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Why do some infestations go on for a year??

(2 posts)
  1. alwaysbuggedout

    Joined: Jun '13
    Posts: 57


    Posted 6 years ago
    Fri Jul 5 2013 21:07:33

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    Mine is being treated 2 weeks in. Although there is sadly still activity (saw on bb just hanging on the wall... possibly another in my bed at 4 am, but it might be a beetle. LEft it for the pco tomorrow.) But I still had bites after the first treatment.

    The PCO is coming to inspect the area where I found the bb more closely tomorrow and to tear the bottom off the couch (the cloth part) to make sure they are not in there. I think they are both in my bedroom and in my living room (no sightings or evidence in bedroom if that bug is a beetle. But bites in the morning!!!)

    I'm really wanting to get this taken care of. PCO is bringing an active monitor over--should I still put the passive under my bed?

    Why do some infestations go on for so long? One confirmed week has been hell and 3 hours of sleep a night for me...

  2. Nobugsonme

    your host
    Joined: Mar '07
    Posts: 22,255


    Posted 6 years ago
    Sat Jul 6 2013 1:33:23

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    Bed bugs don't often persist for a year.

    But where they do, in my experience of reading stories here at least, it usually seems to be a multi-unit building (or in some cases, other kinds of attached neighbors, like a row house), where there is a unit attached to yours which has an untreated or not-fully-treated problem.

    If a building has other cases which aren't addressed, and those units are attached to yours, then the bed bugs can keep coming.

    Don't let this freak you out. It's possible that there are other cases in a building which persist and don't affect yours (for example, they're not next door, above or below). It tends to be a case where landlords/management/condo associations/etc. don't investigate and find all active cases.

    And in most cases, PCOs will encourage them to at least inspect attached units. When problems persist, even reluctant managers usually come around to this.

    Another problem which can lead to persistent bed bugs is the actual approach taken. Sometimes people will say, "we got treatment every month for a year." Most PCOs follow up about every 10-14 days until bed bugs are gone. If a month goes by, you could go through a whole life cycle, so such an approach makes it hard to eliminate the problem.

    And sometimes people have bed bugs for a year because they have what David Cain calls a "local source" -- but not an attached neighbor. In this case, it can be a friend, unattached neighbor, relative, day care, school, office -- anywhere you or a family member spends time. Obviously, if you keep bringing bed bugs in, it is probably a serious problem there. And yet sometimes these aren't identified.

    Finally, keep in mind that in at least a few cases, we have heard people say they have had bed bugs for a year or more, and yet there actually may be a cause for their skin problems besides bed bugs. I mention this because it has come up on the forums from time to time, where someone has said they have had bed bugs for years -- sometimes when they have repeatedly taken extreme measures to eliminate them -- and yet there is currently no visual evidence, no fecal stains, etc.

    This is one reason why the experts here always encourage people to post a photo when they join us. In some cases, human inspectors or k9 teams have "told" a person they had bed bugs, when they didn't, and we have heard stories like this where the true problem eventually comes to light.

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

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