Author Topic: Bed bug solutions in apartment  (Read 1803 times)

OzzieandHarriet

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Bed bug solutions in apartment
« on: May 18, 2019, 11:52:11 AM »
Luckily, this is not MY problem but that of a friend of DH’s. He has lived in the same building for something like 15 years and has rent control. The building is plagued with bed bugs. He had an infestation last year and they grudgingly moved him to a different apartment. A few weeks ago the bugs reappeared, and he’s in a panic. All the building will do (if that) is spray with chemicals, which don’t work as everyone knows. Latest thing is they are accusing HIM of bringing the bugs from his job, which is ridiculous. I think they are trying to get rid of all the rent-controlled tenants, but that’s another story.

So he’s washing all his stuff and wants to replace the $200 worth of bed encasements he bought last year. He has no extra money, lives paycheck to paycheck. DH wants to help and asked me if I was okay with us paying for replacement covers. I suggested a better investment would be buying him a small steam cleaner so he can attack the bugs with heat any time they appear. Spending thousands on professional help seems pointless to me given that it’s obviously a building wide problem, and yes, its the landlord’s responsibility, but in the meantime the guy has to live decently.

My question is: does anyone have experience dealing with this? Any strategies, suggestions, or ...?

Papa bear

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Re: Bed bug solutions in apartment
« Reply #1 on: May 18, 2019, 12:14:00 PM »
My tenant used cimexa after I paid for heat treatment. She thought it worked well. 


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msministache

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Re: Bed bug solutions in apartment
« Reply #2 on: May 18, 2019, 12:15:55 PM »
Diatomaceous earth powder works very god on anything that crawls. It also quite inexpensive

Papa bear

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Re: Bed bug solutions in apartment
« Reply #3 on: May 18, 2019, 12:19:57 PM »
Diatomaceous earth powder works very god on anything that crawls. It also quite inexpensive

I am going to use a lot of diatomaceous earth after the tenants move out.  I’ve never used it for this purpose though, and my tenants used cimexa, which basically has the same purpose as diatomaceous earth. 

You can search for it, I started a thread about my bedbug issues last year.


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OzzieandHarriet

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Re: Bed bug solutions in apartment
« Reply #4 on: May 18, 2019, 12:39:31 PM »
What about using a steam cleaner himself? Is that going to do any good?

It sounds like the DE or the chemical isn’t going to work alone.

Papa Bear, I can’t find any other discussions about bed bugs.

Papa bear

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Id rather be outside

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Re: Bed bug solutions in apartment
« Reply #6 on: May 18, 2019, 09:01:01 PM »
Steam cleaning didn't seem to do it for us - did a bunch of it and tons of washing and things didn't improve.  Used Ecoraider bed bug essential oil spray on every tiny spot in the bed frame (which we took apart).  Found the eggs were in a screw hole where the screw was a bit loose.  Once we sprayed that things got better fast.  We also made a perimeter of the diatamatious earth around the bed so that if anything was living off the bed area it would have to crawl through it to reach us.  Dealing with this was THE WORST after being so happy to move to this apartment.  Wishing your friend the best!

Editing to add: As we are also in an apartment building we used the DE on the floor next to all walls that are shared with other apartments and got the childproofing electrical outlet covers to cover any outlets since I read that can be a way they go from one apartment to another.
« Last Edit: May 18, 2019, 09:04:03 PM by Id rather be outside »

Cassie

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Re: Bed bug solutions in apartment
« Reply #7 on: May 19, 2019, 09:41:48 AM »
No way to get rid of them unless the entire apartment building is treated and couches, beds, etc all thrown away. My kids had this issue and tried all the things suggesting. Finally they threw away furniture that they could live in and moved.  The owner is probably doing it on purpose.

OzzieandHarriet

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Re: Bed bug solutions in apartment
« Reply #8 on: May 20, 2019, 08:20:49 AM »
This is a HUGE old once-luxury building - some tenants have been there for 50+ years. Some of the apartments are big three-bedrooms with nice views. Based on reviews and articles online, the bug problems seem to vary depending on where your apartment is in the complex, with maybe more of a problem in the cheaper ones that have high turnover. I can see why our friend wants to stay there: aside from cheaper rent, the location is really convenient and he doesn’t need a car. He’s going to start contacting the city housing authority this week to see if they can help light a fire under the building manager to try to remedy the situation, though it may not be possible short of throwing out all his stuff. I had another friend who went through this (different location), and she ended up getting rid of almost everything and moving. She was also, like our friend, in bad financial straits, and this didn’t help.

