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Poor Man Solution

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  1. poordadof4

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    Posted 7 years ago
    Thu Dec 2 2010 10:27:15
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    I am a poor man and father of four who has been struggling with bed bug infestation for three years now in two apartments and is thinking of moving again. The first move was to get rid of the bugs but didn't work. I had replaced the carpet, thrown out all the furniture, washed all the clothes and the apartment had been treated by a PCO while we, being sanitized with constant cleaning of clothes, frequent showers, and swims in my mother's pool. The PCO was a naturalist hired by my landlord. He treated with diatamcious earth (DE), cedar oil and heat. I had also been treating with DE in the months prior. The PCO treated twice and we were out of the apartment for 45 days. When we moved back in we did not find any bed bugs but my mother discovered some in her apartment. She had enough money to pay a PCO and after three treatments her apartment was treated and she hasn't seen them since. But we can't afford a PCO so we continue to have to self treat.

    We thought we had tackled the bed bug problem when we moved, but with two kids now 12 and 16 , but 9 and 13 when all this started, and a handicapped wife and me working a retail job forty hours a week it isn't possible for me to control what my family does. It seems I am the only one in this family that will do whatever it takes to get rid of them. We had two pet hamsters. And my theory is that since we took the hamster cage out with the family, that the way they got into our new apartment was through the hamster cage. I discovered an infestation there after I discovered bed bugs in the new apartment.

    The hamsters died from natural causes, I think - (hopefully not bed bug bites - I couldn't bare the guilt and shame if that were the case). They lived good long lives. But there is no doubt there was an infestation in there. It was pretty bad and that is why I think it may have been the point of origin to the new apartment, since although we cleaned out their cage regularly we didn't treat the little wooden bridge that they slept under because we had never noticed any bed bugs in there to begin with. This is where I found them afterwards. All that work, and one missed item - it will crush your spirit.

    Anyway, here we are in a new apartment. We got a good deal on it and I don't want to move unless I have to. But the bed bugs may force us out again. I notified the new landlord that we had found bed bugs. Our contract says we are in charge of pest control. And I have no problem with that. But I also don't have enough money to pay my electric bill, much less a pest control official. So I am going to have to continue self treating.

    At first we found them upstairs and tried to keep them contained up there, but now they are downstairs too, in the couches and dining room chairs and table. They are also in the computer table and probably the equipment. Basically, everywhere there is a place to sit in the apartment now has them.

    I cut out the bottom cloth from all the beds, and I regularly treat them thoroughly with heat and leave DE everywhere inside. I've got DE in all the light panels and around the perimeter of every wall in the apartment but can't afford to keep buying more to refresh it. And the heat treatments tend to wipe it away because steam comes out of the gun so it needs to be replaced.

    What I would like is a simple list of things to do. I don't want to throw out the couches. We bought new ones we liked when we moved in. I don't know how to treat my wifes dry cleaned clothes. We've got computers we can't afford to replace. They've probably got BBs. We can't afford a TitePack. I'm willing to move and take no belongings, start completely fresh, but the family is unwilling to have no possessions whatever. We've got pictures and paintings we like and are irreplaceable. All that has to be treated or thrown out. It's a dilemma. The only solution I see right now is living with the BBs and trying to keeping them down to a minimum but they are spreading anyway.

    I need a thorough treatment plan on a poor man's budget. Please present such a plan and I'll see if I can get my family to follow it. Thanks for any help!!

  2. bed-bugscouk

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    Posted 7 years ago
    Thu Dec 2 2010 11:09:35
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    Hi,

    Please do not even consider moving again and leaving an infected location behind. To do so is morally irreprehensible and should be consider a criminal act of vandalism.

    I think you need to focus on how they are getting into your home in the first place. From what you have described moving would never be the solution because someone in your family is still coming into contact with a source of bedbugs.

    Once you solve that you will be in a position to use DE and elbow grease to deal with the infestation.

    I am sorry if this sounds harsh but leaving an infected location for others to deal with it not acceptable behaviour regardless of the circumstances.

    David Cain
    Bed Bugs Limited

    If you have found this information helpful please consider leaving feedback on social media via google+ or FaceBook or by like/loving the images.

    In accordance with the AUP and FTC (legal requirements) I openly disclose my vested interest in Passive Monitors as the inventor and patent holder. Since 2009 they have become an integral part in how we resolve bed bug infestations. I also have a professional relationship with PackTite in that they distribute my product under their own branding. I do not however receive any financial remuneration for any comments I make about products.
  3. miserableone

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    Posted 7 years ago
    Thu Dec 2 2010 11:16:43
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    David......I have been seeing conflicting ideas about DE on this forum. Do you recommend using it?

  4. bed-bugscouk

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    Posted 7 years ago
    Thu Dec 2 2010 11:21:13
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    Hi,

    I think my opinions on DE would be better expressed in new thread.

    Suffice to say in light infestation situations I think it can be a tool of value along with hard work but it has its limitations. The largest of these is the fact that people do not seem to appreciate that like all products it MUST be used with the correct protective equipment and in the correct quantities. If you can see trails of DE around the place you are using about 1,000% too much of it.

    David

  5. so unsettling

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    Posted 7 years ago
    Thu Dec 2 2010 17:20:46
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    Please do not even consider moving again and leaving an infected location behind. To do so is morally irreprehensible and should be consider a criminal act of vandalism.

    Wow. I don't know what to say.

    Methinks those who can't afford to get rid of them, and landlords have no responsibility for their own buildings, will simply have to go on living with them. That's how I see the rest of my life. But I would feel differently if I had a young family.

    Poordad, can you apply for any city assistance that might help you with a more systematic and effective treatment plan? I feel very bad for you and your family, and hope you can find a way. Do you have any idea, as David has mentioned, what the ongoing source is?

  6. so unsettling

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    Posted 7 years ago
    Thu Dec 2 2010 18:04:03
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    David, I have been applying DE and using a good respirator mask. However, I find it difficult to get the right quantity down. Sometimes the Bellows duster releases too much, and I end up cleaning it up. Other times, I am not sure I got anything down at all. Although there aren't "trails" of it, sometimes there is a small thick clump. And sometimes I just see a mist settling. What should we be seeing as we apply it? I bought a boatload of DE because I know how stupid I am when it comes to the simple mechanics of things like this. Only trial and error and waste will teach me how to do it right.

    I also saw a post here where a PCO had applied what sounded like DE, and left large amounts of it, very visible to the person whose home was treated. What's up with that? Why would a PCO glob it on? Should we see ANYTHING, if it has been properly applied?

  7. poordadof4

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    Posted 7 years ago
    Thu Dec 2 2010 19:23:57
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    so unsettling - 1 hour ago  » 

    Please do not even consider moving again and leaving an infected location behind. To do so is morally irreprehensible and should be consider a criminal act of vandalism.

    Wow. I don't know what to say.
    Methinks those who can't afford to get rid of them, and landlords have no responsibility for their own buildings, will simply have to go on living with them. That's how I see the rest of my life. But I would feel differently if I had a young family.
    Poordad, can you apply for any city assistance that might help you with a more systematic and effective treatment plan? I feel very bad for you and your family, and hope you can find a way. Do you have any idea, as David has mentioned, what the ongoing source is?

    First, poverty stinks. But technically, my family is about $300 above the poverty line. So we miss out on about a $thousand/month in benefits like food stamps and insurance for the kids others get. And we have to pay late fees, over limit fees, deposits to utilities after lights get cut off for being late, higher interest rates and can't qualify for loans to get help like people who are better off can - plus we get robbed a lot more often because we live in less desireable places. That's life as a poor person just above poverty level with a handicapped wife and an ADD kid.

    Moving is a way to isolate bed bugs from apartments. It is not morally irreprehensible escapism. In the last case we got evicted and were almost homeless, if it weren't for the charity of the company I work for and me begging. We got lucky and weren't moved to a homeless shelter. Then we'd just have had to move twice. And if we had bed bugs with us they'd have spread to two places instead of one.

    Morally speaking we thought the bed bugs were gone at the time of the move. And when/if we move again it will be with that same hope. However, if we don't get adequate money for it, we will be forced to stay here because of morality? I don't think so. What will get us to move is opportunity and survival. Leaving bed bugs behind will be on the landlord's guilty conscience because he has the means to do something about it while we don't. And he can sue us if he wants. And when we can pay him for the damages then we will. That's the best we can do. And if we can never pay then they can try to collect. That's how those things work. Meantime, the bed bugs get dealth with best we know how too. If we get em we get em. If not, we tried our best within our means. That's why I need a simple list. Do you have any idea how fried out my brain is after three years of struggling with this? At this point I need someone to think for me.

    Anyway, as I said, the source was the hamster cage during the move, I'm fairly certain. But now, what's source got to do with it? They're everywhere we miss an egg patch and that's a moving target. They're in the clothes that my ADD son leaves on the floor. They're in the bed my wife sleeps in 18 hours/day. They're in the walls, maybe. They're in the popcorn ceiling, maybe. They're crawling between apartments maybe. I have no money to get a sniffing dog, no money for infrared technology, no money for a PCO, no money for Christmas gifts or birthday presents or decent clothes for my growing boys. If I knew the source I would be on it hundreds of times over. This is not a new problem. What I want is a poor man's list of things to do to tackle this. I sure appreciate any real help. The last thing I want to do is leave this apartment with one living bed bug, egg or 1star nymph, etc. Thanks!

  8. SearchandDestroy

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    Posted 7 years ago
    Thu Dec 2 2010 19:40:36
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    When you say you regularly treat the beds with "heat"... "steam comes out of a gun." What are you using now?

  9. so unsettling

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    Posted 7 years ago
    Thu Dec 2 2010 19:47:23
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    Well, actually, I was defending you. Just thought David might be onto something, but apparently not.

    This has had a very dire effect on my own life after only 10 weeks, so I cannot even fathom the unbearable 3 year struggle you have been enduring. My heart goes out to you, and I hope you can succeed with your own efforts or find some real help. I think someday there might be some real help for people in your situation, but we are not there yet. Do what you have to do, and if moving becomes a feasible way, go for it. I understand and agree with your ideas about the "moral" issues involved. The fact that you have to pay for treatment in a building which belongs to someone else, who earns part of their living through it, testifies to the fact that people are still being blamed for having these bugs. Best of luck to you, and God Bless.

  10. miserableone

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    Posted 7 years ago
    Thu Dec 2 2010 19:48:21
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    poordadof4......my heart is broken for you. Anyone who has ever had bb's and money problems at the same time understands all of what you are saying (me included). I dont think David was trying to be mean or bring you down, he just knows how easily and quickly these devils spread. People who move from place to place not ever having tried to fix the problem first are helping to cause an epidemic. I think thats what he means by it should be criminal. I will be praying that someone comes up with your simple list for you. I have ideas but I dont dare give advice since I always need advice of my own and never want to tell anyone the wrong thing to do. There are alot of people on this forum that know what to do. Someone will answer you.

  11. SearchandDestroy

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    Posted 7 years ago
    Thu Dec 2 2010 19:48:56
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    Well, I just read your second post. I'm sorry you're at your wits end with this an in pure and simple, "survival mode."

    I spoke with a friend of mine's father who had them as a kid in the "dirty 30s" as he called it. They were a poor mountain family and had little in the way of money to deal with them. His mother (god love her..) used hot water and soap to wash them off the springs of their bed. They also used kerosene (I'm not suggesting this..talc powder is cheaper and healthier) in their "climbups" and tried to isolate the beds that way. But in essence, they were living with them and just kept at it. She was a mother of 6 so I don't know how she did it really.

