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I am embarrassed to say I believe that I have Bed bugs.

I have not done any traveling to hotels or purchased any new or used furniture

or used clothing or gone anywhere different.

I live in an apartment building and websites on this topic do say that they can

migrate into other units.

I am very, very upset - I am crying constantly and that isn't like me at all. To make matters worse, my husband doesn't want any pest control people up here, he thinks we can tackle this by ourselves....

My questions are :

Has anyone else on the board ever have them?

Can they go away without treating them?

Do they really go away when a licensed pest control person "treats' them?

Does anyone have an advice until I tell my landlord and get the

pest control person in here?

I have one thing against me: the people who live downstairs from me are

overcrowding their 1-bedroom (3 rooms w/bath about 650 sq. apt with 1 older lady, her 40 yr old son, his girlfriend and his son from his prior marriage -- -my husband and I feel cramped in our same sized apt and it's only the two of us). Could their living conditions (the # of people in that small apartment) contribute to bed bugs? - they are not careful about things like taking the garbage out on a timely basis - they let it pile up for the week and then they trot out 3 large black bags full - They are not the kind of people who will vaccum every day or take all their clothing and bedding out to wash and disinfect. Anyway...They threw their furniture (sofa and mattresses) away about 4 months ago and my infestation started about a month ago (to my knowledge but I know in reality it could have been more than a month ago, I just noticed it now in hindsight as I found an actual bug and had mysterious bites on my legs, neck and forearm about a month ago). I am afraid that I'll go to the trouble of getting the pest person up in my flat only to get the bugs again a couple of months down the road due to the neighbors.

How do I "de-bug" stuff like shoes, pocketbooks, electronic equipment?

I understand that I have to change my vaccum cleaner bag after each use - isn't there anything

I can shove into the bag to kill these pests rather than change the bag every day (I was told to vaccum every day).

Should I cover my potentially-infested mattresses now from now? Or wait until I purchase a new mattress?

I am very upset and too old and tired for all the work this is going to take from me.

My husband and I cannot even lift our mattresses up to begin the cleaning. Several of my

old-time friends on this board know my husband's condition and that he's not healthy enough

for this dilemma.

What advice can anyone give me? I do appreciate any responses.

Thank you - D.

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Bedbugs are coming back very strong. It doesn't matter about the housekeeping style, they just move right in.

Sorry I can't be of more help. There was a news story on them not long ago but I really didn't listen.

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When I lived in Armenia we treated bed bugs by putting everything in the sun on a regular basis. In general, Americans have a lot more stuff, but you might start trying sunlight on the things you can't wash, and don't want sprayed.

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I don't have any tips, but I wanted to tell you even clean people can get infested. :) This can be especially true in apartments where you're neighbors aren't so clean.

I hope this can get resolved quickly for you!

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I understand what a nightmare this must be for you.

My daughter and her boyfriend (now husband) had bedbugs after moving into an apartment. They didn't see them, however, so when my daughter started getting bites, they thought they were fleas. They bombed the apartment, and when that didn't work, they insisted ther apt. manager call an exterminator, which he did. She still got bites so she went to the dr., who diagnosed her with scabies. Two treatments later, she still has problems, so more tests. Then she was diagnosed with a skin form of lupus.

They didn't know they had bedbugs until they moved and found a nest of them under their mattress (YUCK!). Needless to say, they threw out the mattress AND the sofa, just in case. Bagged up all their clothes, until they could wash every bit of it, and put a plastic cover over their new mattress. They did find a couple bugs after they moved, and vacuumed every day for a while.That was almost 7 months ago, and she's still paranoid.

BTW...through most of this, her husband didn't have any bites.....not until near the end of it all.

I don't think this is something you can fight on your own....not if you're in an apartment.

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I understand what a nightmare this must be for you.

My daughter and her boyfriend (now husband) had bedbugs after moving into an apartment. They didn't see them, however, so when my daughter started getting bites, they thought they were fleas. They bombed the apartment, and when that didn't work, they insisted ther apt. manager call an exterminator, which he did. She still got bites so she went to the dr., who diagnosed her with scabies. Two treatments later, she still has problems, so more tests. Then she was diagnosed with a skin form of lupus.

