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Oldtimer Success Story

(3 posts)
  1. BeenBedBugged

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    Joined: Mar '07
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    Posted 10 years ago
    Sat May 23 2009 22:08:18
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    Hi Nobugs, if you see this, and everyone else.

    I first visited this site back in 2006, during the height of our battle with a relatively small infestation. I just wanted to come back and report that after several years of careful monitoring, we remain bedbug free.

    I never thought that I'd be able to say that with confidence, and must admit that when I finally got a bunch of my stuff out of storage after a 24 month wait, (we would have done so at 18 months, but were too busy), I checked every nook and cranny for dead (and live) bugs. All had been carefully encased in plastic and we were extremely fastidious about not spreading bugs in storage, FYI. We found absolutely no evidence anywhere of dead or live bugs, nor any evidence of frass or skins.

    Somewhere on the site is the whole original story, but the summary is that I brought the bugs home on luggage, and it took us about six weeks to realize that we had an infestation, a light one, but one that was throughout our small house. At the time, I could not find competent professional pest control in the SF Bay Area, but fortunately that has changed. I remind myself of this when I have a scare. The slightest mosquito bite or tiny blood spatter on a sheet will send me to "the bad place". When I go there, I remember how we came through this once, and we are much better armed to come through it again if we had to. In every case of any scare since our three month treatment period, there has been no credible evidence of reinfestation.

    With the benefit of hindsight, I can say with some confidence that we probably successfully eradicated the majority of the bugs with the first treatment and first massive round of laundry. Our one oversight was not treating the couches where we hung out most of the time, so we did have an entrenched population there. Rather than throw out two brand new leather couches, we treated them. We decided to minimize our time in our home, and isolate my office. (Years later I discovered evidence in wood shelving of a small "nest", no longer occupied, but with the black frass and skins still present. I washed it all down with Murphy's and never saw any evidence of re-infestation.) We set up perimeters in the isolated rooms and lived mainly in our kitchen, bedroom and bathroom, with the bed isolated and encased. We essentially created a situation where the bugs had to cross a line of poison in order to get to us, and we maintained this approach for several months.

    We started treatment in October, a broad program using not only pesticides but much steaming, daily vacuuming, massive laundry efforts, the removal of many of our possessions to storage in double-sealed heavy-duty bags. I realize now that I probably would have been fine without removing things to storage, but it did give us space to do the other work. At that time, there was much less known about bedbug prevention and treatment, so we played it safe.

    We steamed every weekend, and basically devoted three months of our lives to bedbug eradication, though as I said, I think they were really gone, with perhaps a few strays, after the first one or two treatments, once we got the couches done. A "stray", though, as we know, could be an egg-laying female, so we did not take that lightly.

    We got the opportunity to purchase the home we live in in March of 2007, and took as much care as possible to leave our rental bedbug free, and to avoid introducing bugs into our new home. When we had removed all of our belongings, I did a final spray/treatment, and the landlord had already decided to repaint, which was also a help. We had seen no signs of infestation since November, so we felt confident that the place was clean.

    When we moved into the new house, the mattress encasement was torn by the movers, which almost sent me over the edge, you know, back to the "bad place", but we added additional encasements, and we still have our original mattress and box spring.

    We are still extremely careful of any hotel room, no matter where or how many stars. We always vacuum out luggage and launder clothing from trips right away. And we are always on the alert for the signs. But after more than two and a half years, we are still bedbug free. I hope this is encouraging for those of you where are still suffering. It will get better. Just follow the good advice in the FAQs and don't give up.

  2. boredm

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    Joined: May '09
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    Posted 10 years ago
    Sat May 23 2009 23:05:14
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    Thank you for sharing your story - it certainly helped me feel a lot better after spending pretty much 24 hours straight doing laundry, buying Ziploc bags, scrubbing and vaccuming everything. I'm optimistic that I have a pretty small number of bugs, as all the evidence I've found has been confined to the mattress and boxspring (for which I've bought the protect-a-bed encasements), and my mom and I have been over everything with a pretty fine tooth comb. When my PCO comes on Wednesday, I'm going to make sure that he does treatment in my living room and couch as well as my bedroom (there are really only two rooms in my apartment aside from the bathroom), as I'm a bit paranoid.

    Anyways, thanks again for sharing your success story...makes a good end to my very long day

  3. Nobugsonme

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    Joined: Mar '07
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    Posted 10 years ago
    Sun May 24 2009 1:29:00
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    BeenBedBugged,

    Hey!

    Thanks for coming back and letting us know how you're doing. I am so glad things are good for you now.

    All the Best!

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

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