    I can't believe you carried them in a hamster cage..geez. Of all places...I wouldn't have thought to look there either so don't beat yourself up. These pain in the butt bugs are hard to find.

    I really feel badly about your situation...I'm not sure what to offer, but hot water is cheap and so is 91% alcohol in a spray bottle. I'm still curious about this source of "heat" too.

  12. cilecto

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    Posted 7 years ago
    Thu Dec 2 2010 19:54:53
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    Sorry you're dealing with this, PD. As cash is lacking, I think the best you can do is make up for it with knowledge. This site has a great Resources page, with some good guides. Browse it, but particularly review the 80 page State of Michigan guide ( http://www.michigan.gov/documents/emergingdiseases/Bed_Bug_Manual_v1_full_reduce_326605_7.pdf ).
    Other good sources are bedbugcentral.com 's topical videos

    David came on a bit strong, and I can understand desperation, but also where he's coming from. Moving, according to the experts is not an effective method of escape. It is effective for spreading the problem to your next place. I'd hate to be your next neighbor or landlord. And as your fundamental question is "what do I do", I'd think you have a way to go before you master this situation and can definitively determine that you've missed nothing. As they say, your best thinking got you here.

    This may take a well planned and executed strategy, with cooperation of your entire family. May the force be with you.

    This may be late, but have you positively identified your pest as bed bug, not some other insect in your bed?

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

    (Not an pro)
  13. bestbugdeadbug

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    Posted 7 years ago
    Thu Dec 2 2010 20:18:40
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    I am no expert, so correct me bedbugger forum goers if I got something wrong.
    1. You need to wash all your laundry and bedding under HOT water. If you need to go to the laundromat because you don't have a washer and dryer, and would like to save some money, you can just dump your laundry in your bathtub and open the hot water tap. Let the clothes/bedding soak for a bit, making sure there are no air bubbles. Then wring them as dry as possible and put them in clean plastic bags to take them to the laundromat for drying on HOT for at least 50 minutes. Use different bags to contain the washed and dried clothes/bedding.
    2. You need to take apart your bed and furniture to get rid of any bed bugs in hiding. Once you have taken care of the bed and mattress and boxspring (steam everything), then encase the mattress and boxspring in plastic or preferably bed bug mattress and boxspring encasements from Protect-A-Bed (studies show that this brand is effective). Make climb up interceptors from two plastic bowls per leg (one larger than the other). There are plenty of postings on this forum in which people discuss how it's done. This will also help you monitor the populations. If your other furniture has legs, do the same with those.
    3. You need to go item by item through ALL of your belongings to inspect very carefully whether they have bed bugs/eggs inside (including books and electronics). If the items can be steamed, do so. You can put a few items in the bathtub at a time, steam them on all sides and then put them in clean plastic bags. For questionable items that you can't steam, put them in plastic bags separate from the ones you steamed. Make sure to double bag to ensure against rips letting any bugs in or out. Seal them tightly.
    4. You need to inspect your baseboards and carpet (if you have it) for bed bugs. You can usually tell where they hide because they poop a lot in the same area.
    5. Put a LIGHT dusting of diatomaceous earth in the corners and along the baseboards, wearing a dusting mask or respirator. Use a brush or a duster.
    6. Make sure your bed is about a foot away from any walls. The fact that you have a popcorn ceiling makes bed bugs liable to drop from the ceiling onto you while you sleep. Before disinfecting your bed, try to steam the ceiling and walls to dislodge any bed bugs. Then put a perimeter of clear smooth plastic tape around the perimeter of the ceiling, leaving no gaps for bed bugs to bypass. This way, they won't fall on you while you sleep and become trapped on the bed.
    7. Once you have everything bagged and as many bed bugs killed (by hand, not by pesticides), then you can plan your next step, which would be to call an experienced pest control operator. Be sure to save some live samples for the PCO. I would also let your neighbors know and ask if they've had any bites.
    8. Once you've gotten rid of the problem, consider caulking all cracks and crevices to make sure bed bugs don't come back.

  14. poordadof4

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    Posted 7 years ago
    Thu Dec 2 2010 22:40:29
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    SearchandDestroy - 2 hours ago  » 
    When you say you regularly treat the beds with "heat"... "steam comes out of a gun." What are you using now?

    I have a heat gun I fill up with a little water and it has a pointy nozel and a trigger and shoots out very hot air. Burns real bad when it hits you. Picked it up at Walgreens for under $20.00. Works great to kill bbs, though you've got to get the end of the pointer right up close to them and make a direct hit pretty much. Just a little bit of fabric between seems to keep them alive. So that means I've got to cover every square milimeter and that takes forever. But its all I've got.

  15. cilecto

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    Posted 7 years ago
    Fri Dec 3 2010 0:05:11
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    @bestbugdead: so much of your advice is in error.
    1. Washing is not necessary. It's the dryer that kills bugs and eggs.
    If you're going to work with a pco, don't make up your own prep routine, use his.

  16. poordadof4

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    Fri Dec 3 2010 2:59:39
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    so unsettling - 9 hours ago  » 

    Please do not even consider moving again and leaving an infected location behind. To do so is morally irreprehensible and should be consider a criminal act of vandalism.

    Wow. I don't know what to say.
    Methinks those who can't afford to get rid of them, and landlords have no responsibility for their own buildings, will simply have to go on living with them. That's how I see the rest of my life. But I would feel differently if I had a young family.
    Poordad, can you apply for any city assistance that might help you with a more systematic and effective treatment plan? I feel very bad for you and your family, and hope you can find a way. Do you have any idea, as David has mentioned, what the ongoing source is?

    I got a little heated when I responded at first. I actually agree with the point that it is an act of vandalism to move with bed bugs uneliminated. Unfortunately, life is just hard. But I think the landlord does have a responsibility especially when a tenant can't afford to fix a problem. Otherwise the landlord just has to not keep renting. But very few wouldn't, sad to say, unless forced by the health department. A judge can figure out the financials, which no doubt would fall on me, but you can't get money out of me if I don't have it. And that's that. Meantime, the landlord would lose too, because until the health dept. inspected and approved the property they'd lose income. That could tie up not only that property but all the others the landlord owns in the same vicinity. In the last case, my landlord was nasty and evicted me for poor reasons - because I refused to pay rent for the 45 days it took them to treat the apartment while I wasn't living there. The landlord has about a hundred other properties in that community all of which could have been condemned if the health dept. decided to get nasty right back and make an object lesson of them. And fact is I think we got the bed bugs from the previous tenant, or from a migration from our neighbor because we did not have them in the apartment we lived in previous to that. But the landlord claimed that we brought them. And all I can say is, then where did we get them?

    But that's not what you asked. I'm still just venting a little. To answer your question I don't qualify for assistance. And there is no one to help. I also don't know the source or how to figure out what it is. I see the poop stains and I've see BBs of every size and stage. Our sheets are full of old bed bug stains - gross. And this is the second set of ruined beds and furniture, since we had replaced everything when we moved in, thinking we had tackled the problem.

    You say that you think the poor may simply have to learn to live with the bed bugs and that may be true if it remains legal to put the onus of extermination on tenants in your state. I think I may have to ask a legislator to help reform tenant law so that no contract can require a tenant to be responsible for extermination. That would do a lot to tackle the problem. Until then all I can say is you are right. We're just stuck. I can do a lot of prep work if I can get my ADD son and paralyzed wife to cooperate more - a miracle in itself. But there is no way I can afford a Pest Control Operator, or the bags for the beds or other expensive tools. Hec. Christmas is coming. I threw out the Christmas decorations last year. We not only don't have money for gifts. We can't even afford to decorate. And now all the used furniture we bought to replace the furniture we had to throw away is all infected and needs to be treated or thrown out. I don't know how to get down into the recesses of the couches - they were gorgeous leather couches that were a steal on CraigsList. We were so happy when we bought them for next to nothing. Same with the dining room chairs - an awesome deal. But now I have to throw it all away? And replace it with what money? We'll be living on the floor again like we did when we first moved in here.

    But if there is an alternative I'd like to know what it is. And what about the carpet? If I pay to get it steam cleaned will that kill them? We've got a coupon for three rooms for $50 deep clean. Looks like a great deal. If I could get some assurance it would work I might be able to beg for help on that. Pretty much anything that involves spending money on this will require that I raise funds by begging from friends at church.

    I sure do hate crying out for help. I want to be there to help people but I'm constantly in need. I am unaware of any agency that offers support in my situation. If I earned about $300 less per month I might qualify for various forms of help. Anyway, thank you for caring - and any suggestions. I can take what I learn here and present a plan to those who might be capable of helping.

  17. nycyn

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    Posted 7 years ago
    Fri Dec 3 2010 7:53:30
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    bed-bugscouk - 20 hours ago  » 
    Hi,
    Please do not even consider moving again and leaving an infected location behind. To do so is morally irreprehensible and should be consider a criminal act of vandalism.
    I think you need to focus on how they are getting into your home in the first place. From what you have described moving would never be the solution because someone in your family is still coming into contact with a source of bedbugs.
    Once you solve that you will be in a position to use DE and elbow grease to deal with the infestation.
    I am sorry if this sounds harsh but leaving an infected location for others to deal with it not acceptable behaviour regardless of the circumstances.
    David Cain
    Bed Bugs Limited

    It is harsh, David. Criminal? Vandalism? Perhaps reread the posts when in less of a rush?

  18. nycyn

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    Fri Dec 3 2010 8:01:48
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    poordadof4 - 12 hours ago  » 

    so unsettling - 1 hour ago  » 

    Please do not even consider moving again and leaving an infected location behind. To do so is morally irreprehensible and should be consider a criminal act of vandalism.

    Wow. I don't know what to say.
    Methinks those who can't afford to get rid of them, and landlords have no responsibility for their own buildings, will simply have to go on living with them. That's how I see the rest of my life. But I would feel differently if I had a young family.
    Poordad, can you apply for any city assistance that might help you with a more systematic and effective treatment plan? I feel very bad for you and your family, and hope you can find a way. Do you have any idea, as David has mentioned, what the ongoing source is?

    First, poverty stinks. But technically, my family is about $300 above the poverty line. So we miss out on about a $thousand/month in benefits like food stamps and insurance for the kids others get. And we have to pay late fees, over limit fees, deposits to utilities after lights get cut off for being late, higher interest rates and can't qualify for loans to get help like people who are better off can - plus we get robbed a lot more often because we live in less desirable places. That's life as a poor person just above poverty level with a handicapped wife and an ADD kid.

    OH DO I EVER SO ID WITH THIS. You are not alone pal. Ever wish you were a junkie or an illegal alien, almost? I have, almost. Your family is lucky to have a dad who just doesn't walk away. Sure doesn't sound like you, like, have a 'lifestyle' out there. Where are you anyway?

  19. bed-bugscouk

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    Posted 7 years ago
    Fri Dec 3 2010 9:11:08
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    Hi,

    Yes its harsh, yes I have reread it and yes I still stick to my position.

    Unlike many of the others who have replied I am thinking of:

    • Any adjoining neighbours both past and future who would be affected by this
    • Anyone who gets bedbugs because of the transference out of this property and into theirs

    I have had to deal with this type of aftermath on many occassions and the ones I feel the most for are the neighbours who inherit the bedbugs that others leave behind. In the UK this has resulted in action being taken against the landlord by the adjoining neighbours. I dont see that as fair for anyone in the equation.

    I am also rather dubious that the hamster cage is the source as it would take some time for a population limited to an animal cage to spread out and reinfest the property. They would first colonise the room the cage was brought into and then after a few months spread out from there.