They didn't know they had bedbugs until they moved and found a nest of them under their mattress (YUCK!). Needless to say, they threw out the mattress AND the sofa, just in case. Bagged up all their clothes, until they could wash every bit of it, and put a plastic cover over their new mattress. They did find a couple bugs after they moved, and vacuumed every day for a while.That was almost 7 months ago, and she's still paranoid.

BTW...through most of this, her husband didn't have any bites.....not until near the end of it all.

I don't think this is something you can fight on your own....not if you're in an apartment.

Dear Lisa:

Thanks for your response...I want to understand better...your daughter unknowingly moved into an infested apartment and the apt was professionally treated twice, and then she and husband moved again (?) and now they are Ok, but understandably paranoid. Did they move the second time because they just couldn't get rid of the bed bugs? Did the landlord treat any other apartments during the same time their apt was treated?

A Pest control person said to me that bed bugs like to bite women (at first I thought he was joking - then he said he wasn't joking) but they'll bite a man if that is all that is available.

I would welcome any other thoughts or advice, especially what do you do to treat shoes and other

objects like nick-nacks (could I just wash them in warm/hot soapy water and perhaps blow them dry?) , my leather briefcase, Do I have to get rid of stuff in my livingroom other than sofa and upholstered chair, like my file cabinet or my wooden celiac disease cabinet? Did your daughter have to scrub down her wood furniture in her bedroom or throw her headboard away? What type of treatment did your daughter use (something applied to room and she had to be out of the apt. for hours or the new cold treatment)? Did she "heat treatment" or "steam" anything? When your daughter vaccumed, did she have to throw the vaccum cleaner bag out after very vaccum job? (that was something the pest control person told me I had to do..)

They didn't know they had bedbugs until they moved and found a nest of them under their mattress

Under top mattress or bottom box spring mattress? was the nest in the mattress or on the floor or at the crack of the floor and the wall? (sorry to want so much detail - I really don't know what I am dealing with here so I want to know more). I keep looking but maybe I am not looking in the right places....

I am in an area of the country where from here on in until the late spring I won't get enough sunlight to put my belongings out in the sun as treatment - I won't be hot enough. I am in upper east coast.

Are there professional cleaning services who I can hire who can help me with the bagging of clothes and getting them out of here and help us with the heavy lifting of the mattress and box spring? I am too old for this nonsense....

D

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D, sorry to hear about your situation. I hate to admit I have no advice....I just wanted to wish you the best of luck getting rid of the darn things. I know you'll get some good advice here. Sending a hug and some strength to deal with it.

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Hi Deb,

I don't have any personal experience with the bed bugs, but when I had a woofie dog I looked up ways to kill fleas. One thing I found was some websites that say diatomaceous earth can work. The site I read said to sprinkle it in your carpet (for fleas). Some of the sites say it works for bed bugs also. It is supposed to be bad for bugs but ok for people. I don't really kow if this will help, but the stuff is not real expensive so it might be worth a try. Some people even suggest eating a little of it every day. Yummy!

http://www.richsoil.com/diatomaceous-earth.jsp

At the time I read about it I had got some Frontline (real good flea killer) for the puppies already and that did the trick. So I don't really just know if the DE got rid of the fleas or the Frontline did. Maybe it helped, I don't know for sure.

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Nothing to be embarrassed about. Our son brought home bedbugs from a church camp. We were lucky in that we confined them to one room -- his bedroom. We did treat it ourselves, but it's not easy. We ended up having to throw away the mattress and box springs, although we first tried wrapping it in plastic with mothballs. Didn't work.

Spencer moved out of his room for months. We washed all of his clothes, curtains and so on. We wrapped almost all of his stuff in plastic with mothballs for months. We sprayed every corner with bug spray 3 or 4 times, including taking off all the electrical outlet covers. We pried off some of the floor molding and sprayed in there. We might have been overly cautious, but we made his room and stuff a no-living zone for a long time. But we don't have bedbugs now.

