag", which you can get at big hardware stores.

    If you are moving out, you can get all your belongings gassed in the moving van by a fumigator (this appears to be a growing business in the NYC area).

    In NYC, landlords are legally required to a. professionally exterminate bed bugs b. disclose in writing a building's bed bug history before renting an apartment.

    You could check bedbugregistry.com to see if there are comments about your building that could help you decide if it's worth staying or running. Not every infested building is listed and not everything is accurate, but often you can pick up patterns.

    Your best bet is to review our FAQ for perspective on what to do next.

  20. bubbaD

    newbite
    Joined: Nov '12
    Posts: 3

    offline

    Posted 7 years ago
    Sat Nov 17 2012 22:08:06
    #



    Login to Send PM

    Thanks for the response, cilecto. I'm afraid the landlord is being less than gracious. When I first looked at the place, I asked the Real Estate Broker [who represented the landlord] several times if there were cockroaches or bedbugs and was assured there were none. They did not provide anything in writing.

    My first night here I saw the cockroaches and they came in and treated the place with some gel stuff the next day. The second night I saw four fat bedbugs crawling on the walls in the bedroom. Unfortunately, I didn't know about bedbugregistry or else I would have seen that there was a registered entry of an infestation in the apartment directly above mine between the years of 2008-2009, with an additional entry that the landlord just sprayed with raid.

    I suspect the landlord might be the same since he's now accusing me of bringing the bugs in and is saying that if I choose to hire a reputable (my words) exterminator, then I have to sign a paper saying I will no longer hold him responsible for any bugs. The one he's hired has terrible reviews and just wants to spray.

    On a good note, since I've been in for less than a month, and the landlord is getting tired of my daily calls, he has said I can vacate with a full refund if I promise to be out within two weeks. I am currently seeking legal assistance to make sure I get all my i's dotted and t's crossed so that I CAN get out financially intact. I've also started treating and ziplocking my belongings. Note: the upright bass was immediately inspected and removed from the apartment and is stored elsewhere. The electric is in a hard case. The bed and box springs were originally in plastic storage bags which said exterminator (see above) said it's best to remove them. They will be re-covered in a bug safe hypoallergenic encasement and I have a couple bags of that organic "earth" stuff. This should protect me enough to get stuff to a place where it can be fumigated so I can get out.

    I don't dare post the location on bedbugregistry.com until I can get out safely and get my first & last months rent and deposit back. After that, you'll definitely see it.

    My immediate question now is who is a reputable fumigator in Astoria, and is there a special process? How long can I expect my belongings to be inaccessible? Is it a fog or steam process? I am one of those musicians with the words "poor" and "starving" attached to my title so my move-in process involved driving a U-Haul truck myself and paying friends in pizza for their help unloading. I have a short window and a nice holiday tossed in the mix to make scheduling even more difficult.

    By the way, this website is <B>fabulous<B>. Thanks to everyone who is posting and answering and helping.

    B.

  21. cilecto

    oldtimer
    Joined: Aug '08
    Posts: 4,085

    offline

    Posted 7 years ago
    Sat Nov 17 2012 22:30:39
    #



    Login to Send PM

    Hi, Bubba. Sorry, glad we could be of some help. Here's info on the disclosure form and your remedies if it was not provided. http://bedbugger.com/2010/09/16/chrstine-quinnns-email-about-bed-bugs-in-new-york-city/ You might want to check in with the Metropolitan Council On Housing metcouncil.net regarding your rights. Smart to hold off on the registry...until you are safely in a new, bug-free, place (else, you lose the nuclear option with your landlord and prospective landlords can look up your "current" address and see that it's got an active infestation.

    Fumigation is done with Vikane, a deadly gas. Very few companies have the expertise to do this and the others contract with them. Two operators in NYC are Bed Bugs and Beyond and Bed Bug Fumigation Services.

    If you want a PCO to consult with, John Furman of Boot-a-Pest (people seem to love him) participates on the forum as "KillerQueen".

    We have a FAQ with important and useful things you need to know if you're going to use diatomaceous earth. http://bedbugger.com/2007/03/30/faqde/

  22. cilecto

    oldtimer
    Joined: Aug '08
    Posts: 4,085

    offline

    Posted 7 years ago
    Sat Nov 17 2012 22:45:53
    #



    Login to Send PM

    BTW. Try and treat yourself well and get some sleep. Staying up won't keep the BB from biting. It'll just make you tired and grumpy.

  23. bubbaD

    newbite
    Joined: Nov '12
    Posts: 3

    offline

    Posted 7 years ago
    Sat Nov 17 2012 23:08:26
    #



    Login to Send PM

    Thanks Cilecto. Guess I'll go get some shut-eye and feed the little buggies. Tomorrow - container store and banana bags!

  24. cilecto

    oldtimer
    Joined: Aug '08
    Posts: 4,085

    offline

    Posted 7 years ago
    Sat Nov 17 2012 23:14:17
    #



    Login to Send PM

    ...with a detour through your favorite pastry and coffee provider.

  25. cilecto

    oldtimer
    Joined: Aug '08
    Posts: 4,085

    offline

    Posted 7 years ago
    Sat Nov 17 2012 23:14:19
    #



    Login to Send PM

    ...with a detour through your favorite pastry and coffee provider.

  26. sadstudent

    newbite
    Joined: Oct '12
    Posts: 7

    offline

    Posted 7 years ago
    Sun Nov 18 2012 15:45:50
    #



    Login to Send PM

    To avoid getting bitten in the night while fighting the bugs, encase your mattress and boxspring. Inspect the frame and wipe it down with rubbing alcohol or hot soapy water. Then, place the legs of your bed frame in plastic cups full of mineral oil. This really works! Then at least you can get some rest at night. You'll need it to deal with the rest of your place.

    So sorry this happened to you! I also got bedbugs after moving in to an infested building. It really sucks.

    Good luck! Try to keep things in perspective. This site has a wealth of information that will help you figure it all out.


RSS feed for this topic


Reply

You must log in to post.

297,255 posts in 50,151 topics over 155 months by 21,922 of 22,418 members. Latest: Ldrago, frustrated1970, duracell