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Think You Have Bed Bugs? Some Dos and Don'ts

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What To Do When You Have Bed Bugs

If you think you may have bed bugs, these are the essential dos and don’ts. Make sure you also look at the photos of bed bugs (and signs of bed bugs) and photos of bed bug bites, and the FAQ on detecting whether your problem is bed bugs, or something else.

If you suspect that you have bed bugs, you should immediately:

  • Contact a Pest Control Operator (PCO) to confirm that you have an infestation. If you live in a rental unit, contact building management.  Also call your local board of health to determine the laws that govern how fast a building manager needs to respond and what they must do.
  • Take steps to protect yourself in your home

If you decide to stay with someone else, be very careful that you do not bring bed bugs with you to the new home. (this has happened to people we know.). One tip is to change in their garage if they have one into a set of clothes provided by your host. Avoid bringing anything into the home where you will be staying.  As an alternative take off your clothes and shoes, and immediately place them into a washing machine or dryer for 20 mintues.

Know that staying outside of your home means the bugs may become dormant. They may live without feeding for up to 18 months. When you come back, they can begin biting you again. 

When home, save any bed bugs you find. Do not part with these– you may need to show them to landlords, pest control professionals, and so on. Entomologists at colleges or science museums in your town may identify these, and a pest control company can too. Pick it up with clear packing tape, and tape it to an index card. Or put it in a clear sealed ziplock or jar in the freezer. Don’t assume you’ll see lots of them, some people don’t.

Do rule out other possible conditions that look like bed bugs such as scabies, spider bites or bites from other insides, and  folliculitis. What you think are bed bug bites sometimes turn out to be one of these other conditions. Doctors cannot diagnose bed bug bites with any certainty. Be warned, though, that many of us are told by doctors that we do or do not have bed bugs, and later find they are wrong.

Bed bug bites are an allergic reaction, and reactions vary from nothing to serious allergic reactions. Do not assume you are the only one being bitten. Remember that some people do not react to bed bug bites at all.   Research released in 2010 by Dr. Michael Potter suggests 70% of people do react, and 30% of people do not react to bed bug bites.

Do not start throwing your bed and other furniture out. You can cover and isolate the bed to trap any insects that were missed during treatment. (You may wish to wait until a PCO has started treating before covering the mattress in an encasement.) Most furniture, including mattresses and sofas, can be treated by a PCO, and you can ask the PCO if throwing them out is necessary. It usually isn’t necessary or recommended because tossing furniture and other items out can just lead to spreading bed bugs as well as emptying your home of furnishings. If there is a good reason to get rid of something, your pest management professional can help you do it safely, so as not to spread the bugs around your home or building, and so that others do not pick up infested items.

Do not start buying a load of chemicals and treating yourself. We have FAQs about choosing a good pest control firm and about why doing your own pest control in lieu of an exterminator is generally not a good idea unless the infestation is very small. Yes, sometimes supplementing a PCO’s work makes sense, but only if they are fully on board with what you’re doing. Remember, pesticides have different qualities (repellents, contact killers, residual killers, growth regulators, etc.) Bed bugs are probably the most complicated pests you’ve ever encountered at home. If you start spraying pesticides, you may disperse the bugs, and the professionals may have trouble treating them. You may spread them around your home.

Do not, absolutely do not release a fogger or bug bomb. Do not allow your landlord to do so. Do not allow a so-called “exterminator” to do so. Bug bombs / foggers do not work for bed bugs, and in fact, will spread them and cause them to move into the walls.

Don't Start Bagging Everything You Own

With the exception of washed and dried clothing (according to specific instructions your exterminator gives you), do not seal up everything you own in bags. Some PCOs will want you to inspect, vacuum, and seal all your possessions in bags. Most won’t. Following their advice is crucial, since they know what they’re using on your problem. If you decide to bag things, you may be sealing away bed bugs– and this is only a way of dealing with the problem if you put these items in storage for 18 months, unopened. Instead, most PCOs will vigorously fight your problem, and bed bugs will be attracted out of your possessions and towards poisons which will kill them. We have a FAQ on this also: How do I prepare for pest control treatment?

Preparing Clothing and Linens for Bed Bug Treatment

Some pest control operators do not require clients to treat their clothing and linens. Check before doing anything.

If you do need to treat your own linens and clothing, start by placing them in a plastic bin that has some type of snap on lid. This keeps any bed bugs from being dropped when transporting clothes or linens to the washing match. Place into the machine and wash on hot and and dry them on hot. Remember, driers vary as to their strength and how long they take with what size of load. Don’t stuff the machines. My personal method is that items should at least be dried on hot for 20 minutes after they appear to be fully dry and very hot. Note that if you start with clean items, you only need to dry them on hot: this is a huge savings to time and energy. Starting with clean, dry items, running the hot dryer for 20 minutes should suffice. (You PCO may not be aware of research proving that a hot dryer alone is enough.)

Keep in mind that pillows, comforters, down coats, and other thick items may take longer to dry. Here’s the key: after washing and drying, bag items in sealed, airtight bags, and do not remove them until use. Dry cleaning is theoretically a bed bug killer, but impractical since most dry cleaners may not be equipped to deal with bed bugs, and you have to disclose that the items have been exposed to bed bugs.

Do Not Assume Bed Bugs Are Only In Your Bed

While bed frames and mattresses and headboards are the most likely location for bed bugs, they can and do often hide out in sofas and other soft furniture, electrical sockets (behind plates), light fixtures, baseboards, floor crevices, and other crevices in the bedroom and living room. Bed bugs are occasionally found in kitchens and bathrooms. This should not make you panic: most cases, especially smaller ones, are quite concentrated, usually 10-20 feet from where people sleep (or where they sit for extended periods). However, if a PCO tells you bed bugs are not found in living rooms, realize that many Bed Bugs have infested sofas, computer chairs, and so on. 

Don’t believe that bed bugs only bite at night. They prefer a sleeping, stationary host who is fast asleep. But if they’re hungry, they’ll take what they can get. You can be bitten while in a chair, awake.

Once you get an exterminator treating your place, don’t assume this will be solved overnight. If your PCO applies a treatment and you are still being bitten, this is normal. It usually takes up to 3 treatments. Each treatment reduces the population a little bit more. 

When Do Bed Bug Bites Stop?

Bed bug bites should decrease and eventually disappear. If you see bed bugs or are bitten, request another treatment from your exterminator (when hiring an exterminator make sure they give you a treatment guarantee).  The second treatment is usually two weeks after the first.

Insist that the exterminator repeat treatments every two weeks until you see no signs of bed bugs (like bed bug feces stains on your mattress). Do not assume you’ve got a bad PCO because it takes three treatments to solve your problem. This, unfortunately, is common, even if you follow all the advice.

Feel free to ask questions, from the first treatment on, and take notes: what is the PCO using? What does each substance do? Make a note of where each substance is applied, and how long the process takes. If a few treatments go by and you are suspicious, post a question here with these details– experienced reputable PCOs read this site and may be able to offer advice as to whether you’re getting good service or not. Stay on top of what’s happening, but be honest with the PCO about what you’re doing, and ask what you can do to support treatment. If they are good, they will welcome your involvement. Vacuuming every day in some cases is a good idea, in others, it may sabotage the work of certain substances left down to kill bed bugs. The same is true of bagging everything you own, as above. Never assume that you should do what someone online is doing, since they may be working with a different pest control protocol.

Do use bed bug monitors to try and determine if bed bugs are present initially and after treatment. We have a FAQ on bed bug monitors. The benefit of monitors and traps is that you can see if treatment is effective by the number of bed bugs captured.

Reader Comments

Everyone should read the above and take the time to read it! PLEASE….two BIG mistakes I make….first one was throwing the molted skin and excrement evidence down the toilet…the exterminator wanted evidence…I only found this out AFTER I threw the evidence away…AND the SECOND BIG MISTAKE was that I moved from the bed to the sofa….I ignorantly thought that I had killed them by initally spreading some DE around …I threw out my expensive mattress and moved to the sofa…..Well it took them two days…but them found me on the sofa….so now I had a lost a good mattress AND I infested my living room…..STAY PUT…. and fight the war from there….

- Bugalina

So many people panic, understandably so, when they see or suspect bed bugs–and sometimes they do the wrong things. Hopefully we can catch more people before they make the same mistakes.

- Buggedinbrooklyn

I have a question regarding the bagging of stuff. I understand the theory that you should bag and seal your clean clothes and bedding. We’ve done this. This is so bedbugs outside cannot get in. I also understand the theory that you should NOT bag and seal your other stuff (purses, shoes, books – ie, clutter). This is so any bedbugs inside CAN get out, try to find you, and walk on poison. So far, we’ve done this too. Most of that clutter is either still in its original place, or in open garbage bags or boxes away from the bed.

However, we are in a slightly different situation right now. After 3 PCO treatments and six weeks, we finally isolated our bed on Tuesday night. I’ve had no bites in the bed since then (5 nights!) However, on Wednesday night, I had a bug bite me twice while sitting on the couch. I happened to look down, and saw it running across my hand. (First live sighting – very scary). They are indeed virtually weightless – I couldn’t feel a thing.

So now we know that the isolation has worked, and that the bugs are more hungry/desperate/stupid/unpredictable than before. If they can’t get us in bed, they will try to find us in the rest of the house. They may come out during the day, or in light, or when I’m awake. They may be living in the couch, the living room walls, the office furniture – anywhere we are.

So we had a big talk with our PCO, and he’s agreed to treat the whole house. In other words, the bedroom, living room and office, and specifically all the “highways” where bedbugs would travel – baseboards, wall borders, electrical sockets, and furniture.

He said that for our part, we needed to get everything out of the way that wasn’t furniture. This is mainly so he can have access to all the borders of the rooms, and all the furniture (shelves, bookcases, couch, table, chairs). So he recommended that we rent a storage unit, then carefully inspect, bag and seal all of our stuff, and get it outta there.

We started this process yesterday and plan to finish it in the next two days. Obviously, it’s a crazy amount of work – I have inspected with a bright halogen lamp every single book we own, inside and out. We’ve gone through all the DVDs and picture frames and stuff in the living room. We have inspected, then ziplocked, in a most meticulous way.

Now normally, I would think we wouldn’t need to do this. Ideally we’d just take all the clutter off the shelves, put it in cardboard boxes in the middle of the floor, and invite the bedbugs to come on out. But our place is small, and the PCO needs ACCESS. He kept stressing it – access to floors, walls, corners, furniture. And so in clearing out stuff, we have nowhere to put it. We have to get it out of the house. And we don’t want to take it out of the house with bedbugs.

So we’re feeling a bit stuck. I don’t see any other option besides inspecting, sealing and removing. I mean, we are leaving behind the larger things (like bikes) and the impossible-to-see-inside things (like stereo speakers). We are categorizing it with the furniture, and treating it the same way (just moving it to the middle of the rooms).

But this is still worrisome. Has anyone ever done this? Taken stock of your entire house? All your life’s possessions? I am confident that we are doing a good job of inspection, and we have bought Target out of ziplocs. But I still worry that we could have missed something.

We are also wondering if there’s any other way to rapidly ‘disinfect’ things of eggs. Our Kleen Free is on its way, but we don’t know if that kills eggs. Would it be an okay idea to put items in the microwave? (Silly as that sounds). Or is there any other method of ensuring that something is egg-free, like a book or toy?

I guess we’ll be slow to reintroduce stuff back into the house. Like, maybe 18 months slow. (haha. Sorta kidding).

I’d appreciate any comments or advice on this. Thanks!

You said, “I guess we’ll be slow to reintroduce stuff back into the house. Like, maybe 18 months slow. (haha. Sorta kidding).”

I’m going to keep this simple, because I got alot on my plate right now. if I were to pack up all my stuff and place it in storage, YES, YES, YES, it would be for at least 18 months. no shorter then this. Bugalina has almost everythig in storage if I’m not mistaken, and I’m sure she’ll chime in soon on the matter. also, please look at early DEC articles from this site…there are a few pics of bedbugs, but I want you to look at the “pic of a finger”…after looking at the size of that baby bedbug (is it called onstar? first star? what ever..) could you honestly tel mee you would “see” that bug in a CD case? a book? or maybe a picture frame or photo book?

I don’t know what to tell you…unless you keep them in storage for more then 18 months, you could be bringing LIVE bugs back into your house. I’m wondering what’s the point then?

Kleen Free does NOT kill eggs. nothing kills eggs that I know of.

- buggedinbrooklyn

Hey buggedinbrooklyn, thanks for your comments. And no, I can’t tell you that I would FOR SURE see a nymph or an egg or even a bug. I realize there’s a good possibility that my boyfriend or I could miss one. We’ve looked at pictures of eggs, nymphs and bugs. We are keeping our eyes peeled for anything moving, and for anything white or clear. We’ve sure seen a lot of dust fuzzies and bookbinding glue. We’ve had a thousand false alarms, and whenever something looks minorly suspicious, we put it in a small ziploc and throw it out (ie, my harmonica had this problem, we saw little white bumps inside and we couldn’t get to them).

That said, let’s assume we still miss one. Or more. Let’s figure there are bedbugs in this one purse, which is in this one ziplock, in the storage locker. The PCO sprays the whole house on Wednesday morning. I guess I’m seeing two options.

#1 – We leave all our stuff sealed in ziplocks for 18 months.

#2 – We bring it all back on Wednesday night, open up the bags in the middle of the room, and leave it all there, open.

The first theory seems a little tough. Though I do think we’d be okay without a lot of this stuff for a long time, it would just be hard. The clothes I could dry-clean, that would be okay. But I guess I’d rather find a better option if possible. (If people think sealing for 18 months is our only real option, please say so!)

The second theory (opening it all up right after spraying) seems somehow crazy, like “But why did we take it all out, just to put it all back again?” However, I think our decluttering process these past couple days has been useful, both for the PCO’s access, and for us to take stock, throw out unused things, and of course, inspect.

The other fear with the second theory is, “But now we are giving them new places to hide! What if they just live in the stuff in the bags forever?” I don’t know what to think about that.

I suppose a third theory, probably the one I was originally thinking, is to wait until the bites and bugs are gone (weeks, months, however long it takes) and then spray every item with Kleen Free upon its return. Would that be an acceptable way to proceed? Because if stuff was away for a month, let’s say, that would give any eggs time to hatch. And Kleen Free would kill those bugs. We wouldn’t have to worry about eggs.

Thoughts from the community? Should we bring our stuff back after the whole house has been sprayed? If not, how do we ensure its safety? We are being very VERY careful, but is there any way to know?

Thanks very much.

- S


Some people have stored things for 18 months (Bugalina is in the midst of that process). But I think there may be other ways.

What you’re describing, the CAREFUL cleaning and bagging, and storing, seems to be similar to what Pest Away recommends (though apparently they require people to vacuum every book in a particular way). You can get more on this from people who’se used Pest Away as a PCO–just send an email about that to the yahoo group, or search old messages on the yahoo group.

However, I could be wrong, but don’t believe Pest Away expects you to store things for 18 months. I think you should find out about their protocol, which is unusual.

Here’s another idea: the second one. I think bringing it all back and opening it all up means they can come out and die.

I strongly suggest you carefully read the bed bug archives of Windy City Mike’s experiences (see the links to Personal Stories in the sidebar here). Mike is in Chicago, and I believe you’re using the same PCO. He was told to carefully bag everything and then open it up– NOT 18th months down the line, but at a certain stage during treatment, so the bugs could come out and walk through poison and die. I believe his PCO told him to do this.

You should read Mike’s stuff and ask your PCO when they recommend reintroducing the stuff. Mike is great and has been on our site recently, though he may not see this.

- nobusonme

I think my bed bug “experience” is the perfect storm….I did fill an entire POD with my furniture and belongings…and I have 3 storage units rented out..packed with stuff…I am afraid to set foot in the storage units because by now I am thinking that people with bed bugs are storing their stuff there and their bed bugs could be crawling into my stuff ! I think it’s best to try and put whatever you can into CLEAR plastic ziplocks or large clear plastic doubled lawn and leaf bags…( dusting all of them inside with Drione or DE ) and then put them into large rubbermaid containers…and stack them up on your premises…I wish I could have done this…I get very upset and feel like I am on unstable ground when I think about all of my stuff sitting in storage units and in a POD…

The whole idea behind isolating a bed is because 1) people need to get some sleep…and 2) feeding them allows them to get to another stage of growth, closer to breeding capabilities…but when you isolate the bed they get desparit and start to appear in the daytime…I would try to store as much as I could on site…and if the stored stuff is in clear plastic then you can see any activity going on inside…like I said I would dust with DE and/or Drionne…I did read on a very informative site that Microwaving things will kill the eggs…but of course I don’t know for how long and not all things can be metal …but I did read it on a good site from Australia.. I hope this helps you somewhat…Can you put a storage POD on your property??

- Bugalina

Hey guys, thanks for this feedback. Bugalina, your situation does sound like the most extreme, at least in terms of what you’ve done to fight. Thanks for sharing. Maybe you could teach Honors Bedbugs to the more advanced students out there. 

Nobugs, thanks for the pointer to Mike. I read his blog a while back, but now it may make more sense to me. I’ll read it again. I believe he was also using Smithereen.

I never even thought of dusting Drione inside the ziplocs themselves. Huh. That’s a really interesting strategy. I suppose anything living inside an XL ziploc wouldn’t have to go that far to walk on it. Would the Drione hurt the integrity of the plastic bag walls? Has anyone else dusted the inside of their bags? It’s like creating a mini-apartment!

For the next two days, we’ll continue to inspect, bag and get stuff out of here, but with the intention of reintroducing it at some point soonish. Maybe we’ll just open the bags and leave them out, maybe we’ll put chemicals inside them first. Either way, I think I’d want to wait until any eggs inside had hatched, so at least two weeks.

I’ll also talk to the PCO on Wednesday about this.

Thanks guys! Keep your comments coming!

Get a hand bellows…they really puff out and distribute the Drionne nicely..I don’t think that the Drionne would compromise the integrity of the plastic..its not like it would eat away at it..its not that kind of substance….but if you use the clear plastic, and puff the Drionne….in a few weeks or a month or two you should be able to see any activity inside…I just hate that all of my stuff is somewhere out there…its an awful feeling…..and like I said..I am now terrified of having to walk inside one of those storage facilities…I think that when I do, I am going to suit up…and have some bed bug terminator in my hip belt !!!

- Bugalina

Hey Bugalina, I know what you mean about the storage facility seeming unsafe. Everything we’ve got in there is sealed up in bags, but who knows if other people’s is.

So what we’ll probably do is bring it home, no matter what we decide to do with it. (We can either leave it at home, open; or leave it at home, sealed with Drione dusted inside each bag).

Somehow the Drione dusting seems more foolproof than the ‘leaving it open’ plan. Has anyone else done this? Is Drione safe to spray on our books and stuff?


- S

This is just such incredible wealth of quality information!

I’d add one suggestion–no matter what else she or he is doing, the “bedbug-ee” (do we have a term for a victim of bedbugs?) can also immediately start to get rid of clutter. The less you have, the less you will have to make decisions about and the less harborages that exist. If you do move things into pod storage or wherever, you will also be glad you got rid of things because the moving and storage fees will be less. The decluttering project can take a long time, so start now. (This is a particular challenge for me).

