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Professional Opinion request: storing possibly infested furniture

(13 posts)
  1. BedbugsPleaseHateMe

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    Posted 5 years ago
    Wed Sep 17 2014 20:19:32
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    Hi all. I discovered my first bed bug a couple months ago and have since seen about 1-2 per day. My landlord hired a PCO who has come twice. The most recent extermination was 2 weeks ago, and I really hoped I was in the clear. But a couple nights ago, I was winding down, and I suddenly felt like I was being crawled on. I hoped it was just anxiety but got up to look around and found bedbugs in my climb up interceptors.

    I spoke to my mom on the phone tonight. She implored me to get rid of as much as possible and move the heck out of my apartment building. We are concerned that the PCO the building is working with is not so great. I live in an apartment with 2 rooms, one large, one tiny. Both times an exterminator came, he got right to having me step out while he sprayed the place for maybe 10 or 15 minutes, then he was done. My landlord seems upset that he is having to pay for exterminations. He gives me advice about exterminating the place myself with products from the hardware store that he's heard good things about. My landlord asked the tenants on either side of me if they had bed bugs and that seems the extent of what is being done, beyond me drying, vaccuming, bagging, throwing things out.

    My mom is concerned that if the PCO isn't super effective and the landlord isn't having the adjacent, upper and lower apartments inspected, that I should get out now. I considering trying to do this. However, I have some antique furniture passed down from the family that is valuable both monetarily and sentimentally. My mother recommended that I find a way to pack everything up and store it and move to a new place carrying little to nothing along.

    I am wondering if anyone has any experience with something like wrapping furniture thoroughly in plastic. My mom said "wrap it in plastic and cover it with DE." My mom also really wants me to get rid of my very old lounge chairs. They are the only comfortable place to sit in the apartment.. I am pretty deeply overwhelmed at this point. I am pretty emotionally exhausted and don't know what to do with my home or my stuff or my life.

    Sorry this is a lot of info but if anyone can advice, specifically about the furniture packing, that would be amazing. I've seen recommendations to steam furniture, but if I am doing that in an otherwise infested apartment, I don't know how good a safeguard it would be..

    Dear Bedbugs, Please learn to hate me, my neighbors, friends, family, and all of humankind. Love, an itchy, tired human
  2. pistonengine08

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    Posted 5 years ago
    Wed Sep 17 2014 20:24:15
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    Do you have $30/month you can spend for a storage unit? Put the furniture in there and leave it for two years is an option. Or at least leave it until you have a better plan of attack.

  3. BedbugsPleaseHateMe

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    Posted 5 years ago
    Wed Sep 17 2014 20:31:45
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    It might be worth it to spend that money, would be a smaller loss than tossing the furniture altogether. I'm concerned about packing it properly so that bugs wouldn't infest the unit and facility..

    I'm also a bit annoyed at the prospect of living without furniture while paying to have beautiful furniture in storage, but it's not like my quality of life with incessant anxiety about bugs is that greatly enhanced by the sight of the glorious furniture, lol.

  4. pistonengine08

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    Posted 5 years ago
    Thu Sep 18 2014 6:07:50
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    Sorry, I'm not actually a professional, just throwing out ideas. If you're moving out, which seems reasonable given the circumstances, you need to make extra sure you don't bring any hitchhikers with you. I figure you could probably divide everything into categories:

    Throw away
    Store for later treatment
    Treat immediately

    As far as making sure things you put in storage don't spread the infestation, I would seal everything in trash bags. For big furniture items, you can wrap in heavy duty plastic and seal it up good. Maybe throw in a few DDVP strips and sprinkled some DE on the floor of the unit.

    Not a professional, just someone like you who has been desperately trying to self educate

  5. P Bello

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    Posted 5 years ago
    Thu Sep 18 2014 7:06:34
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    Dear bbphm,

    You're not alone in your situation and such folks need viable and practical solutions which they can implement to resolve these concerns successfully.