BikeFanatic

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Re: Bed bug solutions in apartment
« Reply #9 on: May 20, 2019, 08:58:47 AM »
they have these cups you place under the legs of the bed so the bugs  cannot crawl up the legs of the bed.  I reccomend all that the above suggested. And you probably have to take apart the bed frame and inspect spray and steam every part of the frame. I dealt with this once and the bed frame had tiny holes and I saw one crawl into one. So do the perimeter  with the powder, bed on cups of poison or water , new matress covers, dry the sheets and pillows in the dryer on high for 45 minutes. The spray that the exterminator used adn all the above measuers did in the end rid my friends loft of bed bugs. I think they had to get rid of the couch though. And empty the dresser adn put all clothing in heavy duty plastic bags like contractor bags. They had to spray twice once then in 2 weeks or 3 weeks for the eggs.

Bruin

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Re: Bed bug solutions in apartment
« Reply #10 on: May 20, 2019, 09:32:08 AM »
What we did:

1. Washed everything that can be washed
2. Deep-washed carpet
3. bought new bed bug proof mattress encasement and pillow encasement and bed bug proof bed leg cups
4. Caulked all baseboard
5. bought a Vapor Clean II - 298° Single Boiler - 65 Psi (4.5 Bar) - Made in Italy and steamed everywhere that could be steamed
6. bought DE and put down "TOO MUCH" of it in the bedroom and a year later had to deep-clean the carpet to get rid of DE which had caused respiratory issues for children, I thought.
7. lastly and the most import is to keep out the in-laws who brought to my house second-hand toys with the bedbugs (caught one on site). Only meet them at restaurants. 

Cassie

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Re: Bed bug solutions in apartment
« Reply #11 on: May 20, 2019, 10:02:50 AM »
I would have explained the situation to the in-laws versus banning them from your house.

frugaliknowit

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Re: Bed bug solutions in apartment
« Reply #12 on: May 20, 2019, 11:16:27 AM »
Trying to attack the bugs with a steamer is pointless, since there's no way of isolating them to attack them.  They will instinctively hide while you are trying to do so.

As someone else mentioned, bed bug traps (cups) for the feet of the bed (filled with talc) so bed bugs cannot crawl up and into the bed and bed bug encasements for the box spring and mattress so the bed bugs are unable to embed themselves in the box spring and mattress.   

If bed bugs have already embedded your friend's bed, it is pointless to install encasements and or traps at the feet of the bed until the bugs are eliminated as they MUST already be inside the mattress and or boxspring hiding until your fried goes to sleep, which is when they feast on your friend's blood.  Your friend needs professional help to get rid of them.  Yes, a professional can get rid of them.

In my city the landlord is required to get rid of them.  In my condo building, the HOA hires an exterminator to deal with each case (costs hundreds).  If the landlord is applying chemicals on their own and not achieving results, it's probably because they don't know what they are doing.

A professional will, among other things, take the bed apart, find them nesting (normally in the bed frame), then eliminate them.  They are always in and around the bed, where they can suck your blood while you sleep.  Blood is ALL they want, nothing else.  They travel through the walls only when someone vacates an infested apartment (can't find blood anymore, so travel).  This is why your professional will make sure everything is caulked and sealed, especially near the bed.
« Last Edit: May 20, 2019, 11:37:56 AM by frugaliknowit »

Bruin

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Re: Bed bug solutions in apartment
« Reply #13 on: May 20, 2019, 01:33:41 PM »
I would have explained the situation to the in-laws versus banning them from your house.

Quick to jump in?

Explained it multiple times. Offered help multiple times, only none has worked. There was more to the story, multiple doctors visits of the youth and elder living with the in-laws and one hospital stay. And this is not the worst. I can write a long post about it, but this thread is not a place to air one's dirty laundry. But it may help OP's friend by pointing out that, if one can identify the source of the bed bug, be it a renter next wall or in-laws, keep out the source can be effective. This should be obvious.
« Last Edit: May 20, 2019, 01:39:25 PM by Bruin »

OzzieandHarriet

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Re: Bed bug solutions in apartment
« Reply #14 on: May 20, 2019, 01:39:07 PM »
Somewhat funny: our friend called the city housing authority today to register a complaint, and they asked “Is this about [name of building]?” They’ve been getting a lot of calls.

Cassie

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Re: Bed bug solutions in apartment
« Reply #15 on: May 20, 2019, 06:22:24 PM »
Bruin, sorry for automatically assuming the worst. I can’t believe they acted like that.

Bruin

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Re: Bed bug solutions in apartment
« Reply #16 on: May 21, 2019, 07:56:45 AM »
Bruin, sorry for automatically assuming the worst. I can’t believe they acted like that.

Cassie, I understand. I'm new here, but already very impressed by how generous, kind and thoughtful the mustache community is!