- Parakeets

Hi Parakeets !!!

Jess you need a buggy name !!

I think the storage facilities themselves are “iffy”…S ..I did pack up all of my stuff in plastic…but not everything…like some of my wooden chairs and an antique table or two…some of my paintings I just put into a cardboard box…see what I mean..I did this in a hurry, back in April…someone else could be bringing them into the facility….terror sets in on me when I think of going in to get my stuff..even if I wait 18 months…because I think that a hungry bed bug from an adjoining space could so easily crawl onto me…I am serious when I say that I will probably suit up in a Tyvek suit and I will douse the bottoms of the legs and my shoes with something like BedLam…or Bed Bug terminator…or Raid…something..I am serious

– Bugalina


Talking to the PCO is crucial.

I do think leaving the bags open is better. I know Bugalina has her stuff sealed away, but others HAVE opened bags and seen success (as Mike did). They aren’t here to explain their choices but you can read about them.

Sealing in a bag with Drione probably won’t hurt in Bugalina’s situation, where she’s willing to wait 18 motnhs. but if you are leaving the bags open, you want the bugs to sense you’re around and come out. putting poison in the bags might repel them and make them hide in the bags. I am not sure, but this is possible. When I’ve heard of success, it’s been someone actually unpacking the bags, not leaving poison in bags. I think open bags would work.

The bottom line here is that while we do have lots of pretty-definite advice on this blog (such as that above in the post), there’s a lot of stuff that’s speculation. I feel like I have to say, as an example, that it freaks me out when someone mentions in the comments (another thread) that they’re quitting a job (where bed bugs might have been present previously, but are thought to be gone now) because someone else here recommended it. Everyone here has something to offer, but people have to think carefully about what they’re doing and why. Panicked people may be scrambling for advice. But the choices made can backfire, and things you do to try to solve the problem can make it worse.

While I’d encourage anyone to try something that worked for someone else, I’d caution anyone against combining what worked for one person, with what worked for another, without regard to how those procedures might conflict. The PCO, if s/he knows her/his stuff, is the best advisor. As much as a bad PCO is a liability, a good one (and there are more everyday who know their bed bugs) is worth their weight in gold.

I haven’t seen any PCOs advising people to seal everythiing away (inside or outside the home) for 18 months. It’s a desperate action, an an expensive one. It also may be overkill. I am not judging Bugalina’s choice at the time, and in her case it was probably a good choice, or at least, it was what she could do at the time with the knowledge she had. but I don’t want people to think they should rush to do this (or toss everything, or whatever).

The bottom line is if the bugs are coming from another unit, that needs to be sorted out. If they’re coming from your home only, they can be eliminated if treated aggressively — and this should not take forever.

As always, I respect everyone’s POV here, and I want to be quite clear that dissent and disagreement are VERY welcomed. But I do want everyone to be cautious and do your research thoroughly.

- S

The background of my initial infestation is that the bugs showed up in a rental home..fairly large…12 rooms including the bathrooms…160yrs. old..approx.. For reasons I don’t need to bore you with upond discovering the infestation, we decided to leave this house and move into my mother in laws smaller capecod…I had already spoken with two PCO’s who told me that the old house would be “impossible” to treat..At this time they both handed me an “instruction sheet” on how to prepare for treatment…the the sheet required that we pack up EVERYTHING that wasn’t tied down !! It was under their directives that we were told that all drawers had to be cleaned out..all books had to be packed up…even my dishes ! The PCO salesman said that the clearer the space the better the job they could do….but don’t forget , he also said that this big old house would cost 400 dollars a room and it wouldn’t be an easy task…this is what prompted us to make the decision to move to mother in laws home…so we made the decision to put the majority of our furniture into a POD…I paid 900.00 to have the POD dusted with pyrethrins…..Because we didn’t want to bring all of our stuff to my mother in laws we decided to put a lot into storage..this is besides the POD…at the time there was a whole lot less info available to me….I was told by one person when I asked the questionbooks that ” they are NOT called BOOK BUGS ” “they are called Bed bugs.” I shouldn’ t be concerned with them being in any of my stuff…( BAD INFO)…so we packed up a POD and 3 storage units and took the rest of our things to mother in laws home…I had been self treating in the rental with Suspend and Drionne…I did take furniture to mother in laws home and put into attached garage.not before I had the garage power washed and plastic tarps put down.. everything I took from rental was sprayed and inspected…or so I thought…Please remember I had recently sold a home I owned for 28 yrs . and had raised three children…one son, two stepsons…so we had stuff ! Ok the first nite in mother in laws I was bitten…I called the PCO next day..he came out and told me once again that all the clothes I had brought there and anything else, like all my mother in laws collectibles had to be packed up in plastic bags…So I started again…he said he never saw anyone co operate as much as I did ( this was the salesman, not the techs who insulted me)…so the POD was in the driveway…once again I had it sprayed for 900 dollars and then hauled away to G-d knows where…then they treated the house two times for $3400.00 and I continued to get bitten…my son was due home soon from college and I knew that living in his dying grandmothers home with bed bugs would not be good for any of we found a small home and took over a lease…the man who was occupying the home was dying of cancer..Bless his soul..he sold me his table and chairs, couch, dishes and pots and pans…he died in hospice a few weeks after we moved in…but here are some points I want to make…It was the PCO who told me that EVERYTHING HAD TO BE BAGGED UP…They never gave me any directions for unpacking only the fact that I had to pack it all up..It was the PCO who told me that bed bugs only come out at night, ..I followed the directives of the PCO …BUT also..keep in mind that I MOVED…with a whole lot of I had to bag things up…I had to find storage…remember my mother in laws home had her furniture in it…of which I sadly threw away most of it…I think that my PCO should have given me better advice…but maybe they just didnt’ know…just like the young lady who scolded me for thinking they could not be found in my books…or my electronics…So..I say..S..or anyone…if moving isn’t in the equation…its best to inspect everything you can…IF your PCO says that you must bag things…I recommend that you bag them into CLEAR plastic bags…and spray in a little Drionne….then let them come in and do their thing and then before a second treatment maybe open up some of the bags…but if you spray with Drionne and the bags are clear at least you have a small chance that you may have killed them and you can see any instar activity…seeing inside of them gives you a little more control….then slowly carefully inspect and open them upon each treatment…I have no idea what PCO’s are saying now,,,but I do think that they are still requesting that all clutter be bagged up…so…if that’s what they want then ask them how they want to deal with the things you were asked to bag up..I wish to this day that I had brought more stuff to my mother in laws house..what was the difference..the bugs came anyways…now I have to deal with the future angst of going into storage units and a POD filled with all of my treasured furniture….and of course my mother in laws home…we have since purchased a home….the only furnishings I have came from Barry…the man who died…I thank him all the time……

- Bugalina


Your story fits with my suggestions above: you followed PCO’s advice.

But all PCOs are not giving this advice. Read WindyCityMike’s account via the personal stories links. He was told to empty out all his bags during treatment, and let the bugs come out and die. It worked. All PCOs are not using the same plan and people should follow their advice.

- nobusonme

I know…my bed bug experience is different because I moved…and had to find a place for my things…but I do think that its better to fight the battle en place ! …not move if one can help it…I moved because I knew that house was a nightmare…The PCO’s work better if the space is uncluttered but where they fell short with me, was giving me directions in how to deal with the bagged stuff…I hate to say this, but I think they just wanted their money..and they weren’t really concerned with my situation…but I can’t go back…I think that we are on the right track here….learning through mistakes….By putting ones stuff into storage it creates an unknown…..I don’t like unknowns…..I would prefer to get the bad news first and then deal with it…..Its all an informational process of elimination !

xo Bugalina

Hey Guys!

I love the banter going on here.

I just wanted to say one thing (which will, of course, turn into several things, sorry!): BE CAREFUL WITH THAT DRIONE.

Remember, it’s a pesticide, and a nasty one at that. It’s not baby powder or anything. I got a couple big blood blisters on my lip from accidentally inhaling Drione that I had put down a couple weeks before I encountered it. Aren’t we supposed to be using gloves and respirators every time we contact Drione? What will you do when you pull your things out of the Ziplocs at whatever point in the future? Use gloves and respirators? And what if it gets into your books/CDs/DVDs/clothes, etc? Are you going to use gloves every time you read a book or watch a movie from now on? YIKES!

It’s my understanding that Drione is typically used in places where it will not be disturbed or touched- like outlet plates, wall voids, inside and along baseboards that are not in the path of traffic… And I know for sure that it’s not used by PCOs in places where pets wander freely- and for good reason!


Hugs from Chicago,


Hey guys, I met with my landlord tonight and she agreed to pay for any future PCO treatments! Hooray! This is a huge victory – she has been sympathetic so far, but has always implied that we are financially responsible. But I made up a detailed day-by-day timeline, showing everything we’d done each day, what costs there were, and if & how many bites that day. It was good to take stock. And she said okay, she’d pay for any more extermination. We both agreed that we didn’t want to go to court, and that we could resolve this fairly. It was a bit of a tough talk, but I’m sure glad I did it.

We also decided to delay the PCO treatment by another few days. It was originally scheduled for this Wednesday, but we are going to New York on Thursday. This would mean that except for Wednesday night, when we’d still be there, they would possibly just stay put (or worse, go next door). It’s four nights in a row when the poison is here, but we are not. And we want to be here as bait right after the treatment.

So we’re going to reschedule for next Tuesday. We also decided to bring stuff back from storage, and open it up, right after treatment (maybe the next day). While putting Drione inside the ziploc may work, I can envision some nymphs just hanging out inside the pages of a book for a month, then coming right back out, alive. Going along with what Windy City Mike did, which was just box it all and put it in the middle of the rooms (at least, I think that’s what he did), we are going to attempt to do the same.

The plan right now is to continue taking stuff out of the house (ziplocked carefully), and then spray everything with Kleen Free that’s coming to New York. And only pack just-washed or just-drycleaned clothes. In ziplocs.

Our house is in shambles, but I’m feeling good.

- S

Thanks Jess for the reminder of just how HARMFUL drione can be.

I can not say it enough, this suff can be so dangerous that I wish that many of us, including myself, would keep reminding people that this should be left to the pros to handle. Drione dust is just not safe, unless go go to extreem measures to handle it properly. if you don’t have and use a respirator in the proper way, use gloves, dressed in full clothes, shoes or boots, eye protection is a good idea too….man, just let the pros do this work.

folks, be careful please.

-  buggedinbrooklyn

S. — sounds great. Glad your landlord is taking their responsibilities, and hope they will check out neighboring units if applicable.

Jess and BuggedinBrooklyn– Yes. Professionals are the best idea. People can hurt themselves, friends, neighbors, children, pets, etc. with these substances. Anyone who is going to do anything with these poisons should know exactly what they’re doing and use proper precautions, but most of us just plain shouldn’t do it.

- nobugsonme

Re: Drione, the Pco came to my place last week for a second time. He opened all the outlets and sprayed dust in there. Especially the outlets near my bed. I have a little doggy , and it would break my heart if anything happened to him. But it does concern me that the dog walks around on the residual spray.

- Buggylicious

Buggylicious…It takes more than that to kill …..He might have dusted the outlets with DE, not Drionne…Drionne is a dried silica gel with a pesticide included…it is dangerous if inhaled…..but I would think that it would have to be inhaled in large amounts…so a light dusting inside your outlets is minimal….but its probably DE that they used….Living in NYC you are exposed on a daily basis to a questionable environment…so I wouldn’t fret too much..I still think that Stress is the biggest detriment of all to our bodies…

- Bugalina

Wow! you guys have been having all kinds of interesting conversations! i wish you all the best!! i’m praying these critters dry up and die for all of us.

Anyway, quick update. i was never bit in my roomates beds. they haven’t been either. i slept in my new isolated bed for the first time last night. no bites! my clean stuff is in ziplocks. i still have a bit more laundry to sort out. redoing it all was a lot. i’m nervous, since it didn’t work kthe first time. day by day right? i’m seeing a hopeful future! i hope it’s true.

You guys are all so awesome, supportive , and helpful! i’ll keep checking in. hopefully i won’t have much to report though. we shall see.

- Allergicgirl

I have been being treated since October – that PCO didnt work so i got a new one and was sprayed once, then again. after second time i got bit once and freaked so the pco came back for an interim mini spray in between the second and third total apartment spray. the third will be this saturday. i have had only that one bite since the weekend before new years. well, my maltese, Freddie Mercury – had MLS surgery so he has been pretty imobile. then he developed kennel cough from the hospital stay and NOW IM SCARED THAT HE DRIONED HIMSELF. he was licking a white spot near my bed the other morning from the spray two weeks ago. WHAT DO YOU GUYS THINK – KENNEL COUGH OR POISONED? also how long should you NOT clean your floors? i was thinking that the longer i waited that the chemicals would keep working. im feeling nervous about my pooch. the previous entry gave me some consolation but is that factual regarding dog licks?also, i live in a coop in forest hills, ny (queens). i have not told the managing agent b/c i dont know who is responsible financially for treating the whole building – the owners or the managing agent? our reserve is semi-broke and i would hate to have to go out of pocket any more. and ideas? thanks all you guys. bugalina – where do you live?


I live on Long Island….and calm your nerves…Drionne is a powdered is not sprayed on by the PCO’s esp. on your floors…they only use it to dust inside electrical outlets and around baseboard….I have a pooch and the place where I board her always requires the Bordatella vacinnation ( might be spelled wrong) this is the kennel cough vaccination….don’t worry your dog is not poisoned…Probably you are responsible for extermination costs because it is a co op but then again your co op board collects fees and dues and maybe there is something in their .. I don’t what the word is ( something like manifesto ) but their rules and regulations might have something about exterminations ..I think you should tell them..because really in order to do this correctly the entire bldg. should be treated….but the white spot on the floor is not drionne…and in my opinion one little lick of some sprayed on stuff would not be enough to poison your dog….it takes more than one lick…..and I am sorry about your pooch’s operation…I hope hes ok…..he has a great name !!

- Bugalina

Hey B-Licious and Nightshirt-

Listen, Drione is supposed to be applied in outlet plates- that’s good, that’s where it’s supposed to be. The PCOs (I believe) put it there for a couple reasons: first, because the bugs use those plates as methods of travel; second, because Drione, if left untouched, as it would be behind an outlet plate, lasts a long time; and third, it’s less likely to be disturbed into the air when it’s not out in the open.

B-Licious, the Drione, if puffed into the outlets, shouldn’t be on the floor for your dog to walk into. I understand your concern, but rest assured, from what I’ve been told, the residual sprays- which are different from Drione- are harmless to pets and to people once they are dry.

Nightshirt- that applies to your situation as well. There wouldn’t be a reason for your PCO to put Drione where your dog could get to it. And any “spray” used should be safe after four hours or so.

I didn’t mean for people to get alarmed. If your PCO knows you have pets, I think it’s safe to assume that they will/would have taken every precaution to ensure your pets are safe. That’s one of the reasons we hire them- to do the job right so we don’t have to worry.

My concern was for inexperienced people using pesticides on their own. I guess I just pictured a bunch of people with hand bellows, puffing Drione onto every surface in sight, and it scared me a little. I wanted to make it clear that if people do choose to use it- for whatever purpose- they should be CAREFUL and use respirators and gloves, which might make certain purposes, like dusting Ziplocs filled with personal items, impractical for them.

As always, this is just my opinion, and I could very well be wrong!

And for the record, our Bugalina (aka Deb) has an amazing track record for coming up with incredibly creative ideas that WORK. I’m not disputing that the Drione-in-Ziplocs idea will be effective- it might be. I just want you all to be safe!

Many smiles to all of you from the VERY windy city.


- jessinchicago 

Just to add to what others have said– Nightshirt and BuggyLicious should check with the PCOS to see what they used. BuggyL it may well be DE, which he still shouldn’t lick, but it is not the same as a pesticide. Also, the PCO probably did use caution if s/he was aware of a resident pet. Nightshirt–check what your PCO used. Ask him/her about possible concerns with the dog. It is likely Freddy Mercury (Goodness, that is a fabulous doggy name!) just has kennel cough and needs a course of doggy antibiotics from the vet. But you have to check with the PCO about what s/he’s using, and if any of it might have been eaten or sniffed, just to put your mind at ease and just so you can give your vet all possible relevant info. After asking the PCO, google the substance and get info online about dangers–if there’s anything that could harm pets the way the PCO used it, you can take the info to the vet. No reason to panic, but I know my vet would want you to double check with the PCO. By the way, my furry friend got kennel cough last summer — they can sometimes even get it with the vaccine, but you should have it anyway. I think bortadella’s been bad the last year or so.

- nobugsonme 

I am feeling slightly panicked. It’s been 7 nights with no bites in the bed, and I think we have good control of our (isolated) bed.

But just now, 3:30, at work, I found a bite on my face. It’s not a pimple, it’s a bite – it’s whitish with pink swelling around it, and the familiar itching/burning combo.

Could they be in my coat? I keep it in a ziploc bag whenever we are at home, but I never drycleaned it originally – it’s a puffy down North Face. I have checked the pockets numerous times, but just like a down comforter, I suppose bedbugs could be ‘on the inside.’

Could they be in my laptop? I’ve used it minimally at home in the last week, usually under bright lights on the kitchen counter. When I’ve taken it home, I’ve mostly kept it in a ziploc.

Could they be in my clothes? These pants were drycleaned originally and the shirt is new, and they’ve been kept in ziplocs at home too. But did my pants drag on the floor this morning and pick one up? Or worse, is my bag of clothes somehow contaminated?

Could they be in my purse? I emptied my purse into the bathtub the other day, and looked closely at each item. I’ve kept it in a ziploc at home too.

Or, could my bed isolation barrier be broken? I’ve never had one appear this late in the day, but I suppose the bite could have happened last night.

I don’t know which of these options is worst. Our Kleen Free should arrive today or tomorrow, so I guess I’ll spray the purse and coat and shoes with it. Can I spray my laptop with KF too? Can I spray clothes?

And the biggest fear – might I have brought them to work? And if so, would they be inclined to live at my desk, for example, and bite me while I work, or would they try to find a host to take them home? I’d obviously rather them be in my home, and biting only me, than spreading around my workplace.

Sorry for the ‘stream of consciousness’ post, but this is the most worrisome thing that’s happened in a long while.

- S

Hi S.

Yes, it’s possible that they can be in your coats, books, laptop, almost anything….

My best thoughts are to always try to keep as “bare” as posable. don’t carry pocketbooks, laptops, and bags of any kind…helps stop the spreading. simple shoes, pocket books and stuff can be sprayed with Kleen Free to help stop the spreading, but if your pocket book is complex and has many hiding spots, then it might not be worth it to even try. remember that once Kleen Free drys up, it stops killing the bugs.

Also, about clothes….once used, they need to go into a ziplock bag for soiled clothes. once washed, they go into the clean clothes ziplock bag. I wont say what you should do, but I’m only using a small amount of clothes, and washing every 4 or 5 days. only 2 sets of brand new sheets are used for my beds, one may be in the laundry ziplock, while the clean one is on the bed. all old sheets are not used…most were tossed out.

