Apartment Bed Bug Problem

by Anonymous
(Windsor Ontario Canada)

I just started having a bed bug problem and its pissing me off. I'm getting no sleep and I couldn't see them until last night.


I turned on my light and saw a brown thing on my leg. I knocked it off and I didn't realize it until the next morning that it was a bed bug.

I got some multi bug killer powder called Mother Earth bed bug killer. It has some kinda monixide something and sprayed the hell out of my box frame and alot on my mattress so hopefully that does something.

At first I thought it was fleas, but the more I am learning about bed bugs the more I realize that bed bugs keep waking me up at around 4am.

I'm feeling my skin just being freshly bitten by these annoying creatures and then I start freaking out. Pretty soon I am gonna have to slap every bed bug in my perimeter to give them a peace of my mind.

Editor Suggestion

Sorry to hear about your apartment bed bug problem. As you mentioned, bed bugs can be a traumatic experience for anyone.

I'd suggest contacting your building manager regarding the bedbug infestation. In an apartment building, it is important to not only inspect your apartment, but others that are next to, over and below yours.

It takes a combination of products to kill bed bugs. This includes a knock down spray, a hand steamer and vacuuming to reduce the bedbug population size, followed by the use of methods that kill any bed bugs you might have missed. This residual treatment usually consists of a spray product such as Phantom and the use of bed bug dust such as the Mother Earth bed bug powder you mentioned.

At a minimum, frequent use of a hand steamer can help to knock down the bed bug population size.

If you want to treat your apartment yourself, seriously consider purchasing either an organic bed bug kit or an insecticide based kit.


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Bed Bugs Apartment Story

by Shantel bell
(Omaha ne)

I just moved in my apartment a month ago. The first night everything was fine. No problems, great neighbors. Nice for my first apartment.

Come the next day I have welts on my body. I call my landlord they come and spray. ok fine. When it was time to sleep I sprayed some spray my landlord provided and went to sleep.

A couple of nights still fine then came the third night. I wake up finding them around the room under the bed coming out the sockets ugh. They came and sprayed again but this time they got worse.

I had to stay up to guard myself at night so I wouldn't get bitten. Staying up until 4 or 5 when the sun comes up.

I called the landlord and he comes and heats the apartment. Its 100 when I get home and I am thinking their all gone nope cone second night I have 8 bite marks.

Editor Suggestions Bed Bugs Apartment Story

Hi Shantel,

Thank you for sharing your bed bug apartment story. Unfortunately your problem is all too common.

It sounds like your landlord is trying to save the cost of extermination by spraying himself. This is completely unacceptable. He also didn't notify your neighbors, those next door, below and above your apartment. Studies show that there is a 20% chance that bed bugs will spread from apartment to apartment. All neighboring apartments need to be inspected and possible treated to avoid the bed bugs coming right back into your apartment after treatment.

Also, one spray is not enough to do the job and is only a partial solution. At minimum, one spray is needed both for the mattress and to reduce the size of the bed bug infestation. Another type of spray needed to protect against bed bugs that might have been missed during the initial treatment. This second spray is called a residual bed bug spray.

You also need to take other steps such as reducing clutter in the room, inspecting all bedding, furniture, baseboards in the room. Other methods should be used along with the spray such as vacuuming and a light coat of diatomaceous earth.

In terms of heat, the entire apartment needs to be sealed and temperatures need to be raised to at least 120F to kill bed bugs, bed bug eggs and to penetrate the walls. If your landlord simply raised the temperature in the apartment, it wouldn't have any effect.

I'd suggest calling your local Omaha Cooperative Extension office at 8015 W. Center Road
Omaha, NE 68124-3175(402) 444-7804 or email them at [email protected] Ask if they can help you understand the laws in your area regarding landlord/tenant rights and bed bugs. You could also call the local department of health (phone (402) 444-7471).

If you do choose to treat the apartment yourself, purchase a bed bug kit as it will have the correct combination of products needed to fight an infestation. Again, treating your apartment without treating or at least inspecting adjoining apartments will only temporarily eliminate the problem.

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Bed Bugs in the Apartment

by DarkestBe4Dawn
(Philly)

Bed Bugs in Apartment

Bed Bugs in Apartment

-Denial Isn't just a River in Egypt-

So I moved into an apartment with my friend and for the first three to five months we were fine. Then, all of a sudden (and almost out of nowhere) in the mid to late summer she starts to get these huge bites.