    I strongly suspect that you have a local source issue here in that someone in the property is accidently bringing them back in. In which case its only resolving this issue that will bring this infestation under control.

    Yes vandelism may be a strong word but in the UK this type of action is illegal under the 1936 public health act so criminal is an accurate term.

    If you cant see that moving and leaving an infected property is wrong then my contribution to this thread is finished.

    David

  20. cilecto

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    Posted 7 years ago
    Fri Dec 3 2010 9:49:17
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    PD: please research the laws in your area, which may trump the language in your rental agreement. I would hold off on the rug steaming deal until you've done your reading homework and come up with a comprehensive strategy and plan. Besides, those steamer deals are reputedly come ons to jobs that end up costing much more (I have a friend who used to work in this business who shared the dirty little secrets with me).

  21. cilecto

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    Posted 7 years ago
    Fri Dec 3 2010 10:00:24
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    > I have a heat gun I fill up with a little water and it has a pointy nozel and a trigger and shoots out very hot air. Burns real bad when it hits you. Picked it up at Walgreens for under $20.00.

    You are describing a hand steamer.

    > Works great to kill bbs,


    though you've got to get the end of the pointer right up close to them and make a direct hit pretty much. Just a little bit of fabric between seems to keep them alive. So that means I've got to cover every square milimeter and that takes forever. But its all I've got.

    Everything you just said indicates that this doesn't "work great" at all.

    You might want to enlist a friend or family member with good judgement/planning/organizing skills to help you work this through.

  22. Jacksfullofaces

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    Hi Poordad
    Morals are easier for richer people to practice - I say this cynically as a person who isn't short of money. I'm not knocking you I feel for you.
    Now we had a light infestation of bedbugs and had our bedroom treated twice. However a few stragglers appeared. Here is the actions we took
    we used DE in all cracks which could harbour bugs. Husband wore a mask and gloves while applying the stuff. We do not have a bed frame (through choice) and inspected the sheets and matress regularly. Clothes were never left on the bed and moved for washing in containers. I have an old boiler so our sheets and bed linen were boiled to help eliminate possible hitch hikers.
    We threw out an infested nightstand and examined the furniture with a jewellers loupe. Furniture was scrubbed with hot water and bleach and we used a steamer (heavy duty one picked up cheap on Ebay)
    There is never a quick easy solution for these ingenious little pests. It will take dilligence and detective work.
    Jacks

  23. Richard56

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    David: Please do not even consider moving again and leaving an infected location behind. To do so is morally irreprehensible and should be consider a criminal act of vandalism.
    -------------------------------------
    Not to contradict what David is saying because it's in a general sense, but I think the morality of the situation would depend on a number of factors including both ownership and disclosure.

    For example, if I decided to leave a rental unit that was infested with bed bugs -- and disclosed the fact to the owner of the property -- then it would be the owner's moral imperative to take it from there. In fact, in many places it would be the owner's legal responsibility.

    I do understand that there are many good reasons not to leave an infested property, but I could see certain situations where this might be necessary either do to life's logistics, or in a situation where the infestation is beyond one's resources to handle.

    Richard

  24. Jacksfullofaces

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    I do understand that there are many good reasons not to leave an infested property, but I could see certain situations where this might be necessary either do to life's logistics, or in a situation where the infestation is beyond one's resources to handle.

    Richard

    Richard
    You make perfect sense.
    Jacks

  25. cilecto

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    Fri Dec 3 2010 10:28:10
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    Perhaps the best thing to say is that if you move without taking proper precautions, you will likely transplant your problem to your new location.

    Put aside the moral and class arguments and say "moving won't help".

  26. bed-bugscouk

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    Jacksfullofaces - 3 minutes ago  » 

    I do understand that there are many good reasons not to leave an infested property, but I could see certain situations where this might be necessary either do to life's logistics, or in a situation where the infestation is beyond one's resources to handle.
    Richard

    Richard
    You make perfect sense.
    Jacks

    Would either of you be happy if your neighbour did this, moved in, infected their place and moved out for you to suffer with their problem?

    David

  27. Jacksfullofaces

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    Would either of you be happy if your neighbour did this, moved in, infected their place and moved out for you to suffer with their problem?

    David

    You treated my house and as you said the infestation could have come from an adjoining property. There are many things people do which make me unhappy but nobody DELIBERATELY introduces bedbugs to their own property then moves thinking with glee of affected neighbours. I can understand desperation. A bite gave me a severe reaction but attacking a neighbour who escaped wouldn't wipe out an epidemic.
    That guy has suffered for years - no money, no help and you expect him to dwell on morals. Show some kindness and offer him help - don't just moralise. Do unto others .......
    Jacks

  28. Richard56

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    David: Would either of you be happy if your neighbour did this, moved in, infected their place and moved out for you to suffer with their problem?
    ---------------------------------------
    If the neighbors moved in without having bed bugs and then became infested (no way to really knowing who was responsible for the infestation) and then they decided to move, then both the moral (and often legal) imperative in that building falls to the landlord. And for that reason I'd hold my landlord responsible.

    But if what you're talking about is the moral issue of an infested person moving into another multi-unit building, then the issue is more complex. A lot here would depend on what due diligence the person took to disinfect their belongings, etc. during the move. I do understand the risk to the new premises but I also can see why a person might have to move from an infested building. Not an easy situation or decision.

    Richard

  29. bed-bugscouk

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    Morals are what seperate us from the animals.

    I have offered help in understanding the issue and some very valuable insight into what is most likely going on there.

    I think I show enough kindess in the work I do around here that is unpaid and I am truly sorry that you feel that way.

    I guess I will just take some time out from this one but I did not you were not prepared to answer if you would be happy should a neighbour do this to you.

    Part of tackling bedbugs on a global basis is doing what is best for all members of society and taking the wider picture. I beleive I have done that here and having seen the aftermath that this type of event leaves behind I am thinking of the 4, 6 or 8 other properties which are usually affected by this type of behaviour.

    David

  30. Jacksfullofaces

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    Animals often demonstrate better morals then humans. You rarely get animals attacking their young for example. I would not be happy if a neighbour did this to me however I have seen far worse behaviour from other people usually with a wilful callousness and lack of compassion.
    Escaping from bugs because you cannot afford treatments and can't access help is not cruel but the act of a desperate person with a dependent family.
    Plenty of deliberate unkindness in the world but poorman doesn't strike me as being a cruel person - he seems helpless in a situation not of his making.

  31. Richard56

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    David to Jack: I think I show enough kindness in the work I do around here that is unpaid and I am truly sorry that you feel that way.

    David: Part of tackling bedbugs on a global basis is doing what is best for all members of society and taking the wider picture

    Jack: Escaping from bugs because you cannot afford treatments and can't access help is not cruel but the act of a desperate person with a dependent family.
    -----------
    If anyone gets an award for kind and unselfish work here it's David! And I do understand where he's coming from in terms of the "wider picture", and the concept of "education, education, and education" that he keeps drumming into us has helped so many and was instrumental in my own bed bug resolution. But I also understand Jack's sentiments as well.

    Not sure how to resolve the two points of view, but maybe someone wiser -- or at least who has more time to ponder this -- can.

    And yes, I'd be upset if someone moved in next door from a previous infestation and ended up infesting my unit -- but that's why I bought David BBAlert Passive Monitor so the problem could be nipped in the bud!

    Richard

  32. cilecto

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    > Escaping from bugs because you cannot afford treatments and can't access help is not cruel but the act of a desperate person with a dependent family.

    But according to experts, it won't work.

  33. Jacksfullofaces

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    Cilecto
    I doubt it would work unless everything was left behind. However one important fact - staying in an infested property without the money to hire exterminators and lacking resources will also cause the bugs to spread. So going or staying WITHOUT eradication those cimex will infest adjoining properties.
    Jacks

  34. miserableone

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    everyone here makes a valid point...that being said....is anyone going to come up with the simple plan that Poordads needs?

  35. cilecto

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    miserableone - 2 minutes ago  » 
    everyone here makes a valid point...that being said....is anyone going to come up with the simple plan that Poordads needs?

    http://bedbugger.com/links/
    Put down the steamer
    Tear up the rug cleaner coupon
    Put away the bleach, cedar, boiler, whatever.
    Read a comprehensive guide
    Write up the situation on a note pad. Identify what you have, what's missing and how you might fill the gaps.
    Enlist aid. Legal, social, friend, family.
    Formulate a strategy and make a plan based on your situation, the knowledge you've acquired and the resources you've discovered and/or enlisted.
    Execute.

  36. so unsettling

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    Fri Dec 3 2010 12:40:29
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    Would either of you be happy if your neighbour did this, moved in, infected their place and moved out for you to suffer with their problem?

    Well, in my case, the bugs didn't move in with me when I moved here a long time ago. I acquired them long after living here, I know not where, when, or how. But one of the biggest reasons I stay here is because I feel that battle has to be fought and won right here. The biggest reason for PD not to move is because, given what he has described, they are going to move right with him. Again.

    To answer David's question, if someone irresponsibly and wrecklessly spread the bugs and then ran away, yes, I would be angry. But that doesn't appear the be the situation that PD has described. The problem is, it seems that few of us can ever really know we are truly rid of them. But if I thought I was, if all evidence suggested they were gone, there would be no reason to leave--in fact, plenty of reason not to. I couldn't stand to relocate and go thru this crap again in a new home.

    I think we just can't move, even when we think we are rid of them. Everyone needs to stay put, and clean up the area they are in. (impossible for some, I realize, for example college students). We have to play the cards we are dealt, and life is not fair. Our homes may feel like jails sometimes, but I think we have to stay in them, and see this thing through to the end.

  37. poordadof4

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    Fri Dec 3 2010 12:44:41
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    nycyn - 3 hours ago  » 

    poordadof4 - 12 hours ago  » 

    so unsettling - 1 hour ago  » 

    Please do not even consider moving again and leaving an infected location behind. To do so is morally irreprehensible and should be consider a criminal act of vandalism.

    Wow. I don't know what to say.
    Methinks those who can't afford to get rid of them, and landlords have no responsibility for their own buildings, will simply have to go on living with them. That's how I see the rest of my life. But I would feel differently if I had a young family.
    Poordad, can you apply for any city assistance that might help you with a more systematic and effective treatment plan? I feel very bad for you and your family, and hope you can find a way. Do you have any idea, as David has mentioned, what the ongoing source is?

    First, poverty stinks. But technically, my family is about $300 above the poverty line. So we miss out on about a $thousand/month in benefits like food stamps and insurance for the kids others get. And we have to pay late fees, over limit fees, deposits to utilities after lights get cut off for being late, higher interest rates and can't qualify for loans to get help like people who are better off can - plus we get robbed a lot more often because we live in less desirable places. That's life as a poor person just above poverty level with a handicapped wife and an ADD kid.

    OH DO I EVER SO ID WITH THIS. You are not alone pal. Ever wish you were a junkie or an illegal alien, almost? I have, almost. Your family is lucky to have a dad who just doesn't walk away. Sure doesn't sound like you, like, have a 'lifestyle' out there. Where are you anyway?

    We live in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida, where cost of living is a bit higher than average. For a number of reasons we are unable to move. And yes, I could totally have run away from my problems. Most people would have, I guess. My wife is on disability and receives a check. She has been applying for work regularly and will just get us disqualified when she finally lands a job. But I can relate to the indignity she feels being unemployed and not able to fix our problems. No one here takes drugs or drinks or smokes. 'We are just dealing with surviving day to day expenses. My son's Ritalin costs about $200/month. And my wife's medication isn't all covered by Medicare, which I'm glad we have, but she'll lose once she works. My mother is 89 and used to help us financially. She lives on social security and dividends from my dad's life savings he left over for her. We've already done bankruptcy protection. That helped for a short while. But I still have to pay off my wife's student loan. Her stroke happened while she was a student. We can't pay a lawyer to get that included in the bankruptcy so best we can do is get it deferred. As a result it keeps accumulating.