Yes, bugs can be any place you might bring them. you might want to think about buying a new coat and start to bag it from the beginning. or at least dry clean your coat you think could be infested.

it’s a hard long battle. keep fighting, and listen to the people here for added advice.


No new bites for a long time now, but I have not gone to sleep on the couch in days…have to try soon. (I hate having to playing “bait” for them vampires!)

I did see 2 dead bedbugs today after cleaning up the end table by the couch. a dead “no see um” was by them too.

No live sightings since the day after xmas, but dead bugs are showing up if I go nuts while cleaning.

- buggedinbrooklyn

S….the scenario could be any one of the things you mentioned.. ..You can wash and dry your coat…I always used to wash my down pillows…and comforters…I would wash it and dry it on hot..When the bed is isolated they change their behaviors and come out in the day…it happened to me…Its only one bite S…so just do all that you can do to try and kill it….I recommend bringing a spray bottle of Kleen Free or Bed Bug Terminator to work with you and spraying all around your pants bottoms and your chair and your SHOES….Keep your shoes in a ziplock …keep your pocketbook in your freezer for the nite…Be very careful with your laptop…Bed bugs are very hard to kill…Its what I have been saying all along…this is why they freak people out…because getting rid of them completely is not easy to do…I know people don’t like to hear this..but its honest…it is a war…and you cannot stop fighting..Check around your bed..making certain that you take nothing in there with you..


Bugalina is right about putting it in perspective–it is one bite. That’s good. If a lot more follow, I’d assume a new batch of nymphs was somehow born. If it’s the isolated bite, then you may have one sucker walking around. You’re doing great and even if there are more bugs, you do not need to panic as you’re still being treated.

I would not wear any coats or shoes you haven’t treated or which aren’t new, and I’d isolate them when I was home.

If the laptop does not need to leave the house right now, I’d use the same concept with the laptop that you’re going to use with the stuff in boxes in the middle of the room: leave it unwrapped and at home, so the bugs will come out and feed. zipping the cleaned coat and shoes is a good idea since you don’t need them at home.

Or what about putting outside stuff in a secure area. surrounded by a ring of drione or DE? Someone had a wire clothes rack that they’d “isolated” like a bed and they hung things on it. If it’s also surrounded by drione or DE, then anything coming to or from it has its days numbered. In other words, taking the laptop to work with a bug that has walked through this stuff is not such a problem.

Also, cars and workplaces can become infested. Don’t panic, but keep an eye on the situation, and use caution when going out (as I know you’re doing). I personally shower and change right before leaving my home, every time, if I am going to the car, work, or anyone’s place. I don’t sit here before I walk out.

Finally, could they be biting you while you sit in a chair at home? If not, why not? Most people who isolate their beds do not isolate their chairs, but bed bugs are very happy to walk up to 20 feet for a meal and to have it in broad daylight.

- nobugsonme 

S I think the idea of an isolated, safe-place clothing rack is a very good idea…safe zone it with the legs resting in mineral oil bowls..or vaseline the legs..but don’t panic…in time you will win….its just going to take time…I also want to remind everyone that if they are using vaseline it should be refreshed at least every week because it gets kind of dry and I think it should remain slimy…just a thought… can buy the wire clothing racks online. I purchased one online and I loved it..(its in my mother inlaws garage ! yuck )

- bugalina


Also keep in mind that it’s highly likely you got that bite at home. Many times, bedbug bites do not show up for several hours- sometimes even days- after the bites actually occured. That’s a fact.

This doesn’t mean that your isolation barrier was broken. You could have been bit in your living room or dining room or office.

Remember that you’re doing a great job on all fronts, with your PCO and your landlord and your own efforts. Hold on to the glory of your victory from last night.

And, of course, take the advice above. Do what you can to make sure the bugs can’t possibly come to work with you, and then take comfort in knowing you’re doing everything you possibly can. We can only do so much in this battle, and the rest is left up to chance.

Pay attention at work, but not so much that you’re distracted. If there are bedbugs there, it will come to light eventually, and you’ll deal with it. And we’ll help you.


Buggedinbrooklyn, your progress is encouraging! I can’t wait to start seeing dead ones in my house. Good luck being couch bait – that’s almost scarier than bed bait, since you’ll most likely be awake. Ahh! But if that’s a good ‘test’ for you, then go for it. We’re rooting for you.

Thanks all for the encouragement and the perspective. It is only one bite. It most likely happened at home. Just in case it didn’t, here’s what we are doing:

The down coat is in a bag. I will wash it and dry it on hot. I didn’t think that was possible, but it’s worth a try. I don’t think drycleaning will help since it’s down.

I wore a different coat today. It’s a light peacoat and I was freezing (24 degrees!) but it’s only one day. Tonight, my boyfriend and I get our ‘primary’ coats back from the drycleaners. We will treat them like they are new, keeping them in ziplocs in the house and only putting them on as we leave.

I consolidated the purse and laptop bag, putting the main stuff I need in the laptop bag. I left the purse at home (in a ziploc). It does have a few different compartments and is kinda big. Maybe I’ll get a new purse. I also don’t need to bring the laptop home – it’s a work laptop and should probably just stay at work.

We bagged all our shoes, except for two pairs each. Those we will keep in a separate ziploc. We’ll spray them with Kleen Free every morning and evening. I hope the KF comes in the mail today. I paid for expedited shipping, dammit!

Finally, we are implementing stricter ziploc rules than before. Clean things go into the “clean” bags. Once worn, they go into the “dirty” bags. And we now have two “dirty” bags, one for dirty-washable, and the other for dirty-drycleanable.

Because, to be honest, I wasn’t doing that before – I was usually just putting my worn clothing back in the bags with the rest of the clothing, for two foolish reasons. First, I had worn the clothes that day, and didn’t think I had any bites from them, so I’d just look them over and then put them back. And more significantly, almost everything I wear to work is dryclean-only, so I wasn’t envisioning drycleaning it all over again after just one wear. I guess I’ll have to. (Obviously, I was putting my worn washable clothes in the laundry basket – but I’d say that’s less than half my stuff. Argh).

Nobugs, the safezone is a good idea. We haven’t taken the leap to buying any DIY chemicals yet, but maybe we will today. It would be nice to have a table, a chair, something – to put my purse and laptop bag down on. Maybe we could ask the PCO next week to spray a circle on the floor in the office, and we’ll put my little metal shelf there.

Also, Nobugs, you mentioned that you don’t sit before you leave the house. I don’t think I’ve sat, for more than five minutes, anywhere in my house (but the bed) since I was bit on the couch last week. I was starting to think that was needless paranoia, but you sorta confirmed my thoughts – that if I don’t sit anywhere for long, they might not have time to come bite me. Unless, I suppose, they happen to be in that particular piece of furniture. (I’ve mostly just sat on this one stool, which I pick up and check before sitting down).

Also, I don’t think the bed barrier is broken. But I did have a crazy scare last night. I pulled the sheets back, and there was this big blood stain right in the middle. Like, huge – bigger and different from the smears we’d seen before. I felt like screaming, Alfred Hitchcock-style. But then I realized it was on my boyfriend’s side of the bed, near where his legs would be. And I remembered that (this is gross) he had a pimple on his leg that like, burst. He had put a bandaid on it the night before. Sure enough, when he got home we looked and the bandaid and the skin around it was bloody from the pimple. This story is obviously only funny to people like you guys, but I thought I’d share. What a false alarm!

Thanks Jess for the encouragement. I’ll try to stay calm at work. And do everything I can to keep them from leaving the house alive. 🙂

- S

Aside from my initial gut feeling that i got the bb’s from my bathroom demolition – i would assume they came from the demolished walls i am also reminded about my office.

This guy who sat across an isle was having an argument in september with someone regarding his REFURBISHED MATTRESS and that it had them. i then sat in his chair to do overtime work.

There seems to be NO DEGREES OF SEPARATION concerning these bugs. i mean you could really go nuts and just isolate yourself for the rest of your life. i mean how many months do you have to shower 8 times a day? i dont feel we are ever safe.

- nighshirt

Oh my Gosh nightshirt….I hate to think this but it sounds like you may have gotten them from your co-worker..I take it he is not there anymore ??? Get into the habit of carrying a spray bottle of either Kleen Free with you or Bed Bug Terminator…you can always just remove the label….although these substances are contact killers only.and non-toxic, .they may deter a bug from coming onto you at the future I would spray an ample amount wherever you feel it necessary…So glad to hear about Freddie…how is his singing voice ?

- Bugalina

I’m the President of a NY Coop. A shareholder in my building reported being bitten by bedbugs today. We immediately called exterminators experienced with this problem. This is the second case of bedbugs that the building has had. The other case was last year on the same floor. That apartment was treated several times by a professional and there have been no further complaints. The two apartments infected share a common wall, so I suspect the bugs moved to the next guy when the other apartment was treated.May I ask all of you what your buildings did to inform the other residents (if anything)? Did your buildings take any proactive steps or just wait until more cases were reported? I don’t want to cause a panic, but I’d like to take a smart approach and make people aware of what to look for and what to do in case of a bedbug discovery. I don’t want these creatures making their way to my apartment either. I’m very concerned. Any thoughts would be appreciated. Thanks!

- BuggedNewYorker

BuggedNewYorker….My bed bugs surfaced in a single family dwelling, but you welcomed any thoughts. I have been involved with this Blog and the Yahoo group since April of last year. My suggestions, Your bldg. should adopt a comprehensive strategy for dealing with bed bugs, based on the professional advice of a capable experienced exterminator and get it into your bylaws Asap..imho the exterminator you used should have proactively treated all apts. adjoined to the infested one, adjoined meaning sharing a common wall or floor – and all adjoining wall voids should be treated. What you shouldn’t do is to- in any way -ostracize or blame the occupant who may have the “alpha” infestation. There is an undue shame that goes along with bed bugs, the more uncomfortable for the occupant to expose the infestation, there is a possibility they might try to self treat, in order to save face. This will only cause a spread Make it easy for people to expose their infestation. Its not their fault if their spouse travels or their kid lives in a college dorm, or they live next to the infested apt., If necessary appoint a bed bug “official” with whom they can speak to comfortably. Also I don’t know the laws but I would try and enforce something that says the people must allow entry into their units by your bonded exterminator. If one unit is left untreated, it's not a good scenario. If it's one thing I have learned its that there are many variables with bed bugs, and that in order to get rid of them one must fully co operate with the PCO. These are just my opinions, but having had/have bed bugs I want to help others so I hope my advice doesn’t offend you in any way.

The more educated your bldg. becomes the better off you will be.

- Bugalina


Your building should make sure that AT THE VERY MINIMUM, the apartments adjacent to the two infested apartments–on every side as well as above and below–are thoroughly inspected by a PCO. The inhabitants should be fully educated about bed bugs and how to look for them. BUt you and they also need to know that many of us are bitten for a very long time and either do not react to bites, and so are unaware, or do not know what is causing the bites, because we see no bugs, or other typical signs.

So the best thing is to have a PCO in and if they can see any evidence or are willing to treat adjacent units in absence of evidence, they should. And every inhabitant must cooperate fully with the protocols.

I have gotten emails from 40-unit coops that are completely infested in every single unit. You are very right to take this seriously before that ever happens! Bed bugs can spread through walls and pipes, so take care with those adjacent units. I’d also educate the entire building, so if they have spread further (unbeknownst to you), people will be less hesitant to come forward.

- nobugsonme

I applaud Bugged New Yorker for taking this seriously! I know of 4 girls who are renting a condo from someone and their landlord (an independent owner) is paying for their sprayings. The entire condo building is infested (near Columbia University), and the board, management and super intendent know about it for a year and are trying to get all the tenants and owners to cooperate with spraying. Only problem is, some people are not home when the exterminator (paid for by the managment) comes, or won’t let him in, etc. These girls are lucky they have independent means to an exterminator via the owner of their condo!

- Buggylicious 

BuggedNewYorker, it’s great to have you here. I rent in a condo building and our management is minimally concerned – probably because they don’t live here. Thanks for being proactive.

My PCO calls it a “Clover Leaf Inspection” – the four units on either side, and above and below. He has recommended this to the building manager, and the manager is currently waiting for “approval” from the four units. But because there are like four degrees of separation between me and my next-door neighbors (me -> my landlord -> the building manager -> the tenants) the message gets diluted. And since they “haven’t seen anything,” they are apparently not that concerned.

I think the key here is for you to educate everyone. And you can’t educate a little – that could cause panic. You have to educate a lot. Have the PCO inspect (and maybe treat) the neighboring units, but inform the whole building. And if possible, don’t reveal where the original infestation was found – those tenants may get unfairly ostracized.

A good overview of bedbugs is the NY Times article called “Everything you need to know about bedbugs but were afraid to ask.” 

- S

I live in cincinnati, ohio, and have been dealing with bed-bugs for over two months. When I moved into the apt. in August of 2006, a friend said some tenants had left a mattress, and it seemed to be in good condition. Ignorant to bed bugs, I took it. I started noticing “the spots” on my sheets in december. I was in denial for awhile about my situation until January. I called my landlord,and evacuated the premisis. I am now staying with a friend, while I decide what to do next. I have laundered all clothing, and havent seen any bed-bugs in his place. (please God)

I talked to my landlord about moving into another unit, but see that is not exactly the way to handle the situation. Ihave also considered putting some of my belongings outside, as it is very cold here now, and have heard that the cold will kill the bugs. I have to say that this has been an unbelievable nightmare. I tossed my mattress, and am going to throw out what little upholstered furniture I have.

When I discussed the problem with my landlord, he said that another tenant has conplained about bed bugs. I get the feeling that he does indeed think that I have brought in the problem bugs.

I now do not have a mattress, and cant really afford one right now. I am terrifed to sleep on an air-mattress in my apartment, and have no couch.

An exterminator has sprayed twice, but I have still found live bugs. I have seen, according to your blogs, that I have not handled this in the best way possible. I guess I will return to my aprtment, and fight these buggers till they die.

- cincybugged

A quick DON’T to add to the list: Don’t let your PCO schedule treatments more than two weeks apart. I have now had 4 treatments, but their spacings were 14 days apart, then 19 days apart, then 20 days apart, then 10 days apart. I am looking back at the calendar and kicking myself for not sticking with the two-week-max rule. It feels like maybe the longer times between PCO visits are part of the reason why, with our 5th treatment scheduled for tomorrow, the bugs are still not gone.

Good point, S. And I appreciate the feedback. But it’s already there–that PCOs need to come back every 12-14 days until bed bugs are gone and there are no signs of bites.

Hi all,

I think I have a very heavy infestation of bed bugs that have gone onto my clothes and are eating me alive! Has anyone else had such an experience where they are bitten constantly during the day because the bugs are on my clothes? I can’t sleep or work and I think they are making me literally sick and very weak/low in iron. Can someone please help! I am afraid I am passing them onto others because they are scratching too… 🙁

- buggedout

I have had these things for ever! I am getting sick all the time hard to breathe vomiting diareaha. I have had my place treated 4 times in a month. I live in Knoxville Tn. Should I see a doctor? When I blow my nose they come out there as well. Some one please help me!!!!

I feel as though I am dying from this infestation.

- ladonnmya

Hi Ladonamya,

I’m really sorry to hear that.

Bed bugs should not cause vomiting or diarrhea. They should not come out of your nose. The treatment of a PCO also should not cause vomiting or diarrhea. You should definitely see a doctor, since there must be another cause there.

Good luck!

- nobugsonme


I was wondering if somebody give me the idea.

I live in tiny 3 bedrooms apartment, East Village, New York. I’ve been having bedbug problems past 3 weeks. Last night, I found out a bedbug on my bed and killed it so now I am positive that all the skin problems I’ve been having were from bedbugs…

Anyway, my question is do you think if it is better to have entire apartment treated by professional? My 2 other roommates haven’t bitten even once. I have a feeling only my room is infested. I would like to schedule treatment as soon as possible. Do you think it is better to do entire apartment? Or it would be ok to do it after if they found one in their room?

Thank you.

- can't sleep

Thank you for your rapid comment. I really appreciate it.

I wake up without any welts this morning (YES!) but I feel it’s kind of itchy on my back but again doesn’t seem bitten. I don’t know if it will show later or I’m just tooo sensitive at this point . I used permethrin cream 5%, a doctor prescript me the first time last night. Do you think that’s way I didn’t get bite last night? Does anybody use this cream?

- can't sleep

hi can’t sleep,

I can’t sleep too.

as for your question, I feel that not only your whole apt needs to be treated (and cared for by you and your roommates.), but the apts above, below, and to your sides, needs to be treated as well.

if the building is bad off with bugs, then maybe the whole building needs to be treated.

- buggedinbrooklyn

Can’t sleep, welcome!

YES–as Bugged says, you need a PCO to treat your entire apartment. If you’re renting, the landlord will pay, tell them right away.

NO– permethrin cream is probably being prescribed for scabies. If you have bed bugs, do not use this again. You cannot keep them away with a cream. Get a PCO right away. Read the rest of our FAQS which will explain what you need to do — selecting a PCO, treating your clothes, etc. The FAQs are linked at the top of the page.

Also, if you need further advice, please do not post it on this thread. Instead go to the top of the screen and click “Need advice?” which will take you to the right place to leave any further questions.


- nobugsonme

holy moley! –

Every now and then I drop in to take a look here and am increasingly amazed at both the level of effort and the level of infestation.

Bed bug sufferers who become bed bug warriors deserve to be nominated to win a “NoBugs Prize”!

Everybody needs a little DE ! In fact, I’ll bet it is already in your home and you don’t even know it.

Sure, I work with Bed Bugs Supply which sells lots of DE and other good natural pesticides and herbicides – so while I’m biased, take this with a grain of salt but please listen up:

Somebody needs to really do some objective studies on the efficacy of DE and bedbugs. And if Drione gives you blood blisters, I think that’s a good sign that it may be hazardous to humans…

Just an aside, DE (fresh water / food grade variety) is a very common substance long found in most foods and grains. It won’t hurt you if you or your pet eats it. In fact it might help.

Geoff…I would like to see some labs results posted for DE..exactly what you say….objective studies…I don’t understand why none of the people who work with bed bugs aren’t willing to give some much needed information on this product. Also, I have said before and I must say it again. I purchased DE back when my infestation first appeared ( RESULTS) was the name of the product. Spreading it lightly was a big problem. I found the hand bellows to be a good tool. If people find that the DE clumps then maybe adding some white rice inside of the bellows, similar to what they do with table salt shakers , will help. But, are you selling a good tool, along with the DE, because one without the other is only half the job…Also, are you giving people info on the importance of keeping it as moisture free as possible ? You have my other email..can you please give me your perspective on this…..Deb


I ran across your site in my nightly search for answers on what is bugging me and biting me. If you can help me by quickly looking over my bullet points on why I think I have bed bugs as well as points that don’t seem like bed bug behavior.

I believe it is bed bugs for the following reasons:

-Everything started in August last year when I returned from a trip to New Jersey and New York City. While in NY I did stay at a hotel and heard they are having lots of bed bug problems.

