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When Can I Stop Worrying?

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  1. SilverSweet

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    Joined: Sep '19
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    Posted 2 months ago
    Mon Sep 2 2019 19:49:33
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    So here is a bit about my story.

    Back around the 4th of July, I was doing the biweekly turning of my mattress in my room. I saw a small amount of insects on the front of my box spring. I flipped the freak out. I had the caretaker in the house help me drag it out of my room and tore the box spring apart looking for more of the little critters, using a razor blade. We found nothing. We sprayed the box spring with a strong insecticide and stapled it back together, putting it back in my room. I also purchased a mattress casing and a box spring casing. I did double checks for about three weeks, and saw nothing. Thinking everything was fine, I went about life as normal.

    Early in August, I went back to turn my mattress only to find that the bugs had returned and were now on the mattress cover in the corners, in addition to being on the box spring cover. This time I did not flip out, but did my research and found diatomaceous Earth. I have to say this stuff has been a god send. Using this along with EcoLogic Bed Bug Spray (has a lovely lemongrass smell), I treated the box spring and mattress cover, and placed the Earth all over my room, putting it on the carpet, dousing the box spring, and rubbing it into corners and crevices in the room. I also took all my hanging clothes, stuffed animals, and bedding and linens and hot washed and dried them, threw out all my wooden furniture and replaced it with collapsible chairs and plastic storage bins, and used silicone sealant on every nook, cranny, and miniscule hole I could find to shore them up.

    This event was back on August 9th and since then have not seen any live bugs. I found three or so dried out corpses in the first week but that's been it. I check my box spring and mattress once every other day to make sure there is nothing there. I recently invested in a HEPA filter vacuum and used that to clean the Earth up this past weekend using a bag. After removing the bag I took the filter out after and found nothing in it. I reapplied the Earth after and plan to let it set for two weeks or so before I clean it up again.

    There are a few caveats to this. It turns out that the other resident in the home I live in had gotten a headboard from Goodwill and when he went to turn his mattress, both the mattress and box spring were severely infested, like crawling everywhere. Mine was tiny compared to his. He disassembled and threw out the headboard before asking me to use the Earth in his room. I did so. A few days ago he found three more live ones, so we applied Earth again. It also turns out the landlord upstairs may have a severe infestation as well. He lately has been throwing things out daily and when I went to take the trash out, there was a stuffed bunny rabbit that he owned that was crawling with bugs. He also has been throwing out bed linens and is a generally filthy individual in general. The caretaker and I plan to attempt to clean up the upstairs and dust it as well next week (I have a full time job, so it is hard to find the time to get this done. Luckily I have three days off this week.)

    So I guess it comes down to this. How much longer do I need to keep worrying about this problem, how do I handle this with a landlord who refuses to address or acknowledge the situation, and how do I protect myself going forward?


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