    I'm saying all this because I know there are a lot of people who think that there is a simple solution for everything. And there just isn't. As soon as we think we're going to be able to break even something happens like getting a ticket or a flat tire. I was working a second job and my employer's business was victim of a hostile takeover. The back pay he owed me never arrived and corporate sheltering made any claims I had impossible to pursue. All the time I spent cultivating relationships so I could step up to a higher income were wasted. Despite all this I haven't given up. But in the meantime I've got to deal with these bed bugs, which is almost a second job in itself because it means being Mr. SuperMom constantly drying and folding clothes and removing clutter because my wife can't do it. But that's impossible too. My work hours, being in entry level retail, are all over the map and constantly change. So I can't develop a daily routine at home - especially with this twelve year old slob son with ADD and Aspergers.

    I had an offer to be transferred and go part time. That would put me under poverty level and get me qualified for benefits, but I might get laid off afterwards if they have cut backs, which is probable. Then my unemployment benefits would go down. But either way it would mean abandoning my mother - not the right thing. I've been living by doing the right thing. I don't condone stealing or crime but I understand the pressures and psychology of what drives people to it. One day I hope to strike it rich and pay back all my creditors even though bankruptcy law says I'm protected. Its because its the right thing to do. I would not move from here thinking there were bed bugs left behind for the next tenant to inherit. I appreciate that it is indeed an act of vandalism to do so. The word "criminal" is not appropriate though, because it implies I might want to harm someone intentionally. The problem is being called an epidemic down here - so if the term criminal applies, welcome to the crime capital of the world - formerly referred to as Paradise.

    Such is bed bug hell. It isn't fun. None of my friends or family ever want to enter my home. I don't blame them and don't want them to either. People around here also have attitudes about the poor. We are a charity case. If we don't let at least some people who are better off know this then we will become homeless because the government isn't stepping in to help. So we have to do some amount of conveying our woes without coming off as whining cry babies. Our lives are full of pressure and indignity. But I will say some positive things despite all this. Pressure doesn't have to convert to stress. The same higher power that compels us to do the right thing can also be a pressure release valve. These problems are not my end. There is something better. Just keep the faith and keep doing the right thing. I'm in good hands.

    I'm politically independent but sympathetic to tea party ideas. I prefer it when the church or individuals (same thing) helps people like me instead of the government. And I would prefer to lose disability just to get off the government dole - because it is the right thing. My wife thinks she can work. I hope she does a better job out in the work place than she does at home if she finally gets a job. I understand she can't pick up clothes and wash them but she can still answer phone calls and sit at a computer. She types over 30 words a minute with the one hand she can use. She wants to work so I hope she gets the chance even though that would hurt us financially and she'd lose her Medicare. It's just principles.

  38. poordadof4

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    cilecto - 2 hours ago  » 
    > I have a heat gun I fill up with a little water and it has a pointy nozel and a trigger and shoots out very hot air. Burns real bad when it hits you. Picked it up at Walgreens for under $20.00.
    You are describing a hand steamer.
    > Works great to kill bbs,


    though you've got to get the end of the pointer right up close to them and make a direct hit pretty much. Just a little bit of fabric between seems to keep them alive. So that means I've got to cover every square milimeter and that takes forever. But its all I've got.

    Everything you just said indicates that this doesn't "work great" at all.
    You might want to enlist a friend or family member with good judgement/planning/organizing skills to help you work this through.

    That is some good advice. The gun kills bbs. I see them die. But the area heated is too tiny and the process is too time consuming. I'm also too burnt out to think up a good plan. But that is why I came here - to form a check list I could execute with the help of better planners. It turned into a discussion of morality. And I am a person who strives to be moral probably more than most others so that burned me up a bit at first. But it was nonetheless true that to leave this problem behind for another is immoral. I would think it was wrong if a neighbor did that to me. Ironically, this is probably exactly what happened. Fine. So here I stay, but that doesn't fix the problem either because the only lists I'm seeing are still outside my budget, and that includes paying a PCO. Can't be done. If it is morally reprehensible for me to not pay one then, since I can't pay one, the moral onus is on those who can help pick up the slack to come help out and pay one. I can be forced to stay here by law until the bed bugs are gone. And if they are going to spread if I fail to properly treat my portion of the quadraplex, then there is a time imperative that goes along with the moral imperative. Help!

  39. SearchandDestroy

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    Fri Dec 3 2010 13:37:26
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    I feel for you PoorDad of 4...hang in there and I know people here will help you think and plan your strategy.

    One word of caution on buying used furniture, "steals on craigslist.." they can come with bedbugs so maybe instead of the hamster cage, this was your source?

    I do believe it is the landlords responsibility but I don't know the laws in the state of Florida. Maybe some here is from Florida and knows?

    I understand how hard it is to have a son with aspergers, but I think the bottom line with your family is, you need to be united. That is a key goal...I know your wife can't help execute but she can help plan and help to unite the kids in your battle. Maybe that is the focus for this holiday season...united you stand. Who cares about decorations and gifts...let that go, it's not important in the scheme of things. This is a big lesson for your kids and I honor the fact that you are being a great Dad.

    Hang in there and let's see if we can figure out what Florida's laws say. Anyone?

  40. cilecto

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    What S&D said.
    You seem to be overwhelmed by the adversities you're design with and that's understandable. That's why I say "take a step back". You need help in processing all this information and organizing yourself.
    Would it be possible for you to reach out to non-governmental/faith-based organizations? They could, perhaps, help you with the family dynamics, and expose you to opportunities that you might not realize are there?

  41. nycyn

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    Fri Dec 3 2010 21:32:13
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    PDof4:

    I understand the amazing lack of resources for the working poor. I understand having a kid with ADHD and how high maintenance they are. I understand making 10 dollars too much to qualify for something like Medicaid and then having to pay out of pocket for meds that are ridiculously expensive. And I understand how hard it is to work things out, think, straight when flying solo, and how people like us think they are making a 12 foot trip from A to B but never make it to B because during a walk like that, which some with the privilege can take for granted, we find ourselves suddenly 10 miles away at an ER or something. And I understand that people don't get it. Just clean up the bugs. Hello--but I've been walking on my knees through water holding 8 people over my head for three years and...

    I'm just saying I think I understand. I can't help you with your bed bugs or anything else for that matter.

    Really logged in to say I think you're doing great.

  42. Richard56

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    After some time away from this thread, I realize I mis-read the original post and will therefore amend my comments.

    I was under the impression that the infestation was from the building and that "Poor Dad" therefore may be fighting a losing battle unless the landlord fixed the building's problem. But on re-reading it appears that Poor Dad may have brought the bed bugs in from a previous infestation and indeed may be the only one in the building with the problem.

    In this light I agree that moving without treating will not only not solve the problem but would be morally wrong as the problem could potentially spread to the next building assuming it's also a multi-unit dwelling.

    On the other hand, I can understand why someone with an infestation might move where where the problem is with the building and the landlord refuses to treat adjoining units. In that scenario you're damned if you do and damned if you don't.

    Because there are probably hundreds and thousands of "Poor Dad's" out there unable to afford the best professional services, I don't see this problem going away soon, especially in the poorer neighborhoods.

    Certainly more education in DIY would in theory help, but as has so often been stated here, unless you take the time to become quite an expert you are apt to do more harm than good.
    Better legislation (like Boston for example) where landlords are not only responsible for treatment but have to treat adjoining units would also make a difference. An then of course, there's the concept of better overall education and awareness that David so often talks about. But if that awareness is just scratching the surface on the governmental level, I don't think it realistic that it will reach the masses in the near future. Unfortunately, maybe things will have to get a lot worse before they start to get better.

    Richard

  43. nycyn

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    Another problem is that this guy is in Florida--a place that has the most backward social service system I've ever seen.

  44. bestbugdeadbug

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    cilecto - 1 day ago  » 
    @bestbugdead: so much of your advice is in error.
    1. Washing is not necessary. It's the dryer that kills bugs and eggs.
    If you're going to work with a pco, don't make up your own prep routine, use his.

    I was just trying to help. Washing may not be absolutely necessary, but it's another step to making sure the bed bugs don't survive the dryer, which they can if the dryer happens to be overloaded. I actually got the idea about putting the clothes under hot water from Naylor and Boase's article:
    Naylor, R. A. and Boase, C. J. (2010) Practical solutions for treating laundry infested with Cimex lectularius (Hemiptera: Cimicidae). Journal of Economic Entomology, 103:136-139. PDF
    The article can be found here (along with many other helpful articles): http://e3.group.shef.ac.uk/publications/by-author/#richard
    Putting the clothes in hot water beforehand also lessens the chance of infecting the laundry room if any bugs escape the bag.

    Also, I understand that it's best for one to follow PCO instructions, but I was trying to help Poordad in case he couldn't afford one in the near future. I tried to be as humble as possible and stated that if anything was in error, that the experienced people on this board can correct me. However, I was just suggesting what worked for me. I also did extensive reading and can cite an article for everything I suggested, but acknowledge that I'm not expert (my post has disappeared, oh well). Even if my post was seriously problematic, it would've been nicer to leave it up and just go point by point on why it's wrong for others to learn.

  45. Richard56

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    (my post has disappeared, oh well)
    ------------
    It probably ended up the spam filter. Check the FAQ's at the top of the page under "post disappeared".

    Richard

  46. poordadof4

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    nycyn - 11 hours ago  » 
    PDof4:
    I understand the amazing lack of resources for the working poor. I understand having a kid with ADHD and how high maintenance they are. I understand making 10 dollars too much to qualify for something like Medicaid and then having to pay out of pocket for meds that are ridiculously expensive. And I understand how hard it is to work things out, think, straight when flying solo, and how people like us think they are making a 12 foot trip from A to B but never make it to B because during a walk like that, which some with the privilege can take for granted, we find ourselves suddenly 10 miles away at an ER or something. And I understand that people don't get it. Just clean up the bugs. Hello--but I've been walking on my knees through water holding 8 people over my head for three years and...
    I'm just saying I think I understand. I can't help you with your bed bugs or anything else for that matter.
    Really logged in to say I think you're doing great.

    It's odd. I do need a simple list. But maybe that's what I really needed to here most. Thank you.

  47. nycyn

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    Some loose ideas, which are probably redundant but maybe not:

    Your son on SSI? He should be. Then there's a little extra income and meds paid for. Any other kids have disabilities? Then ditto.

    Do they have something down there like 'preventive services for families?' As in, 'we have a potential child removal issue here and would like to not get CPS involved' type of agency?

    Is anybody treating anybody in the family, such as a hospital or hospital clinic. Ask for a social worker. (Ask for one from each hospital if there are more than one involved.)

    I don't need your answers. These are just a few things to think about.

    The good news about FL is that come "summer" you can bag everything in black bags put them in the sun or in a car in the sun and then cook the fecal matter out of everything.

  48. Nobugsonme

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    Bestbugdeadbug's post is above. Scroll up!

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

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    The FAQ on who pays for bed bug treatment cites the laws regarding pests in rentals in Florida. My understanding of the part excerpted (link below) is that landlord in Florida do need to eliminate pests.

    I understand PoorDad signed a lease which makes him responsible for treatment. I'm not a lawyer but I understand landlords in NYC often add illegal riders to leases and you may have some rights based on the laws.

