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A Month In The Clear…

It’s been one month and one day since we’ve had the “all-clear” from the bedbug dog. Just in case you’re wondering if you’ll ever recover from the psychological effects of having bedbugs, I thought I’d share where I am right now.

-Pillows and duvet are back on the bed and we’ve been sleeping really well. I still haven’t put the bedskirt back on but I also have been a touch busy and haven’t worked on getting the stains out of it. Perhaps I’m overreacting over pinprick-sized dots that used to be bedbug shit, but I’d rather never have to see those spots again if I can help it.

-Climb-Ups are still under the legs of our living room furniture, my daughter’s bed and my son’s crib. Just in case.

-I still haven’t sat on the couch but everyone else has.

-We have started to decorate where we can and starting to think about what we’ll do in the house. I’m still not certain that this is our forever-house, but at least I no longer want to move or fantasize about burning it down.

-I still get fairly massive twinges of itchiness and paranoia, but happily it’s no longer daily.

-I still inspect every fleck or piece of dark lint that I come across. I think I need to get my eyes checked because now I have to squint as I do it and sometimes take things into better light.

-I don’t sit on the subway, but I did go to the movies. I changed when I got home.

Seeing as the whole bedbug epidemic is just getting into full-swing, I think a little paranoia could serve us well in not getting re-infected. A friend of mine who also had them as was about a week behind us in the detection and spraying just found one last week after being bite-free for over a month. I think I might have lost my mind (again) in that moment. It’s stories like that where I realize it’s a good thing to never let your guard down, although the thought of having to go back to living out of bags again sends shivers down my spine.

I’m touching wood as I type this, but God forbid we ever go down this road again, I’m forking out for the heat.

That’s all for now. Maybe I’ll check in again in another month.

Category: Bedbug Diary | Tags: , 8 comments »

8 Responses to “A Month In The Clear…”

  1. Stacey

    Cate,

    I became obsessed with bedbugs this summer although I don’t have them. I saw spots on my kids’ sheets coming back from camp and got paranoid (the spots weren’t from bedbugs). I found your blog and have read it with interest. Thank you for detailing your story; I live in fear of getting bedbugs but your story shows me you can get rid of them. I actually fear any social isolation due to getting bed bugs than the bugs themselves; should you not go to anyone’s house when you have them? I have teenagers and I don’t know if I could prevent them from going to someone else’s house–they’d mutiny! I had read about the heat before your blog and think that is the way I would go.

    About your friend who found one a month after being clear: had she had a bedbugdog come to sniff around a month ago?

  2. admin

    They didn’t get the dog, although they may now after they get sprayed again.

    Truthfully, we hardly went anywhere. When we did leave the house we got dressed either straight from a sealed bag or straight from the dryer. When we traveled, I steamed our suitcases, packed everything in sealed bags and left the suitcases outside. When we came home everything went straight into the wash or sealed bags. Suitcases now live in sealed bags when not in use.

    It’s a total pain in the ass.

  3. Lisa

    Please don’t shutter this blog and please keep us updated. As someone who has never had bedbugs in her home, I find your story both horrifying and inspirational at the same time. I will continue to read and also continue to pray for you and your family that nothing like this ever happens to you again. Oh, and one word of advice: please be wary of houseguests/visitors, especially if they stay overnight in a guest room.

  4. admin

    Thanks Lisa!

    It’s been a crazy ride, that’s for sure. I’ll definitely continue to update, I think – I find it’s helpful for me.

  5. Stacey

    Cate,

    So how long did it take you from the time you found the bed bugs and from the time treatment started til you no longer got bitten in bed or on your couch? It seems like you conquered them in just a few weeks.

    And are you sure you got the bedbugs from that friend? Could you have accidentally gotten bedbugs from when your new mattress was delivered?

    Thanks,

    Stacey

  6. admin

    My husband started getting bites when we’d been in the house about 3 weeks. We thought it was fleas as his office is the only area of the house that is carpeted, and neither myself nor the kids had any bites.

    We already had the exterminator booked to come in for fleas, and I found the BB in our box spring two days before he was scheduled to come. It was only in those last few nights where we were bitten in bed. So I didn’t really have much time to prep everything and when the PCO came he sprayed for fleas AND bedbugs, just to be on the safe side.

    We had bites for two more nights in our bed, and once I found a mattress encasement that fit we had no more bites in our bed. About a week later we caught one on the couch, and then about 10 days later, my husband tried working in his office again, and was bitten again. That’s when I flipped and had the dog come in, as we still thought it was fleas in his office.

    So our second spraying was exactly 14 days after our first, and obviously it was successful since we were cleared. I don’t think it was the mattress delivery truck, as they came to our bed last. I still think it was the family friend, as he sat on the couch and *I think* my husband’s office chair when we were moving in. He also came by for dinner a couple of weeks later.

    Regardless, it was totally unintentional, and luckily he is finally free after almost 10mos. He is in a subsidized building where they are everywhere, so it’s difficult to isolate yourself in that environment.

    So, technically we did conquer them in a few weeks, but it felt like a lifetime. We’d probably had them for at most 6 weeks or at least 4 weeks before we sprayed. We are very, very lucky we caught them when we did, and took action straight away. We still lived out of bags for over a month, and we’re still very cautious when coming home after traveling or going on the subway, to the movies, etc.

  7. Stacey

    I was wondering about the mattress because I had read that a new mattress could get infested if a delivery truck is not only delivering new mattresses but taking away old ones. Also, do you think the house could have been infested when you moved in? Apparently some people take a while to react to the bites.

  8. admin

    It did cross my mind that the house could have been infested when we moved in, but it think if it was we would have had a much worse problem on our hands… I also thought maybe the moving truck that moved our stuff in the actual move…

    Our reactions seemed to be fairly immediate – certainly within a few hours.


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