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Please tell me they're not all everywhere... :(

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  1. helpmepleasepleaseplease

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    Posted 8 years ago
    Wed Jun 15 2011 11:26:24
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    First, I know without a doubt I have bed bugs. I do not know how far they have spread, I think they have been in the house since a trip I took the 1st of April. I didn't want to think that they were the cause of my mysterious bites, since the bites didn't appear until maybe a month after the trip.
    Well, I saw an adult bed bug on the cover in my room the morning of day before yesterday. I pulled back all the blankets and they were everywhere. I freaked and pushed everything out the window. I burned all the blankets, pillows, everything on the bed (which is actually a futon)
    Since then I've pushed about half the things in that room out the window, unsure if they were contaminated, and not wanting to spread the bugs through the house to take them outside if they were.
    But I can't rest. I've read (since finding for sure I have a problem) that bed bugs will travel as far as 100 feet to find a meal. What if they find their way back inside??? What if they aren't just in that one room?
    There are also 3 other people in the house, none of which have been bitten (or shown evidence of being bitten)
    I'm also terrified of spreading this epidemic to work.
    I feel as long as they're in one place I can fight them, but how do I keep them from taking over?!

  2. Nobugsonme

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    Posted 8 years ago
    Wed Jun 15 2011 14:22:54
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    helpmeplease,

    Bed bugs are not everywhere. Lots of people have them and don't seem to have spread them, but most of us here try to take steps to avoid spreading them, because doing so is very unpleasant.

    Throwing your stuff out the window should mean that bed bugs in those particular items are not a danger to you anymore. For anyone else reading this, we do not generally recommend tossing out your stuff, since in most cases, items can be treated, and doing so helps you avoid spreading bed bugs to neighbors.

    Even though you have tossed out some major items, it is unlikely that all your bed bugs were in that stuff, and your home still very likely needs treatment. I would strongly recommend you get a licensed, experienced professional to do this. Getting all the bed bugs out is not easy but someone experienced and knowledgeable can do it a lot more quickly and easily than you or I can.

    If you rent, depending where you live, it may be the landlord's responsibility to pay for treatment.

    Your roommates may have bed bugs in their rooms or in common areas and may simply not react to bed bug bites.

    The Travel FAQs will help you take steps to avoid spreading bed bugs to work and other places. It's not that easy to spread them, but it is worth taking preventive steps because it does happen often.

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

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    Posted 8 years ago
    Wed Jun 15 2011 16:41:40
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    Nobugsonme,

    First, thank you for the reassurance. I know I am being totally paraniod, but I've never known anyone with bed bugs as we do not have a problem with them in my area.
    Seccond, we own a house, and no neighbors are within about 500 feet. So hopefully this won't be spreading house to house?
    Unfortunantly an exterminator at this time would mean going into debt. I have bought bags and bags of DE and put it all over the room the bugs were in. My roommates do not seem to understand the seriousness of the situation though, so we haven't done the whole house yet. I really don't want to think about that right now, but I realize I may have to do that.

  4. buggyinsocal

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    Posted 8 years ago
    Wed Jun 15 2011 23:03:46
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    DE seems to have a reputation as being both totally 100% safe when used in any fashion (which it's not) and as a cure all--a silver bullet-- for bed bugs (which it's not.)

    DE can be a really useful tool in the fight against bed bugs. But as with many pests, bed bugs are most effectively treated by a multi-pronged approach.

    DE is natural, but just because something is natural doesn't mean that it's 100% safe in any situation. Arsenic is natural, but it's also a deadly poison.

    DE is not toxic in the sense that having your skin come into contact with it won't result in poisoning or nasty symptoms.

    However, DE is a dust made up of small particulates, and inhaling particulates can lead to very unpleasant respiratory effects. This is as true of particulates from air pollution (I live in the greater LA area; I know a thing or two about particulates and air quality as a result) as it is of natural particulates.

    If you're using DE, you should read the FAQ we have about DE before you put any DE down.

    The most important safety cautions about DE are as follows:

    DE is a major inhalation hazard. While you are applying it, you must use persona protective equipment, including a N95 rated respirator.

    In order to be effective on bed bugs, DE needs to be applied very, very lightly. If applied too heavily, the bugs will simply avoid it and, as a result, it won't be effective.

    DE can only be applied in places where normal everyday activities will not kick it up into the air. Once it gets kicked up into the air, unless you and every living being in the home is wearing a properly fitted N95 respirator mask, you're risking damage to your lungs.

    Finally, be aware that many pest management professionals won't treat a residence that has been self-treated with De until the DE has been cleaned up. This is because they want to protect themselves from the dangerous of over-exposure to improperly applied DE.

    I know that finding bed bugs is a really gross out kind of experience, and the impulse to panic and get rid of them now, now now!!!! is very strong, but please take a step back, do some research, and make sure that if you're choosing to self-treat (which you should be aware is often much less effective and often less safe than hiring a qualified professional), you're really well informed before you to do so that you can do so as safely and effectively as possible.

    If you do your research and find a good, experienced PCO who knows how to treat bed bugs effectively, you may be going into financial debt, but you're paying for the experience and expertise of the professional so that that person can make sure that the bed bugs are removed safely and effectively. Often the cost financially and emotionally of getting the infestation treated effectively right the first time is less than the emotional and financial costs of self-treatment that is less effective and may end up needing to be followed up with professional treatment, which may then be more costly as the infestation may be more deeply entrenched and/or spread out in more rooms.

    Don't lose hope; bed bugs can be defeated. But remember safety for you and yours first and foremost.


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