-I was severely bitten the night after I returned home to Los Angeles in my own bed. Those bites were characteristic large, red, itchy bites that lasted for over a week or more and were on my hip all in a row. (However, after I got those first bites, all bites after that were not as itchy, not as large and only last about 1-6 hours.) I did read that some people can start to develope an immune response – do you think that is why my bites have not been as bad since the initial reaction?

-I get bitten mainly in my bed, within an hour or two before dawn. Or I should say, I feel the bugs crawling on me at this time and wake up later with bites.

-The bugs I feel crawl across me very quickly.

-The bugs do not discriminate where they go. They are literally everywhere, when I am in my bed,… my legs, toes, hands, arms, waist, armpits, under breasts, in my private parts. They also crawl up my nose and in my mouth on occasion. I have even been bitten in my ear, which was very itchy.

-Although I have never seen a bug, I do have black pepper specks in my bed often when I wake up looking for bugs in the middle of the night with a magnifying glass.

-I feel the bugs bite me during the day particularly crawling in my shoes and then they make it up to my underpants after I sit at my desk or on my couch for an extended period of time.

Reasons for why I am not sure if I do have bed bugs:

  • I have never seen one, I think. I do have some specimens that haven’t been identified yet.
  • I have had two exterminators look with flash lights at my bed and bedroom. they couldn’t find anything. (however I did read that many bug guys aren’t that familiar with diagnosing the problem yet.)
  • My bites are not classic – three in a row – anymore and they are small and don’t always last that long. I feel bugs running across skin as much as I itch from the bites they give.
  • I feel the bugs in my hair occasionally and I read they do not like to be there, however I do not get bites on my head.
  • I have two cats and they seem to be like little mops that pick up the bugs around the house. When I put a cat on my lap or in my bed, I seem to feel more bugs crawling on me. The cats don’t itch, but I do seem them biting at their paws every now and then. I heard bed bugs mainly feed on humans.
  • I have sticky bug traps around my house and I don’t think I’ve ever caught one. The traps I turned into the exterminator after two weeks, didn’t come up with anything.
  • Other people that have stayed at my house for one night, haven’t felt anything. Nor have they taken any bugs with them. Of course I cleaned, a lot prior to their arrival.

Your opinion here is greatly appreciated. at this point I was ready to move, but then I read your website.. Any advice on catching a sample would be good.

Thank you,

- AGoodBugMeal

Hello AGBM— I’m sorry you are here, but you are in the RIGHT place for sure… you will find and receive excellent advice and support here. Your bites could be from bed bugs. I have been battling this for a year—but it was only 4 months ago that I determined that these bites were the result of bed bugs. I still have never seen a bug (saw molt and blood though) and I get pepper grinds on my sheets. My bites come singly or in groups, there is no classic appearance in my case. I also feel crawly things on me, but the PCO and the dermatologist said this is just an after effect. I am not sure that is true, but their reasons are that my skin has been insulted and assaulted, and it is sensitive and raw. I feel the crawly movements due to my nerve endings. From what I’ve read from the entomologist on here, we are not supposed to feel being bitten—due to the bug’s naturally perfect design of first giving our skin a Novocain like injection before taking their meal. Keep reading— there are links all over this site that will answer so many of your questions. It will become clear to you thereafter what you will need to do. It sounds like you are taking the right steps.

- wantmyskinback


WMSB is right–you probably have bed bugs. They can hide very well, and as WMSB says, the itchy crawling feeling (doctors call it formication) generally comes on some time after a bite–not while the crawling and biting are happening. So if you expose the relevant skin while you feel this, there’s nothing.

If your house guests did not stay in your bed, sleeping instead in another room, it’s possible that they weren’t bitten. It’s also true that many people are not allergic (it’s common for one member of a couple to have a reaction and the other not), so this may also play a part. Follow the instructions in the FAQs. Get a PCO that knows bed bugs and let him or her look in your sheets and see the black specks. In my understanding, a good PCO should be able to go by clues like this in the absence of a bug.

- nobugsonme

Thank you for your help. It is nice to be validated as opposed to the reaction that I am getting from professionals at vector control, my bug guy and other – which is that they think I have delusional paratosis. I know bugs jumping in my mouth and up my nose and the bites are not delusional… thank you. I will post this in that other section.

- AGoodBugMeal


So here’s my story. Like many, my roommate and I didn’t know we had bedbugs. She complained of a “rash” on her feet and when she wore socks or used some mint foot cream the rash didn’t come back, but when she stopped using those, this mysterious rash returned.

- AGoodBugMeal

I on the other hand had only one odd bug bite on my ankle (at least that i can remember), and thought it was weird to have a mosquito bite in late November in the Northeast!

So my roommate, a month later, looks more closely at her bed, oh, and she let me know what she found. I almost cried. So I looked at my bed…yes there they were! It wasn’t as infested as my roommate’s, but they were there…ok so we got rid of a lot of them, and had been sprayed 4 times I believe by professionals.

Because of the extremely cluttered condition of my roommates bedroom, it was almost impossible to get at least most of them in there, and i guess they started to spread into the closet near her room and into the living room. So a futon and couch in the living room were sprayed, but we still found 1 or 2 here and there the next few weeks.

So here is what i did. After everything was sprayed, i started throwing away junk i didn’t need, while anything i was in question about, i bagged and brought up to some family and i left it outside in the dead of winter (around the time when the wind chills were in the negatives). Almost everything i owned had been sitting in the freezing cold, collecting ice on it for about a month and a half. Oh i also sawed my couch in half ( i needed to get rid of it anyways) with a saw the size of a butter knife, threw it away, and threw my bed away when i moved, along with my futon and pretty much all of the furniture. The only thing i took with me was my grandmothers nightstand (frozen) and a bistro set (metal with no place for those f-ers to hide)

I moved from my old apartment. It really just ruined that apartment for me and I was extremely depressed being there, knowing I couldn’t do anything that I used to for fear of bugssssss (although I never once saw one actually on me, I always thought I felt them)

So my new apartment…in 6 weeks i found i believe 4 live ones (one in the living room, one on the floor behind my bed, one crawling up the bathroom door and one when i just first moved in, on my comforter!). I haven’t been bitten since november though (could it be that I was lucky, or what? I don’t understand), no bumps, nothing…just really dry itchy winter skin, a little eucalyptus body lotion helped that!

I don’t understand how bad my new infestation could be, but we found some dead/frozen bugs in our stuff and then 3 of the 4 live ones were dark in color, not red, but almost black and one was smaller and yellow.

I did order my own pest control, I have been researching for now 3 months on how to do this and i understand i shouldn’t, but i will. I can’t remember the name of the spray i got, I will check later when I am home, but (how gross is this) it smells like the one that was used at my old apartment. I sprayed it in all of the cracks of the whole perimeter of the bedroom, will do my closet (did some with Drione), and living room soon. I also have Drione dust that I am scared to use, but i will in places that my cats won’t go, and i also have regular DE.

Why are people afraid of DE? Its non-toxic if you buy the garden kind (i had some leftover pool-grade from last summer, but then saw how bad it is for animals and humans). I will be spreading this all over the floors and sweeping it into the cracks (its old wood floor).

The spray i bought is a residual, works up to 8 weeks, the Drione is also a residual up to 6 months i believe. I was going to get Gentrol, but I didn’t and was thinking maybe i should have as well, but i dont feel that the infestation is really that bad. Luckily, I am no longer freaking out like I used to when this was new to me. Now its been 3 months of knowing what they are and at the very least 6-8 months of actually living with them and not knowing.

I do want to know if anyone has any suggestions to my situation, opinions etc? Like I said 4 live ones in 6 weeks, haven’t been bit in over 4 months (maybe the cats? But they don’t scratch out of the norm). I no longer live with the infested roommate (which is weird she only said she saw one bug since shes moved, we will see about that!)

I am so glad i found this website

My big DONT = don’t allow your home to become cluttered as it will be a nightmare

DO: try to stay calm…i had to tell myself this over and over “theyre just bugs, they do the same as mosquitos and ticks” yes although they live with me..I called them my new roommates

Hey sorry to barge into your very long conversation, but i am worries and maybe you could help me?

My friend brought bugs into our house possibly 16 months ago? Anyhoo it was about this time last year things got really bad. We didn’t know what was happening at first, it was only me getting bitten, and badly, eventually they moved to my sisters room and then we researched it and searched our rooms and yup, found bugs. 🙁

I was very upset, because it had started in my room and they had been there for so long that apparently there were heaps! (i didn’t want to look at what i had been sleeping on for 3 months)

Long story short we had the house treated twice, bagged everything ( thats what we were told to do, we still have bags in the garage we regularly put out into the sun to heat) we rubbed down all the surfaces of my bed and draws and surfaces with meth, we bombed every month and we also renovated some time after, so we got new carpet and furniture and paint, so walls and everything were clean and inspected.

We were pretty sure we were free of them. I have been getting a few bite few bites since jan and although suspicious couldn’t understand how any bugs could have survived after we gutted my room and most of the house.

Anyhoo, the other night i was having a shower and noticed a group of maybe 5 little red bites on my upper arm, thats how they appear on me, little red itchy bites in groups. So i was all humming abd thought i would check the bed, so i am checking and find nothing and then i find a small shell thing that looks like it could be a dead bug but maybe i am being paranoid, so i move along and find a little see through bug, call my bf in and show him, it didn’t look like the last ones so we think maybe its nothing.

I keep looking, get to the side i usually lie on where my head is, flip the top seam of the mattress up and get the shock of my life!

Icky bugs! And two big fat ones! All around where my head sits! (which also explains why i was only getting bitten on that side of my body, lazy bastards)

I broke down crying, all i could think about was having to go through that nightmare again!

So now we are trying to treat it ourselves, we can’t afford to bring in a professional again.

So i am just asking if anyone has any advice as to where i should start or what i need to do to make them go away for good or atleast get them under control?

I hate them so much, eating me every night without asking my permission, sleeping in my nice new bed and mattress

- 81buggedoff 


not exactly. they’re unlikely to ride around on people. but they can, and they do climb into clothing seams, pockets, or bags and “hitch a ride” to homes, cars, workplaces (and the likelihood increases based on the size of infestation, which is hard to gauge).

- 84nobugsonme 

What’s quite possible is that you may have picked one or more up in your bag, luggage, even a laptop.

I am not sure if you saw bed bugs or their signs, if you or others were bitten, or if you were in a hotel that has them (but have no reason to think your room did). Your answers to those questions dictate how cautious you should be.

Read our travel FAQ and also check out whichever other FAQs seem relevant. You might want to follow the steps to protect your bed (another FAQ). Read about what the bed bugs look like and look for the signs. If you picked up at least a male and female (any age) or a pregnant female, you could start a colony, and it could take time before you start reacting to bites. Hopefully you won’t have but better to be safe than sorry. If you have more questions, read the “Get Advice” link at top, and follow the instructions there to post additional questions.


thank you so much. I’m not used to blogging like this and did not see my post I’m a little lost. Any way I stayed at a holiday inn in carney’s point NJ and definitely did get bitten while staying there . I just keep feeling things crawling on me , but have not seen any. I was lucky to have washed things ( most) before I came home. I’m so sorry for all that are infested with these things. I did respond with listing the hotel info but the report was only about five complaints where are the others? (


Having 40 years experience in trouble-shooting, problem-solving; I have learned to think far outside of the box (or should I say bag). And I was just wondering if this would work.

You’ve seen those TV commercials for these large bags that you store seasonal clothing by sucking all the air out with your vacuum cleaner? This greatly compresses, and therefore flattens the bag to save a whole lot of space.

So this is my idea. Once you have sucked out as much air as possible, inject an inert, non-toxic gas, such as carbon-dioxide, nitrogen, helium, argon, etc. This would eliminate all risks of dealing with poisons.

My question is this. Would this new ‘atmosphere’ be enough to kill these critters over a period of, let’s say, a month?

- 88nobugsonme 

Hi Bigjerr,

You might want to look at the post on Vikane.

A month is unnecessary, but gassing a home is difficult and dangerous–and expensive.

(& only for licensed professionals, etc.)


So here is my story I set asail aboart the norweigan Dawn Cruise ship back on March 11th. We were on our honeymoon for 11 days. During this time I had about 30 welts/bite marks on me thinking it was from sand fleas I ignored the problem. 1 day I even squished a bug on our bed and thought nothing of it! After my arrival home I found out Fox news had a report on that the Norweigan Dawn has bed bug issues. That’s when the light bulb clicked and I did some research sure enough that’s what I killed and that’s what kind of bites I was covered in. So we got some advice and we put all of our belongings in the giant freezer chest and then washed everything in hot water. I constantly check my bed I am super paranoid. Sometimes I swear I feel a bug crawling on me. So I do have 2 suspicious marks on me but, they aren’t huge welts like my previous bits. They look like small bumps and they arent really itchy but, I am so paranoid. My husband didn’t react to the bugs so I can’t inspect him for bites. I have been changing our bed and vacuuming and taking all of the precautions. I read that you may become immune to the bites and they may not be that noticeable. Is this the case for most are these small bumps probably bed bug bites? I have not seen the pepper like pieces in my bed or blood stains. I just wish I would know and stop being so paranoid.


Nice honeymoon huh!


I can’t remember but I thought I read something somewhere about plastic tubs not being air tight. My PCO recommended that I put all books, shoes, and anything else that can’t be thrown in the washing machine in a tightly sealed plastic tub. We’re not badly infested but we’re getting bit and were able to trap one bug that solved what was biting us. Anyone have luck with this method before & after treatment?


You can place items inside ziploc bags (try to inspect and vacuum them first) and then place them in plastic bins. Or you could duct tape around the plastic bins.

Follow your PCO’s advice but ask them when you can remove items from the bins, as you don’t want to reinfest yourself down the road.


Oh my goodness. I live in terre haute Indiana and just discovered that I have bed bugs. I am so terrified. I know that can’t kill you but I have always been scared of all bugs and now I have met the freddy kruger of all bugs. I have hardly slept in 6 days and I think becoming obessed with bugs. I think they are crawling on me all the time. All Ido is cry and fear that I’m going to lose everything that I own. I’m scared to go into my own home. I’m overwhelmed and feel like this will follow me for the rest of my life. I think I will be for ever changed. Will I ever be able to sleep again or be calm and comfortable in my own home? Will I ever stop picking at my self and any dot that I see on my skin…the crawling sensation I feel on my skin is the worst. Please help. Tell me where to begin!!!!


Hi TTS, the first step is to get professional help by a qualified pest control professional. If you rent, your landlord is probably responsible for the cost of extermination.

One of the first steps will be for you to start dealing with your clothes. You need clean clothes to wear every day so that you don’t spread bedbugs to the places you normally visit, your car, your work, etc. There is a faq on how to launder and manage clothing and linen.

But you need to call and make arrangements for a PCO asap.

Please read the FAQs and visit the forums, click on the blue bug on the upper right hand of your screen, for more info and advice from other sufferers. After you read the FAQs, we can answer your questions.

- 96kiyana 


If they look like bed bugs, but brown, they are bed bugs. Bed bugs come in all shades of brown–usually rust colored or darker brown, but they can be red (especially the just-fed nymphs). All the older nymphs and adults in our photo in the other FAQ “What are bed bugs?” are brown. Look there and you should get a better idea. Also go to the right sidebar and click on Bed Bug Photos and Video to see more bed bugs.

- 98Bicho

I cannot believe this is all true… I am so stressed and disheartened by the recent discovery of bed bugs in the new apartment I moved in to.

Probably due to extreme irritation from the bites and lack of sleep… now after a bit of research I find it’s not a simple case of applying some bug spray and a little topical cream to relieve itchiness I feel like I might flip out.

Could this really go on for months? I know I can’t handle that…

Surely I can just shower thoroughly, move on and abandon all my possesions… at least that will save me from dismembering my landlord… god I hate that f****!!!!


Don’t be disheartened! It’s just a little more complex than you imagined, but it can be done and it need not be so traumatic. Some have done it in relatively short periods of time, think 1 month. Even 2 is a good number, I think.

Get in gear and you can definitely make things easier soon. Focused activity will keep you calm and save you from overstressing. Make sure your landlord hires a knowledgeable PCO. Take all precautions with your clothing and let us know if you need to vent or have any questions in the forums.

Good luck; sorry you’re here but if it’s going to be bedbugs, this is the place.


If you are smart in how you approach it and careful and yours is the only infested apartment, this can be gone quickly. Read this site and don't panic.


Is there a sort of “pro-bono” type of expert that I could contact? I’m in San Francisco. It’s quite a complicated situation and I’m trying to find out what it will cost to get some answers from someone who can at least look for signs of how serious the problem is. The details are below, but to sum it up, I believe someone will have to come at least take a look.

I have no signs of bites, but I caught one on my bed under a pair of pants that had just come from the closet. The issue is this;

Where did it come from?

I unfortunately live in an SRO (single room occupancy) so you can imagine the nightmare of trying to deal with crevices in a 1916 building, along with incompetent management who haven’t even bothered to properly ground the electrical sockets.

But the thing was in a closet full of dirty clothes and the closet is especially warm from being over the boiler room, and the trash room.

Could someone had thrown their infested belongings away and this bug came up to my closet? Unlikely, I guess. I think there’s a nest in the closet.

I’ll stop wandering everywhere, and ask this;

1. How likely is it, with all that I described, that this is a serious problem? The exterminator provided by the management is a joke, who knows little and probably here illegally.

2. What’s the likelihood of this being a “permanent infestation” of the building, where I should move out before it’s too late?


I know this sounds crazy but the only way we were able to prove that our apartment had bed bugs is by lying some glue traps around (you can find at any hardware or grocery store with pest control products). I put them around a wall in our bedroom that I suspected they were hiding during the day. Two days later we had one trapped to show our landlord & PCO. I don’t think either one would have taken me seriously without the proof.

We went on to trap a few more before the extermination. We just moved from that apartment and found a few dead BB’s so we’re hopeful. I wish you the best of luck. I know how stressful it can be.


boiler room and trash below you = very suspect. Dear Betty–Sro in Sf = double suspect. yes they can be quite incompetant here in SF, yet–NOBUGSONME has stated that the rest of the country could learn form the SFDPH’s bed bug protocol.

That sounds nice–problem is they DONT FOLLOW IT!

I’m in a similar situation … yet, on the top floor, so I don;t have all sides to worry about. These sro’s … complain and your deemed a trouble maker–it is an absolute discrace! it cost me over 500 to self treat becasue of all of this stigma and other crap these rotten sro’s lay on ya!

Had I tried to even hire my own PCO–I’m pretty sure the manger in my place would have thrown a fit–a tyraid.

It is shameful.

Shame on the Sro’s and the SFDPH.

Did you here me SF/;

Shame on you.

People in shelters tell me there is no hot water offered in some of the shelters!

For shame on you!

Bed bugs ruined my already next to runied life!

betty … read up all you can and do the best you can.



This FAQ may help a little as far as convincing your male housemates:

But I suggest you get some articles that mention that some people are not allergic and may not feel the bites even if they have an infestation. We link to many articles here which are a start.

But it’s also possible that your room is the one with bed bugs. You need someone to inspect. Even though you see no bugs, there should be signs of bed bugs: either fecal smears or fecal specks (little dark specks on the sheets and other places), blood stains (larger or TINY like pinpricks), etc. A trained eye can often find them where you can’t. But you can keep your eye out for black specks or blood stains and show these to the PCO!