    Things may be complicated and it may be best to get this confirmed and get advice on how to proceed. The FAQ links to the Florida PIRG as an organization able to advise on rental laws in the state:

    http://bedbugger.com/2006/10/22/faq-tenants-landlords-owners-and-bedbugs/#Florida

  50. Nobugsonme

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    Sun Dec 5 2010 1:34:56
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    If you want a list of steps, I think Cilecto provided a fairly good one.

    Reading one or more of the Comprehensive Guides to Bed Bugs linked in the Resources tab above is going to give you an idea of what steps you can take, PoorDad.

    It's going to be a lot more informative than random people's lists of chemicals, and will provide more background on safety and effectiveness than most here can help with. I note Ci recommended the Michigan guide.

    Nobugs

    cilecto - 1 day ago  » 

    miserableone - 2 minutes ago  » 
    everyone here makes a valid point...that being said....is anyone going to come up with the simple plan that Poordads needs?

    http://bedbugger.com/links/
    Put down the steamer
    Tear up the rug cleaner coupon
    Put away the bleach, cedar, boiler, whatever.
    Read a comprehensive guide
    Write up the situation on a note pad. Identify what you have, what's missing and how you might fill the gaps.
    Enlist aid. Legal, social, friend, family.
    Formulate a strategy and make a plan based on your situation, the knowledge you've acquired and the resources you've discovered and/or enlisted.
    Execute.

  51. bittenthrice

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    Sun Dec 5 2010 2:06:25
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    Hi Poordad,

    One possible suggestion for treating items that you don't need to use on a regular basis (and that you can't handle steaming) is to seal them in XXL Ziplocs or heavy-duty contractor bags (tied off appropriately) with a strip of Hot-Shot No Pest -- a dichlorvos-based insecticide. If you buy a No Pest strip (available at Home Depot), you can crack open the plastic case and cut up the impregnated strip inside (please!!! wear gloves and respirator!!!). You can usually get twelve or more little one-inch strips from one of the big No Pest doohickeys. If you seal one of these guys into an air-tight bag and leave for four months, you should be good to go. I successfully treated all my non-steamables this way a year and a half ago (A/C unit, books, printer, etc.).

    Since you don't really want the stinky strip touching anything in the bag, what I did was to take a sheet of paper, fold it in half and roll it (into something approximating the size of a toilet paper tube), and then staple the little piece of No Pest to the interior of the tube. My reasoning was that this would protect it from actually touching anything, but allow good ventilation, so that the chemical would disperse fully inside of the airtight bag.

    Note: I DEFINITELY wore a respirator when I opened the bags up after the months in quarantine. And by respirator, I don't mean dust mask -- I mean a NIOSH-rated volatile organic compound mask.

    I don't know if anyone else has done this successfully (I haven't poked around the forums enough), but if anyone has thoughts on this, I'd be glad to hear them. Poordad, don't know if this will help you given the magnitude of your problem, but if you can quarantine some things this way, maybe it could be of use.

  52. nycyn

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    Sun Dec 5 2010 3:32:10
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    poordadof4 - 18 hours ago  » 

    nycyn - 11 hours ago  » 
    PDof4:
    I understand the amazing lack of resources for the working poor. I understand having a kid with ADHD and how high maintenance they are. I understand making 10 dollars too much to qualify for something like Medicaid and then having to pay out of pocket for meds that are ridiculously expensive. And I understand how hard it is to work things out, think, straight when flying solo, and how people like us think they are making a 12 foot trip from A to B but never make it to B because during a walk like that, which some with the privilege can take for granted, we find ourselves suddenly 10 miles away at an ER or something. And I understand that people don't get it. Just clean up the bugs. Hello--but I've been walking on my knees through water holding 8 people over my head for three years and...
    I'm just saying I think I understand. I can't help you with your bed bugs or anything else for that matter.
    Really logged in to say I think you're doing great.

    It's odd. I do need a simple list. But maybe that's what I really needed to here most. Thank you.

    Aw, Hon. I just caught this. I know it's what I need. tHANK YOU FOR LETTING ME KNOW IT WAS HELPFUL. OOPS hit cap lock by mistake and not into fixing it.

  53. DougSummersMS

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    Florida's landlord/ tenant law is known as Chapter 83 for most rental situations.

    Bed bugs are specifically listed under CH 83.51 as shown in the excerpt that is quoted in boldface.

    http://www.leg.state.fl.us/statutes/index.cfm?App_mode=Display_Statute&URL=0000-0099/0083/0083.html

    In general, pest control for bed bugs is required by Florida Ch 83.51 under... Landlord's obligation to maintain premises... but there is a provision that can be used to shift responsibility back to the tenant via the contract language in the rental agreement as highlighted in bold print below:

    Unless otherwise agreed in writing.. These five words under section (2)(a) are the basis for placing responsibility for the cost of pest control back on the tenant via the rental agreement.

    83.51 Landlord’s obligation to maintain premises.

    (1)The landlord at all times during the tenancy shall:
    (a)Comply with the requirements of applicable building, housing, and health codes; or
    (b)Where there are no applicable building, housing, or health codes, maintain the roofs, windows, screens, doors, floors, steps, porches, exterior walls, foundations, and all other structural components in good repair and capable of resisting normal forces and loads and the plumbing in reasonable working condition. However, the landlord shall not be required to maintain a mobile home or other structure owned by the tenant.

    The landlord’s obligations under this subsection may be altered or modified in writing with respect to a single-family home or duplex.
    (2)(a)Unless otherwise agreed in writing, in addition to the requirements of subsection (1), the landlord of a dwelling unit other than a single-family home or duplex shall, at all times during the tenancy, make reasonable provisions for:
    1. The extermination of rats, mice, roaches, ants, wood-destroying organisms, and bedbugs. When vacation of the premises is required for such extermination, the landlord shall not be liable for damages but shall abate the rent. The tenant shall be required to temporarily vacate the premises for a period of time not to exceed 4 days, on 7 days’ written notice, if necessary, for extermination pursuant to this subparagraph.

    I am not a lawyer...I used to manage rental property... DO NOT rely on the information that I am providing without consulting a qualified attorney for proper legal advice.

    I think there may be other potential issues under Florida law that may apply to your situation... such as a warranty for fitness of habitability, constructive eviction and compliance with health, housing & city code requirements, for example... I think you may have several potential legal remedies available to you... Don't assume that the rental contract language is valid until a judge has ruled on it or you have at minimum consulted with an experienced real estate attorney... There is a provision under Florida law for a judge to nullify an unconscionable clause in a lease agreement... You can contact the local bar association for a referral to an attorney that will provide a free evaluation of your case and in some cases.... even "Pro Bono" (free) legal services for someone in your situation.

    Be sure to check into how your security deposit was handled by the landlord... The security deposit MUST be placed in an escrow account or the landlord must post a bond with the state... If your landlord co-mingled the security deposit with any personal funds prior to placing it in a designated escrow account or failed to meet that requirement of Ch 83 properly... you may not be bound by the terms of your lease or you may be entitled to a refund of your security deposit regardless of any damage claims made by your landlord... It is the number #1 mistake made by private landlords in terms of staying in compliance with the requirements of Chapter 83.

    Never underestimate the power of a certified letter written on legal stationary.

    I am willing to help you locate a Florida PCO that can assist you... I will send you my contact info via a PM.

    If you want help from your community... contact the media and I can assure you that the community will respond with offers of assistance that will exceed your expectations... I fully understand, if you do not wish to go public... but I guarantee that you will be amazed at the response from your fellow citizens, if you choose make the call.

  54. Beth

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    Sat Dec 11 2010 14:07:01
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    David, poordad, et.al.

    First, PoorDad. I have a Shark Steamer mop that I no longer need. Got it for close to $100. It DOES NOT work on carpet, as the steam isn't forceful enough to penetrate carpet, and it wouldn't get underneath floorboards. However, it does work on surfaces like linoleum and sealed wood floors, also hard furniture (though you'd have to take the furniture apart), and I'd be happy to send it to you for the cost of shipping, as I just got a kick butt dry vapor steamer that may make this nightmare go away for me. In terms of your couches, I'm not sure, I don't own anything like that anymore as without poisoning the crud out of it, there's just too much risk of bed bugs never going away. I'd suggest futons where the mattresses can be encased and the fram treated with DE. You should also encase your mattress, buy a cheap one at Walmart and duct tape the zipper OVER and OVER again, same with pillow protectors.

    David, et. al. on morals and wealth. I want to say that I have moved several times with bed bugs. The first was from a place where the landlord was responsible but did nothing. I shelled out over $500 to treat and actually think I left the place bug free but took them with in my vehicle and some books. The second time, likewise, the landlord didn't want to do anything. I had one spray for about $140, used steam, had a friend spray and lay glue traps, finding nothing, again, problem likely solved, but again took them with me in the now I finally realize infested truck. By this third location (I am intolerant to pesticides btw so was unable to continue "morally" poisoning myself), I had had it. I had given up everything--but the truck--it was all in storage, and still I was getting bitten. Now I have to say I and the Dept. of Health think they were also in that 3rd property before I moved in, due to my bites appearing right away en masse, but I sprayed that once out of my own pocket by a pco with Phantom and, after getting quite ill, had to leave, also being highly allergic to the beasts. By this point I had learned, landlords in low income housing do NOTHING about bed bugs and so I didn't even tell that landlord. After all I HAD GOTTEN THEM FROM SOME IMMORAL D*CKWEED RIGHT, BECAUSE THESE BUGS AREN'T PARASITES WHO LAUGH AT HUMAN "MORAL" LAW WHILE SUCKING OUR BLOOD, NO THEY OBEY OUR COMMANDS TO BEGONE. Well, I got fumigated, apparently by an extremely moral fumigator, who when it failed, offered to retreat my things, but not my apartment I moved into, meaning I would HAVE to move AGAIN, or poison myself and my partner and three pets or stay somewhere else possibly infesting someone while the place was torched with chemicals.

    Well, regardless to say, all of this immoral bs by my landlords, fumigators and pretty much every capitalist pighead who drives people into poverty and then taxes them for it, made me realize I was on my own and so I got a job, knowing I might spread them there, but having no choice but to make money to get the right equipment to do this myself.

    So, here is the moral dilemma of the people who do not have bed bugs who love people who do: do we make leper colonies? Or do we realize that NO ONE is above being eaten alive by bugs, not the starving people in Africa dying of Malaria, or someone moving into an apartment or anywhere that big brother, and no low or middle class income American owns. To take responsibility is a communal act, as Jefferson says of democracy, there is no freedom without responsibility, but when the community leaves, as it does for many poor people, it is life and death by no fault of the "immoral" poor, and having had bed bugs bad enough I became very anemic, I can say bed bugs can be a life and death issue and have many times totally dismantled families. Not MY fault, not MY responsibility, not MY moral dilemma, though all the republicans in Congress wanting to keep tax cuts for the rich CERTAINLY have a tremendous moral dilemma on their hands, and you know what, at some point, it will come to them, through this scourge of bed bugs--it already is in NYC high end stores. I'm not a Christian, but I dare say bed bugs are a plague of capitalism, brought to us to teach us how insane our consumption and hoarding practices are including the insane idea that we own ANYTHING. And that is especially true in North America where we are living on stolen land.

    Anyway, we get to a question about ownership, about who owns property and, when you get right down to it, who owns the earth. And the answer is that the plants and the animals own the earth, including bed bugs. We inherit it from all of our carbon-made ancestors and must tread lightly on it. I would argue, throwing poison around is a MUCH more tremendous moral dilemma than leaving someone else's property who is irresponsible, with creatures in it who were here long before us.