Now I had a few mosquito bites and had seen one in the apt, so i just attributed it to that and killed a couple mosquitoes. When the temperatures finally started to drop (from 98-103F (we also didn't really use air conditioning either) to the 70's) she got bites all over her! I even started to notice these tiny pimple-like bumps on my hands only.

I had also gotten a puppy for my parents and offered to watch him. So he came to stay with me for a week but while he was here he would dig my floor and the bed all the time and would constantly attack the box springs. I thought it was just because he was a puppy.

Every week I would "extreme clean" and I would vacuum every inch of the apt, wash all my clothes, scrub the floors with Lysol and Murphy's oil soap. And the biting would go down. Finally the biting started up again, but I couldn't really see any bites on me. My roommate was getting bites all the time, so she started treating for bed bugs, but she only treated her bed. I would also check my bed for signs.

-Bed bugs, yuck-

One day after I had "extreme cleaned" I woke up early (around 4:30 am (I usually wake up at 5am)) and saw something crawling on my bed. It was a nymph for a bed bug. I looked around the edge of my bed and found another and I killed them both. I got ready and went to work a little freaked. When I got home I stripped my bed and looked all around it for other signs.

Sure enough I found them. There were shells around my roommate's bed and poop along my box springs. I completely freaked out, and threw all my clothes in the dryer for 1hr and 30min on the hottest setting, put them in plastic bags, and then went to my parent's house for Christmas.

I bought supplies to kill bedbugs (a steamer, and bedbug powder) and my roommate (who was home at this whole time for the holiday) got more products (ELF spray and Kleen spray) to kill them too. So we've been spraying, powdering, steaming, washing and taping.

I barely show (if at all) when they bite and the bite only shows for about 15/30 minutes to maybe 2/3hrs on me, so I can barely tell if I'm still being bit, but no poop stains and my roommate only gets bit once a week which to me means there are few left/able to get us. My main problem was and is just getting my roommate to actually clean and keep picked up. she'll let things fall on the floor in the rooms and then just put them on the beds (I actually got bit a few times after she did that).
-My Issue-

I'm normally a "tough" girl or just not a very girly girl at all, but these bed bugs freaked me out so bad I couldn't sleep at night for a week! Whenever I sleep I wake up to them biting me and catch them on tape. I couldn't sleep in my bed for a while and set up traps and slept in a chair or at my parent's house while my roommate would sleep in the room. (yeah, I know that sounds horrible but she wasn't scared of them and she can actually tell if they bite her!)

-Now-

It's been 2.5 weeks since we started treatments (I steamed the entire living room, rugs and furniture and then sprayed the entire floor, beds, mattresses, box springs, closet, and I threw already clean clothes in the dryer for 60 minutes on high and wash dirty clothes in hot water and dry on high for 80 min and then put in a clean trash bag that is tied off and sealed, or in those Space Bags and an exterminator came in and took apart the beds and sprayed every nook and cranny)

*** I just want to know, how long does it have to take of treatment before they all die?! ***

Editor Comment - Bed Bugs in the Apartment

Hi,

Sorry to hear about the bed bugs apartment problems and the great lengths you are going to to get rid of the problem.

First, it is common to have to do 2 to 3 complete room treatments to remove apartment bed bugs. There are two parts to each treatment, the first is to knock down or reduce the population and the second is to interrupt the bed bug life cycle so that they can't reproduce.

You are doing a great job on the first phase, which is to reduce the size of the bed bug population.

It can take as long as six weeks to eliminate the problem (leaving 2 weeks between treatment, approximate length of each cycle). Products such as the ELF bed bug spray and Kleen Free Bedbug Spray are natural knock down sprays, they don't provide lasting protection against any bed bugs you might have missed. They only kill on contact and have no bed bug killing power after they dry. For this reason, the ELF spray indicates that you need to spray every day for 2 weeks.

If you continue with this approach, make sure you are leaving no stone unturned, including inside the box spring (peel back the fabric), behind head boards, where the bed frame joints connect, inside drawers, under drawers, under lamps, around the baseboards, under lamps etc.

While this is what is needed, it's not practical. I'd suggest treating all surfaces with the ELF or Kleen spray, followed by an insecticide based spray that provides lasting protection such as Phantom. If you want to say all organic. you can either step up the daily treatment with the ELF, or make sure you are spreading the bed bug dust in a thin layer in the seams of the mattress, under furniture etc.

I'd also buy mattress AND box spring covers to trap any bed bugs and bed bug eggs you might have missed. This is standard practice.

Last, since you live in an apartment, it is possible that bed bugs are in the walls and entering your apartment from either apartments that are next door, or above/below yours. Because of this you should meet with your neighbors and ask your building manager to have all apartments inspected. Many state laws hold the building manager responsible if bed bugs are found in more than 1 unit, or 1 unit and a common area.

