Bed Bugs

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by dmc2008, Mar 9, 2009.

  1. dmc2008

    dmc2008 Well-Known Member

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    As the title implies, I'm here to discuss Bed Bugs. Just wondering if anyone here has had to deal with them, and if they wanted to share experiences.

    I moved to an apartment in Baltimore (Fells Point) from a small house in rural New Hampshire last summer. Within a month my girlfriend started complaining about these crazy bug bites she had been getting. They looked like mosquito bites to me, but they were getting worse the following day and took approximately 7-10 days to clear up. After many weeks of getting mysteriously bit, she determined after doing some internet research that it must be bed bugs. That didn't make any sense to me, since I sleep right next to her and do not get bit. Well, after another couple weeks of this, she managed to find a dead bug on our pillow... low and behold... it was clearly a bed bug (as compared to photographs and illustrations online). I let the landlord know, and within a couple of days he sent over an exterminator, who confirmed what the bug was. He laid it out for us: we would need to launder every single item of linen or clothes in the house, and keep sealed in bags. We would need to have the apartment treated at least twice, with no guarantee that the bugs would be killed. And as we decided to do, we would need to toss the bed (at the very least) and start sleeping on an air mattress. So we did all of this and after four weeks we appeared to be in the clear.

    Please note that our apartment is a narrow rowhouse, with obvious accessibility between our neighbors, judging from the mice and flies that seem to make their way through different apartments.

    The main problem with bed bugs is that they hide in tight, safe spaces. They are often found on the mattress or in the box spring if the infestation is intense. They can also hide 10-20 feet from their feeding source, which could technically be anywhere in our apartment (or in the walls between apartments, or underneath the carpet, or in the baseboards, furniture, you name it!). They only feed on blood, and are attracted to the carbon dioxide we exhale, and possibly body heat as well. They feed two to three times a night, and usually dig in for a ten+ minute session. Like other bugs, they are secreting something into your blood while they drink it, which is apparently why my girlfriend is having such a bad time with it. She must be highly allergic, and the bites turn into pussy welts. This all implies that I have been getting bit as well, but do not have an allergic reaction, therefore I do not even notice it is happening. Needless to say, it ruined a good two months of our lives and it took us a while to start sleeping normally again.

    After the initial two week treatment, I decided to start treating the apartment bi-weekly myself. I now know that bed bugs can live up to 18 months without feeding, which implies that we could not possibly have killed them all, since the treatment methods are very limited by safety standards (DDT was the only sure way to kill them). Although I'd be buying the chemicals at my own expense, we would hopefully be able to live with the peace of mind that we were bug free. I knew how hard it was to actually kill the bugs, and suspected we were simply keeping them away, and that they were feeding on our neighbors (who happen to be 10-12 non-English speaking illegal immigrants). I also found out that our landlord had let some of them squat in our apartment weeks before we moved in, while it was still empty.

    Fulfilling the signed lease, we are expected to move out by the end of the month. I have spent over $1000 replacing furniture, laundering our clothes, towels, curtains, linens, etc., and buying pest control items. A couple of weeks ago we found a great apartment, and started to get excited about leaving this place that has given us so much trouble. And then one week ago... the bed bugs returned. We can only speculate as to how this happened, but I noticed that the immigrant "family" next door had suddenly disappeared. Workmen began renovations by tearing their place apart, and tossing their old furniture outside (including bed), behind our apartment. Without ten bodies to comfortably feed off of, I suspect the bugs returned to our apartment, where they have become aggressively hungry.

    Since this has come up, I am faced with the daunting task of having to go through this whole mess all over again. Even more daunting is that we are moving into a new apartment at the end of the month, meaning we may easily bring these pests with us. I really like my new landlord and the new building's tenants, and do not want to make our problems theirs. So enter my battle with our current landlord (who has refused prior knowledge of a bug problem within the premises). He has been a pain in my ass since I moved here, including; never having cleaned the apartment prior to move-in, a serious fly infestation upon move-in, allowing people to squat in our paid-for space, not removing a disgusting mattress that was found behind the house, raising our rent mid-lease, and generally being a know-it-all prick douchebag who begins acting ignorant and stupid whenever I need something done. After fighting with him to get a real exterminator over here (the guy he sent us over the summer apparently won't work for him anymore because he was not paid for the work he did at our apartment), we are then told that because we have not caught any bed bugs recently, that they cannot treat for them. Basically even though my girlfriend is covered in bites that she only gets in bed while sleeping, we cannot treat. So my landlord gets out of paying with the treatments, and I am stuck throwing away most of my furniture. Not to mention I have to spend another $100+ and more than a dozen hours shuttling all of our clothes and linens to a laundromat. Before going over to our new place we must shower and put on clothes that have been washed and sealed in bug-free bags. We are supposed to suspect every single item we own of carrying bugs or eggs, and that we need to be meticulously careful about bringing them to our new abode. Even after all that work, we may still bring them.

    To make matters worse, my current landlord told my new landlord about the bed bugs during his "recommendation" of us as tenants. This puts me in an extremely sensitive position, as I would seemingly be held responsible for transporting bugs that this idiot didn't tell us about in the first place. To top that off, our current landlord has been trying to sell our row house (and the connecting row houses, which he owns and are suspected to be infected as well). So I have been letting people in constantly, letting them take a look at the place. I have kept my mouth shut about the problems with the apartment, which now seems crazy considering he just ratted me out to my new landlord.

