Saturday, March 25, 2006

Bed Bugs Do Not Taste Like Chocolate Chips

I was just eating a soft-baked chocolate chip cookie with my coffee when I saw on the back of my thumb what looked like a bit of chocolate chip. I licked it and realized it was a bed bug. Ewww…. They’re so brazen that they crawl up on me even when I’m not on the bed or sleeping.

It’s on.


Anonymous said...

hi bugged out,
so here are my initial thoughts.
i too went through the horibleness (if thats even a word) of bed bugs, although I dont think that my infestation was as severe as yours. i got mattress covers. i am a student, and knew at this point i couldnt afford new mattress's. I had 2 futons, one in my living room and one in my bedroom, both futons we got bit on, if not just because they will follow you whereever you go and to this day i am pretty sure they were coming down from the apt. above me, so they could detect us whereever. i was also in the process of moving to a different state, so was extra broke. the mattress covers were kind of a false sense of security for me in making sure i didnt transport any bugs with me. i also did a hell of a job vacuuming and steaming my mattresses before i put the cover on. my boyfriend just got his "career" job and we are hoping to buy a new bed and new mattress sooner rather than later. again, none of these thigns are fool proof or guaranteed in any way shape or form, but it was what i could do at the time to make myself feel a little better.
i guess i just want you to consider the little things you can do, even in they are silly, to make yourself feel better right now and poss. preserve a little sanity. i know for me, i was a loon for a bit! i did not get rid of either frame, and havent had a problem since i moved (knock on wood!) it seems like you have made peace with getting rid of your bed, which is a total bummer. i would be upset too, but i think you reach the point where you just dont care anymore! your sanity will always prevail over materials (im not saying that you are being materialsitic at all, bc it sounds like its more sentimental value than anything. beleive me, i am extremeley materialistic, and this whole thing really helped me "snap out of it" a bit) when is your lease up? have you thought about moving? i really hate to say this, but it has been my expereince, even in a milder case, that even if you arent sleeping in your bed, they will eventually follow you to wherever you are sleeping. i had managers that werent proactive and didnt really seem to think that fact that a couple units scattered around the building was a problem, and tried to tell us we brought them in, and it was like, okay, i could see if a whole column of apts. had them how that would be a viable theory but when the building was U shaped and people in all different colums where having them, it seemed all too coincidental to the residents that it was an isolated problem. again, i will probably never know. i am just so glad to be out of there. have you talked to your mngt. co. about spraying (i apologize if you explained all of this in your blog, it was late when i read it and now am commenting as i need to be gettingin the shower). do any of your neighbors have bed bugs? okay, i need to run, but wanted to share my expereince with you.

Anonymous said...

I did a substantial amount of research on your problem. I created a 39 page Word document in the process. If you like, I could send it to you. But the bottom line is I would do the following: Use Phantom (Chlorfenapyr), Gentrol, and STERI-FAB (all from Virg. Tech recommendations), supplemented with one of the dessicant dusts like Drione Dust or silica aerogel, or perhaps just boric acid in hidden areas, along baseboards, behind furniture, etc. The STERI-FAB can be used on your mattress, plus a dessicant, before putting it in the mattress bag. I've seen some experts recommend a plastic bag rather than a material one because you would be able to see any holes or rips in it easier. I think if you either steam-cleaned the mattress, or as one exterminator recommended-iron it, brush it well, apply the STERI-FAB and dessicant, and then put it in the bag, the bugs probably won't last any longer than a month or two, if that. But of course you would need to use the other products on the bed frame and all furniture, wall-hangings, outlets, etc., and do all the other things the experts recommend (put all clothing in sealed plastic bags, wash & hot dry them, spray all the baseboards and crevices and cracks, caulk all of them after a couple of weeks, etc.--see the Harvard and NY Public Health sites).
"do your own pest control" can ship some insecticides, but others they can't send to NY, CT, VT or AK. Maybe you could have them sent to a NJ address. I think all the products I mentioned are available over the web somewhere, except that if you have trouble getting Phantom - try an Australian web site — they might send it to you. I order Frontline, etc. from them and they are cheaper than the US sites, even after postage….
If it were I tackling a bed bug problem, I would probably go to a University research library, look up the professor names I will mention below, and copy any of their research papers on the subject.

