Got Bed Bugs? Bedbugger Forums » Bed Bug Success Stories

YOU WILL PREVAIL!

(4 posts)
  1. boncourage

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    Joined: Sep '16
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    Posted 2 years ago
    Wed Sep 21 2016 13:38:23
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    my problem started 3 months ago. while the forums on this site were helpful in terms of information, i couldn't help but feel discouraged-- the site seemed to be filled with horror stories and i wondered if maybe bed bug success stories were few and far between.

    that's when someone pointed out that people post on sites like these when they are desperate. they're likely at their lowest point, overwhelmed by anxiety, and just need to freak out in a safe place. unfortunately, once the ball gets rolling and the problems get solved, people don't usually come back to share that part of the story.

    so i swore i'd post AFTER i had dealt with the problem. i will admit-- i hesitated before typing "after" with a sinking fear that maybe i'd jinx myself, but damned if i'm not going to feel positive.

    as i mentioned, my problem began 3 months ago. i was noticing bites on my body-- the first time in a telltale bed bug pattern (zig zag) but always single bites after that. an ex of mine had an issue with bed bugs years ago, so i immediately recognized the bites. i have extremely sensitive skin, so i know how skin reactions can be wildly different from person to person and observing a skin reaction is never a good way to diagnose anything. however, my suspicions had been raised. i immediately called the landlord, inspected my mattress and bed frame, looked around my couch, the baseboards, etc. all to no avail. when the landlord and superintendent did an inspection of my apartment they too found no evidence, and advised me that they COULD hire a pest control company if i wanted, but that they were reluctant to do so without solid evidence of an infestation.

    i began to doubt myself. since i had so many issues with my skin, maybe it was something else, and my past experience with my ex's infestation was simply making me paranoid. i didn't particularly want poisons sprayed throughout my apartment if it wasn't necessary, so i decided to go about my life and be hyper-vigilant.

    i bought passive monitors and put them near the legs of my couch and around my bed. i have an ikea malm bed--which doesn't have 4 separate legs-- so the placement of the monitors was tricky as there were many ways to crawl up from the floor.

    for about 5-6 weeks i continued to get a bite every 3-4 days. the passive monitors showed nothing. my sheets had no blood stains on them, and i had switched to white sheets to be sure. no part of my mattress had dark spots or molts, and i even took my bed apart to look in the hard to reach areas. nothing. i looked into the piping in the wall along my bathroom. nada. i've never been one to keep clutter, but still, i threw out anything i didn't need in an effort to declutter further. i have a small apartment. i'm an extremely anal person. i'm certain that if there had been evidence, i would have found it! sneaky buggers.

    in july, i went away to the cottage for 2 weeks. (as an aside, due to paranoia, i had bagged the clothes i was bringing as well as my suitcase and brought everything over to my partner's. there i washed and dried the clothes on hot, and left the suitcase in a black garbage bag in the sun on a sweltering day. no way was i bringing an infestation to another location!) during the entire two weeks i noticed something-- not a single bite. i had been hanging on to the hope that i was simply being paranoid and that the bites would turn out to be some unrelated skin issue. but now, there was some evidence. whatever was causing the bites was only happening when i was at home.

    i returned home nervous, unsure what to do. the first few days, nothing happened. this was strange because i assumed that if i had been gone for two weeks, the buggers would be hungry and come out in droves upon my return. but not so. then one afternoon (afternoon!) while i was reading on the couch, i felt something on my leg. there it was. a big, fat, adult bed bug, biting me. i immediately grabbed it, and raced to put it in a ziploc bag. it's funny to think back to the rush of emotions in that moment. disgust. rage. satisfaction that i had proof and could do something about it. and vindication. up till this point, i had been doubting myself. "you're just being an anxiety case." "you're paranoid." "if you had bed bugs, you'd have found some evidence!" "it's just your sensitive skin." no, no, no. it was effing bed bugs. i knew it the first day i saw bites, and i should have trusted my instinct then.

    no matter. i had the proof. no sense dwelling on what i should or shouldn't have insisted on a month prior. the landlord immediately called an exterminator, who came to treat my unit and inspect all the adjacent ones. i waited to speak with him during the first treatment, and bombarded the man with questions in broken french which he tried his best to explain in broken english (i live in french canada.) i left, he did his thing, and i returned home after work to instructions and a report. all my bedding, clothing and linens that were anywhere near the floor bagged up with instructions to wash and dry on hot. no cleaning around the furniture or walls for 3-4 weeks after the treatment. an advisory that the poisons used were not instantaneous, and it would be normal to experience a dwindling amount of bites over the next few weeks. don't rush to throw anything out, it's time to wait and see.

    ok. i felt emotionally exhausted, but at least progress was being made. the report stated that the exterminator himself had found no evidence of an infestation in my apartment, nor any of the ones immediately adjacent to me. weird, i thought. maybe this is really mild.

