Yes, sometimes there really are monsters under the bed, a fact that my family has been coping with since we discovered we have bed bugs here. We live in a side by side in an owner occupied, two family duplex with porches & a yard in a nice neighborhood. Our landlord is a lovely, gracious, very house proud man, both of our families are clean, responsible people. I agonized over discussing this situation here but felt you deserved to know why I’ve basically vanished lately. My family also convinced me that posting about our experience might help somebody else!
Our Living Room prior to bed bugs
Two weeks ago I noticed an itchy rash on my lower leg, a day later the rash had spread to both legs & looking closely at the marks appeared to be bites from something. I first thought that it might be from mosquitoes … till I spied a small bug sitting on a pillow on my sofa. I killed the bug & started looking around at the sofa more closely & found another which I bagged & began searching on Google to identify.
A look at Google images diagnosed our problem, we have bed bugs! I freaked out so badly I thought I might have a heart attack! 3am & I wake my husband up at first he thought I was crazy, we pulled the cushion off the sofa & didn’t see anything, pulled the sheet off the bed, nothing there either. We haven’t brought new or used furniture into the house, no out of town guests, no reason for these to be here. The next morning I did a search & found the Bedbugger support forum I read their FAQ’s about bed bugs & how to inspect your home. Armed with a flashlight, steamer & a spray bottle of 91% alcohol ( a contact killer of bed bugs) I began by steaming the seams of my sofa.. bed bugs hidden, blending in perfectly with the black & tan fabric colors. I steamed that thing several times, sprayed alcohol & killed every bug I saw. Went to the bedroom, pulled the sheets off carefully, moved the mattress & discovered there really are monsters living under my bed :(
From my reading on the Bed bugger forum I knew that we needed immediate, professional help. I bagged a few dead bugs to save for positive ID later, we informed our landlord & I began an search for the best pest control person I could find in this area of Boston. Enter John, owner of BeanTown Pest Control this compassionate, caring man responded to my voice mail in less than 15 minutes & arrived to inspect my home within mere hours. Yes, we have bed bugs!
The Preparation Process
In three days time we took down every curtain, every drape, disposed of every book, magazine & cardboard box with the exception of my photo albums. Every single article of clothing in this house was taken to the laundromat, washed in hot water & dried on high heat & packed away in XXL sized Ziploc bags. We vacuumed & steam cleaned the floors & the beds. Items I have to keep that can’t take heat or steam were carefully bagged & placed in the detached garage where they will remain for 18 months. We went out & bought cheap vinyl box spring & mattress covers & put them on the beds just to give us some peace of mind till John could begin professional treatment.
Where are we now?
John came & dry steamed our home including box springs & mattresses , he applied a chemical called Suspend in all the bed bugs favorite hiding places, including closets & dressers. he felt the sofa could be successfully treated but after my reading I felt we’d be better off disposing of it & we did so, carefully. We placed new, expensive covers on the box springs & mattresses, taking care to cover sharp edges of the bed frame with duct tape. I will most likely be getting rid of our beds but decided to wait till after treatment per John’s advice. We are now 10 days out from our first treatment with at least 2 more treatments to go, I have no new bites, the only bugs I’ve seen were a few dead ones after treatment.
The Damage count so far
The fiscal costs of treatment, supplies & lost belongings will easily amount to at least 2-3K. What’s worse though is the emotional costs, I don’t feel safe in my house, we’re living out of Ziploc bags, every spec of lint gets examined, I wake up a lot at night, my eyes constantly scanning the room looking for bugs, every single itch is a freak out moment.
Bed bugs can happen to ANYONE! We are an increasingly mobile society & bed bugs are hitch hikers, all it takes is one catching a ride on a suitcase or backpack & you’ve got a huge problem. Read the FAQ’s about bed bugs over at bedbugger forums, arm yourself with the info you need to protect your family so that you will hopefully never discover that there really are monsters under your bed!
Disclaimer: I have not received compensation of any kind from anyone mentioned in this post, links were provided to information sources as a courtesy to my readers. Beantown pest Control was paid by me to provide service.