Bedbugs! <shudder>

This seems to be such a taboo, embarrassing subject… but I really need some help.

Has anyone ever had them? What did you do to get rid of them? Are exterminators effective (and do you remember what exactly they used?)

Did you throw everything out? Should all clothing be tossed? I only have a small apartment-sized washer, so I really can’t wash that much at one time.

I guess I’m just looking for reassurance that we can live through this - please.

Thanks for any help.

Everything you wanted to know about BB but were afraid to ask. (NYTimes, use-heh-BugMeNot for a password)

They are worse than lice, and there’s nothing to be ashamed about, as it has nothing to do with your cleanliness or the state of your home. They’re imported by something, hide like little m’f*ckers, and absolutely drive people up the wall.

If you’re renting, inform the property owner immediately, as they’ll probably need to treat the entire complex to avoid others getting infested. If you’re the owner, call the pest control people and expect to have them out there several times over the next six months.

I’ve heard it’s possible to remain unmolested by them by laundering all the bedclothes, removing the mattress and vacuuming in all and any nooks and crannies, then standing the bed away from the wall, with the legs in open containers of water (or applying double sided adhesive tape around the legs), as well as making sure than none of the bedding drapes onto the floor, but I think it’s true that they can live for a while without feeding, so some kind of treatment will be necessary to dispose of them - the above is a solution for temporary relief only.

You know, I think I’d rather just sleep with the bugs.

Have you seen the things? <shudder> I’d rather just go without sleep for the rest of my life.

You wouldn’t if you’d seen the bites of a bed bug. They are really bad.

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Yes, dad :mad:

Bedbugs are like lice – they are associated in the public mind with lack of hygiene and/or being low-class, but this characterization is unfair.

In fact, bedbugs may spread when international hotels become infested, subsequent guests open their suitcases, and the critters hop in, only to be transferred to the homes of the unwitting guests. In that case, we should think of bedbugs as a possible sign that the infestee is a world jet-setter.

A friend of mine whose husband is a pilot was infested with bedbugs – almost certainly because of her husband’s constant travel. There were two interesting points about the infestation:

a) She did not notice for a long time. Apparently the bugs had been feasting on her for some months, and she simply didn’t react much to the bites. (She was pregnant, which may have changed the way her body reacted – who knows.) She only discovered the infestation during a particularly intense cleaning phase, when she discovered a bunch of them, fat and happy, in her bed (and practically jumped off her balcony when she realized what was going on).

b) Standard recommendations included simply getting rid of the bed where they were living. She was reluctant to do this, because the furniture in question had sentimental/financial value. So, she decided to ignore the “get rid of it!” advice and simply go on an insane cleaning spree. Apparently, this worked.

I have not yet been visited by bedbugs (or lice), although fleas and roaches have both played significant roles in my daily life at times. I’m just waiting. I know they will find me eventually.

I want to thank everyone for their experiences and much needed information (the NY Times article was particularly helpful).

I’m really at my wit’s end - we thought my dh was just getting bitten by mosquitoes, but unfortunately it’s bedbugs (either brought home when I went to a hotel in June, or by my son from summer camp).

Orkin is coming tomorrow - it costs $750 to treat just two rooms, $350 each addt’l room. They have a 60 day guarantee, which I don’t think is that wonderful.

I’ve thrown out the bedding, boxspring, clothing, books (they can hide in the pages, according to the article). There’s still so much more to do! I sent my son away for a few days, so he wouldn’t see me throwing out his stuffed animals and toys.

All I can do is cry. I will never get rid of them, and I feel like bugs are on me all the time. :frowning:

I wanted to especially thank you for writing this - I’m so scared to have people find out what’s going on. Who would want to come over to visit, or even have us as company?

I was even afraid to tell my sister, and she’s watching my son for a few days. I sent him with all new clothes in a new plastic bag, but even so I know she will wash everything before she lets him change tonight (and I really can’t blame her).

Anyway, sorry for my last melodramatic post, and thanks again.

I work in property management, and I can tell you that some of the most upscale, very clean places in our fair city have had bedbugs.

Nothing to be ashamed about, but a very big deal. I would extend the “if you are renting” comment to “if you own strata/condo.”

It will vary from strata to strata, but you may find that in this instance, even if it’s in your unit, the strata corporation will rush to look after this, for all units. Common interest.