    i must admit, before that night i had dreaded going to bed. i needed to take a sleeping pill most nights. but this night, i knew they would still come to feast on me. but i also knew it meant their deaths, as i'd be luring them to walk through poison. it was funny. i had been wary of poisons, disturbed by the idea that insects were feeding on me. now i didn't care. bring it on.

    a few days later, i went to do some laundry in the communal laundry room in my building. the machine started filling up with water, i waited for it to fill a little bit before putting the soap in. as i did, i saw something floating in the water. no, more things. i picked one out. it was a dead adult bed bug. they were ALL dead adult bed bugs. around 10 of them, floating in the machine. i think i let out some primal kind of scream. everything made sense to me in that moment.

    you see, how would that many dead bugs end up in a machine after someone had used it? most would go down the drain-- the holes in the machine were certainly big enough. unless someone had an infestation so bad that they had thrown something literally caked in bed bugs into the wash. that was it. someone had them bad, and the bed bugs were ranging out into other apartments because there was no space for them in their original spot. i shared my theory with my landlord, and he expanded the search. bingo. two floors below me, there was a massive infestation. they had said nothing out of embarrassment. i tried to be empathetic, but i was furious. yes, many landlords can play the blame and shame game. but this is canada! they are legally obliged to deal with it quickly, and we have government agencies to turn to if they refuse or drag their heels! how could my neighbour have done this? i was furious, but quickly realized that sharing my anger with this neighbour would only serve to further traumatize them, and wouldn't do anything to solve the problem at hand. they were scheduled for an extermination appointment as well, and the inspection area would be expanded. the most likely route of transmission seemed to be the piping for the building's radiator heating system, as it comes up through the floors of every apartment and is not turned on in the summer. as an added bit of satisfaction, i'm confident that the bugs' highway to my apartment will be deadly hot for them in a few weeks when the building heat goes on for the winter.

    so. i solved the bed bug mystery. you're welcome, landlord. perhaps you will keep this in mind the next time you want to increase my rent. since my first treatment, i haven't had any bites nor any evidence. that was 35 days ago. the going wisdom is that 55 days means you can declare the infestation eradicated. so 3 weeks to go, but i feel confident. i saw the exterminator in the problem apartment again today, which means they are doing the second treatment. i will log bag onto the forum to update the story.

    i chose the username boncourage because it is the perfect french phrase for dealing with bed bugs. "bon courage" has no exact english equivalent, (literally it translates to "good courage,") but is usually translated as "good luck," but with the expectation that the "luck" will be reliant on your own resolve and determination. it's a long process. but i promise, you'll survive.

    TL DR TIMELINE:
    June 20ish - July 24th:
    - a new bite every few days, no evidence of bugs in bed, baseboards, couch, around furniture, etc.
    - landlord advises waiting for evidence before calling an exterminator
    July 24th - August 7th:
    - vacation, no bites during this time
    August 13th:
    - discovered live bed bug while reading on couch in the afternoon
    August 17th:
    - first treatment. exterminator reports no evidence of infestation in apartment or apartments immediately adjacent. suggests the infestation is extremely mild and discovered early.
    August 26th:
    - discovered approximately 10 dead adult bed bugs in communal laundry machine, advised landlord who expanded inspection and discovered an apartment 2 floors below had a massive infestation that they had not reported and were trying to deal with themselves. likely that the bugs had traveled up through the radiator heat piping, which is not on in the summer.
    September 1st:
    - apartment 2 floors below has first treatment, the apartment in between us is also treated despite no evidence
    September 7th:
    - Second treatment in my apartment.
    September 21st:
    - Second treatment for two apartments below me

  2. Nobugsonme

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    Joined: Mar '07
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    Posted 2 years ago
    Wed Sep 21 2016 17:09:41
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    Thanks for registering and logging on for the first time to post a success story. I can't tell you how much I appreciate that. Most of our readers never post at all, just read, which is fine. But it's very helpful for others to see success stories, as you yourself know. I hope others will follow your example.

    All the best!

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

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    Joined: May '12
    Posts: 79

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    Posted 2 years ago
    Sat Sep 24 2016 11:16:59
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    Oh thank you. I am living on these successs stories right now. Have already decided that WHEN things are solved, I will post too.

  4. Conwny

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    Joined: Jul '16
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    Posted 2 years ago
    Sat Sep 24 2016 23:51:48
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    Thank you for your success story! It means so much to me and I know it will mean a lot to so many others, too. I agree that the reason the forums are filled with what seem to be horror stories is that people come here to post when they're freaked out and desperate. I wanted to post my "success story", but I'm so paranoid and worried they aren't really gone, I don't want to jinx myself. Why do you suppose there were no signs in your apartment? That's what I'm super worried about right now-are they still here, but showing no signs? Thanks again for your story! Also, I'm super jealous you live in French Canada!


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