    Lastly, would the moral thing for me to do in any of those moves, have been to burn everything, with absolutely no income to replace it, move into a homeless shelter until I was sure I was free of the bugs, regardless of the fact that is where I got them from to begin with, and to go about the rest of my life infesting everyone I come into contact with because I have absolutely no money to even do laundry or ever get out of the shelter, thereby making the wealthy subsidize my stupidity? Because if a landlord isn't going to take responsibility for their property it is THEIR moral dilemma, not the renter's.

    Your morals, David, require money, especially as bed bugs are an epidemic of the poor. There are two choices: have money and friends and get rid of bed bugs, or don't. Either way, someone's being bitten. It is no moral greatness to bleed yourself to death thinking you are sparing the next guy. Because the next guy winds up sitting in your bus seat or using your washer at the laundromat and getting bitten with no one to sue because even people with bed bugs have to go out into the sun to fetch milk every now and againt. Isn't it nicer when there is some impoverished schmo who vacated a slumlord's property to sue for the habits of an arthropod and the crimes of those with means?

    The only moral thing to do when you have bed bugs is to try every means to get rid of them, both in your posessions and in any structures. When it fails, it is because we as a society have not found adequate and affordable measn to get rid of them, not because a poor guy wanted to make sure his disabled wife didn't pass out from anemia.

    PoorDad, let me know about the steamer.

    Amy

  55. lurker

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    Well maybe Poor Dad could consider making lemons out of lemonade. Consider training for a new career as a PCO. He has personal experience. He could help others and have a better paid career as a PCO. And he could treat his own house more effectively.

  56. poordadof4

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    Sat Dec 11 2010 16:52:44
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    Beth - 2 hours ago  » 
    David, poordad, et.al.
    First, PoorDad. I have a Shark Steamer mop that I no longer need. Got it for close to $100. It DOES NOT work on carpet, as the steam isn't forceful enough to penetrate carpet, and it wouldn't get underneath floorboards. However, it does work on surfaces like linoleum and sealed wood floors, also hard furniture (though you'd have to take the furniture apart), and I'd be happy to send it to you for the cost of shipping, as I just got a kick butt dry vapor steamer that may make this nightmare go away for me. ...

    ...David, et. al. on morals and wealth. I want to say that I have moved several times with bed bugs....
    ...PoorDad, let me know about the steamer.
    Amy

    Wow Amy, and I thought I was ranting too much. I like your analogy of the leper colony. And I can sympathize with the idea that community should take responsibility. But I don't think capitalism is the cause, or any failure to tax the rich more. In my opinion, that would just cause more unemployment, which would make the poor poorer and increase the number of poor people. Try to keep in mind that every dollar a rich person has goes into an investment of some sort, whether a bank, which employs bankers and lenders, and ultimately construction workers and realty agents, or into a mutual fund, which supports many businesses, or select stocks or commodities, which supports industry. Investments only do one thing, make people money, which bottom line means they have to drive business, which necessarily means employing people. I know its counter-intuitive. But taxing the rich is just a bad idea. The government always raises more tax revenues by decreasing taxes on corporations and on the rich. Sounds backwards but it's true.

    The solution to my problem is legislation that requires landlords to pay for extermination of bed bugs and periodic inspections by the Health Department to make sure that dwellings don't have them regardless of how contracts currently read. This includes all types of properties, rentals, "ownals" and businesses, including hotels and taxi services, and private vehicles such as your truck. There is simply no other way to get rid of this epidemic.

    Either we get serious about tackling it, or we collectively agree to blame the poor for it and let them suffer while the problem grows and eventually effects us all. Pay the PCOs and health officials now or pay them later. It's going to happen. Because as soon as the legislators get the bed bugs and realize how difficult they are, they'll finally hear the cry of the poor and do what needs to be done. On those points I think we are in very strong agreement.

  57. poordadof4

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    lurker - 2 hours ago  » 
    Well maybe Poor Dad could consider making lemons out of lemonade. Consider training for a new career as a PCO. He has personal experience. He could help others and have a better paid career as a PCO. And he could treat his own house more effectively.

    That is a very good idea, which I have been considering, if not for me, for my son, who is turning seventeen in January and needs to help the family out. I was thinking about heat treatment especially. Is there some sort of a heat creating machine that PCOs use? I would like to know where one goes to learn about the techniques they are employing and what it costs for the specialized equipment they use.

  58. Beth

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    PoorDad,

    Trickle down Bush and Reagonomics failed miserably, thus our most recent recession. Giving up tax breaks to the rich is not taxing them more than the poor. It is to say, tax them at least equally, though I do believe in a graduated income tax, it only makes mathematical sense. With a country in debt to the federal reserve, China and its future social security enrollees, it is clear that Republican economic decisions, which have ruled this country for 3 decades (with a small reprieve under Clinton) are not what is going to get this country out of debt. We need more tax dollars to float our government, and less corporate welfare, less spending on war (which is by far and away our largest expense NOT social services). Large scale poverty as a social phenomenon is created by increasing gaps in the rich and poor which is created by giving financial incentives to the rich. Boosting our economy by putting more money into rich people's hands who do, yes, hoard their resources into investments that only they reap the benefits of in later life, does absolutely nothing for the poor.

    My job, curiously enough, is interviewing wealthy older people about their retirement investments and their spending habits and do you know only one person I have interviewed so far out of 25 has affirmed that they have ever helped the poor with their own assets, or that they would (we ask them opinion questions about what they would do with their money). It is just not true that wealth inspires giving or a financial flow to the poor, not on an individual basis, nor on a global basis. Charity work as we know it in the US came out of the homeless crisis in England in the 1800's when there was so much backlash by the poor that the wealthy had to do something to keep them at bay. The saying for that is, "Give them enough so that they don't riot in the streets, but not enough that they actually can ever take our jobs". Classic class warfare, all of these conservative sentiments are a part of it, as well as the social services system I am sorry as a social worker to say. Those folks never get out of poverty because it is built to keep them dependent by not actually ever giving them a true helping hand, nor encouraging empowerment.

    In any case, Poor Dad, I do hope you find an end to your bed bug saga. You have not answered about the mop, but I know of, unfortunately, a couple of other people in poverty facing bed bugs who could use it right here in Buffalo. I have been using this kick butt dry vapor steamer that has seemed to, in one go, bring their numbers down to near 0 (though I know this likely isn't so and I've laid down DE and will be retreating) but seriously, steam is the way to go if you have a disabled wife at home in bed 18 hours a day. With that heat gun, you are just blowing them around.

    cheers-
    Amy

  59. poordadof4

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    Beth - 3 hours ago  » 
    PoorDad,
    Trickle down Bush and Reagonomics failed miserably, thus our most recent recession. Giving up tax breaks to the rich is not taxing them more than the poor. It is to say, tax them at least equally, though I do believe in a graduated income tax, it only makes mathematical sense. With a country in debt to the federal reserve, China and its future social security enrollees, it is clear that Republican economic decisions, which have ruled this country for 3 decades (with a small reprieve under Clinton) are not what is going to get this country out of debt. We need more tax dollars to float our government, and less corporate welfare, less spending on war (which is by far and away our largest expense NOT social services). Large scale poverty as a social phenomenon is created by increasing gaps in the rich and poor which is created by giving financial incentives to the rich. Boosting our economy by putting more money into rich people's hands who do, yes, hoard their resources into investments that only they reap the benefits of in later life, does absolutely nothing for the poor.
    My job, curiously enough, is interviewing wealthy older people about their retirement investments and their spending habits and do you know only one person I have interviewed so far out of 25 has affirmed that they have ever helped the poor with their own assets, or that they would (we ask them opinion questions about what they would do with their money). It is just not true that wealth inspires giving or a financial flow to the poor, not on an individual basis, nor on a global basis. Charity work as we know it in the US came out of the homeless crisis in England in the 1800's when there was so much backlash by the poor that the wealthy had to do something to keep them at bay. The saying for that is, "Give them enough so that they don't riot in the streets, but not enough that they actually can ever take our jobs". Classic class warfare, all of these conservative sentiments are a part of it, as well as the social services system I am sorry as a social worker to say. Those folks never get out of poverty because it is built to keep them dependent by not actually ever giving them a true helping hand, nor encouraging empowerment.
    In any case, Poor Dad, I do hope you find an end to your bed bug saga. You have not answered about the mop, but I know of, unfortunately, a couple of other people in poverty facing bed bugs who could use it right here in Buffalo. I have been using this kick butt dry vapor steamer that has seemed to, in one go, bring their numbers down to near 0 (though I know this likely isn't so and I've laid down DE and will be retreating) but seriously, steam is the way to go if you have a disabled wife at home in bed 18 hours a day. With that heat gun, you are just blowing them around.
    cheers-
    Amy

    Well, Amy, you couldn't be more wrong about your economic analysis. Clearly you need a lesson in economics. The current recession was caused by two factors: overspending (which was Bush's fault for compromising) and the housing crisis (which was Clinton's fault for trying to buy the poor's votes with housing they couldn't afford). Reagan's policies worked quite well. Unfortunately he has been the only one to try them. You suppose that it is "trickle down" when in fact every dollar a rich person saves necessarily goes to the poor over and over again because nothing in any investment account of any sort can do anything but fuel business, which is the only place where any tax base or any job can get any chance. It does not require that a rich person give one single penny to the poor for the poor to benefit. Reagan's policies have been the only ones that made any sense.

    Jobs - real jobs, not government jobs that can only exist if businesses first pay taxes to fund them, are the only way to create tax revenues and solve poverty. Jobs in themselves are not the answer. But good jobs for all those who want them. And a "good" job means one that pays enough to pay one's bills. That is, it needs to out-pace inflation. To help the poor by creating jobs it is necessary to bring unemployment below 5%. The reason the figure is not 0% is that not everyone desires or needs a job. The current official unemployment is around twice that. That means that about 10% of the country is on unemployment. But if you count the number whose unemployment benefits expired long ago, like my wife's, that figure is far greater, probably 15-19%. What this does is it creates many job applicants for every available job. Supply and demand makes wages decrease under those conditions. As a result everyone who has a job suffers, not just the unemployed. But of course, the unemployed also suffer because it is very difficult to get a job when there are far more applicants.

    The good news is that the opposite scenario is not impossible to arrive at over time. If unemployment drops below 5% then there is not only not a competition for jobs but employees are enticed to take jobs with higher and higher offers, just as currently prospective employees are settling for lower and lower offers. The bad news is that it is probably too late to ever fix the US economy.

    Contrary to Obama's lunatic socialist thinking, which is the real cause of the worst of our problems, the only way to make change, any positive change anyway, is to do the exact opposite of what he has been doing. By allowing the rich to keep their money, being the stingy people they are, they will put the money in banks, where it is safe, or put it in other investments. And as I explained the money will have to go to pay bankers' salaries, realtors and construction workers, stock brokers, lawyers and portfolio managers such as yourself, and these people will pay secretaries and workers who help produce construction materials, transport it, retail it, etc through the whole chain of expenses. And if rich people's money doesn't go into banks it goes into stocks, where private companies get the cash they need to earn money with, by doing what? increasing productivity or investing in other business venues, all of which requires employees - not government employees mind you, but private sector ones, which fuels the tax coffers.