Many PCOs offer free bed bug inspections. I’d get one in ASAP. Perhaps the PCO could help explain how easily bed bugs spread from room to room, and they may be willing to help.

Are you renting? Your landlord may be liable for treatment anyway. You should read the FAQS on landlords and tenants and PCOs.


Looks like I have found the right place.

I found BBs in my bedroom (detached SFD) about 6 weeks ago that I guess hitchhiked home with me while I was on a series of business trips in March and April. Mostly at the same hotel. I never noticed bites while I was there, but if I had a bugbite, I probably put it down to mosquitoes.

Well I found one in the bed one morning and grabbed it, thinking it was a tick. Dropped it on the windowsill and smashed it (one is morally obligated to kill all ticks, you know) and I realized that this thing, though it squirted blood, died much too easily to be a tick. “Bedbug” came to mind mainly because a friend of mine in SoCal is also battling BBs, so I spent the next two days looking for information on the net.

In total, I found two live BBs and four or five dead ones. I guess the dead ones died on the cargo hold of the plane on the way back and maybe the live ones got lucky and I didn’t check the suitcase on that trip.

Needless to say, I’ve broken a fair number of the rules suggested in this FAQ. I set off foggers, though at least I set one off in every room, including several in the basement. I moved to the guest room (I know, I know, I’m moving back tonight!) And I haven’t yet found a PCO who knows what to do with BBs. I’m not sure the BBs have followed me into the guest room, but it seems likely. In any case, I’m in the middle of lanuderiing all that stuff, too and have taken apart and sprayed and dusted all the furniture, light switches and electrical outlets.

I feel like I’ve done enough laundry to clothe Washington. My car has been full of bags of my not-washable stuff for weeks (mom’s candy thermometer shows that it reaches 130 degrees in there) ’cause I figured I could bake the buggers hiding there.

Tonight I will finish isolating the bed and try to sleep there.

Anyone know a good PCO in Northern Virginia?


Hey buggeroff, sorry for your situation, but you are in the right place.

You may want to consider that you could be non-allergic to the bites. A lot of people are. This is important because, if you are, you need to monitor the other signs very closely (blood spots, black pepper-like specks, etc.)

I think you might want to go over the forums (see blue bug above). I think we had one person from Northern Virginia who is not active anymore (because he beat his bugs hopefully) but you can send him a private message. Search for Northern Virginia and you’ll see the threads. Let me know if you get lost.

Good luck.


I too, like buggeroff, seem to have acquired BBs via a business trip to the Pacific Northwest. My problem is this: The hotel that my company uses for this travel is the only one authorized by my client, and I highly doubt they will change their hotel because of my BB problems.

My question is this: How do I protect myself in this hotel from future bites and prevent “hitchhikers” making their way back to Texas with me?

Please help, the itch on my legs is killing me!!!




Hey bedbugsintexas, read this page.

There are definite ways of preventing hitchhikers. However, you don’t want to stay in an infested room, so you need to bring your concerns to the hotel management, learn how to inspect a room for bedbugs, and take any continuing problem to the next level. Even in infested hotels, not every room is going to be infested (except in the nightmare cases), so you need to be given another room if you suspect bedbugs. Don’t take no for an answer.

Also, if you educate your boss and/or your client about this issue, you will likely find an empathetic person. After all, they travel too, right?

Finally, I hope you are getting treatment for your current infestation and it gets better soon. The FAQs should be a great resource. You can also visit the forum for additional advice and feedback.

114Oh Crap,

Oh dear I think that i have an infection…. Im in Cincinnati, OH and I have not had these before I think that my downstairs neighbour had them a few months back and now they moved out and we have them!!! I am not even sure that the landlord did anything about it… we cannot afford to wash all of our clothes and stuff let alone buy a new matress! the one we have is AT LEAST 5 years old… we have a 3 month old baby who I am terrified about getting biten we had a Bug bomb about 2 months ago for fleas…and in the downstairs apartment I think that he doing this made there bugs worse and because they done live there any more they moved up here!! this is a nightmare.. I am lucky that as of yet niether of my 3 children have been biten much at all I have found one or 2 on my littlest one but my daughter who goes to sleep in my bed has not been biten at all…… I guess I am going to have to call my Landlord today!


Oh Crap,

You probably do not need to buy new mattresses, but you need good, sturdy, covers that encase your mattresses (as described in the FAQs on protecting the bed). Your landlord needs to get a PCO who knows bed bugs–we have a FAQ on choosing one. Our other FAQs should also be of help. Don’t panic–it is very common for bugs to migrate when someone moves. The landlord needs to learn about this and deal with the problem and have all allached apartments on all sides professionally inspected and treated if necessary. The PCO must come every 2 weeks until the problem is COMPLETELY gone.


I have had this problem for a year. I have complained to the landlord and he had some fly by night pest control company come out. took the money and could never be found again. He then tried another company and it was just about the same thing. I explained to the landlord that it has to be an ongoing process in order for them to be COMPLETELY gone but, he says that the exterminator came did his thing and that is all that needs to be done. Meanwhile, I have thrown out clothes, linens, curtains, towels, blankets, comforters, shoes, pillows, etc. Just when I think they are gone and let my guard down, they are back in full force. I am so tired of waking up all night long and scratching. I am going out of my mind. A friend asked why I still live here and I told her if I move they will just come with me. It had been calm around here for about a week and then this morning I was getting an outfit out of the closet for work and there was one on my pants. These little buggers are fast. I was trying to catch it to show landlord and finally I grabbed a piece of tape and stuck it on there. My landlord still won’t do anything about it so I told him I was withholding my rent until this problem was taken care of and now he is going to evict me. He said none of the other tenants have complained. I have a drunken neighbor upstairs who wouldn’t know if he was bitten or not and his apt is a pig sty, and the apartment in the front of the building has had no sightings, but, they could be there and they just don’t realize it. I am going out of my mind. Every little speck I see I am reaching for it to check it out. when I go to bed I put clean sheets on the bed and I examine for anything “suspicious” and it is clear. A few hours later I wake up with sensations of things crawling and intense itching. I get out of bed and pull down the blankets and find little black specks that were not there when I went to bed. Can someone advise me what to do? I am at my wits end.


We just visited a bed and breakfast in Vermont and got bed bugs. We tented our home and it was $2,810 for our almost 4,100 sq ft house (that is because of an overhang and garage). They actually gave us a 1 year warranty for the bed bugs and a 2 year warranty on termites. I would not go with Orkin or Terminix. They were way overpriced, wanted us to go on a contract for a year and additional monthly payments… We went with a good local company in our San Bernardino, CA area, Craig & Sons and they did a fantastic very personal job. We are still trying to get information on the liability of the bed and breakfast. They knew there was an infestation (they didn’t rent out other rooms on our floor), but never told us until we reported we woke up with over 20+ bugs crawling all over us!

Just n FYI: This is a huge spreading epidemic in our country…I have traveled ALL over, Morocco, Thailand, Greece and been in some pretty crazy hostels and NEVER got anything… Here, in an upscale US place I get this!!!!

Good luck and tell your friends so they know how to prevent from having the same deal we all seem to be suffering from!


121bedbug building,

At my community we have a building (3 levels) that has multiple units infected with bedbugs. It seems as if it started in 1 unit and spread to the others. What is the best way to treat this? Our PCO is currently spraying the units once a week (next will be the 2nd week). One of the problems we have encountered is that not everyone inside the building is cooperating. We are seeing results, but the building is still pretty heavily infested.

For the experts out there, I have a few questions that I was hoping yall could maybe answer:

Does anyone have any ideas/suggestions to help further rid the building of bedbugs?

Would thermal treatment be a better solution? (Are they inside the walls of the building?)

How are the bugs traveling from unit to unit, as I thought they never travel further than a few feet from their food source?

Thank you very much for your help and expertise on this issue.


Experts, I’m afraid–but with due causes and concerns seldom post direct answers esp. to huge questions such as here: Me? Yeah sound like possible multiple bed bugs infestations.

It is so immense it is nearly impossible to ask a question and make it all inclusive. Most recently I have left multiple posts today for a few other issues inside the forums.

It happens—BB’s ARE possibly the most complicated pest for the 21’st Century. I hope a decade in ths century will suffice.

I say it is hopeful dreaming … that IPM (Integrated Pest Management) has yet been implemented as fully as I feel it so desperately needs to be. it is a slow process … even many experts agree we are all on a steep yet not quite so steep learning curve about bed bugs. It’s getting better!

My thoughts as a sufferer in close proximity, inner city living circumstances is all I ca n offer—and some insight to you—on the broader scope issues:

In such a case ,,, and we are hearing more of this cooperative treatment here as of late—is a good sign—I hope and not just a few fluke postings.

Theoretically ALL involved should be entering into a somewhat 50% 50% partnership with qualified Entomologists. I don’t think it is unfair or unsafe to say the three dimensional “clover leave” pattern be “pushed”

I also feel someone working with the Company to do the treating … as in optimally (Using or devising a specialized, written plan for the specific situation—within the entire building!)

Your building is sick–and here I am saying your building has the infestation of Bed bugs. That’s seems a done deal. R. Cooper’s website offers a lot of info as does the U. of Kentucky.

As an aside… my hotel does all sorts of bizarre and perhaps unethical treatments, all I suspect aimed at treating bed bugs as cheaply and as “under the rug” as it can.

To me it seems “likely” to “possibly” be the case here:

The proposed plan involves all–not most–of the current and future tenants.

All steps need to be strategically planned in an orderly fashion.

One example … I feel in such cases extensive caulking (usually highly needed) should come towards the end of the regime. And it is a regime that could last a few month.

My ADVICE to you, is to see if you can make that happen somehow:

a–you may want to read some of the measure needed and not just the monthly “PCO guy”

integrated Pest management–is still yet too much a concept: it involve everything form professional treatments to a tenants responsibility to kill off as many bugs as possible–safely. this will lessen the load for the company that “should” in my books spend as much or MORE time on planning and education, and less on the intervention itself.

Thanks for stepping forth as you have.

World: bed bugs will not go away “til” we work in conjunction with the pro’s and of course we all need to f/u on the interventions.



It is not just cleaning. Read this page and the page about pest control. And many others may help too, but I suggest that’s where you start. You need a qualified Pest Control Operator (PCO) who has experience getting rid of bed bugs. Even if you want to move, you will need the PCO’s help before you move and probably, at first, in the new place too.

Please read the FAQs and if you have questions after that, click the “Get Advice?” button in the top menu to come to the forums.

128Ana, all started with my sister then her daughter and now me we all got biten by them and we couldnt stop scratching, we all sleep in the same room, when we knew that they were bed bugs we turned over the matresess and found around 10 bugs it was disgusting!! So we went with our landlord and gave him 4 of this nasty fellows so the next day he sent a PCO but before that he told us to bag our dry or clean clothes and to wash all bed sheets, pillows everything and them bag them too. We didn’t get a chance to see exactly which chemical they were using cause they told us to leave the apartement but my sister saw that they used this sort of white powder mixed with some liquid when we came back we saw all this white spots on the floor, anyways the PCO told us not to clean the floor in at least 20 days so we did as said. Now it’s been 3 weeks we didn’t see any “dead bodies” of them and we have a few bites though we dont know if they’re from mosquitos or bed bugs but they’re way less than before and yesterday night I lifted my matress to fix my sheets and I caught 2 bedbugs sneaking away but I caught them and I’m afraid they’re still somewhere but I dont know where ’cause we looked everywhere and we poisoned every single crack and hole in the bed we even bought new matreses I dont have bites anymore but my sister has two and she’s allergic to bug bites so they tend to swallow a lot but we dont know if they’re bed bugs or spiders, we havent seen any spiders or roaches so I dont know what to do about it…



I once heard that only 6% of bed bug cases need just one treatment. The vast majority need 3 or more. Your pest control guy must come back every 2 weeks until the bed bugs are gone, because the eggs will not be killed, and will hatch in 10-14 days after treatment. So get them back in to treat again, and repeat every two weeks until you have ZERO new bites, see NO bugs, no bed bug feces, blood spots on sheets, or other signs.

The FAQ above explains all this, so please read it carefully. Also read our other FAQs. Learn everything you can. I would suspect you need at least 2 more treatments spaced no more than two weeks apart.


well first of all im never in my room NEVER! and well my room isnt so dirty but not so clean eigther…… it mostly just clothes i havent folded yet but i always make sure i dont eat in there or do anything that may cause roches or ants~~~~> well my little gurl sleeps with me and yes she still drinks bottles at night the other day i had little mini ants all over my bed i didnt know why well i think its because of her bottles at night so i took my matteress off and sprayed stuff to kill ants so know i checked my bed and no more ants i checked the mattress and also no more ants

we’ve been sleeping bak in my bed for days now and she has these wierd bites again but their not big or red they almost look like mosquito bites

i need help im so confused……?????


Jessica, call your landlord and explain that you have bites and want a pest control inspection. A PCO will come to your home and identify any bugs you have and recommend treatment. Do not spray anything on your mattress yourself.

The first step is an inspection. Don’t delay and try not to worry needlessly until you have confirmation. Call right away, ok?


Well I wanna thank Nobugsonme for the tip I’m looking for a good and not so expesive PCO, meanwhile my mom gave me a tip from one of her friends who used to have bed bugs too that was to take a piece of soap, bathing soap and pass it oll over the bed frames, corners etc any place where they could pass by, so I did as told and they stopped biting me but yesterday I forgot to do it and SURPRISE I was bitten again, but the bites are so much less than before I think there might be just one alive but we never know, so I would like to know what you think about this soap thing, does it really work or its just a case of luck?…


“DO” toss cardboard but save and isolate 100%, any packaging that needs to be returned (for services or refund in the original container it was sent to you in.) I tossed all mine and now I’m in a tizzy!


so i have no idea if i have bed bugs. i keep getting little bites. and the dont itch, hurt, the arnt vary big…but i i think i have some on my legs. but it might be ingrown hairs. the problem is i have bumppy arms. i have a thing….cant remember wat it is called but it makes my arms bummpy and kinda ichy. so i dont know if it is that… but my grandfasther said it looks like bed bugs and now im kinds worried…


so this is the same person….and i remembered that i do ich alot. i just got a beautiful wooden bed from one of my mothers friends….iv had it for a month or 2 now. and i have juts recently noticed these bumps they arnt big but they do kinda itch…


im only 12…and im really freaking out over this, after i get done writing this im going to ask my dad to cheke my box sping matress.

can bed bugs live in air matresses??


HI No Name,

I am sorry you are having this problem. Your parents will need to help you figure this out. Show them the FAQS, especially this one and “What are Bed Bugs?”

Bed bugs probably could not live in an air mattress, but it is important to remember that they can live in the home itself–behind the baseboards, in floorboards, behind electrical sockets, etc.–anywhere there’s a crack (adult bed bugs can fit into a space as slim as a credit card). So your family needs to learn more about this.

You should also visit the doctor because there could be other causes of your bumps which are much easier to solve 🙂

Good luck!


I live in Hamilton, Ohio. I live in a 7 floor highrise and they have had bedbugs in the building since last Jan. I did not get them until the end of June. I have been sprayed by the CPO twice and it was not working. So some of us called in the board of health and he came over and checked on the situation and sent the managment of the property a week to do something different about the problem. Then the CPO said he was going to use something stronger and we had to wait a month for the new treatment. I have been sprayed once with the new stuff and I have not seen anymore of the large bedbugs but I have a lot more bites and I see these little black specks on the floor and in my clothes. They are the size of a piece of pepper and they don’t move but they still can bite you. What are they? Hatchlings or what? Also, I live in HUD subsidized housing and they say they do not have enough money to spray every aptment at once, so some of the Aptments in this building have never been sprayed or even inspected. I have just about lost my mind, doing laundry and bagging clothes. I bought over 200 dollars of pest control stuff over the internet and they did not work. What is this Klean Spray that you mentioned in another post. I need to get something. I threw away my couch and recliner and I am sitting in a plastic patio chair in the middle of my living room surrounded by plastic tubs with my clothes in them. I have isolated my bed and put covers on them and sealed the zippers and I have the legs of the bed in a bowl of mineral oil with vaseline on the legs too.

I need some tips and help as to what to buy to use, I just want to get rid of them long enough to move from here and not have to leave my TV and computer and bed. I have thrown everything else I own away.



That’s appalling! I am so sorry you’re going through that.

The building needs to treat all infested units at once, or they will keep moving.

The best way for you to move is for your unit to be treated right before you move, and your new home to be treated right after you move. It is easy to move bed bugs to a new home, so you need to think carefully about this. If there’s any way tenants can fight to get the landlord to treat properly (the health dept. and the media may help), it would be a good idea.

Kleen Free/Kleen Green spray is a contact kill–it only kills bed bugs you can spray directly (which is probably a very small % of the total). 91% rubbing alcohol is also a contact kill but may harm some items. You can buy Kleen Free from But it is unfortunately not going to solve the problem.

Please read the other pages which may be of help, and if you have more questions,



I just read through everyones horifying experiences… you guys are all veterans.. however unfortunately I just discovered today that I have a bedbug infestation.. I have been bitten for weeks and couldnt figure it out.. I thought bedbugs were just a myth… I am absolutely terrified and just want to leave the entire city and everything I own not even th clothes I have.

We dont have many things at all actually but I cant get over the suggestion that we are bait and must stay in our beds… what does everyone mean by isolating your bed?


Hey Brooklyn, don’t despair, it’s a problem that can be solved. I suggest you keep reading the FAQs here (there are tons), especially the ones that cover protecting the bed so you can sleep in it without getting bit.

The most important thing is to get a pest control specialist into your place asap. If you rent, you should contact the landlord immediately. Your neighbors need to be inspected as well.

Don’t think of moving just now as you might just move the bugs with you despite taking precautions.

Once you focus on what you need to do, you will feel more in control.

Make that call today.

Thank Nobugs & Nomo,

I have called exterminators all day today and will wash my clothes tomorrow. the exterminator will hopefuly do his thing on Sunday. I am extremely stressed and can’t clothes my eyes without seeing those ugly things in my sleep. Can bedbugs puncture furniture? Also I am thikning of going home to Canada to stay with family so that I can recoup.. however I am afraid to bring home some unexpected visitors… Do you think that it’s a good Idea? I also read protecting the bed and that they will actually drop them selves from the ceiling if they have to … Is there no other option? I also have House centipedes, Roaches & Spiders.. will they be rid of with the exterminator… thanks again for your help in advance


Try not to panic or be too stressed.

Protecting the bed just means putting encasements on the pillows and mattress.

Isolating the bed means they can’t bite you–and this can occasionally cause them to drop from the ceiling. However, you do not need to fully isolate the bed, and I don’t think you need to worry about this right now.

After the PCO treats your mattress, cover it with a good encasement (and do your pillows too). If you click the National Allergy button you get a discount on those (the ones I use, and many others here have found useful). But encase it with something good. Many varieties are available and cheap ones rip more easily.

It is not a good idea to go visiting right now. Try to take some comfort in the fact that the treatment will reduce their numbers. And though you may need a number of treatments spaced 2 weeks apart, it will be done soon.

