Got Bed Bugs? Bedbugger Forums » Tools/ideas for fighting bed bugs

WHAT ARE MY RIGHTS?

(12 posts)
  1. steviend

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    Posted 3 years ago
    Sun Oct 25 2015 12:41:57
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    We recently purchased a home infested with bed bugs. No, they never told us it was infested. (Now the plastic furniture and air mattress they had in there during the showing makes sense.) We moved in Friday October 9. On Monday Oct 12, I thought to myself, "there is a mosquito following me around, biting me! Damn thing!" Tuesday morning, I had a full on rash and called my doctor for an emergency visit. She said it looked kind of like chicken pox and kind of like scabies, but ultimately was not sure. She treated me for scabies and told me if it helped, then get the refill and treat my husband. It did not work. Wednesday and Thursday went by, and the rash got worse and worse. I'm talking huge red itchy welts and hives ALL over my body. Multiple sites were bleeding from how bad I was itching. Finally Friday, I went back to the doctor and she was in disbelief, and said honestly she had not seen anything like this and that I needed to see a dermatologist immediately. She wasn't sure if maybe I was allergic to something in the cleaning products I was using, or if there maybe was something in the air of the new house, she really was not sure. But that afternoon, a dermatologist got me in. She said that the rash was actually bug bites. She was not sure what kind of bugs, but looked like bug bites. I kind of looked at her like she was crazy, and told her there was no way these were bug bites, and that my husband and 8 month old baby were with me 24/7 and they had no bites or itching whatsoever. She said it was possible, and some bugs like some more than others and some people have reactions to bug bites and some people don't. I honestly thought she was crazy and was assured she only wanted my money. She did a biopsy of one of the "bites" and said the results would be in in a couple of days. I left feeling so upset that my mysterious skin rash was not solved. I was in a major depression because the "bites" and hives and welts had spread to my face, ears and chest. I literally looked like a monster. I went home and scheduled an exterminator anyway. Moving in to a new house, I thought it would be good to spray for bugs anyway, but I really did not expect him to help any other way. That next morning (Saturday Oct 17), I was at my wits end. I was making my bed, waiting for the exterminator, and saw a dark speck. I swiped it away AND IT STARTED MOVING! I almost had a heart attack, pulled the sheet back and saw lots of the same dark things lining the edge seam of my bed. And they all moved when I poked them. I was in total disbelief and shock and felt like I was dreaming. I took a picture, sent it to the exterminator and he confirmed: they were bedbugs.
    When he got there, he said never in his 11 years of working as an exterminator has he seen bed bug bites as bad as mine. He said if he didn't know that they were bedbugs biting me, he never would have thought it was bedbugs biting me. He found countless live bugs living on our mattress and box spring, in the windows, closet and along the baseboards. Luckily, we had not moved anything into the bedroom except the mattress and box spring because the wood floors and wood paneling needed fixed up. He confirmed that there was tons of fecal matter all over the room, except on our bed and box spring, so he confirmed that we did not bring this into the house. He also found a casing and some other evidence of BBs in the living area and the door frame into the Florida room, but no live bugs other than the bedroom. The upstairs of the house had been uninhabited for 40+ years, and upon moving in, we had it completely rebuilt. The PCO said he found no evidence of anything upstairs (everything down to the plumbing, HVAC, drywall and floors was completely brand new.) He offered us a heat treatment that following Thursday Oct 22, and assured us that this was the most effective treatment there was and was confident he could get rid of them. After he left that afternoon, we were just in total disbelief. How did this happen. How could someone let a family with a baby move into a house infested with bed bugs?! They had basically eaten me alive. I had over 300 bites.
    During the week that I had the bites, unknowing that they were actual bug bites, I had NO choice but to take Benadryl all day, every day (which HARDLY relieved the itch). I am currently breastfeeding, and any breastfeeding mother knows Benadryl is a big NO NO while BF, that it dries up your supply. Every time I took the Benadryl, I felt so terrible that I was doing this to my daughter. And my milk was dwindling before my eyes. I was pumping every 2 hours in hopes of building it back up, but it wasn't really helping. A week before, I had such a surplus of milk that I was able to donate hundreds of ounces of frozen milk every month to a mom in need. Now, I literally had to pump for each feeding. That was by far the worse than any physical painful bites on my body, that I couldn't even feed my daughter anymore because the medication I had to take to keep the itch and swelling at (somewhat) ease.
    After the PCO left, we literally abandoned ship. We left EVERYTHING at the house, and went and purchased everything brand new that we would need to live for the next week. We obviously did not want to bring any BBs with us, and at that point, we were sure they were crawling all over us and needed a little peace of mind. We stayed at a hotel 5 minutes from the house because we had 2 dogs who needed taken care of, and the construction at the house was still going on.
