Got Bed Bugs? Bedbugger Forums » Psychological and Health problems caused by bed bugs (besides bites)

Why me???? Freaked out and broke... newbite.

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  1. freakedoutandbroke

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    Posted 9 years ago
    Sat Dec 5 2009 12:30:24
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    I just moved to Albuquerque, not a bedbug hotspot. But woke up the first morning in my nice new apartment (really, the nicest place I looked at) with a bedbug staring me down from my comforter. Blood spot on my pillow, too.

    The office claims they've never had a bedbug complaint, but they were nice about it and got an exterminator out immediately. He'll be back again this week. (However, their website makes no mention of bedbug expertise, and to be fair they aren't a common pest here, according to the bedbug map online.) We think that the bugs may have come from the Uhaul, since I never saw one at my old place (which happened to be newly built, and we were the first tenants). With that in mind, I am betting that they could be in ANYTHING I own, from the coat closet to the kitchen.

    After the first treatment, got encasements and interceptors for the bed, changed the sheets, and used white sheets/pajamas to make inspection easy. Found BB dropping on my shirt, and I think a BB came with me to work in my hair or coat because when I came home I realized that I had two itchy bites on my back (did not see them when I got up). All my clothing items were piled on the couch in the Uhaul, so I can safely assume all are infested. UGH.

    To complcate things further, I have a big dog that loves to sleep on the bed with me. I am crating him instead (in the bedroom, so we don't draw the bugs into other rooms of the house). And having just moved, I do not have loads of cash to address the problem. However, going into debt to get it fixed ASAP doesn't sound like a bad option. Just started a new job, and don't have time to do battle except in the evenings. The more I read about these little demons the more scared I get.

    Today (my first "day off" here) I am making a trip to a hardware store to hopefully find some larger ziplocks, DE, look at steamers (and respirator) and get a spray for the crevices of my headboard, nightstand, etc. Then to the laundromat to wash everything I'm not throwing out. Before I leave, I need to finish unpacking (why bother? I don't even know) and vacuum the carpets and couch.

    I read the thread about dogs and bugs; any further thoughts on that? Should I board him or continue using him as bait? (As I am using myself as bait)

    There are also hundreds of books that I just unpacked, and I just read a forum about possibly needing to bag/store those for 18 months with DE to guarantee no bugs in them.

    This is my worst nightmare, you guys. I have never felt so alone and helpless. I have been afraid of these things since my brother got them a while back, but hoped it would never happen to me. Now that it's a reality, and I see all that is necessary to completely irradicate them, I just don't think I can handle it. Truly. A couple times I have collapsed into shaking, crying, snot-dripping anxiety attacks realizing the magnitude of the problem. I wake up in the middle of the night, check over everything with a flashlight, and can't get back to sleep because my heart is pounding.

    These forums are great, and very informative, but I guess my real question is this... any tips for psychologically surviving this situation? I am a mess.

  2. bait

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    Posted 9 years ago
    Sat Dec 5 2009 12:46:50
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    FOAB, I am very sorry to hear of your situation. All I can say is misery loves company, and you have lots (of company).

    Your LL stating they've never gotten a complaint may be that the prior tenant did not divulge the truth about their exodus. Of course, the Uhaul is a possibility.

    You are probably incorrect about your having taken the bugs to work with you. The bite on your back likely occurred the night before and only became apparent later.

    You also can relax somewhat about the dog. Unless you are seeing bugs crawling everywhere, the ones you have are probably not interested in your dog. BBs prefer hairless skin.

    I think one of the most stressful aspects of a bed bug infestation is the potential to infest others. Set up a regimen that will protect your workplace, church, etc. so you don't have to worry so much about that.

    I'll be keeping an eye out for your posts. You're smart. You're gonna make it.

  3. freakedoutandbroke

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    Posted 9 years ago
    Sat Dec 5 2009 12:57:16
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    Thanks... I hope so.

    what kind of regimen do you recommend? I'm planning on having one coat/bag (sanitized) to use when I go out, and hanging them on a hook by the front door rather than in the closet. I also noticed that someone else on here sprays their shoes/pant edges with rubbing alcohol before going out and when coming back in.

    I agree, I would hate to spread this nightmare to anyone else.

  4. bait

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    Posted 9 years ago
    Sat Dec 5 2009 13:13:56
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    I would go one step further. Keep coat, bag, shoes in an XXL Ziploc when indoors. That way, you only spray the shoes once. Unless you're like me and have a million pairs of shoes, then everything is placed in its own ziploc upon walking in the door. My life is plastic wrapped.

    You'll need a clothes steamer cause all your stuff will be wrinkled from being bagged.

    BTW, I cried "why me" a lot in the beginning. My boss said something to me that stuck. That question applies to everyone, and aren't we lucky we aren't asking why we have ________ (fill in the blank).

    Take care.

  5. cilecto

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    Posted 9 years ago
    Sat Dec 5 2009 18:05:49
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    > These forums are great, and very informative, but I guess my real question is this... any tips for psychologically surviving this situation? I am a mess.

    Make a conscious effort to treat yourself nice, be it a longer shower, a good cup of coffee or to just get outside and appreciate a sunrise/sunset/beach/cool desert night. Enlist allies and unload on us. Welcome.