BTW, the steps we took were from an exterminator. He told us we could try this OR we could pay him a lot of money -- close to $1,000. He also told us from the start that the mattress and boxsprings were probably a loss.

richard

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I would welcome any other thoughts or advice, especially what do you do to treat shoes and other

objects like nick-nacks (could I just wash them in warm/hot soapy water and perhaps blow them dry?)

I put down pillows and bedding in the freezer for a day or two to kill dust mites - that might work on smaller items like shoes and nick-nacks.

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I remember hearing that you can seal stuff in plastic bags and then leave them out in the sun...

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Dear Lisa:

Thanks for your response...I want to understand better...your daughter unknowingly moved into an infested apartment and the apt was professionally treated twice, and then she and husband moved again (?)

Did they move the second time because they just couldn't get rid of the bed bugs?

Did the landlord treat any other apartments during the same time their apt was treated?

Did your daughter have to scrub down her wood furniture in her bedroom or throw her headboard away?

What type of treatment did your daughter use (something applied to room and she had to be out of the apt. for hours or the new cold treatment)?

Did she "heat treatment" or "steam" anything? When your daughter vaccumed, did she have to throw the vaccum cleaner bag out after very vaccum job? (that was something the pest control person told me I had to do..)

Under top mattress or bottom box spring mattress? was the nest in the mattress or on the floor or at the crack of the floor and the wall? (sorry to want so much detail - I really don't know what I am dealing with here so I want to know more). I keep looking but maybe I am not looking in the right places....

My DD is certain they got the bed bugs from the apartment....no problems before that.

When my daughter bombed the place, they were still thinking it was fleas...and yes, they did have to leave the house for a few hours.......never heard of the cold treatment.

It was professionally treated only once......still thinking it was fleas at that time.....I'm sure the surrounding apartments were not treated. They did have to leave the apartment for a while for this.

The move was not because of the bedbugs. In fact, that was when they finally realized that bedbugs was the problem.

I don't believe they scrubbed down any funiture. They didn't have much to begin with, and anything upholstered was thrown out (bed and sofa)

They washed everything that could go through the washer and dryer....threw away the pillows.

They were moving anyway, so no vacuuming was done until they were in a different place. They found a couple stray bugs, so started vacuuming every day. They knew they should throw away the bag every time, but they cheated a little and would tape up the hole in the bag between vacuumings to cut down on the cost. Since they had left most of the bugs behind, this was sufficient.

I think the nest was under the box springs....not positive, though

I hope I've answered all your questions. Wish I could be more help.

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I put down pillows and bedding in the freezer for a day or two to kill dust mites - that might work on smaller items like shoes and nick-nacks.

I'd like to try that - doesn't the freezer have to be at 0 degrees faraghenheit (spelling is way off!)?

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My DD is certain they got the bed bugs from the apartment....no problems before that.

When my daughter bombed the place, they were still thinking it was fleas...and yes, they did have to leave the house for a few hours.......never heard of the cold treatment.

It was professionally treated only once......still thinking it was fleas at that time.....I'm sure the surrounding apartments were not treated. They did have to leave the apartment for a while for this.

The move was not because of the bedbugs. In fact, that was when they finally realized that bedbugs was the problem.

I don't believe they scrubbed down any funiture. They didn't have much to begin with, and anything upholstered was thrown out (bed and sofa)

They washed everything that could go through the washer and dryer....threw away the pillows.

They were moving anyway, so no vacuuming was done until they were in a different place. They found a couple stray bugs, so started vacuuming every day. They knew they should throw away the bag every time, but they cheated a little and would tape up the hole in the bag between vacuumings to cut down on the cost. Since they had left most of the bugs behind, this was sufficient.

I think the nest was under the box springs....not positive, though

I hope I've answered all your questions. Wish I could be more help.

Lisa, What did you daughter do about stuff like pantyhose, make up bottles, curlers, books that stay in bedroom (I have a wooden bookcase my brother made for me my hand that I cannot part with).

What about photgraphs and photo albums?

Was the nest right in the box spring itself, like if you opened it up with a knife they'd be in there?

I have started throwing things away in preparation for the professional exterminator to be here.