OzzieandHarriet

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Re: Bed bug solutions in apartment
« Reply #17 on: May 22, 2019, 08:17:38 AM »
So given all of the above, what is the most useful way we could help financially (within reason)? DH convinced him to wash the bed encasements and reuse them. He was really worried about his suits (required for work) that can’t be washed. The bugs were all over his clothes closet. 😟

Cassie

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Re: Bed bug solutions in apartment
« Reply #18 on: May 22, 2019, 10:57:02 AM »
I don’t think there is anything that will help until the entire building is treated and everyone gets rid of all the upholstery furniture. They will just keep going from one apartment to another.

Papa bear

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Re: Bed bug solutions in apartment
« Reply #19 on: May 22, 2019, 06:02:02 PM »
Here’s the info on the bed bug prep checklist from the heat treatment guys I used.  They suggest washing everything, get mattress covers, and use Nuvan strips.  My tenant also swears by cimexa, which is similar to diatomaceous earth. 


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Papa bear

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Re: Bed bug solutions in apartment
« Reply #20 on: May 22, 2019, 06:02:19 PM »
Below is a list of items that may be affected by heat and should be removed. If it
is not possible to remove something that is listed, please let us know before our
scheduled appointment.  The idea behind the prep is we are trying to eliminate any areas that could could potentially insulate bugs from the heat treatment

People, and pets, cannot be in the space during the treatment.

• Remove switch plates and outlet covers. Covers need to be left in the heat to be treated.

• Remove all clothing, linens, towels, etc. And wash them in HOT water. This includes items
found in dressers and closets. Next, dry them using the hottest setting on your dryer for at least 45 minutes after items are dried to kill all bugs and eggs. If something cannot be washed in hot water, it should be dry cleaned. Place those items in a tightly sealed bag before taking them to the dry cleaner.

Once your clothing and linens have been washed and dried, seal them in tightly tied clean,
heavy mil bags or put them in plastic containers with tight fitting lids. You may put the clothes
back into place after the treatment. During treatment, these bags must be located in a room not to be heated, perhaps in the bathroom tub, garage or unfinished basement. Any items that might be damaged by heat or potentially insulate bugs (books, papers, dvd cases) can be treated with a product called Nuvan. Nuvan strips are for sale for ($69). There are 12 nuvan strips in each bag, these can be placed in a tightly closed plastic bag for 2 weeks and will kill all bugs. These can be used for a total of 4 weeks. Wear gloves when handling the strips and follow all instructions on label of product.

• Clear clutter from the floors and closets. Hanging clothes are okay as long as they are not
tightly packed together.

If you already have zippered mattress encasements on your mattresses and box springs that have no holes, please leave them on. We require mattress encasements for maximum protection, prevention, and to uphold warranty. The price for boxspring and mattress encasements are $30 for twin/full and $40 for queen/king. Be careful putting these on, it is a 2 person job. Leave them on for a year and do not take off.

Please remove vehicles from driveway the day of treatment and park a few houses up the street as we will need room to back in our unmarked, discreet trailer with equipment.  Also turn the heat on high on your thermostat. If you have an alarm, please contact your alarm company and explain you are having a heat treatment done and to disable alarm for the time we are at your home. There is a $149 charge for rescheduling inside of 24 hours or not being prepped.





Please remove the following heat sensitive items from the treatment space:

• Art - including oil paintings, acrylics, clay sculptures, etc...
• Audio and video tapes, Vinyl records
• Cigarette lighters, Aerosol cans, flammable liquids.
• Candles, wax items, cosmetics/make-up that may melt, especially deodorant and lipstick.
• Craft items assembled with glue.
• Fire extinguishers.
• Furniture - antique or with fragile finish or glue points
• Medicines and vitamins
• Musical instruments. Pianos may be covered with a thermal blanket
• Plants
• Soft vinyl items
• Software and printer inks
• Personal items
• Firearms, ammunition etc.
• All food and condiments should be removed or placed in the refrigerator if treating the kitchen
or pantry.
• Unplug computers, televisions, and other electronics. They do not have to be removed from
the treatment area.
• Sweep the area to be treated thoroughly removing all dust. Dust could damage our heaters.
Remove any pesticide powders that you have put down.
• In general, the less stuff you have in the treatment space, the easier it will be to exterminate
the bedbugs.


Please contact us if you have any questions. We do offer a service prepping homes for treatment, call to get more information. The area will be treated to a temperature of more than 125 degrees F. Your full cooperation and adherence to the prep sheet is crucial to the success of the treatment. Any violation of the prep sheet could result in an unsuccessful treatment, or the need for additional treatments. The combination of your cooperation and the treatment program will result in the eradication of bed bugs. I fully understand what is required of me and acknowledge that I have received the Bed Bug Prep Sheet.


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