    This is not "classic class warfare" propaganda as you say. It is how economics actually works. You simply refuse to believe them, probably because of your personal sense of hurt when you see people who you know can help, not helping. I understand that feeling. There are many people who could have helped me. In Palm Beach County there are over 10,000 millionaires. Any one of them could have solved my problems. But on a grand scale it doesn't work that way. Even though it seems simpler for rich people to give poor people money directly, poor people don't create businesses or stimulate economies through their meager spending. Neither do they pay taxes. When rich people give to charity this becomes a tax deduction. It does nothing to fix the deficit or create jobs. And it offers only temporary relief to the poor. Its a band aid on a broken arm.

    You correctly identified what I was describing as Reaganomics but somehow you got the fallacious idea that it didn't work or that Reaganomics was class warfare propaganda. What it is is the correct solution to our problems. Class hatred is unfortunately the politics that is preventing it from ever being implemented. That's where the propaganda is kicking in.

    Contrary to your assessment, the post-Reagan economies began to fail not because of Reaganomics, but because Busch Sr. and his successors abandoned them and started increasing taxes, when "read my lips" they broke their promises. By overspending beginning with Bush Sr. and by backing housing with non-existent money beginning with Clinton first, then Busch, and now Obama, who has made the situation worse than any before him, the post-Reaganites have made our ability to reach 5% unemployment impossible any time in the next century. Looks like we'll have to wait on an entirely different currency and country for answers at this point because nothing hurts the poor more than inflation and unemployment.

    Whatever you may say is the cause, the fact remains that every man woman and child in USA now owes a debt to the US government of over $1/4 million. My household of four doesn't qualify for $50,000 loan secured by a $200,000 house, much less a $1 million unsecured one. But that is the position deficit spending is putting every one of us in. And that is a problem that is even worse than the real estate bubble crisis. It is just a matter of time before inflation turns the real value of a $10/hour job into a $1/hour job. Kenesian economics focuses on spending for economic stimulus. Well, we'll all see what happens to the economy when the masses have 10% of the spending power they formerly had and one president after another keeps making the same mistake of printing more money to keep the cash flow going, when this is just causing more inflation.

    These are the facts. I suppose we will have to agree to disagree about things. At least we share a concern for the poor in common. The work you do on their behalf does not go unappreciated by me.

    James

  60. jrbtnyc

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    Concerning the last two posts...we're all passionate about these issues, including me as much as anyone and I'd LOVE to expound my own views right here and now...but it's getting off-topic.

  61. Beth

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    Sun Dec 12 2010 19:27:14
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    James,

    We entirely disagree. And I don't need an economics course, taken one, as well as several sociology courses that unpack poverty in a way in which an economics class, based on the assumption that goods, especially those used for war, are worth more in value than women's work and the environment, cannot. Our economic system is flawed at its very core, its organization and accounting in international banks and places of decision making like the UN. But I agree with jrbtnyc, this is getting off topic. The thread was about your poverty Poor Dad, and needing help. It is always interesting to me to meet a man or woman struggling to make ends meet who still holds onto the idea that Reaganomics works, at all. But I wish you well and hope one day a guy who will tax all the poor people a lot more and take away all taxes on the rich, dismantle programs for the disabled, pregnant and elderly comes around to save our country from the socialist grips of our postal, library and education systems. Because one more free thing to these darn poor people will really ruin my neighbor's timeshare investment and he will not be able to go to Ireland next year where their banks all just shat the bed due to the aggressive influence of the euro, and pick up his bed bug scourge as I had so wished he would...

    I'm just joking around with you. I do actually think bed bugs are in part due to our increasingly 2nd world status on this planet. But that's just my uneducated dumb girlie opinion... (where are those pesticides so I can begin this cancer at 40 thing...)

    Amy

  62. poordadof4

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    Sun Dec 12 2010 21:41:56
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    jrbtnyc - 4 hours ago  » 
    Concerning the last two posts...we're all passionate about these issues, including me as much as anyone and I'd LOVE to expound my own views right here and now...but it's getting off-topic.

    I was thinking of refraining. To get back to the topic, does anyone else have a simple list of things a person could do, on a budget, to completely defeat these bed bugs. Also, what equipment do professionals use? As for my heat gun, it is a steam gun recommended by a local PCO. I just wish it would project heat farther and get through walls and layers of cloth bed bugs hide in to insulate themselves. How do the PCOs get through layers of materials like wood base boards or furniture, dry wall, carpet or cloth?

  63. nycyn

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    Sun Dec 12 2010 23:55:59
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    Beth: I would LOVE to have that steamer. I could pay shipping. Of course it is easier to give it away locally; at this point I think there is no reason to hold on to it.

    Cheers!

  64. bed-bugscouk

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    Mon Dec 13 2010 9:25:14
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    To bring this one back on top if you are looking to become a PCO you can calculate the costs as follows:

    Cost of training - most PCO's start working for someone else and develop their businesses’ from there. In my case I worked for someone for about 2 years on sub minimal wage before I saved enough to put myself through training.

    Cost of qualification - depending upon your location pest businesses are required to hold minimal qualifications. In the UK this is the RSPH Level 2 certificate in pest control but different regions have different standards.

    Cost of equipment - depending upon your approach you need a stock of chemicals, application equipment, personal protective equipment, vehicles etc. If you are looking at heat I think the units run in the region of $30,000 to $60,000 USD.

    Cost of set up - you need premises to store products (again regulations vary), website, phones, and documentation. You will also need insurance to cover you for the work you want to do.

    Cost of marketing - you need customers otherwise you cant make the rent and ongoing expenses. Depending upon strategy this can be either low cost online or media campaigns.

    The bottom line is that although it may appear to be a great and simple idea to set up and run a pest control firm it’s actually a lot more expensive than you think. In fact if I was doing this all over again I would most likely have stayed in the city and had a better funded and yet miserable life.

    Once you have made all the investments and gotten your company operational you then need to look at ongoing development costs and keeping up with techniques and technology.

    I have deliberately not included too many hard numbers in this post as they do vary a lot between locations but I think its fair to say that even if you aim at setting up a one man band it is going to cost you at least $60,000 USD if you do it all by the cheapest options.

    To be honest the hardest aspect is getting started and that initial training since most managers of pest companies don't exactly want to train staff to set up their own firms.

    Hope that lays out the skeleton.

    David

  65. Beth

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    Posted 7 years ago
    Mon Dec 13 2010 11:50:04
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    nycyn: the steamer is yours. Pm me an address and I'll send it along, and you can send me the check for shipping after you receive it.

    happy holidays-
    Amy

  66. MsJ

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    Mon Dec 13 2010 12:12:00
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    Amy/Beth,

    Out of interest, what brand was the steamer you plan on giving away?

    Cheers,

    JK

  67. Beth

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    Mon Dec 13 2010 13:19:04
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    It's a Shark steamer mop. As I said, it only works on hard surfaces, though has a carpet glider for VERY thin carpets. It worked well on my wood floors in my last place, but I have mostly thick carpet now and so had to get a new dry vapor steamer. The mop also requires a little elbow grease as to get to high temps you have to pump the handle---not a defect, this is how the mop works. I am now using something I heard about here, the Vapor Max TR5, which was $489 on sale from $600. It is amazing, dry steam, and burns them right through the carpets with very little muscle required. The first two nights after steaming I got no bites, after having been bitten daily for a couple of weeks. I got one bite last night, but figured there would be stragglers (I couldn't steam the entire apt. and do all the laundry in one day so this enviro approach takes awhile--my carpet is thick and I have to go slowly over it), and so will retreat and have laid DE. I am also still in the process of ziploc bigbagging all books and things we don't need right now which are all in the office that needs to be steamed. The biggest pain is my dog who they get to if they can't get to us and who has some weird type of severe allergy going on where he is also vomiting and itching like crazy so who knows what is wrong with him (testing food allergies and he is on 2 flea preventives), but it makes knowing if they are gone or not difficult. I bathed him last night and that made him worse, go figure. Regardless, we are isolating our bed today hoping to catch the few left in climbups or have killed them when they try to go into the baseboards or bedframe and get coated in DE or hang out in the carpet or in screw holes and get steamed to death. I even went so far as to pull the carpet up and lay the DE down on the wood floor near the baseboards. I am going to steam the bedroom and where the dog sleeps often for awhile to fry the stragglers. I believe they were hiding near the radiator in my bedroom, and taking this apart and blasting it with steam has proven very effective (thank goodness my partner is a carpenter). I'm not caulking yet, I want them gone, not just hiding. The packtite is running nearly 24/7 with our coats, purses, shoes, bed linens, etc. Soon, they will be gone. Just a matter of persistence.

    With both steamers you don't need to worry too much about blowing the bugs around without killing them--the mop because the pressure isn't very high and is over a wide surface area with plenty of cloth attachments, and the TR5 because it is so hot it torches everything in its path. I am very happy about this purchase and think it is likely better than the Vapamore, and on sale, less expensive than the White Wing.

    cheers-
    Amy

  68. DougSummersMS

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    Mon Dec 13 2010 17:48:58
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    Check with your vet about using two different flea preventative at the same time to see if that could explain your dog's symptoms.

    Vomiting can be sign of toxicity... You didn't say which products were being used, but some products cannot be combined... check with your vet or a poison control hotline about the combination

  69. stephiekins

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    Mon Dec 13 2010 23:33:11
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    Hi James
    Here's what I did the other nice when I discovered a colony of the little bastards in my home well my bedroom in any case. People claim that they're shy but I've seen ALL kinds of them ICK! Anyway...
    When I first noticed them (living in a pillow) I promptly threw that one away along with another one that I noticed had poop stains. Yeah I could have washed/dried them but not worth the risk and pillows aren't so expensive that it was actually cheaper to buy new one's then wash them.
    Then I vacuumed EVERYTHING. Curtains, the bed (all pieces), the floor. I have a bag-less vacuum so I just dumped them into toilet and drowned them!
    Then I stocked up on RAID. There is only ONE brand that actually says that it kills them. It's from their naturals line and it's the multi bug killer. You'll see the entire list of what it kills on the side panel. I know your broke, but it costs about $8.99 a can (I live in Canada so don't quote me on that). It DOES work, I've seen them die and I will admit got some twisted pleasure out of that lol. Then I went out and bought vinyl mattress covers (2 for the mattress and the box spring) and use duct tape to seal the zippers shut so that eventually they will starve and die (this can take up to two years. I say two because I've seen 1yr to 18 mos so I think 2 yrs is sufficient) so here's the break down of what I did in list form so that it (hopefully makes sense)

    Clean up the clutter off your floors
    Threw out any pillows I seen with bug poop stains. I figure that pillows have too much fill and didn't want to risk them not dying in case washing wasn't effective.
    Vacuumed everything first, including live bugs I seen, paying extra close attention to the seams of my bed/baseboards)
    Rounded up all my soft bedding (pillows, mattress topper, comforter, you get the idea) and hauled ALL of it down to the laundromat. Washed it ALL in on the hot water setting, then dried it until it was totally dry and really hot. Usually those dryers are at a higher heat then household models ensuring that your UN-welcome "friends" will die. Be careful with synthetics though, I have actually had pillowcases melt under normal circumstances. I then left those in plastic garbage bags.
    Then I set forth very methodically spraying everything down with RAID. Careful with that though, it doesn't smell bad but it "fogs" up a small room rather fast and you'll choke on the fumes. I paid extra close attention to the seams of my mattress and box spring, waited for it to dry (takes about an hour) and then encased it in the mattress covers (picked up queen sized ones for about 12.00 each again I live in Canada so prices vary) Check out Walmart/Zellers/K-mart and I didn't bother with the fancy one's, just the plain old vinyl ones.
    Sealed the zippers with duct tape and re-assembled my bed.
    Then after I cleaned/vacuumed/sprayed everything, I waited a little while to see if I noticed any more of the little bastards crawling about and killed them on the spot.
    Then I laid out my clean bedding fresh from the laundromat and sprayed that down as well (just in case) and encased my pillows in the pillow covers.[/*]
    It's only been a little while since I've done this and the situation has seemingly improved, although only time will tell!
    My landlord has agreed to send in PC should I require it, although I have little/no faith in the guy she uses since he half assed sprayed my couch (most likely to shut her up)
    This all came at a price, not a huge one though and I'm broke too! Although these measures will *hopefully* reduce your troubles!
    I would also notify the people living in the same area of your issue even anonymously so that they are aware. If you live in a connected unit (IE: Townhouse/apt building type dwelling) they CAN come in through tiny cracks, your electrical units and so forth so if your using a powder like substance, I would remove all your coverings and give a dusting in there as well as heating units.
    This was advice I got from Orkin, so I trust the source and I truly hope your situation improves!