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BTW, it's my understanding that bedbugs can survive up to 18 months without eating.

richard

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Oh, Richard, what a little joy-germ you are!!

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Lisa, What did you daughter do about stuff like pantyhose, make up bottles, curlers, books that stay in bedroom (I have a wooden bookcase my brother made for me my hand that I cannot part with).

What about photgraphs and photo albums?

Was the nest right in the box spring itself, like if you opened it up with a knife they'd be in there?

I have started throwing things away in preparation for the professional exterminator to be here.

I asked my SIL....DD is still at work.....and he said he found the bedbugs in the seams of the mattress and along the inside of the bedframe where the box spring rests. He doesn't know if they were actually IN the box spring.

They didn't do anything special with books and such. She doesn't wear pantyhose or use curlers.

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I asked my SIL....DD is still at work.....and he said he found the bedbugs in the seams of the mattress and along the inside of the bedframe where the box spring rests. He doesn't know if they were actually IN the box spring.

They didn't do anything special with books and such. She doesn't wear pantyhose or use curlers.

Lisa, Would your daughter and son in law mind emailing me directly if I have any further questions? I'll be happy to provide you with my email address.....I feel like I need to ask more questions and I'm sure you're probably through with this topic by now.....so let me know then I'll PM you with my email address.

Thanks

Deb

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Oh, Richard, what a little joy-germ you are!!

I know, but, hey, that's the way it is.

richard

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I asked my SIL....DD is still at work.....and he said he found the bedbugs in the seams of the mattress and along the inside of the bedframe where the box spring rests. He doesn't know if they were actually IN the box spring.

They didn't do anything special with books and such. She doesn't wear pantyhose or use curlers.

The seams and such are where we found pretty much all our live bedbugs. The mattress and boxspring were only a year old, but we elected to throw them out.

richard

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Lisa, Would your daughter and son in law mind emailing me directly if I have any further questions? I'll be happy to provide you with my email address.....I feel like I need to ask more questions and I'm sure you're probably through with this topic by now.....so let me know then I'll PM you with my email address.

Thanks

Deb

Sorry....somehow I missed this topic continuing. I'll ask and get back with you ;)

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The pest control guy came on Monday and sprayed a residual spray.

I cannot throw my mattresses and sofa away right now and replace......

I want to move out in the Spring. I would not attempt to move in the

dead of winter as there's too much chance to be having snow and I can't move

because the "treatments" aren't over yet. So we

will have to wait until late Feb/ March to start looking for another

apartment. I will not take my furniture with me when I move - I will buy new; only clothes and knickknacks and lamps and plastic stuff and anything I could put in the hot dryer will go with me if they can be cleaned out.

My sofa was treated because I have insommnia and am always sleeping on sofa

a bit during the night and pest control guy said that the sofa needed to be

treated as well since I sleep on it.

I get two more "treatments" and then I will "encase" my mattresses permanently.

The pest control guy said that bed bugs are getting more common in every area of country.

This situation is really stressing us out. I have a fear that the people who live downstairs from

me, who probably had them before I did, will keep having them. They appear to be very

casual about the way they live as if bed bugs are not a problem.

My landlord has been very good about paying for these treatments; but I still have to move due to

these issues: 1) downstairs neighbors are living there illegally -- 3 adults and 1 child in a 3 rm apt

(a grandmother, her 40 year old constantly-out-of-work son, his 7 year old son from a prior

relationship and the 40 year old's 40 year old semi-out-of-work girlfriend who is not the

mother of this child).

2) I am the 4th apartment in the 200 unit, 2-story garden apt complex within the last 4 months to have bed bugs - obviously there's a problem somewhere, despite that my building is physically separate from the other chain of units which have bed bugs.

3) My area has other issues

4) despite fact that landlord is agreeable, the superintendent is a difficult woman who talks more than she listens and she has been defending the people in the overcrowded apt. - despite the fact that it's against the township's housing laws and my landlord could get fined. But the people in this apt. can claim that they live elsewhere and are just "visiting" here - but the "visit" never seems to end...... so the superintendent is ignoring my complaints about them and I think the overcrowding and their lifestyle is going to bring the building more problems.

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