Some other tips are to wear tight fitting clothes to bed (bed bugs will bite exposed skin areas). You can also try a skin repellent such as OFF or one made for bed bugs such as Bed Bug Repellent.

If you are still unsuccessful, it's time to call in a professional. An easy way to get a few quotes from licensed and insured exterminators is to call Service Magic (1.877.233.1145) or search our bed bug exterminator database.

Best of luck with the bed bugs apartment problem. Please keep us up to date with how you do.

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Apartment Bed Bugs

I just hired an exterminator to kill the bed bugs in my apartment. I think the trouble is that I have a wooden floor that has cracks in it. I didn't think of it before, nut that it probably where the bed bugs are hiding. At first I thought they were small roaches, because I saw two of them crawling on my comforter. But then I realized that I was itching from bite marks, and thought, I must have bed bugs. Hopefully the exterminator treatment will be effective and I will try to get those floor cracks filled a well.

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Bed Bug Apartment Night Terrors!

by Tiffany
(Tennessee)

Me and my finance were expecting our first baby. We had moved into our first apartment all excited to have our own place. It was cheap and the Landlord had accepted us the minute he saw us.

We had lived there for about 3 months and the way the apartment was set up was 7 apartments on top and below it was 7 more. At the time we didn't have a neighbor beside us until this lady moved beside us. We have spoken to her a couple times just being friendly and one day we had got into a deep conversation and she started to tell us how she just moved from a hotel that had bed bugs and that she had to move in here with nothing because she was infested with them.

Me not thinking anything about it not even knowing bed bugs exist just thought it was an old saying "Don't let the bed bugs bite". Well I was wrong I had notice her itch during the conversation and thought nothing about it. About a month later I had noticed what I thought was a rash on me and I was scared because I was pregnant at the time and didn't know what it was so i went to the doctor and they said it could be a pregnancy rash and sent me t the dermatologist and they had no clue what it was.

I was miserable as I itched all the time. It began to hurt where I had scratched so much and my finance had no rash so i thought for sure it was something i came allergic to while pregnant.

We were talking to his grandmother and she said I hope you do not have bedbugs. I stated that we were not nasty people and she said you don't have to be nasty to get them, then I realized my neighbor had told me she had came from somewhere that had them.

I immediately rushed home and my finance and I checked our bed that was against our neighbors wall. Sure enough, we had an infestation of them. We threw out the bed and I called my landlord and told him and he checked ours and hers and said you guys have them. He threw out our couch, bed and everything else that we spotted a bed bug on and burned it.

He tried to tell me Bed bugs do not live in walls tho i looked it up and sure enough they do! He changed our carpet and had an exterminator spray and didn't spray our neighbors!

I told him they are still here and he didn't listen to us so we had to get everything out of the apartment and put it all in storage and left. It was the most horrible thing I had ever went through! I still get worried when I have a bite from a flea or Mosquito. I freak out and check my bed. I hope putting our stuff in storage killed them if any were left, as I know they cannot live over 120 degrees. We had moved into our new place and I haven't noticed one.

Editor Comment Bed Bug Apartment Terrors

Dear Tiffany.

Thank you for sharing your story. You obviously did your homework as you clearly understand how bed bugs need to be exterminated.

Your story illustrates why laws are needed to protect tenants against landlords that will cut corners to save money. Landlords should not be able to throw out furniture or mattresses. They should also be obligated to inspect and treat all adjoining apartments. Just treating one apartment will only temporarily reduce the size of the bed bug population.

As an aside, mattresses do not need to be thrown out unless they are in poor condition. They only need to be covered with a cover that traps in the insects inside the mattress such as those offered by Allerzip.

I'd be very careful and take the time to treat and inspect furniture that is in storage. As a precaution you can hire a moving truck that has a heat chamber. The mover can heat the truck to the required temperatures (120F as you indicated), making sure all of your items are bed bug free. Some exterminators can even create a mini heat chamber in your home to save items such as couches. As an alternative, get a good knock down spray such as Sterifab that will kill bed bugs and bed bug eggs on contact. Test the spray on an out of the way spot on the furniture to make sure that it doesn't stain. Better yet, get rid of the furniture. It only takes one pregnant female bed bug to start the cycle all over again in the new home.

Thanks again for sharing your bed bug apartment horror story. I'm sure many readers will learn from your nightmare.