If you live in a multi-unit building, make sure your landlord (or, alternatively, fellow unit owners) is/are having adjoining units on all sides, top, and bottom, inspected and treated. If they aren’t, it is hard to get rid of bed bugs.

- 146nobugsonme  pm

Hi Brooklyn,

Let me quote from the above:

“Don’t start throwing your bed and other furniture out. As per the FAQs, you can cover and isolate the bed. Most furniture, including mattresses and sofas, can be treated by a PCO, and you can ask the PCO if throwing them out is a good idea. And he or she can help you do it safely, so as not to spread the bugs around your home or building, and so that others do not pick up infested items.”

You can actually spread your problem to neighbors, who will in turn spread it to you, so unless the PCO says you MUST toss out your mattress, it is not the best idea.

Plates and dinnerware can be washed.

What’s more, bed bugs are unlikely to be harboring in your pots and pans and kitchen appliances (even those that can’t be washed.) It has been known to happen (especially when people do stupid things like use bug bombs which send bed bugs scattering all over the place, but you are reading the FAQs and probably did not do this).

I am not aware of sprays that PCOS can use which will kill bed bugs that won’t come out of some deep hiding place. They don’t necessarily need to bite you, but they do need to come out and contact poison. Unless you gas your home with vikane (there’s a FAQ on that.)

Anyway, you really should spend some time reading the many FAQs which cover treatment and what to do with your stuff.

- 147tweakinginastoria

Hi everyone,

I’m new to the site. I’m SO glad you are all here as a resource. We discovered out first bug yesterday after suspecting it and reading about them for several months. Our landlord said he couldn’t get anyone out here until the weekend so we wrapped and isolated the bed for the time being and put DE around the legs. WE also washed the bedding in hot water and dried it on the hot setting. We didn’t get bitten last night for the first time in ages, but we are pretty tweaked and upset. It seems like a long, uphill battle. We have been considering moving for sometime, but this is pretty much the last straw. We hope to move back to our home state of VT sometime in the spring. Here’s my first question. After we do everything that we can (exterminator, etc…) is it a good idea to move some things up to the old barn at my folks house in VT for the winter? We are really afraid of bringing them to our next place, so would it be good to phase things out and let them get good and cold for a few months? I mean, would that “seal the deal?” in terms of completely eradicating the pest from our stuff? It gets really cold there in the winter – like in the tens and twenties for several months.

- 148nobugsonme

Hi tweaking,

There are different ways to kill bed bugs in stuff. Freezing is one.

We have had mixed reports from people who left stuff out in cold weather. It should theoretically work, esp. somewhere really cold for a long period, but it depends on a lot of factors.

If your landlord gets prompt thorough treatment for all infested units (and inspections for ALL), you might beat them before moving, and that really would be best.

- 149nobugsonme 

ps You need to get a copy of the pest control company’s Prep Sheet. There are more things you need to do before the PCO comes. Washing and drying and bagging your clothing can take time.

- 150paranoid 

Ok…so here’s the deal. I’m not sure if I even have bed bugs BUT…last week my daughter had 5 HUGE swollen bites on her arms legs and it seemed to happen overnight. I am on top of this because of all the news reports etc on the comeback of these disgusting things. I tore my daughters bed apart…checked seems, bedframes the boxspring cracks crevices etc could not find anything no droppings no blood marks on sheets nothing!!! As a preventive I spread DE in a crooks in cranies just in case also inside boxspring and on the mattress with a small paint brush. My house is about 100 years old so there are alot of crooks and crannies…anyways haven’t seen anything. I have also checked my bed and my other childs and vaccumed everything. My question is this, how often would someone with bedbugs be bitten…would I have found something by taking the entire bed apart??? Also I have awoken before dawn with a flashlight, and checked my daughters bed, my bed etc several times with nothing….am I just going insane…what should I do. She has not had a bite since, and the other issue is she has VERY sensitive skin and my old house is full of spiders. Any advice would be sooooo helpful!!! Just the thought has put me on edge to the point were im obsessing about it!!!



Hey paranoid, I recommend you seek a professional pest control inspection. It’s very easy to miss the signs of an early infestation. It may not be bedbugs. Your job is to be vigilant, yes, but you need help. Call some PCO firms in your area. Most inspections are free or low-cost. Read the other FAQs here, including the one about how to find a good PCO, and what the signs of an infestation look like.

If it is some kind of biting pest (even bedbugs) it may be something your daughter was exposed to outside the home. There are many possibilities, your home, elsewhere, bedbugs or other pests, and even a medical condition or problem. You need help to figure it out.

Get help in investigating this. Taking your daughter to the doctor might also be prudent.

If you need help after you read the other FAQs, you can visit the forum, the blue bug above.

I hope it’s not bedbugs, but good luck.

- 153paranoid 

Thanks for your input hopelessnomo I REALLY appreciate it. My daughter has not recd anymore suspicious looking bites, and I’ve laid out some sticky traps just to see if I catch anything. I think I will seek out a professional inspection just to be safe….in the meantime I continue to monitor for any bites on anyone else in the family etc. I also continue to check around 3am for sightings….My friends and coworkers think that I am insane…LOL!!! I must admit I am a little paranoid, BUT I do at the same time realize there are worse things in life….I just imagine our poor ancestors who really had not much of a choice but to live with these critters!!!

- 154paranoid 

Bed Bugs really suck!!! Does anyone know if there are any city or state health departments addressing this issue on a more wide-scale level?

- 157nobugsonme

Hi —.

Cincinnati has a Bed Bug Remediation Commission with a hotline for discarded mattresses and furniture. I think they are working on legislation.

San Francisco and the State of California have guidelines. 

NYC has a fact sheet on its Housing (HPD) website and Boston, Cincinnati, and many Canadian cities have them on their Health Dept. websites.

Not much, really. Not yet.


Help… I have not gone home and have been exposed to bedbugs. Only for like 15-20 minutes my daughter had her stuff in my car. She got them from a sober living home and was staying in a hotel I picked her up and she told me the story. I sprayed my car with NIX but there was a cranberry small jelly thing in the front seat and it scared me bad. I dont want to go home and take them with me Please tell me what to do.

- 159hopelessnomo 

I understand your concern but I would speculate that incidental exposure is not as big a risk as actually sleeping somewhere where there are bedbugs. So, your daughter’s risk is probably greater than yours. Containment of the situation might involve laundering and drying all clothes, inspecting and cleaning all personal effects, and cleaning the car (vacuuming and steam cleaning if possible). There are FAQs here that deal with exposure to bedbugs during travel and they will be useful to you. I suggest you read them now if you haven’t already.

But consider that ‘transmission’ is not automatic. Some people manage not to acquire infestations even when they are exposed during travel. The most important thing is to learn to recognize bedbugs and their signs. At home, sometimes even professional inspections can’t find signs of an early infestation, so judicious cleaning and inspecting are the best things to do in the beginning, I think.

Encasing the mattress and box spring is also a good idea. Then you monitor the situation but try not to drive yourself crazy. If there are any signs, you call a PCO as soon as possible.

- 160buggedandgoincray

I’ve had bed bugs for so long now over 8 months and had the bug guy come and spray like 3 times its kinda annoying…….well really annoying! we’re getting eaten alive! does puting everything in storage for 18 months really help? Can they severly hurt u or babies? I”m really curious beacause i’ve gotten to the point where I just want to move out of my place throw out everything and start out fresh. I live in a bachelor apt with my daughter and boyfriend so its cluttered and theres not much I can do about the clutter. what can I do please help me!!! I don’t know what to do. I left my apt and went to my relatives and now i’m reading that i shouldn’t have done that.Please contact me soon I want my baby to be safe



The health community has not confirmed any diseases that they can cause though they do cause allergic reactions which can get worse in time. In rare cases, people have had to go to the hospital with life-threatening allergic reactions.

You can’t just put up with them long-term because they will get worse. Staying with friends is dangerous as you now know, and it is hard to move without moving the bugs too.

Did your landlord hire the Pest Control Operator and did the PCO inspect neighboring apts on all sides, above, and below? If not, this must happen. If you are a tenant it may be covered by the landlord too. Look at the other FAQs, and if you have more questions, ask on the relevant page.


The Pco did not check any other apts.Apparently its a huge problem in the building and one of my neighbours does have them he just got his place sprayed once and he still has them and he does not want to get it done again. Am I better of moving and starting out fresh?


In many places, the landlord must pay for extermination of pests. We have a FAQ on which links to this information. Look here regarding “who pays for treatment”. 

Unfortunately, if you move, you may take them with you–it is surprisingly hard not to. In many places, they’re so common you can even move into a second apt. with bed bugs, even if you do not move your own. So the best idea, for many people, is to try to get the landlord to solve the problem for the whole building, with tenant cooperation.

- 166Becks

Can anyone help me. I have had some bites on the bottom of my legs and ankles and i only seem to get them at night. This started about 2 days ago. I remember though around this time last year it happened then and then stopped and now it has started again. My partner does not get bitten but i do. Also when i am sleeping i have to have my feet out of the blanket as i get to hot and this is where i am getting bitten. DO I HAVE BED BUGS or is it something else?


If you have pets you should suspect fleas. You need to do some investigating. Unfortunately, we can’t help you rule out bedbugs from the appearance or location of bites alone. But a visit to a doctor or dermatologist might be helpful.

The faqs describe the type of evidence you might find. You should read on so that you know what to look for.

Good luck. 

Hi all!- Although I’ve known of this site and recommend it to people often this is my first foray into replying on it. First off, to anyone using Drione PLEASE follow the label directions to the letter! It does contain pesticides, the main ingredient being pyrethrin, and should be applied where air currents cannot move it around to unwanted areas. It can cause dermal, inhalation, eye, and oral irritation and while not extremely toxic, it’s not something you want to be in bodily contact with on a regular basis. We use gloves, respirators, eyeware protection and other special equipment when applying it and only to the proper areas. In the state of Massachusets it is illegal to apply unless you are a state registered pest management proffessional (PMP). This applies to other states as well.

On of the main conducive conditions of bedbug is clutter, not filth! Bedbugs have been found in the finest hotels and homes in the country. The clutter factor gives them a mind boggling number of places to breed and hide and makes it almost impossible for a proper treatment. So when your PMP asks you to do the almost impossible- it’s for a good reason. He wants to do a thorough and proper treatment and solve the issue not just really put you over the edge, in fact if we treat a premises that is not prepared properly we will let the financially responsible parties know that they are just wasting their money, we’ll be glad to take it, if they don’t want to help themselves, their’s not much we can do.

- 174Bostonbugboy 

Hey everyone -sorry I ran out of space. I got so into trying to educate people about this scourge. To the person in Canada, I think it was buggedangonecrazy, if the entire building has issues then the ONLY way they are going to be eradicated is to treat EACH and EVERY unit in the building, and not just once but probably 3+ times with followup inspections. Not only that but FULL cooperation for ALL tenants is crucial as is proper preperation by everyone.I know this sounds like an impossible task but it is the only way to eliminate them. Nobugsonme is correct in finding out who is responsible for treating them. Call yuor local board of health if the landlord won’t respond. In some communities it is the landlord’s responsibility to provide a pest free environment however the pests came in and he can be sited and fined if he does not respond.

- 175Bostonbugboy 

Thanks for the warning on Drione, Bostonbugboy, we’ve seen many people say that they’re a bit intimidated by it.

We usually recommend food-grade DE which is about as safe as you can get with DE and DE-like products. And we tell people to consult their PCOs before supplementing with anything on their own.

Hi Poe! Please tell me what you found out about guitars! I am dealing with the same issue right now. I’m completely clueless about what to do with my guitars (esp. since I found what look like dead bedbugs in one of my cases that I rarely use). I have not found anything about this online, other than your posting/question. If ANYONE can shed light on the situation, please let me know soon. They’ll be here in the morning (which is really only a few hours from now!)




To treat guitars for bed bugs we suggest that you use Nuvan Prostrips. They are a new product that is sealed in a guitar case or plastic bag with the guitar. The strips emits an odorless vapor that kills bed bugs.

- Jeff

I am beginning to lose hope that I will be able to beat my bedbug problem! I moved into my current apartment with my boyfriend on Sept. 1 of this year, and about 3 weeks later I started waking up with multiple bites all over my body, but since the weather was still really hot and humid and our windows and screens aren’t impenatrable, I assumed they were mosquito bites. I am pretty allergic to mosquitoes, and I seemed to be having the same reaction (extremely itchy, red swollen welts) so it seemed a logical conclusion. After several nights of this, I originally suspected bedbugs but they tapered off so I never did any further investigation. Then on Oct. 13 I actaully found a bedbug crawling on me! Since then it has been an uphill battle. I notified the landlord that night, and while he has contracted an exterminator for the whole house (it is a single family home with 5 apartments total, including the landlord’s), I don’t think the exterminator is doing the best job. The exterminator is a friend of a friend situation and is probably cutting my landlord a deal for this, but I am very suspicious as to whether or not he’s doing everything that should be done to treat bedbugs.

We’ve removed our clothes from our dressers and closets and bagged them all. But otherwise, that’s it. The exterminator came the Monday after we discovered them, but neither my boyfriend nor myself was present (due to the daytime appointment), so I have no idea where or what was sprayed or what chemicals were used. The next morning, I woke up with 15 bites! They tapered off a little after that, but we continued to see them and get bites. I requested that the landlord immediately schedule the exterminator to come a second time, exactly 2 weeks later, but he was not able to come until one day after that two week window. When he arrived, I asked him to spray specific places, and he did it pretty begrudgingly. He seemed reluctant to spray behind furniture and along baseboards and mouldings, or to wait while I moved stuff around so he could get to these spots. I think he may have spent 15 mins at most exterminating. I asked questions about the chemicals he was using, etc., but he seemed annoyed and the only question he asked me was if I had seen them or if I was just getting bitten. I then immediately requested of my landlord that he schedule another appointment in exactly two weeks, and left specific dates/times when I or my b/f would be available. The second two week window ended yesterday, and I have not heard from the landlord as to when the exterminator is coming next. I still get anywhere from 1 to 5 bites a night.

So I guess my question is:

1) How necessary is it to stick to the 10-14 day window of subsequent treatments? Will the situation get worse if the exterminator comes 15 or 16 days after the previous treatment?

2) What exactly should the exterminator do when s/he gets to your apartment? What constitutes a thorough extermination?

3) I haven’t seen any bugs in our living room/kitchen area, but I am pretty sure that I have been bitten at least once while sitting on the couch. At what point is it recommended to have the exterminator treat other areas of the apartment?

Any feedback would be HUGELY appreciated!

- 178buggedinQns 

1) How necessary is it to stick to the 10-14 day window of subsequent treatments? Will the situation get worse if the exterminator comes 15 or 16 days after the previous treatment?

This is not a big deal. Even three weeks should not be an issue. But we generally hear of PCOs who aim for two weeks as ideal (except in Denver, where apparently the humidity level means 3 weeks is apprpriate; we’ve heard Orkin’s policy in Denver is 3 weeks due to the climate. I’d assume 3 weeks is ideal in similar places like New Mexico and Arizona.)

2) What exactly should the exterminator do when s/he gets to your apartment? What constitutes a thorough extermination?

This varies a great deal. The California and SF guidelines (in the sidebar) give some ideas about what should be done, as do Stephen Doggett’s Australian guidelines. But finding someone who will actually do all this is nearly impossible. Plenty of people get rid of bed bugs despite this. The most important thing to you is to keep following up at 2 week (15 day, etc.) intervals until you have no bites. Being bitten a lot the first night is not unusual if the PCO used a flushing agent. Many people need 3, 4, or 5 treatments, and some even more. Don’t stop and don’t lose hope as long as the bites are decreasing overall. And if you’re in a multi-unit building, make sure the landlord had a good PCO inspect neighbors and treat if necessary (on all sides, above, below). Since your landlord and the PCO sound a bit iffy in this regard, I’d talk to the neighbors myself. Make sure they know they may have them and not see them or not even react to bites. If neighbors have them and are not treated, you will never get rid of them.

3) I haven’t seen any bugs in our living room/kitchen area, but I am pretty sure that I have been bitten at least once while sitting on the couch. At what point is it recommended to have the exterminator treat other areas of the apartment?

Always. I think the entire home should always be treated. Except in the earliest stages, maybe, where people think they picked up bed bugs last week on a trip and have had one or two bites at home, in which case the bedroom might be the only problem. In most cases (and yours definitely sounds more serious than that), the entire home should be treated. Infested sofas, chairs, etc. are commonplace. And bed bugs live in the home, not just the furniture. Entire homes must always be treated, also, if you moved things to other rooms upon discovering the problem.

I hope this helps and if you have new questions, please come to the forums! Button on top right.



I live in a tiny 1 bedroom but my bed is in the livingroom and my roommate is in the bedroom. We found 1 bug on her bed yesterday.

I have not had any bites yet or found any bugs on my bed.

she has already made the ‘mistake’ of moving from her bed into the futon in my room.

I think what I am doing is mostly preventative because I have not experienced any bites myself… but I do want to take all precautions.

the PCO (POC?) person is coming in 2 days and I am leaving to go home for a 10 day break on the day they do the treatment.

One question- can I wash my clothes and dry on hot and then bring them back to my place- which is untreated so far- if they are in plastic bags or in rubbermaid containers?

I want to leave everything prepared for treatment and am working on that – I still dont know what to do with BOOKS and SHOES and I need to find a place in Manhattan that will do our dry cleaning.

Can I just put the shoes and books in bags in the middle of my room so that they get some chemical treatments or do I need to brush them out one by one?

I also want to make ABSOLUTELY SURE that I don’t bring the bugs home with me when I go.

I am planning on buying a new suitcase and filling it with clothes fresh out of the hot drier, I have already washed my purse and book bag- is there anything else I can do to prevent their coming along with me? like in my shoes or something?

I have never dealt with this before and am kind of at the end of my rope about it so any friendly advice would be great—


mary said:

November 27th, 2007 at 11:43 am

We stayed at a hotel last weekend. My sons bed was infested because when we woke in the morning there was blood all over his arms hands, neck , sheets and pillowcase.

When I pulled the blanket off the bed there were numerous bugs crawling all over the bed. I aws horrified!!!! I have never seen bed bugs before, but after investigating this and other websites, I am 100% sure they were bedbugs.

These are my questions:

1. My son was bitten Sat/Sun, but the but the symptoms (bumps and bite marks with itching) did not show up until 5-6 days later.On waking and seeing the bugs, he immediately took a shower. After showering, there was not a mark on him nor was he itchy after showering!!! I kept asking him for the next few days if he saw any bite marks or had any itching. There was none until the following Fri/Sat. Then he woke COVERED in bite marks on his hands, wrists, neck and ankles that were VERY itchy.

Does anyone have any informaton on why he was obviously bitten many times but had no reaction to the bites until several days later?

nobugsonme said:

Yes–this happens. Some people react immediately, some hours later, some up to nine days later (we’re told). Several days seems common. Did you take any steps to avoid bringing them home? Please consider writing a review on and also reporting the hotel on the bed bug registry (see sidebar at right: “Report Infested Addresses.”

mary said:

November 27th, 2007 at 3:52 pm

Thank you “nobugsonme” for the reply about reaction time and info. The hotel manager refused to believe the bugs were from the room, despite the evidence, so I am relieved that there is somewhere I can write a review and report this incident. Perhaps I can save someone else from this grief.

