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Worry about furniture bought used, but years ago?

(4 posts)
  1. O Buggery

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    Posted 9 years ago
    Thu Sep 9 2010 4:30:08
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    Bedbugs have been found in the apartment building next to mine, and my building is scheduled for K9 inpsection next week - so I'm going out out my mind worrying about the blasted little buggers.

    Looking around my apartment, I think I've got 3 pieces of furniture that I bought new (plus 2 that my mom bought new in 1977). Everything else was bought used; inherited/handed down from family; or, to paraphrase Maria's line in "The Sound of Music," were things that "the poor didn't want."

    All of it's been with me for not much less than 18 months, and most of it for much longer. I've never seen a bedbug; never had any reason to think I might have bedbugs; and never had a bug bite that couldn't just as easily be attributed to a mosquito, or else a flea that had temporarily lost track of my cat.

    But could they be living in some piece of furniture, dormant, creeping out once every 18 months to surreptitiously sneak a blood meal off me and then retreating again for another 18 months hibernation?

    It sounds kind of crazy now that I write it out - why would any self-respecting bedbug go back into dormancy when he could move into my nice comfy mattress and start a family? Am I going out of my mind over nothing?

  2. bugnut

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    Posted 9 years ago
    Thu Sep 9 2010 7:20:55
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    No - if there is food available they will feed every 7-10 days. Believe me after all that time you would know if you have them

    Have the K9 inspection to confirm - HOWEVER as you will see on this site, there are false positives and false negatives. If the dog alerts have the handler do a visual inspection. If you have no bites or anything else and this is just a precaution because they are in the neighborhood and the dog does not alert, then rest easy.

    Sometimes they alert to nothing - if you have a good handler they can identify a false positive.

    Bedbugs seem like they are everywhere but they are not - only for the unlucky ones on this site. However, if I were you I would stay out of movie theatres -just my opinion.

  3. O Buggery

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    Posted 9 years ago
    Thu Sep 9 2010 16:28:38
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    Thanks, bugnut :). That helps me feel like I can ratchet myself down to merely screamingly paranoid.

    The management here has (suprisingly) engaged what seems like a top-of-the-line PCO that does visual confirmations as a matter of course. (Makes perfect sense to me - after all, you can't get a drug conviction based solely on an indication from a drug-sniffing dog. Maybe the bedbugs just need better lawyers. )

    Also, I realize that even if the dogs have the 98% accuracy rate claimed, that means that one out of every fifty indications is false. There are about 100 apartments in my building; so, assuming the dog fully understands the statistical principles involved ;), she should be wrong twice.

    As long as they're both false positives, I'll be happy.

  4. waiting in panic

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    Posted 9 years ago
    Fri Sep 10 2010 23:34:23
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    I would encourage you to check your mattress and bedframe frequently even if you are not being bitten. From what i understand, you will likely see some evidence of bugs on the mattress and/or bedframe if you have them. I read that 70% of bedbugs live in or near the mattress. Also, if you can afford to encase your mattress and put on white sheets, it increases your chances of seeing them. At least, that is what I am doing to TRY to keep my panic down to a manageable level. Seeing clean white sheets each morning is reassuring. I'm also fully encased as of today and that, too, help w/the panic.


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