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

    (Not an pro)
  6. kimintheeast

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    Posted 9 years ago
    Sat Dec 5 2009 18:30:47
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    I totally feel your pain Freakedoutandbroke. There really is something to be said for knowing you are not alone. I am a social worker and mental health professional and I tell ya, I had to enlist the help of my therapist to get through the situation b/c I think I will begin a phobia. Perspective is important in times like these. I got attacked by BBs two years ago in Costa Rica but didn't know until I returned to the states and then held vigil by my bed looking for them. I luckily did not bring them home but the fear remained. Then, I thought I brought them home from someone who had them at work right as I was about to move into my first home/condo. I even asked the management company if this property ever had any issues with bedbugs and was told no. Well, I just learned two weeks ago that two units do. Oh, and I just brought home a new cat from a shelter and I think he has mange, so I am especially itchy. All this to say, I am saying "why me?" too. I believe that as this problem becomes more prevalent, more individuals will be working to fix it. And I think it is important to educate others about them. The majority of folks I know didn't know that bed bugs even existed. We gotta stop spreading them around. Anyway, I wish you well! You are not alone.

  7. kimintheeast

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    Posted 9 years ago
    Sat Dec 5 2009 18:39:21
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    Oh, some tips for the psychological stress.
    1. Make sure you do one thing you truly enjoy every day and do not think about your bb situation.
    2. Definitely educate yourself but don't go overboard. Reading repeatedly on bbs will only increase your anxiety. There has to be a balance.
    3. Break down what you need to do into small pieces, step by step. Write it out. The situation is less overwhelming when it's broken up into manageable steps.
    4. Identify a few people who you trust who you can talk to. Some people find having BB's embarrassing and don't want to talk about em. Talking is important. Perspective is important. And help with putting on the mattress encasements is very important.
    5. Breathe through the stressful times. Again, the more anxiety you have, the harder to think clearly through the situation.
    6. Figure out what you need for some peace of mind. For me, it was encasements and bed bug interceptors. It is keeping my bed sparse so there are less places for them to hide.
    7. I also find having some type of comment like, "i am not alone." helpful on my bathroom mirror. Gotta stay grounded.
    8. Give yourself permission to have a breakdown and cry. Crying relieves stress.

  8. freakedoutandbroke

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    Posted 9 years ago
    Sun Dec 6 2009 0:28:00
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    Kim,
    Thanks for the encouragement. I need to post verses around:

    Psalm 37:8 "do not fret, it only causes harm"

    1 Peter 5:7 "Cast your anxieties on Him, because he cares for you"

  9. Traumabugged

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    Posted 9 years ago
    Sun Dec 6 2009 0:53:12
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    As (still in doubt) a bb survivor one thing I think helps to mitigate the pain is to know that even though they bite at least they don't tend to spread disease and alike (as far as I know) and they could be baked in a drier with long enough time and they generally don't drill on the ziplocks.

  10. cilecto

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    Posted 9 years ago
    Sun Dec 6 2009 12:22:51
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    So long as we're getting biblical...

    Thou shalt not be afraid for the terror by night; ... Nor for the pestilence that walketh in darkness; nor for the destruction (of your stuff, LOL) that wasteth at noonday. A thousand (BBs, amen) shall fall at thy side, and ten thousand at thy right hand (double amen); but it shall not come nigh thee...There shall no evil befall thee, neither shall any plague come nigh thy dwelling. For he shall give his angels charge over thee, to keep thee in all thy ways.

    Psalms 91:5-11 (KJV)

  11. wchicago

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    Posted 9 years ago
    Sun Dec 6 2009 12:53:08
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    Cilecto -that is SO AWESOME! You could start a new church . . .with bbs proper place in the pantheon noted as the demon spawn they surely are
    or you could just publish a book titled "Prayers for Bedbug Sufferers" maybe even including that old anti-bedbug hungarian curse. sure to be a bestseller. . .

  12. cilecto

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    Posted 9 years ago
    Sun Dec 6 2009 13:03:26
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    wchicago - 9 minutes ago  » ...you could just publish a book titled "Prayers for Bedbug Sufferers" maybe even including that old anti-bedbug hungarian curse.

    In Jewish tradition, Psalm 91 is recited before going to sleep at night.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shma#Bedtime_Shema

    You know the Hungarian curse?!?

  13. bitten123

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    Posted 9 years ago
    Sun Dec 6 2009 14:34:12
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    I just wanted to say how sorry I am you are going through this. You got off to a quick start in getting on top of the situation, so hopefully you will be over this sooner than most here.

    I know the broke feeling, it was so difficult to buy everything to protect yourself. Sheesh, bed bugs are so financially draining in addition to their devestation of your emotional sanity.

    I just wanted to say you got some great advice above. The people here are nice and have sailed in the same boat your are in now. You will get through this, and you and your dog will once again sleep happily in the same bed. My dogs resented the bugs worse than me as they were kennneled every night...LOL They are so happy to have their freedom back.

    Hang in there, and it will get better, and it will be soon!!!! Positive thoughts!

  14. freakedoutandbroke

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    Posted 9 years ago
    Sun Dec 6 2009 16:05:07
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    Cilecto, that is perfect. I'm memorizing it and will pray it nightly. Thank you all for your support. Talking about the problem sure does help, particularly with people who have been through the same thing... some people's attempts to make good suggestions just creep me out further!

    Today a well-meaning lady at church was talking about how they could hide anywhere and I said "That's true, there could even be one on my fingernail!" and then wiped it on her sleeve. LOL... not very nice of me I suppose, but it got a laugh from all. They're praying for me and that helps immensely.

  15. Nobugsonme

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    Posted 9 years ago
    Sun Dec 6 2009 21:16:44
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    I agree with others -- don't assume they came from the UHaul -- they're in every state and much more obscure places than Albequerque.

    And yes, be kind to yourself.

    The FAQ about not spreading bed bugs is in the Travel section though it largely applies to everyday life with bed bugs, and may help.

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

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