    So now my plan is to get rid of anything and everything that we don't need. This places my large Transformer collection in a bad situation, where only chemicals or high heat will kill the possibility of bugs or eggs. I'm not really sure what to do about that yet. But as far as moving safely, I am planning on moving early, and only bringing our freshly showered selves, and our freshly washed clothes. We will buy another air mattress and sleep in our new place knowing that we did not bring anything that could possibly have been infected. Then I will continue (for two weeks, at least) to spray the old apartment, slowly packing and vac sealing items that I know to be safe. Hopefully, after not having any meals in our apartment for over two weeks, the bugs will move on to another apartment. I know it sounds bad, but I hope the new neighbors move in next door soon, so there will be an incentive for the bugs to leave our place. After all of that, it will be weeks living in our new place before we will feel safe enough to replace our furniture and get a real bed again.


    So yeah, I know this has been a long rant, but I think that the only way to squash problems like these are to educate yourself, and everyone else around you. Hopefully none of you have to deal with this growing problem, but if you do, I feel your pain. This is not an easy issue, and has caused all kinds of problems across the board in my life. I will keep this thread updated on what happens in the near future...
     
  2. MushroomPrime

    MushroomPrime ******

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    tl;dr

    But as I skimmed it, I think you've got a bed bug problem and your landlord din't tell you?
     
  3. Jeremy.B

    Jeremy.B Formerly Leader Blackout TFW2005 Supporter

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    I would seriously look into legal action against your landlord. If you can provide proof, but I assure you he doesn't want the government or INS looking too deep into his situation if that is the case.
     
  4. Kickback

    Kickback Proud father Administrator Super Mod News Staff

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    That's lawsuit material right there, boyo!
     
  5. kbroz

    kbroz Well-Known Member

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    Bed bugs are making a major comeback in the US. I've done insect research and I had never seen a live one until a couple of years ago. But I really don't know if that's lawsuit material. They're mean bastards but they are as common as mice, ants, flies, mosquitoes, roaches, coyotes, and anything else some people find annoying in some places.
     
  6. Devastator001

    Devastator001 Prepare for Devastation TFW2005 Supporter

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    The United States for the most part was bed bug free until international travel to Europe or SE Asia has brought the resurgent of bed bugs back here. Bed bugs shows up when someone came home from an overseas vacation or used one of the hotel rooms. I have dealt with bed bugs quite a bit when I worked in a pest control company in Tucson some years ago and in all cases, folks got them after they returned from a trip where time was spent at a hotel.

    Bed bug will also hide in the baseboards, wall voids, beneath the electrical sockets, under carpeting, in bedroom furntiure. To eliminate these bugs successfully, one has to treat every inch of the apartment. Dusting in wall voids and getting the chemicals under the baseboard and along the carpeting is warrented to kill them. It seems to me, the pest control technician did not treat all areas.
     
  7. dmc2008

    dmc2008 Well-Known Member

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    Well, he did a pretty good job, but these row houses are all attached. We were told that even if we treat our apartment as thoroughly as possible, they could likely escape to another apartment before being killed.



    The local government here in Baltimore has ignored all of my calls and letters. They obviously don't care.
    INS is not a big deal around here either, and the landlord does have proof of their employment, so he's okay. Again, keep in mind it's the landlord who I find responsible, not my neighbors.



    Agreed. The only way I could prove that he had prior knowledge was when the first exterminator told us that he had been here to treat for the same problem before. My landlord is in the clear, however, because when we complained about the bugs he called an exterminator. Now the new exterminators won't treat because we can't physically prove there are bugs. Basically from the landlord's standpoint he is doing everything he can, and that is how the "law" would interpret it.
    In retrospect, some serious legislation needs to be drafted on this issue. There's no protection on either end.
     
  8. Devastator001

    Devastator001 Prepare for Devastation TFW2005 Supporter

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    The thing is the landlord AND the Pest Control Operator should realize the situation and treated all the ajoining units to effectively eliminate the problem. In my book, the job was not done adequately.
     
  9. dorfsquest

    dorfsquest Bing B-Bing Bing!

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    I moved out of an apartment I lived in about a year and a half ago, and while I was there, bed bugs got onto my box spring mattress and started reproducing. I had no idea they were there for a very long time. I just woke up every day with itchy bumps all over, so I assumed it was my laundry detergent that was causing me to break out. Tried all sorts of stuff until one day I woke up and saw one crawling on me. Took all the blankets off of my bed and saw them all over the place. I was being bitten every day for months.

    After a few minutes of freaking out, I figured out they were bed bugs and brought out the vaccuum. Every day for about a year I'd suck up any that I could see on my bed, and finally they aren't much of a problem now. Gross little buggers...
     
  10. Foster

    Foster Super Mod

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    Gah! This thread makes me itch.
     
  11. Drake

    Drake Smooth Is Smooth Baby

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    The bed bugs must be on vacation from Cincinnati.
     
  12. Nathaniel

    Nathaniel New Member

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    For your confirmation that it was bed bug or not... see Bed Bugs Pictures..... if you are confirm..then you can follow...

    *Use lavender around your bed frame..
    *Use hot water to wash your bed sheet and clothes..
    *Spread some mint leaves on the effected area..as well as whole house..
    *Use the combination of rapeseed oil and pyrethrins..It will directly attack on the bed bugs nervous system..
     
  13. Roanstalker

    Roanstalker Great Baan Gaan fan

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    This thread is 2 years old...
     
  14. Hot Shot.

    Hot Shot. Giving up on the fiction.

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    The next couple of months is going to feel like 2 years, if you know what I mean.


    n00bs...T_T
     

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