*****On August 5, 2006, at the National Pest Management Assoc. annual meeting in Virginia, VT profs (DR. DINI MILLER,etc.) will do a seminar on their experience controlling Bed Bugs at VT with Phantom (Chlorfenapyr), Gentrol, and STERI-FAB, WHICH I PRESUME IS THE STATE OF THE ART TREATMENT AT PRESENT…. ** + I might add Drione Dust or boric acid or silica aerogel….


Leo Plecha, BIOTEC Pest, Rio Rancho, NM also did a session on Bed Bugs……

Dr. Robert Krieger, UCR, "The Toxicology and Regulation of Fipronil, *Chlorfenapyr*, Imidacloprid and Thiamethoxam"

I believe that if you use the products I mentioned that you will effectively control your problem without having to throw out all your furniture and your mattress, etc. It might take 2 or 3 applications, but if you do it yourself you'll save a substantial amount of money.
And remember, that freezing temperatures over a few days would also kill them, so maybe next winter you could vacate the unit for a few days during a cold snap, and leave a window open, and your mattress upright. This might give you more of a peace of mind...
Good Luck, and let us all know how it works out....

Anonymous said...

One more note...after you spray the captain's bed thoroughly with contact pesticide (and Gentrol) you shouldn't have much of a problem, especially if you reapply one more time to zap their hatching eggs, say a week or so later. You seem to think that your situation is hopeless, but I don't think it is. Just do the treatments, and I bet you won't have any trouble two weeks later, presuming that you follow all the expert recommendations about cleaning, etc....
The Phantom is a residual pesticide and should protect you for awhile (I'm not sure exactly for how long). And the Gentrol will interrupt the growth to adulthood. And the STERI-FAB will disinfect, and also serves as a pesticide. And the dessicant will also hurt and kill them. I really think that this comprehensive approach will take care of your problem. I know you are discouraged right now, and stressed out after having had to flee your bed, but have faith that once you get these products you'll be well on your way to being bug free!!!
Also remember to buy a couple large containers of petroleum jelly, and coat the base of your bed all the way around with about a two inch band of the jelly--this will prevent new bugs from reaching you once you've treated the bed frame, carpet, and mattress.

Bugged Out said...

To the anonymous college chick,

I totally agree with your observation about how the bed bugs reversed your materialistic tendencies. It inspired me to come up with my own theory that bed bugs just may be God’s little messengers, sent to America to tell us to stop being such pigs and that the acquisition of material possessions is not what life is all about. Not that I was overly materialistic, but I am living in far simpler conditions than I ever have in my life.

Moving is really not an option for me, as I doubt I could afford to move, much less put down a deposit on a new apartment and brokers’ fees and the sky-high rents which are all the rage in New York. I could barely afford to hire an exterminator, but I did at the expense of my cell phone bill. I’m waiting right now for my tax refund just so I can have my cell phone service restored. I your case, it sounds like you and your boyfriend were planning to move out anyway, so it worked out for the best.

Finally, thank you for sharing your experience, as I am sure you have not only reached out to myself but to everyone who reads this blog.

Itchybitchy said...

I just told my exterminator the same thing about bed bugs making me think differently about material possessions. When I think about everything that I need to clean launder in order to deal with this problem it really makes me wish I didnt have so much crap. Tomorrow is D-day and I fully intend to get rid of as much crap that I no longer need as possible. Everything else will be laundered, dried and stored in plastic bins or bags.
I also had the same experience with knowing more than the exterminator. He used Cy-kick the first time he sprayed (two weeks ago) along with some dust. This time, he talked about Gentrol, but he had to read the can to tell me what it was! Also, he knew it had an effect on their growth cycle, but thought it killed them as well, which apparently isn't the case. After paying Terminix $186 bucks for these two applications, I may go the DIY route for additional protection and peace of mind. The exterminators don't seem to want to be as thorough as I would like. They're a lot more laid-back about it. They'd realize it was serious shit if they hadn't slet in their bed for 3 weeks (which, I just read is a bad idea since they'll just follow you to the new area and spread...) Dirty bastages!
I'm not trying to be bait for the M-Fers.

Anonymous said...

To the anonymous researcher posting at 9:15am. Thanks for your work to clarify this issue. After spending more money then I care to mention, I too have researched this issue to fix the problem myself for good. I am interested in seeing the info. you have. Would you mind sending it to me through e-mail? Also can one mix liquid concentrate gentrol directly with phantom? Thanks email