    So anyway, fast forward a few days of hotel living. The stress from the situation wreaked even more havoc on my milk production, and having to take care of a baby in a hotel with none of our belongings. We had to explain to all the people who have crossed our home path to check their belongings (my 2 step daughters with whom we have shared parenting, my office and staff, the construction workers in the house who were doing the renovations upstairs). It was a total nightmare.
    Thursday Oct 22, heat treatment day. We had prepared the house the day before. Since the construction was going on, we literally had not unpacked anything. All of our belongings were in sealed boxes stacked in the Florida room, waiting for the construction to finish so we could officially "move in." The PCO advised us to leave everything in there as it was. I was well aware some of those boxes contained things that would melt, but we decided it was worth the loss. The house, except the Florida room, was completely empty except a chair and rug in the living room, so the PCO said we had that going for us, however the house was fairly old (100 years) and had lots of cracks and crevices. He said he had heard of houses not being able to be heated to the recommended degree, but said we should be fine. The guy who did the actual treatment was not the same as the first PCO who came and confirmed the infestation, but he was just as confident he'd have no issues eradicating the issue and us "being bed bug free by 5pm that day [Thursday]"
    We checked out of our hotel Friday morning and moved back in, while still being extremely mindful of the situation. I did the cleanup. In the bedroom, the mattress and box spring were sitting on their sides against the wall. I moved them around while sweeping up all of the deceased little jerks, checking for any activity. Nothing. I felt optimistic that this was the end of our BB journey.
    Through this whole ordeal, I was the one eaten up and husband wasn't left a single mark, but he was about 100 times more freaked out than I was. He actually was having major insomnia during our hotel stay, thinking there were BBs everywhere, jumping up from his chair, ripping his shirt off because he felt crawling, etc. When he did sleep, he was having nightmares and yelling out loud! He had suggested that we actually have our 2 older girls (9 and 13) share a bedroom upstairs so that we could move into the 3rd bedroom upstairs and that he did not want to sleep in the BB infested bedroom downstairs. I told him that we needed to put this behind us so that we could move into our new home and begin living again, and that we had to let this situation go or we would continue to be miserable and think bugs were crawling all over us. That first evening back, Fri Oct 23, we chose to sleep in the Florida room on the couches because we hadn't purchased a new bed yet. (We were told we could definitely keep all of our furniture, but we chose to destroy it and throw it out for psychological reasons.) I laid down around 11 and just stared at the ceiling for hours. Husband was trying to avoid having to lay down and sleep so he kept occupied by priming and painting the upstairs. Around 230am, he finally decided to lay down. Of course, he starts to inspect the couch he's about to lay down on, and of course, there is a BB crawling smack in the middle of his pillow. We could not believe this. He goes into the BB bedroom, and there are many live bugs visibly crawling on the box spring and mattress. We were in total shock, again. Total disbelief and literally felt so let down. The heat treatment obviously didn't work. It was barely 24 hours later, and it wasn't like it missed just one, it looked as if it didn't help at all.
    Checked into a hotel around 430am.
    Saturday Oct 24, we get ahold of the PCO and have them come over to check it out. They said they couldn't believe it didn't work. They sprayed some stuff around the room and said they would have to come back Monday to reassess.
    Sunday Oct 25, and here we are. Back at the hotel, and really unsure of what to do. Never in my wildest dreams would I have imagined bed bugs would have pushed us out of our house and left me with a terrible rash, scabs and scars and dried up my milk supply. This has been a living nightmare. After reading everyones stories and doing lots of research on this, it's fair to say that I now feel like this is never going to end. And its only been 2 weeks! Please, someone, tell me this is going to be okay. What do we do now? Anyone have a similar story that turned out okay? We loved this cute little farmhouse on amazing property in a great area to raise our daughter, and now we are living out of plastic bags in a hotel!
    And another question, I know we have rights. What are laws on disclosing this sort of thing? We have a meeting with a real estate attorney on 11/3. Everything I've read is all about renters, or people picking them up in hotels... We have spent thousands and thousands of dollars, from the heat treatment, doctor visits and hotel stays, and this is not including all of the furniture we had to throw out and must purchase again! We've already put 20k into the homes renovations, and if we cannot live completely bug free, we are going to have to tear this house down!
    I want to start living again, and making that house a home. Is it possible???