    A few comments for your consideration:

    > You can successfully eliminate bed bugs from those possessions you wish to keep. You only need to know what to do, how to do it and then do it.

    > There are a number of things you can hire a pro to do and/or there are DIY methodologies that work as well. Some examples follow here:

    * Your Comfortable Lounge Chair: 1) Purchase medium duty large plastic painters tarps. About $10., 2) Purchase clear packing tape and a hand held tape dispenser. About $20., 3) Purchase one pest strip. About $7., 4) Use the plastic tarp to cover and wrap the chair as you would say packing a sandwich. Be sure to overlap the plastic such that the eventual wrapped cover is "air tight". During this process you must place the pest strip within the enclosed space in with the chair. You are likely best served by placing the strip within the underside hollow area above the bottom dust cover of the chair. To do so, you may have to actually cut or slice the dust cover in a place that is unseen. ALSO NOTE that you do not need to use a pest strip as long as you're going to keep the chair wrapped for a long, long time say like 18 months or so., 5) Seal up the plastic wrapped chair completely and check it to assure it's totally sealed. 6) Place a blanket or other suitable fabric item over the plastic wrapped chair such that you can continue to use the chair without fear of tearing or puncturing the plastic wrap.
    Doing this seals in any bed bugs which may be in your chair.

    > Purchase a bed bug proof furniture encasement such as a Furniture Safe. Note that they make such encasements for both chairs and sofas just as they do for mattresses and box springs. They cost from about $50 and up depending upon brand name, size and quality.

    > Clothing and other items. Segregate your clothing and other items to what you need now and what you can do without. Seal the "without" stuff into plastic bags and/or bed bug proof plastic storage bins.

    > LET's NOT GET BIT ! Sounds good right? Of course it is. And by "LET's" I mean YOU ! Here's some ways to avoid being bitten by bed bugs in your own home. And, coincidentally, this sh#t will work for other folks too ! Just sayin . . .

    * You could sleep each night in a bed bug proof sleep tent. They may be a tad costly depending upon which model/brand you buy but, when used properly they work.

    * You can isolate and maintain your bed. This means that you dismantle your bed, inspect and treat it thoroughly such that there are zero bed bugs present on the entire bed and them use climb up blocking devices, install encasements and move the bed away from any walls, neighboring furniture etc. such that bed bugs have great difficulty accessing you as you sleep.

    * You can do some bed bug elimination work yourself. Check out my other posts AND, there may be some really great BBF participants who will post links here to some of my many "how to" tips for you as well. I just can't keep up with all that stuff.

    Dealing with your LL:

    This is a tricky subject but know that none of this is "rocket science". Speaking as an educated, experienced and knowledgeable pro I can tell you that here in the US the LL is obliged to provide OU with a habitable, vermin free abode. Thus far, in every case habitable, vermin free abode has included being bed bug free. As such, if you have bed bugs through no fault of your own in your apartment and you've reported same to your LL yet the condition persists, it is the LL's responsibility to eliminate the bed bugs.

    How this works out at "the local level" can vary as these matters are often contentious and become a battle. Unfortunately, the resident, such as yourself, often feels overwhelmed and overmatched due to various reasons. However, you do have resources upon which you can call which include:
    * The local code enforcement agency which regulates apartments.
    * The local health department.
    * The local tenant's rites association.
    * The local legal aide society should financial resources be a limiting factor.
    * The local consumer news reporter.

    OK, I've got to get to work now, hope this helps you !

    pjb

  6. AbsolutelyFreaking

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    Posted 5 years ago
    Thu Sep 18 2014 11:38:34
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    Hi,

    I had a couple of additional thoughts upon reading this thread . . .

    As was mentioned in a couple of different posts above . . . but I wanted to emphasis . . . if anyone is thinking about storing items and/or furniture in storage units . . . please make sure your items and/or furniture are completely/securely wrapped and bagged . . . not only to keep from spreading your bed bugs to others . . . but also in case others are using the storage facility for the same purpose (and maybe they didn't wrap or bag their items) . . . to keep their bed bugs out of your stuff!