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Bed bug Apartment Battle

by Steve
(Vancouver BC)

Can wearing... well I call it hermetically sealing your body in full length pajamas with knee socks & tucking in the pajama legs & tucking in the pajama top to the bottom & button up the long sleeve PJ top to the top of the neck... will this help prevent them feeding or biting you in the sleep cycle while the process of exterminating them (weeks or months) is taking place? I could not find info on this site regarding protecting yourself if you actually have to sleep with them?

I am doing this now, as a neighbor told me that should help; the problem is HEAT. It is summer and mid Aug. Sleeping at night in hot summer with full Pjs on is ridiculously UNCOMFORTABLE even if you have a good air conditioner and fans to blow cool air around the room and over you as you try to sleep while also imagining these little blood sucking vampire 'bedbugs' chewing through the PJs or socks to get a meal, which by it self prevents sleep and induces these kind of NIGHTMARES!

My question is, will any of this really help or should I just let them feed until they suck me dry? *shakes & scratches head, and then scratches everywhere else; then shivers in horror at all of this*

I would sleep in the bathtub if I was not 6'2" and the tub is only 4 feet long!

There is a thought for your smaller children, they may sleep better and not be bitten in the bathtub? But that is just a guess? Someone please tell me if what I'm doing is a waist of time? Or if it will actually help with the problem of actually sleeping through the night?
Oh and should I cover my face in some sort of sky mask as well? Is there a lotion or spray to prevent them from biting like that of Mosquito repellent sprays or lotion.? I simply forgot to ask my Doctor that question a few days ago. Ok I done now.
Steve. . . or what's left of me anyway.

Editor Answer

Clothing can help to protect you against bed bugs. The bugs could crawl in seams but if it's difficult probably not likely. they normally do not bite through cloth, unless it is some type of mesh.

People have noted that wearing clothing have kept bugs from biting.

Here are some additional tips to help with a bed bug problem:

1. Vacuum all crevices on the mattress. Use a thin brush to push the bed bugs out of the crevices and around buttons. Also check under the labels.

2. If you have a hand steamer, steam everywhere you vacuumed. Steam will kill bed bugs and bed bug eggs. If you don't have a steamer use a hair dryer. Use the low air/high heat setting and hold and each section of mattress for 30 seconds.

3. Repeat both steps above for the box spring. It is possible that there are more bed bugs hiding in the box spring than the mattress.

4. Buy a good mattress safe bed bug spray for treating the mattress and box spring. Our favorite is Sterifab. You can buy a bottle for under $15, and it is worth every penny.

5. If you can afford it, buy bed bug mattress and box spring covers. First treat the mattress and box spring, allow them to dry and then seal in the covers.

6. Move the bed at least 6 inches from the wall and all surrounding furniture. Make sure no blankets or any other object is touching the floor. Put a ring of double sided tape around each bed leg if you have it in the house. Put a climbup interceptor under each bed leg. If you can't afford to purchase a set, you can make it yourself by following the directions on our bed bug home remedies page.

7. Wash all blankets and linens in hot water followed by 20 minutes in the dryer.

These are just a few tips. More can be found on our bed bug treatment page.

Editor Note: A new product has just come on the market which claims that is will repel 98% of bed bugs away from the skin. You can read about the order the bed bug skin repellent here.

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Apartment Bed Bugs Treatment

by Barbara
(Manassas VA)

When I moved into this apartment a bed bug exterminator came by to check the cracks, corners, seams of the bed and around the ceiling.

3 or 4 months pass and I noticed that I was getting bit by something and then I saw a bug and had it analyzed by an expert. They agreed that the bug was a bed bug. So my friend and I we began treating the apartment as the experts told us to do. We bought spays and bombs to set off in the bedroom and the living room and dinning room area. I am also putting my clothing in the cleaners which will be an astronomical fee for them.

I stayed away from my dwelling for two weeks. Last night we saw the bugs on the top of the sheet and they were biting our skin again. My friend suggested that I call the office to let them know that the preventive measure that they took did not stop the bugs from coming back to that apartment.

My friend also said they could be coming through the vent from the apartment above me. What should I do at this point (try to continue to do it my self to kill these bugs or get an exterminator. Should I present this issue back to the management at the apartment complex?

Help. I'm tired of scratching my skin from being bit my bedbudgs. HELP!!!!!

Editor Suggestion Apartment Bed bugs

Hi Barbara,

I'm sorry to hear about all of the problems you are having in your apartment.

Apartment owners should never attempt treatment by themselves. As you indicated, bed bugs can be in the walls between multiple apartments. Bed Bug foggers actually make this worse, by forcing the bed bugs to move away from the pesticide. They then move deeper into the walls, only to return again in a few days. Sprays are effective, but cannot kill all of the bed bugs in the walls.