  70. bed-bugscouk

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    Tue Dec 14 2010 7:46:01
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    Hi,

    Raid may work as a contact killer but it is not advisable to use it as a whole room treatment, if you read the link below you will see why:

    http://www.ca.uky.edu/entomology/entfacts/ef643.asp

    The active ingrediant in aerosol form will not be able to penetrate into the hiding places for bedbugs and therefore it is not effective unless sprayed directly at a bedbug.

    David

  71. cilecto

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    Posted 7 years ago
    Tue Dec 14 2010 8:55:04
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    Last I read the label, no Raid brand product is labeled for bed bugs in the USA. There ARE several over the counter EPA registered pesticides that ARE labeled for BB.

  72. Nobugsonme

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    Tue Dec 14 2010 12:23:49
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    stephiekins - 12 hours ago  » 
    Then I stocked up on RAID. There is only ONE brand that actually says that it kills them. It's from their naturals line and it's the multi bug killer. You'll see the entire list of what it kills on the side panel. I know your broke, but it costs about $8.99 a can (I live in Canada so don't quote me on that). It DOES work, I've seen them die and I will admit got some twisted pleasure out of that lol.

    As Ci said, Raid does not seem to have any products labeled for bed bugs in the US. (US Raid site.) I would caution anyone against using any products not labeled for use against bed bugs, or using products in ways not specified by the label.

    (Unfortunately, some products are labeled for bed bugs which shouldn't be -- I'm thinking of a certain fogger.)

    Anyway, stephiekins is in Canada, where Raid sells a product called Raid Earthblends Multi Bug Killer (PDF of MSDS,) and PDF of label. Is this the product you're talking about, stephiekins?

    If so, the active ingredient is petroleum and pyrethrins .25%.

    The Raid Earth blends Multi Insect label notes:

    Kills on contact: Flies, mosquitoes, fleas, flying moths,
    gnats, spiders, bed bugs, sowbugs, carpet beetles, centipedes, ants, silverfish, wasps.
    Insects must be hit by spray to be killed.

    I am not an expert on pesticides, but this does not sound too different from Steri-fab, which is based on isopropyl alcohol and .22% phenothrin, which I've heard experts describe as basically a contact killer with a mild residual.

    stephiekins said, "I've seen them die" -- and yes, many things act as effective contact killers to kill bed bugs you see and spray directly.

    This may not be of much help with bed bugs which (a) you don't spray directly, or (b) are resistant to the active ingredient, an increasingly common problem.

    If it seems like we're all holding back instead of suggesting a pesticide treatment plan, it's partly because treating bed bugs is so complicated. Most of us are not qualified to give such advice. Those who can are probably rightly wary of liability issues.

    Earlier, Cilecto suggested the Michigan Manual (in our Comprehensive Guides list on the resources page). This and the other Comprehensive Guides can be really informative in terms of outlining treatment with steam, as well as basic information on pesticides and dusts. We also link to a few pesticide resources.

    I'd definitely recommend starting with those links. I like the Michigan manual too, though am not sure about their isolation suggestions. Stephen Doggett's Bed Bug Code of Practice is awesome, even if you're not in Australia. The others are very helpful too.

  73. Beth

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    Posted 7 years ago
    Tue Dec 14 2010 13:03:52
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    Doug,

    thanks.

    Since switching him to human food--chicken and rice, his itching and vomiting has stopped. I think it was a food allergy. I was using comfortis and frontline, spacing them out every two weeks. I will call the vet about this, but they were going to give him frontline with comfortis at least once, but maybe continually is a bad idea. Dunno, will ask. The comfortis itself causes him to vomit. oh, the perils of bugs. We are pretty sure now that we have bed bugs in the bedroom and fleas in the living room, lol, if you can believe it. Both are very under control, but total eradication is difficult with a dog who likes to lie wherever he pleases (we do not allow him in the bedroom) and w/o pesticides. I have been thinking of asking the vet about using DE on his coat b/c this is likely the last thing that will need to be done to ensure they both go away. We are having a lot of success with the steamer. I am just nervous about him getting dehydrated.

    well, anywho, cheers-

    Amy

  74. stephiekins

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    Wed Dec 15 2010 0:28:19
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    Anyway, stephiekins is in Canada, where Raid sells a product called Raid Earthblends Multi Bug Killer (PDF of MSDS,) and PDF of label. Is this the product you're talking about, stephiekins?

    Yes and after looking at the can, it says not for sale outside of Canada
    The front of the can doesn't give a detailed listing of what it kills, it's on the side panel, along with instructions on how to kill bedbugs and fleas as well. I followed the advice I got from the orkin man which was very helpful.
    Mind you, my infestation isn't/wasn't that bad (or so I can hope!).
    Yes obviously hiring someone is *always* the best option, but he's made it quite clear that it's not within his budget.
    So I was just offering a little insight as to what has worked for me thus far. I'm lucky that my landlord pays for this should I hire someone however in Montreal I've noticed that they're a bunch of half assed slackers (based on other people's postings/reviews) and most landlords won't pay for someone reputable and reliable.

  75. Nobugsonme

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    stephiekins - 1 hour ago  » 

    Anyway, stephiekins is in Canada, where Raid sells a product called Raid Earthblends Multi Bug Killer (PDF of MSDS,) and PDF of label. Is this the product you're talking about, stephiekins?

    Yes and after looking at the can, it says not for sale outside of Canada
    The front of the can doesn't give a detailed listing of what it kills, it's on the side panel, along with instructions on how to kill bedbugs and fleas as well. I followed the advice I got from the orkin man which was very helpful.
    Mind you, my infestation isn't/wasn't that bad (or so I can hope!).
    Yes obviously hiring someone is *always* the best option, but he's made it quite clear that it's not within his budget.
    So I was just offering a little insight as to what has worked for me thus far. I'm lucky that my landlord pays for this should I hire someone however in Montreal I've noticed that they're a bunch of half assed slackers (based on other people's postings/reviews) and most landlords won't pay for someone reputable and reliable.

    I think that really well-researched and cautious and informed DIY -- done safely -- can be better than a half-a$$ed slacker. There are a lot of things you can do (steam, informed and careful use of dusts and pesticides with residuals, etc.) It takes a lot of research and thought and planning, and using the best tools.

    However, using what is basically a contact killer to treat your bed bugs is probably not going to do much. That's because you will most likely have bed bugs you cannot see to spray directly. And eggs.

    I wish you all the best stephiekins, and I hope you get rid of bed bugs entirely very soon. I just don't think that this is a good plan to recommend to others.

  76. BarelyLiving2

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    Mon Dec 27 2010 17:42:25
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    Poor dad-- Interesting, you've excited a lot of discussion and opinions, yet no one has an answer for you.

    The closest thing I've seen to self-help for someone who doesn't have a lot of money is Jeannette's post "Four Months Bite Free - Steps taken". Everyone here says that DE is dangerous, and in fact Jeannette's original post was deleted for some reason, but she restates it lower in the thread, if you can't find it, tell me and I'll type it back in. I printed it incase it mysteriously disappears again. It's the only low cost solution I've ever seen that sounds believable.

    I also saw something that Changlu Wang put together here's his system, although it does require a steam machine, it uses Climbups. His steps --1) Conduct a systematic inspection of the entire residence using a flashlight and collecting tools (brush, forceps, a glass jar for holding the bed bugs) (figure 4 and 5). Collect or kill all bed bug eggs, nymphs, and adults found during inspection. Emphasis should be placed on beds, sofas, chairs, and wheelchairs where the residents spend most of their time. Turn over and disassemble the furniture if possible to find all bed bug hiding places.
    2) Use a hot steam machine to kill large numbers of bed bugs in heavily infested areas. Bed bugs are very susceptible to high temperatures (> 120°F).
    3) Immediately put infested materials (clothes, bed linens, shoes, books, toys, small furniture, electronics, curtains, etc) in heavy duty plastic bags and seal them to avoid recontamination. Wash and hot dry the items if possible. Non-washable items can be placed in a hot dryer or a freezer for a few weeks to kill all bed bugs present. Safely discard heavily infested items that can not be washed or effectively de-infested by hot steam. 4) Remove or reduce clutter from the infested room.
    5) Install encasements around mattresses or box springs (figure 6). This will permanently seal off many bed bugs that are missed during the inspection, eliminate bed bug hiding places, and make future inspections much easier.
    6) Apply a layer of diatomaceous earth dust to the corners, crevices, and holes on the disassembled bed frame. The same can be done to sofas, behind baseboards, and inside electric or telephone outlets. Liquid insecticides labeled for bed bugs can also be applied to bed frames, baseboards, and other areas where bed bugs are found for long-term protection. It is more effective to kill bed bugs by applying the chemicals directly onto bed bugs than relying on the dry residues. It is important to keep in mind that all pesticides must be applied following the label directions.
    7) Install a bed bug barrier under all bed and sofa legs. A commercial bed bug interceptor (CLIMBUPTM, Susan McKnight, Inc) is available for installation under bed
    References
    or sofa legs to capture bed bugs that travel between the furniture and the floor (figure 7). Bed bugs moving to or from the bed and sofa will be trapped in the interceptor. The interceptor provides immediately relief from bed bug bites and can be used to verify whether bed bugs are eliminated in a room. The bed and sofa must be pulled away from walls so that bed bugs can only reach the furniture via the furniture legs.
    Seal holes and crevices on the wall.
    9) Repeat steps 1 and 2 and check the interceptors every 7-10 days until no bed bugs are found for a month. During each inspection, remove the bed bugs caught in the interceptors. A hand-held magnifier will be needed to identify the small bed bug nymphs. Clean the interceptors with cloth. Add a thin layer of talcum powder if necessary after each examination.
    10) In multi-unit buildings, all apartments (rooms) and the common areas need to be inspected and treated (if necessary) following the above procedures.

    Best wishes-- this is what happens when people are required to fight a war, but the bullets are taken away. The rich will always find a way (Vikane, etc.) The poor will suffer. It's absolutely a social justice issue.

  77. tforms1

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    Tue Dec 28 2010 4:07:16
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    Good info here (not referring to the economics lesson)

  78. asdfzxh

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    so unsettling - 7 years ago  » 

    Please do not even consider moving again and leaving an infected location behind. To do so is morally irreprehensible and should be consider a criminal act of vandalism.

    Wow. I don't know what to say.
    Methinks those who can't afford to get rid of them, and landlords have no responsibility for their own buildings, will simply have to go on living with them. That's how I see the rest of my life. But I would feel differently if I had a young family.
    Poordad, can you apply for any city assistance that might help you with a more systematic and effective treatment plan? I feel very bad for you and your family, and hope you can find a way. Do you have any idea, as David has mentioned, what the ongoing source is?

    no such thing as what to sx, say/can say any no matter what


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