Since I had no experience with this issue, I tried to do what I thought would be preventative. The minute we arrived home (12-14 hours later) we all showered and put all clothes were wore during the trip in the wash(and dryer-for long enough, I hope). Any remaining bags, luggage, etc, I left in the car in bags until I could empty them outdoors, shake them out and launder them. In retrospect, this may not have been ideal, since now, I realize that my car may now be infested.

I purchased mattress covers as recommended on this site and covered his matress, boxspring. I have washed all bedding, blankets, daily. I have relaundered all clothing we wore or packed for the trip, including coats. I have not waSHED

shoes yet-

Im not sure what to do about shoes.

Im not sure what to do about the CAR.

Can any one give me suggestions about what to do with the car,???? (besides vaccuming it, which I will do tomorrow)

I have vaccumed our house(floors, carpet and couches) and shampooed the carpet with a small portable Bissel unit we own.

I am considering buying a small steamer to steam our couch, because everyone in the family sits on the couch, often immediately after getting out of the car.

Its only been a week, but I feel like I am loosing it already.

Am I doing too much or not enough?

Do any of the “natural products” work as a preventative measure while I sit and wait for bites?

Thank you for any advise !!!!!


I seriously warn against this. Your building may be infested (though it has nothing to do with whether neighbors are “dirty people” or not–dirt and clutter does not breed bed bugs, it only helps hide them.

Leaving bed bugs to breed in your home can lead to extremely severe problems.

- 188nobugsonme 

I made 3 mistakes. 1st I threw out my bed (I sprayed it though). 2nd I used a fogger (o boy). 3rd I moved out my room and into my moms room (havnt had any bites in here). But there’s another room where my sister sleeps n she has gotten bitten 3 times. We used a bed bug spray (forgot the name) and they went away for a while and came back. My x boyfriend brought them into the house and didn’t tell me when he started killing them on his own. I didn’t know why my arms were swelling up and he didn’t tell me nothing. I thought it was mosquitos but it wasn’t. I found 1 black bug and about 5 red/ burgandy ones. I constantly have creapy crawly skin and I feel like my life is ruined. Its embarrasing to tell the landlord although my mom told him but he just said be careful getting rid of them. We don’t have money to get a pco and i tried to bag all my stuff n sprayed twice but i keep seeing pepper spots on my sheets and pillow cases when i sleep in my room. Some1 please help. This is driving me crazy and I really freak out when i see bugs. (bronx n.y)

- 191BuggedAllNight 

Hi BuggedAllNight,

It’s okay. Everyone makes mistakes. Just no more foggers please.

You don’t have to suffer from bedbugs without help, not in NYC. Your landlord is very likely responsible for treating and eradicating the infestation. Left untreated, the infestation may spread to other apartments in the building. You should speak to the landlord again and ask for help. The landlord should hire a licensed pest control company to take care of the problem. Please keep reading the FAQs; there is also a FAQ that explains your tenant rights and where to go for help.

Please visit the forums here (see blue button in the upper right corner) to talk to other people who understand and can give you advice.

Good luck.

- 192hopelessnomo 

Hi everyone,

Over the past week i have found two bugs in my bed, although I was pretty sure I had bedbugs because I’ve been getting bitten on a regulr basis since Christmas- I started revising for exams in a local library. Today I showed my mum and she flipped. She got really angry with me and says its because I’m messy (I’m 18) as they’re not in her room; I think this may be because they haven’t travelled there yet, also her bed has metal legs. I heard that bedbugs have a harder time climbing metal than wood?

she even started talking about moving out! This would mean I have to leave ALL my stuff behind even clothes.

for pretty obvious reasons I DONT want to move, but I am terrified of ALL types of bugs. For years I have had an irrational fear that any type of bug will lay eggs on/in my body.

Please tell me that bed bugs won’t do this as I really am scared to sleep in my bed. I want to sleep in my mums bed- I no I shouldn’t do this but how am i going to sleep knowing that things are crawling all over me?

so again please can someone give me some assurance that they won’t leg eggs on me/ crawl in my mouth


- 199Sarah 


Bed bugs do not infest bodies–they infest things (cracks in the floor, mattresses, sofas, etc.) They do not want to live in your body or lay eggs on you.

Your mum is wrong of course–they are not in your room because it’s messy (even if it is!)

They also will infest metal beds as well as wooden, and she could be bitten and have no response/not see bed bugs. Please get professional help ASAP to deal with this, but rest assured, they don’t want to infest your body.

- 200nobugsonme 

Having BBs are the worst thing to come by. Im not going to waste your time reading my personal stories of BB, nor am i going to waste my time writing them because believe me! ive been thru hell and still going thru them because ive moved into a poor old building to save money on cheaper rent.

A personal tip to anyone who is dealing with BBs…SILICONE!, this right here will be your best friend.

I silicone’d every crack and hole in my apartment which took 1 week, put fresh clothes in bags(tightly). Put all belongings in the center of all rooms, opened all counter doors, then called the professionals to fumiagate the whole place and spray on my stuff that was centered. By using silicone to cover all the cracks and holes…it made it much harder for these little fuQers to hide and breed. They couldnt run anywhere.

Have the professionals come visit 2 or 3 more times just in case they couldnt kill the eggs.

This is was done in my old apartment. the problem was taken care of. However now in my new apartment(the poor old building) i must do it again. It alot of work because you have to make sure you cover every single crack and hole that maybe connected with a neighbor next door who might be giving you the BBs or vice versa…take ur time doing it because this is what really counts.

Have Fun Biting Back!,


I have had some mystery bites very intermitantly. Mine have been on my inside thigh (high-under clothing). My husband has also had a few bites on occasion. It is not easy to pinpoint when they occur. We live in a park and are surrounded by woods. I do notice spiders and webs all over despite my best vacuuming efforts. Today though I found this tiny (head of a pen) little brown guy. I am trying to get the pest control scheduled alreay, but I wondering how often bedbugs bite. Can it be weeks or longer in between?

OCD girl

Hi Michelle,

Each bed bug bites about once a week.

Ok, so here’s the thing…I’m a bit of a hypochondriac and I have really sensitive skin, buuut:

I have noticed that I am very itchy in my 1950’s garage apartment and have VERY tiny sporadic red dots, comparable to razor burn, on my legs but not my arms-which are also very itchy. I live in Orlando, and my apartment is built atop a garage and doesn’t have AC; consequently, leading me to open a window and turn on the fan, my concern is that maybe it’s a bug from outside? I should also mention that when I get mosquito or ant bites they swell to nothing smaller than a dime.

I worry that I may have a bed bug problem because all of my furniture aside from my bed/mattress is second hand and because the other day my boyfriend flicked off “a tick looking thing”. Right now all I have is a dresser and my bed in my bedroom.

I could just be totally paranoid, but I wanted to see what the bug bites look like for people who react badly to other bites.

- 208Bianca 

Hi all–

I am new to this site, and have read all of your suggestions but still have questions —

I am living in an apartment right now that we have finally figured out has bed bugs (have been being bitten for months but never seen a bug or seen any signs of bed bugs). My landlord had an exterminator come, who searched my mattresses and the rest of the apartment, but couldn’t find any signs of the bugs. They had recently come to the apartment to spray for carpet beetles; it was only after that spraying that I saw my first two bed bugs, one on the wall and one in my bed, early in the am. Since they could not find signs of infestation in my bed, is it possible the bugs are coming from other places in the apartment? An apartment downstairs from us had bed bugs — I am wondering if they have traveled through the house and made it up to my apartment, and are maybe living cracks in the walls, etc., but not in the bed?

Anyway, I am concerned because I am moving August 1st, and I obviously don’t want to bring any bed bugs with me. The exterminator didn’t seem to think that it was a major infestation, he said that he had seen apartments with major signs of bed bugs and horrible conditions, and didn’t see any of that with my apartment. HOWEVER, he did admit that he didn’t know that much about them, which concerns me. I am not exactly sure how best to go about my move so as to not bring the bugs with me,and I’m not sure that he will be much help.

I also have stopped sleeping at my place since I found the actual bed bug (up until that point I had never seen a bug)… but now after reading your comments I see maybe I should just stay put? I am so worried about bringing these pests to my new apartment that I am contemplating throwing a lot out… any advice would be greatly appreciated : (

210meegs am

Going buggy,

The advice were giving is that it is often not necessary (usually not, from what I understand) for people to throw beds away. Mattresses and box springs may be treated by a PCO and can be carefully encased with a good encasement, and metal frames can be carefully de-bugged and used.

If you do throw things away, it is important to destroy them, if possible. Mattresses and box springs should be carefully wrapped, sealed in plastic, so that bed bugs are not dropped off of them into other parts of your home and communal areas of a building (if applicable).

Moreover, even if you label items as infested with bed bugs, many have reported people will take them anyway. They will then become infested.

If they’re neighbors in your building or an attached house, they may give bed bugs back to you after you get rid of yours.

I don’t know that I would go back out to get items left on the curb, but I might make an effort to destroy them. Read the FAQS carefully. Don’t rush to toss things or clean — it may mean your pest control operator (and landlord, if applicable) will have no SIGNS by which to diagnose your bed bug problem.

The FAQS cover this concern.

Often people panic in the first moments of realizing they (may or do) have this problem. We all do things we wish we hadn’t. The crucial thing is to try to calm down. You can beat this. Get a good PCO who knows bed bugs to carefully inspect and treat your entire home (make sure they know of and treat where you dragged the infested bed through).

I suspect my older daughter may have bed bug bites which she may have picked up when she was staying at hotels in NYC and Boston. she could have gotten it anywhere, but hotel locations seem the most likely. We live in California, so the bed bug thing is sort of new for us here, although it is quickly spreading. We worry more about fleas here, but her bites don’t look like flea bites. they are very itchy, and have a pin-hold size depression in the middle of the raised bump.

I’m reading all of these accounts of bed bugs, but no one ever mentions how they re-emerged on the scene as a pest and a menace. My father who grew up in poverty in NYC in the 30’s and 40’s often talks about killing bed bugs, and different ways he and other people had of doing that. I think in that era it wasn’t an issue only the poor had to deal with, it was pretty common, hence the old saying. So how were they eliminated from the general population so effectively in this country, and can’t that happen again? Why do we have to take these elaborate steps like isolating mattresses, getting costly pest control, bagging and ziplocking everything. Did our grandparents have to do all of this? I don’t think so!

- 214nobugsonme 




- 216lori 

Hi everyone. I have gotten a lot of info from this site and I appreciate it. I have been dealing with the bed bug situation for a 11 months now. My boyfriend and I moved into an infested apartment complex. We couldn’t get out of the lease, but we were able to switch apartments within the complex. What started out as a crazy severe infestation (three apartments later) has become a very slight infestation. Unfortunately, we have doubts in the pest control people our building has a contract with and no other pest control company will set foot in the building since the building has a contract. Our lease is up now and we get to leave, but the process is crazy. We haven’t seen any actual live bed bugs since December, but are still terrified of taking them with us. The last time we had bites was a few months ago… and even then we don’t have proof that they were bed bugs… but they felt like it. We are throwing out every piece of furniture we have with the exception of our kitchen table (a family piece) and my hope chest. We are inspecting everything, packing it in newly purchased boxes and then putting the box in a sealed plastic bag until we move… at that time we will remove the bag and transport the boxes. We have thrown out a ton of things, but we are worried that we will be taking them with us in things such as our books. Not knowing if we’d be able to spot the eggs and knowing full well that we wouldn’t be able to inspect and/or treat every page of the books, we are worried. Any suggestions? Thanks!

- 217CallingAlameda 

How long does it actually take to get rid of bed bugs? I have been spraying and steaming and vacuuming my house for 3 weeks but every now and then I will see one crawling?! But most of the ones that I do find are dead! I didn’t have a huge infestation as far as I know. I knew my job had them and then we started checking our house and found a little bit of staining on my WOOD headboard and a couple on my linen. When we tore the house apart looking for them I didn’t find any more but they seem smarter than us so who knows?!? But because of lack of knowledge I threw out my bed dimantled my head board and dressers and my husband and I began sleeping on the couches in the living room and then that’s when we started seeing a few in there?! I now know I made a mistake by throwing put my bed and dismatling everything but I can’t change it now so what should I do? My landlord will not allow us to get an exterminator and I know the response to the is to go to court but because of who she is to me I WILL NOT do that. So I guess I’m wondering is it possible to get rid of these nasty things with insectisides and vacuuming and steaming or is all my work in vain? We steam and spray everything! And is it possible they are in rooms that are not used that often? We haven’t seen any stainging or bugs in 3 out of 4 of my bedrooms and the only place we have seen them is in our bedroom and then the living room once we started sleeping out there?! Can someone please give me some advice cause I feel like these bugs are ruining my life. I can’t have anyone over cause I don’t want them to take them home and I can’t go to anyone’s house for the fear of taking them over there?!? I feel so trapped!

- 218JB 

CallingAlameda and JB,

I think my nephew’s friend had bed bugs and slept at our house. He had what looked like allergy welts. My nephew said that they looked more purplish last week. Therefore, we did a little research and thought that maybe he has Bed bugs. I do not want to “Freak out” but now we are all thinking we are itching. We are washing and drying all our sheets and I’m even thinking about throwing out the “old” mattress that he slept on.

What do we do next?

- 222Rev. Mike 

Rev. Mike,

Have you inspected the mattress? Look at the Bed Bug Photos page (in top menu) to see what signs of bed bugs will look like.

Then carefully inspect the mattress and bed frame (box springs are especially problematic). Do not move it around. If it is infested, get a good encasement (again, link in top menu for more on encasements) and seal the mattress in it.

If you must throw the mattress out, seal (airtight) in a plastic mattress bag. Do not drag that thing through your home uncovered.

Finally, if you find signs of bed bugs, you must get treatment. It is true your son’s friend can have bed bugs, but your guest bed might have had them too. (They’re especially susceptible.)

- 223nobugsonme 

My son just returned from University of Tampa. While there he complained about this red rash on his arms. I was thinking he was having a reaction to laundry soap. Not even realizing I joked about bed bugs. Now that he his home WE have bed bugs. I made the mistake of moving him three times. I had no Idea about this website until I found it this morning. God help me I think I have done everything wrong. There seems like there is so much to know. Did I read my dog could be carrying them from room to room? My son has been everywhere in the house. I have been steaming and cleaning my sofa every night for the past week made it up stairs to his room for the last two days steaming and cleaning. He has had 4 nights bite free. But wait, I wake up with two on my hand and one on my arm. And I swear while I was sitting here reading this website one got my bum.

I have had a PCO to my home but this is the first time they are dealing with this. Should I have a company that does commercial properties out instead? Oh my gosh!!! I cannot believe this is happening to any of us. Can we win this war on Satan’s little pests?

- 224so-upset 

I have many questions. If anyone has a moment to offer any amount of advice, I would GREATLY appreciate it.

1) I found about 8-10 bites on my skin a few weeks ago, then didn’t have any bites again until about a week and a half later when I found three more. They’re painful, pimple-like, and do not itch. I’ve scheduled an appointment with a dermatologist just to be sure I don’t wage war in the wrong direction. I understand that many doctors misdiagnose bedbugs. What questions can I ask?

2) I’ve inspected my mattress several times and don’t see anything. Since my problem may be small right now, should I begin by buying airtight mattress and box spring covers, and cleaning thoroughly? Or, should I just go straight for the jugular and find a good PCO?

3) I have a memory foam mattress topper AND a down mattress topper (yes, I slept very well before recently when bugs began invading my mind). Are there any suggestions on cleaning these two items rather than just throwing them away?

4) I have read conflicting information on whether or not they travel on a person’s body. Does anyone know for sure? I spent some time at a friend’s house before I realized what I might be dealing with. Should I inform him?

5) I made the mistake of sleeping on the couch last night (before I read not to do that). I slept there for about 4-5 hours. Other than that, I don’t spend much time on my couch. Would a good vacuum job today do the trick, or have I involuntarily sabotaged myself already?

6) After all my reading on this website, I’m still uncertain about the difference between “protection” and “isolation.” Can someone clarify? One is using a mattress cover, and one is not?

7) I live in an apartment complex, and I’m nervous about informing my landlord, but I will anyway, if that’s what this turns out to be. (I know, you’re thinking, “poor thing, she’s still in denial.”) How can I narrow down an answer to whether or not I’m the cause, as opposed to my neighbor? (I understand they can travel through pluming and cracks in walls.)

Thanks everyone. Your information is valuable.

- 227creepy crawly 

We took in an elderly parent a that requires full time 24/7 CNA type care. One weekend we had to go out of town and asked a trusted caretaker to stay over to be on call, watch the house etc. We did not know her economic history but she had been living in a weekly hotel and had, unbeknownst to us, a pretty bad BB problem with that hotel. To make a long story short, we were cross-contaminated and we found out 2 months ago we had severe BB problem that is one year old. My husband and I occupy the two guest rooms since parent took over the master part of the house.Guest BR 1 was ground zero. Our caretaker stayed here with her children. Lesser infestation in GB 2.When my husband snores I go to other room. We removed mattress and sprayed room, tossed a wicker headboard that was infested. Bought a new mattress and encapsulated both mattress and box springs in both GBrs. My husband and I are former part time certified PCOs, but we did mostly termite inspections for pre real estate. No BB experience. After spraying with OTC stuff, we saw more BB about 10 days later and picked up some Suspend. Sprayed rugs, baseboard etc. Things calmed down significantly. Then about 10 days later saw one or two. Off go the sheets, pillows in the dryer, etc. Then we saw a few in our LR furniture which has a woven wicker base. Lots of nooks and crannies. Soaked that. We also have 2 Siamese Cats. We are 90% there. We saw one or two this weekend. We stripped things again. Put pillows out in the hallway and run 2 or 3 at time in the dryer for about 20 min but do not wash them.(we have lots, shams, the whole deal). We have to work so we can’t get all of it done in one day or two. Some pillows looked clean but I stacked them in the hall to get dried but still there. Tonight a saw a lone BB in the bathroom. So the ones that are left are spreading. Should be be switching from Suspend? How often do we treat. When you talk clothing, do you mean all the clothes on the hangers? In the drawers? We are going to breakdown our washer and dryer! Can a fogger be used? I work at an extension office but do not want coworkers to know. I have some formal entomolgy background and know life cycles etc. How fast do these buggers move? Does a long run in a hot dryer do the trick? Pillows are hard to wash. No evidence in second GBr. but I do show some bite marks but these could be mosquitoes. Will they feed on cats and could cats be transports?

- 230Lucinda 

One other thing. My mother in law is now hospice care, opposite side of house…not a big house but separated by a kitchen. We have 6 different people in our home at any given time. There is no evidence of any infestation in the bed that is in her room (mom is in a hospital bed). we delicately tried to inspect the mattress the caretaker sleeps in and we see nothing. We can’t do anything there re treatment or removal of furniture. The caretaker we suspect infested us still works for us on the night shift. If word of this gets out, these folks might quit. What I am reading in this blog is scaring me to death…to face packing things up and going through each and every physical item we can is mindboggling, especially given the personal stress we are under with a dying parent – and she may last 3-6 months. Are we wasting our time doing a whole house clean if we can’t do her portion of the house? Should we do the attic too? Or do we just try and manage locally with pesticides until such time as all help is gone and we can go in and do that part with the whole rest of the house.