Your landlord was trying to save money at your expense by not hiring an exterminator to apply the necessary treatment. Even professionals need to apply 2 to 3 treatments to eliminate a bed bug problem.

For detailed information you can review our guide to Virginia bed bugs resources. Unfortunately, the law in Virginia is vague on who pays for treatment, the landlord or the tenant. According to the law, while landlords have to keep the property "in a fit and habitable condition," the tenant has a responsibility to "keep that part of the dwelling unit and the part of the premises that he occupies free from insects and pests." To make it even more complicated it is impossible to tell who brought bed bugs into the building. Check with your State attorney generals office to see if the law has changed, as bed bugs are a big issue and legislation is slowly catching up to problems such as the one you described.

Because the law isn't clear, the best case is to split the cost of the treatment with the landlord. An alternative is to apply pressure to the landlord. This can come from your local health department. Contact them and ask for help.

You can also call your local legal aid society and ask for legal representation in a landlord tenant dispute. Organize all tenants in a meeting and ask the legal aid team to represent tenants while rent is put into escrow (not paid until the bed bug problem is corrected). Again, don't use this approach without contacting a lawyer.

If you need to get an idea of how much apartment bed bug treatment will cost, contact Service Magic (phone 1.877.233.1145) as they will provide up to 3 free quotes from local exterminators. This will at least give you an idea as to the size of the problem and the cost. Don't be surprised if the cost for several apartments runs into the thousands of dollars.

Best of luck with this apartment bed bug problem and keep us up to date on how it is resolved. You can try applying a do it yourself bed bug treatment using a bed bug kit as a temporary measure (kits contain the combination of products needed), but again this is only a temporary measure until all nearby apartments are treated.

Jeff
Editor
Bed Bugs Handbook

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Help Apartment Bed Bugs are Back

by Anonymous Reader

i first found out that we had bed bugs when I was pregnant and almost due. I had two boys at the time and about to have a little girl.

We had our apartment complex have someone come out and spray. It seemed to be ok for a while, but then we got them again. I didn't know where they where coming from and then found out that we got them from my mother in law.

How nice that she had them really really bad. We had to throw out our bed and couch. We thought we got rid of problem then the other night I found one on the bathroom floor, so now we have them again. We were good for 4 to 5 weeks and now we have them again.

I don't know what to do. I'm going to try powder and fog. If that don't work I don't know what I . am going to do. I'm just tired of having them and tired of being so scared to go to sleep. I hardly got any sleep when we had them and now I have three kids to worry about. My youngest is 2 months old and I am scared she will get bit.

Editor Suggestions for Bed Bug Apartment Treatment

Hi,

Sorry to hear about your bed bug apartment problems. The best approach as you know, if to have the building manager inspect and treat your apartment, and all adjacent apartments. The problem in apartment buildings is that bed bugs travel through the walls and along pipes to apartments that are next door, below and above yours. So killing bed bugs in your apartment is only temporary, as they will come back out of the walls once the pesticides you use stop working.

In terms of who pays for treatment, that depends on where you live. I'd suggest checking our list of bed bug landlord tenant laws to see if we have information on the laws in your area. Always notify building management in a dated letter since this serves as legal notification.

If you do treat the problem yourself, do not use foggers, as these have been proven to be ineffective. The bed bugs just move into the walls and come out 1 to 2 weeks later. Instead, I'd suggest the following for bed bugs apartment treatment:

1. To treat bed bugs effectively, you will need a bed bug kit that contains the combination of products needed. This includes a spray to kill bed bugs on contact, a spray that provides lasting protection (3 to 6 weeks) to kill any bed bugs and late hatching bed bugs you might have missed, and bed bug dust (fossil dust or diatomaceous earth). Kits are the cheapest way to go.

2. Follow these bed bug treatment steps. You need to go step by step starting with the mattress.

Every inch of a room needs to be inspected and treated including under lamps, the headboard, bed frame, night tables etc. All linen must be washed in hot water and every inch of the room should be vacuumed.

After treating the bed, as as stop gap, be sure to pull any bed in infested rooms about 6 inches from any walls and furniture. Keep blankets off the wall. Wrap each bed leg with double sided tape as a stop gap. After treatment, consider purchasing mattress and box spring covers. You can also put a bed bug trap under each bed leg.

Best of luck. Again, have the building manager treat the problem (if they tell you to get an exterminator try Service Magic (phone 1.877.233.1145) as they provide up to 3 free quotes.



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