  2. plshelp

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    Posted 3 years ago
    Sun Oct 25 2015 14:26:24
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    I am not sure about many of the legalities, so hopefully someone can answer that.

    As for having them forever; I believe that is a common paranoia! Ours was not nearly as bad as yours, but I would still lay up all night imagining bringing them to my new home next semester of school/to my parents and friends houses/ etc. It is a hard thing to deal with, especially when it is that bad. No one has ever dealt with bed bugs their entire life, though. (Or at least if there is, they didn't tell anyone.) They will go away eventually; hopefully, a good PCO and this site can help it be quicker than you think!

    I hope you can get some legal help, because they were obviously there when you moved in!
    Best wishes to you and your family. (:

  3. jim danca

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    Posted 3 years ago
    Sun Oct 25 2015 15:51:23
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    Wow. What a story. It's common knowledge that you can sometimes solve a bedbug problem faster by not vacating a location. Were the bedbugs originally confined to one room? Perhaps the ineffective heat treatment caused dispersal. If you don't want to sleep in the problem bedroom, you could run CO2 in there.

    PCO and inventor of a bio active bedbug trap
  4. steviend

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    Posted 3 years ago
    Sun Oct 25 2015 20:15:13
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    Jim, the majority of the bedbugs and their evidence were found in only one room which was the bedroom that is on the main level. Heading out into the living area, there was FM and a casing found on a closet door frame and the entryway into the Florida room. Initially, no live ones were found anywhere else, but after the heat treatment, we discovered a live one on the couch in the Florida room. When we left the house, we did leave the dogs in the Florida room... do you think they would spread out that way towards them because we left???

  5. Nobugsonme

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    Posted 3 years ago
    Sun Oct 25 2015 22:42:52
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    No one should probably be giving you legal advice in an online forum (and anyone qualified to do so would probably confirm that). Sorry, but I think you need a lawyer. The lawyer who helped you close the sale is a good start. Your real estate agent may have advice also.

    I would also get all the visual documentation (in writing from the PCO and doctor, also photos and samples if possible) just in case you need it later.

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

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    Posted 3 years ago
    Mon Oct 26 2015 4:58:42
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    Oh my God, what a terrible story.
    Like you, I don't understand how people could have sold you a house they obviously knew to be infested with bedbugs, especially to a family with a 7 month-old baby (it must be so hard for you to properly take care of your baby with all this stress, I feel for you and your family).
    I hope you'll win your lawsuit against them cause I wonder how people like that can sleep at night and look at themselves in a mirror.

  7. bedbugtakeover

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    Posted 3 years ago
    Mon Oct 26 2015 6:04:46
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    Hi there,

    First off I want to tell you how sorry I am. This is supposed to be a very happy time in your life and I could not imagine what you are going through. At some point you will get through all this. I know it does not seem like it now but you will.

    The reason I am commenting is this. Take a few pics of any and all bugs, dead or alive. Take pics of all fecal matter. If you come across an area where they congregate. Any evidence what so ever. Keep it like Nobugs said incase you need it for legal action. I also suggest posting some photos here of your evidence, especially the fecal. Sometimes the Pro's can get a better understanding of how old and how large the infestation was just by the amount of bugs and fecal matter.

    Good Luck!

  8. jim danca

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    Posted 3 years ago
    Mon Oct 26 2015 8:23:40
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    Bedbugs could feed on the dogs or any animals for that matter.

  9. misery

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    Posted 3 years ago
    Mon Oct 26 2015 23:34:43
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    I just want to say as an aside, I know how hard breastfeeding can be and what an incredible sacrifice and blessing it is. I am so sorry your milk supply has suffered for this. The bugs are one thing but feeding our babies is definitely something that needs recognition. I know the hell of pumping, and your child has an amazing mother who would go to such measured for her. Best wishes to you mom, I have felt your pain.

    Not a pro here. Call me Jon Snow...... for I know nothing, except what I've experienced.
  10. steviend

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    Posted 3 years ago
    Tue Oct 27 2015 10:32:48
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    Misery, thank you so much!! Pumping is a major drag, but luckily it has helped a lot and slowly coming back.

    Bedbugstakeover, yes I have plenty of pictures and such!! I have everything in an envelope (except the actual bag of bugs, they are in the freezer), waiting for our appointment with an attorney. I really hope there is something we can do about this, because doing this to people is NOT something that should be allowed! Is there anything worse than bedbugs that can infest your home??!

  11. Winston O. Buggy

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    Posted 3 years ago
    Wed Oct 28 2015 20:28:04
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    Rights? Life Liberty and the pursuit of happiness, and of course to bare arms.

  12. misery

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    Posted 3 years ago
    Fri Oct 30 2015 19:44:04
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    Keep going mama, that supply can improve. So glad you're making progress in the right direction! Find time to meditate (seems cliche but try it, 15 minutes in a warm bath is a miracle) and relax. Will do a world of good for the supply and the supplier!!


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