    Additionally, if you do decide to move . . .

    In some areas "total truck" fumigation is available (not bombs but fumigation – I think maybe usually sulfuryl fluoride). Total truck fumigation while moving from one place to another is regularly recommended by one of the professionals on here as being one of the most effective methods of bed bug eradication.

    Also, if sulfuryl fluoride fumigation is not available in your area . . . there are some companies that do "total truck" heating of all your possessions. . .

    Just something for you to think about and maybe look into!

  7. bed-bugscouk

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    Posted 5 years ago
    Thu Sep 18 2014 12:14:56
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    Hi,

    Another option and certainly a more reliable one might be to see if there is an Insect Inferno trailer in your area so they can load the furniture in and two hours later its all processed and nothing will survive.

    DE will do little or no good in wrapped items because the bedbugs will not be moving around looking for food, they will be in metabolic conservation mode.

    Hope that helps.

    David Cain
    Bed Bugs Limited

    I am happy to answer questions in public but will not reply to message sent directly or via my company / social media. I am here to help everyone and not just one case at a time.

    In accordance with the AUP and FTC 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 pro
  8. AbsolutelyFreaking

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    Posted 5 years ago
    Thu Sep 18 2014 12:21:18
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    Hi David,

    Do you have a link . . . or could point us toward one . . . or contact with the Insect Inferno people where they could supply us with one . . . that we could find out what areas the Insect Inferno is available in so we could easily supply that information to people? (And that's kind of what I was referring to when I said total truck heat treatments.)

  9. bed-bugscouk

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    Posted 5 years ago
    Thu Sep 18 2014 12:57:10
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    Hi Abs,

    Try this:

    http://bit.ly/XMy4Tk

    David

    PS there are a few heat trailers but only one I have faith in.

  10. BedbugsPleaseHateMe

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    Posted 5 years ago
    Fri Sep 19 2014 10:56:57
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    Thank you all for taking the time to respond. I live in Chicago. David, my hopes really went up about finding an Insect Inferno, but it doesn't seem that PCOs in the area use them. I called the hotline on the Insect Inferno website and they couldn't help me.

  11. AbsolutelyFreaking

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    Posted 5 years ago
    Fri Sep 19 2014 11:30:48
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    BedbugsPleaseHateMe - 32 minutes ago  » 
    . . .I called the hotline on the Insect Inferno website and they couldn't help me.

    Which was kind of my experience with this also . . . I didn't call them, but emailed them, regarding if they had a list/name of someone in my area and never received a response back (it was a year or so ago) . . . that's why I was hoping there was an Insect Inferno "club" somewhere where we could find actual PCOs/people that use them!

    . . . but with that being said, I haven't tried googling them or contacting them lately after my initial attempt was never responded to.

  12. ScaredChicago

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    Posted 4 years ago
    Wed Oct 22 2014 19:21:58
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    Hi- did you ever find a heat truck in chicago? I'm in the exact same boat and need help. I actually think I'm going to seal everything up and store it for 18 months...

    Have you found a reasonably priced storage unit in the city?

  13. persephone86

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    Posted 4 years ago
    Thu Oct 23 2014 10:25:59
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    Hi ScaredChicago & BedbugsPleaseHateMe!

    Fellow Chicagoan here. I am sorry that both of you are going through this. It will get better eventually. I had bed bugs almost 5 years ago and I still lurk around here reading from time to time and keep up to date on them in case they come crawling back my way again. Anyway, I do know that Rose Pest Solutions, who does treat for bed bugs, offers a drop off fumigation service for furniture near O'Hare Airport. See bottom of page here: Rose Fumigation. I personally have not used their services, but in my bed bug research, they have come up several times as one of the better reviewed and used pest control companies in the city. Hopefully this helps a bit and gives you a start to researching options for your furniture here in the city.


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