- 231Lucinda


We don’t recommend self-treating and are not qualified to advise on how to do it. Given you’re a cerified PCO, then you can either get someone in who is experienced with bed bugs (which are notoriously difficult to treat) or research this.

The advantage to a PCO being involved (who knows bed bugs) is that they can advise on the degree to which they’ve spread. This can help you decide how extensively to treat. We can’t tell you if they’ve spread around the entire home or not, but in the absence of inspection of the entire home, and all contents, I would not assume they hadn’t spread.

Thermal or vikane gas treatments may allow you to treat the entire home by moving little besides your parent. But since there’s no residual, you’d want to make sure re-infestation via the same source would not occur. For traditional treatments, or assessment, bed bug k9s may be an option for seeing how thoroughly the home is infested. (I’d try to get recommendations for bed bug k9s or PCOs first; they are not all the same.)

- 232nobugsonme 

Hi all,

Thanks for all this info; fantastic but scary…

I live in Toronto Ontario Canada.

Approx. 2 months ago, I visited a friend 3X who ended up having an apt. infested with bed bugs. Next day after I found out, I discovered I had been bitten (100% positive).

Approx. one week later, my husband was bitten, 10-15 days later I was bitten. My husband and I often fall asleep on the couch on the main floor of our 3 story (old with un-finished basement) house. We have only woken up to a bite after sleeping on the couch.

Our newly purchased matress is on the third floor… where we usually sleep. My children (never been bitten) sleep in a bunk on the second floor.

Is it possible that I brought home ONE BED BUG?

I read that they feed every 10-15 daysapprox. (this is in sync with our timing of bites).

If it is one bed bug (hopfully not pregnant), that hitched a ride home with me- will it just die after a certain amount of time since there are no others (crossing fingers) to multiply with?. I know this is wishful thinking!

If we stop falling asleep on the couch…will it make its way up one story to the next available host (my children’s bed) or even travel 2 floors up to us?

I have used an hardware bought pesticide on the couch (and surrounding areas) and in my room but it only kills on contact (found in small print..ughh). We are also battling fleas as we are being eaten by them as well (have one cat).

We are verging on bankruptsy so we don’t have $500.00 to spend on a professional. There is always my Visa card (really trying not to bring the interest up more).

This is stressing me out!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Any suggestions or answers would be greatly appreciated



What is the name of the stuff you can buy to spray on fabric that has been mentioned several times and where do you buy it?

BTW…our couch is BLACK leather so its very hard to see any BB feces (blood?).

Made sure to put WHITE sheets on the bed.

I have heard about keeping a bed safe by pulling away from wall or any surface close by, then putting each bed leg in a bowl of mineral water.

Anyone hear about this?

Thanks in advance.



You can isolate the bed following the instructions in this FAQ. It’s a bit more complicated than you describe and must be done perfectly or bed bugs can be living in the bed and keep biting.

It is possible to bring one bed bug home, and if it is not a pregnant female, that may be the end of the problem. HOWEVER, I would not assume this to be so. You need to understand that others in the family can be bitten and have no reaction to the bites. Many people don’t. Entomologist Jerome Goddard estimates the number at 70%. Even if it isn’t that high, it is quite common in families for just one person to react to bites even when there’s evidence of bed bugs in other beds or rooms.

That said, one bite after 7 days and another after 10 more COULD be all that happened, from one bug. It would be wise to aggressively clean the bed (with steam if possible) and all bedlinens in the hope that this is so. It is potentially possible to have one bed bug and kill it. Before aggressively cleaning/steaming, I would carefully inspect. See our bed bug photos page (link at top) and the links for photos and resources which will help you learn to inspect. If you see anything suspicious, stop searching/cleaning and get professional help ASAP.

- 235nobugsonme


Thank you for your response.

Yes- to have brought one male home is wishful thinking I agree.

The problem is not the bed but the couch which is BLACK…(leather with fabric on under side of cushions and frame) = hard to see anything. We have inspected so many times AND sprayed (not that that was any use). The other problem is this is an old house= so many cracks and crevices for a bug(s) to hide.

We have never been bitten (to our knowledge), when sleeping in our bed (2 floors above couch), nor have my children (to our knowledge).

I know my husband and I have sensetive skin and are allergic to many environmental allergens… my bites are still SO itchy and this is the day after.

Trying not to itch!

- 236Buggeroff 

Hi fellow sufferers.

I first realized I had bedbugs at the end of September. I had been bitten starting a month before but only a couple of times in a couple of places, so I thought they were really mean mosquitoes. It was summer in NYC. In mid-September, I realized the patterns of the bites – 3 at a time in rows – were not normal. Plus, they swelled up horribly and itched worse than any mosquito bite ever. I immediately left the bedroom for the couch and had an exterminator come after 2 days. Contrary to what I’ve read here, my exterminator told me to stay out of there for about 5 days. I stayed out for almost 2 weeks. Now I’m worried that I may hate attracted them to the living room. But if they followed me here, they would have had to go through the poison to get to me, I hope. I did find a bite on my arm after a week and a half on the sofa, which scared me back to my bedroom.

My question is this: Was it okay that I mopped the floor after 2 weeks? I have cats and I was uncomfortable about leaving chemicals on the floor. They were down for 2 weeks, so seemed like plenty of time before I mopped. Plus, I keep finding dead spiders, so something is still working, I guess.

My other question is: Would it have been possible to be successful after only one treatment? Most people have exterminated 3 or 4 times, from what I read. Am I deluding myself to think I could be so lucky? Should I go ahead and order another round of spraying? I’ve been back in my bed for 2 nights now with no bites (praying it stays this way). I sleep with light on!

I am in mental craze over this thing. All my clothes remain in bags. I hot washed and dried all that could be. I have about $500 worth of drycleaning, still bagged waiting for the money to burn on it. I have ordered a 10 pound bag of DE online (food grade). Has anyone had success with this? I have plants that need to be protected, so I am planning to use it on them. Plus, I hear that I can sprinkle along the walls and into cracks. I own my apartment, so the cost of this thing is all mine. Has anyone had success with just one professional treatment?

I am delirious from 2 weeks of terrible sleep and from reading horror stories. I think I picked this up from one of 2 places: visiting my boyfriend in Italy where he stays in a fairly transient apartment. OR meeting with an eyewear company representative at the Grand Hyatt here in NY for a job interview. Either way, the how I got it is not as important as the how the heck and how quickly I can get rid of them for good.

Help, please. Thanks.

- 240Annie 

Re: getting rid of stuff… What are your thoughts? I haven’t seen any bugs, but finally hired a bedbug dog after a month and a half. He smelled them only on my bedframe, and I hired an exterminator. He sprayed my bedframe extra well when he treated my house, but I am not attached to it and am torn over whether or not to discard it. I don’t want to deal with a second visit, and I would love to have all this over with. He said it probably wasn’t necessary to discard my bedframe, but when I asked him if it would be better if I did, he admitted, “of course, it’s better”…

What are your thoughts on discarding things? I wish I knew how accurate the dogs really are, or if the “90%” statistic is true. I’m grateful it’s such a small infestation if so. And I don’t want to wait for a new bed, but I do want to be free of this whole ordeal… very badly. It’s a big (twin) captain’s bedframe with three drawers . I can bag up the drawers and discard them in a week on trash day, and tip the frame up at night and work on wrappign it in plastic. It’s worth it if that’ll help this be over.

If they were only sniffed out on your bedframe, would you discard it? It’ll be a real pain to haul down the stairs–I’ll need to find at least one person to help me. My landlord might help (my roommate is injured and doesn’t believe the bedbugs are real); even though he refused to pay for treatment.

Any thoughts?

- 241sheismadenew 


5 months of dealing with this. First couple months assumed my girlfriend was just having an allergic reaction because in this entire time we have not seen a single bug, and I haven’t been bitten once. Third time exterminator sprayed the old apartment we were in he told us our bed and both couches were infested.

We threw away my bed and couches, bought a new couch and moved to a new apartment (new couch was never moved into old apartment). Bagged all clothing and belongings, spent all day at laundromat washing and drying on hot every piece of clothing. A week and a half into staying at our new apartment happily she woke up with 2 bites. Threw the couch out on the balcony hoping the denver winter might lend a hand, rebagged all clothes and are just living out of them now where clothes come out of the bag go into the washer\dryer then go back into bags before we put them on. Take them off and put them into another bag. They sprayed when she noticed, and had no bites for about a week except those first 2 and then last night just got 3 new bites.

Do you think we might be close to having them nipped since she’s getting so few, if we just have the exterminator come and spray aggressively we might be able to get this taken care of?

- 243TheBugsAreEvil 

I wish I had time to read all the comments, and I will try to go back and respond to some, but we at Hearts Pest Management ( are just focused on getting our name out quickly, not because we want the business (which we do), but because we fully believe we have the best expert in southern California.

I agree with all the posts taken, with one or two modifications. We have been able to solve many many bed bug infestions, without call-backs. Why? Because of our in-depth inspections and multi-layed treatment protocol.

Additionally, with regard to elliminating the possibility that it is something else, you should be aware that there is always the possibility that two or more pests are involved. One could have bed bugs from having traveled around the country at the same time as having bird mites from a nest that was recently removed. That’s just one example.

So, a lot of my clothes can’t be washed in hot water without ruining them… most of my clothes in fact. It is possible to just put them in the dryer for an hour or two without the washing? Will the heat from the dryer kill them? The Orkin guy seemed to think this would work but I was wondering what you all thought.

- 245heather 


I do not know if i have bed bugs but are there any tips that anyone can give me in order for me to tell? I went to my doctor but she said no and that they are mosquito bits. Its winter now and I really don’t think its mosquitos. Please does anyone have any ideas on how to check if you do and the best way to get ride of them?

- 247Lee 

249Bug up Nort November 10, 2008 at 12:27 pm

Any thoughts on freezing the whole darn house? I’m in northern Wisconsin. We recently found we have Them. And it’s November! Hmm. After following a meticulously clean exit from the house, I’m thinking of draining the pipes, and putting the house in deep freeze starting with the basement first, then moving upward (bedrooms are on the top floor). Assuming we can get the core temperature of the house to below 32F, wouldn’t three days of that — theoretically — do the trick?

3 days of 32F? Nope.

Ambient temps, even of a house left-to-get-cold, are unlikely to do it. We have anecdotal reports of people in Manitoba leaving their stuff out in bags all winter. Somehow the core temps in those bags stayed warm enough to keep the bed bugs alive.

I am not saying heat and cold don’t work. But there’s no easy way. Pros can bake your house at 140F for a while and do it. This can be quite effective. Sulfuryl fluoride gas fumigation, done properly, is another one-shot deal.

- 250nobugsonme 

I have a question…. In the past i have witnessed the odd flea in my house. It is no longer flea season and i am finding bites all over my 3 year old child, but my husband nor myself have any bites on us and i can’t distingwish a flea bite to a bed bug bite and i can’t find anything. I have ripped his room apart and like i said… nothing! And what do i do if i can not afford a a PCO?

There is hope. I had bed bugs until about 6 months ago, but now (I’m hesitant to say) they are gone -only ever saw 2 actual bugs, but had about 100 to 200 bites total; and I know there were many more of the little buggers. My problem was not a major/highly developed infestation, but none the less it was extremely unpleasant. They were biting me for at least two months before I realized what the issue was. The first sign I remember was blood spots on my lightly colored sheets. I thought I had a bloody nose or scratched a scab in my sleep. When I finally connected my issue to bed bugs I told my landlord who brought in an exterminator specifically for bed bugs that cost about $790 for the entire 3 family house in NY. The exterminator sprayed two combined products –one that kills the buggers and one that stops them from reproducing. Our report of continued bits motivated the exterminator who came in 3 times total –two to three weeks between each application even though they originally said they would only come back within 1 month’s time (30 days). They sprayed around the baseboards, doorframes, and recessed lighting. I watched them to ensure they covered all applicable areas –e.g. behind items along the walls. I wrapped my mattress in a plastic drop cloth, taped it, and threw it out. I washed and dried all my clothing, some pieces twice. I dried my pillows on high for a total of 90 minutes (2 cycles). I also bought bed bug proof pillowcases and slept on an air mattress on top of a metal bed frame. Vacuuming and steaming my carpet -with a commercial grade-clothing steamer multiple times took patients and many of my evenings. ..used large Ziploc bags and tied trash bags for my laundry incase they were in the clothes I wore during the day. I wanted to wear clothing more than once so I kept the particular items in a separate Ziploc bag and steamed them before I put them on again. I took two to three showers a day –showering and changing immediately when I got home and before changing in the morning. If I went to the movies or out in public, I showered and changed when I got home. You could say it was like having OCD. I had to use lotion after showering or I would itch not from bits, but from overly dry skin. I double washed, double dried, bagged, and stored clothing that I did not need in the trunk of my car –keeping only a minimum amount of clothing in my apartment. I threw out everything –clothing, furniture, and a few books –I did not care about keeping, but I did keep most of my belongings. To avoid spreading the buggers to other locations and rooms –even during the day they sometime feed or move about –I sat on my bed when I was at home reading, eating, drawing, or watching TV. Always being in bed when I was at home was not enjoyable, but probably helped me contain the problem. It was one of the worst experiences of my life and I have a scar from scratching a bite mound on my back, but I’m still in the same apartment and things seem to be back to normal (for past 6 months). I find that I vacuum more frequently and continue to use Ziploc bags to contain my dirty laundry. I also usually take a shower when I get home from being out in crowded environments or at work; and I carefully clean and check items I bring back with me. I give my landlord credit for having had the entire building sprayed even though my place was the only reported problem.

If you have bedbugs please help, contain the buggers by taking significant steps to prevent spreading them to others. Shower and change into clean clothes every time before you go out. The clothes need to have been dried past the point of being dry on high -this may ruin some clothing -and kept in a sealed plastic bag. Avoid sleeping anywhere except your normal sleeping location. Don’t bring others into your residence. If you move before your buggers are gone then someone else will probably inherit your problem and you might bring the problem with you. Save others from this pain and it may reduce your chances of having a continued bugger problem. Get a professional and keep up you debugger routine. Save yourself from a ‘full-blown’ infestation and GET PROFESSIONAL HELP NOW! It is worth every cent.

I am not a professional, but simply a victim. The above is information that help me and should not be substituted for professional advice. I’m not responsible for any of your ‘bugger’ prevention actions or issues.

- 252GetRidOfThem

Dear Bug up Nort:

You have to deep freeze the house for 2 weeks straight and I don’t believe you will be able to drop all areas in the house including books, nooks, blankets, and electrical devices to a low enough deep freeze temperature in WI for a solid two weeks. Get a true professional that will come back every two to three weeks if you call and report more bug bits. It’s worth it. Don’t wait! The company that sprayed my appartment used two combined products -one killed them through their nervous system and the other prevented them from successfully reproducing. They told me some ‘stories’ about major infestations…lets just say you don’t want that problem. Get a pro!

- 253GetRidOfThem 


I noticed that light colored clothing and sheets allowed me to see the rust-red color blood spots that can be a tell tail sign of bed bugs. Get a pro. if you have them!

- 254GetRidOfThem 

None professional advice

Prevent yourself from developing a psycological complex – remeber that they only bugs and deal with the problem by getting a professional.

Many states (not NY) allow you to apply a bedbug pesticide yourself, but if you don’t do it correctly or use the wrong products you may worsen the problem. Through my research I’ve found that most home remedies and bug bombs worsen the problem.

Check out or have someone else check out

for some additional information on bedbugs.

WARNING: This site is not for those that may develop a bedbug complex or those that have a problem viewing “gross bugs” some of the pictures are magnified -I won’t say any more.

I have a friend who has a bed bug problem, and he’s coming over for Thanksgiving dinner. I’m afraid he’ll bring the bugs with him and cause an infestation in my apartment. Any suggestions?



Got a professional, but two weeks later you got bit again?

According to my professional, bedbugs feed in cycles and sometimes it takes time before they feed again. Keep on it! My pro came 3 times with 2 to 3 weeks between applications. Get a pro that will come back for at least 30 days to do one follow up spraying and see if you call and report bites shorty after that time period if they will come again without additional cost. I did not have a major infestation (meaing that I saw very few bugs but was bitten at least every other or every third night).

- 257GetRidOfThem 


My NONE professional advice is to have your friend shower very well before he gets to your place and change into clothes that are bug free. If he spends time in his place before he comes over in his clean clothes they won’t necessarily be bug free. Have him bring nothing into your home except bug free clothing -remeber luggage can carry bugs. Clothes have to be dried on high and very dry to be “bug free” and then sealed in a plastic bag.

It’s difficult to welcome him and not treat him like a leper, but hopefully he will understand.

He shouldn’t spend to much time away from his place or the bugs may spread in search of another host.

- 258GetRidOfThem 


You should use a plug-in flea trap to rule out fleas (which can infest homes at any time of year).

If you think you have bed bugs, you need to confirm this. If you are renting, depending where you live, the landlord may be liable for treatment.

Even if they’re not, your adjacent neighbors will need professional inspections and treatment if necesary, since it is not possible to rid your home of bed bugs if neighbors have them.

My advice would be to try and rule out fleas quickly.

- 260nobugsonme 

Removing the bed is not a bad idea if you can afford it. Beds are actually more complex than they might initially seem. There are so many places for bed bugs to hide in the bed seams and the box spring, as well as the frame. But what this FAQ sheet does not mention is that if you throw out your bed, you must mark is with a big fat X to indicate that is it not for reuse.

Another comment: It is ok to fog. On this I firmly disagree with the author, but fogging should be done as part of a larger application process involving a fix of approaches. Fogging alone would be a bad idea. At my company, we mix in an insect growth regular to the fogging agent. This stops the development of mature adults that can reproduce.

- 261Gerry Weitz 


Unfortunately, marking a bed with an X is not enough to stop mattress scavengers (who may be your neighbors or mattress resellers). Nothing short of destruction is. This figures into my advice. If you wish to remove the mattress, make sure it goes away with a waste removal company right away, sealed in a bag. Preferably cut up and bagged. I agree this is not a bad idea if you can afford it but you need to ensure this mattress is not going to a neighbor or to be resold.

If you leave it on the curb or near a dumpster, your neighbors may pick it up. Or it may be picked up and resold for $15 to a “refurbisher” as is the norm in NYC. It will then be spritzed with a contact kill and resold to some poor person who really does not need bed bugs. Just thinking practically.

We know there are certain kinds of foggers that PCOs who know bed bugs will use. We are not advising against this.

Over-the-counter bug bombs (also known as foggers) which many consumers will try out on their bed bugs, are a bad idea and can spread the problem or send bed bugs deep into walls. I don’t think OTC bombs are what you’re recommending, Gerry, but it is what most consumers think of when they hear “fogger” or “bomb.” And this FAQ is aimed at the general public. Bug bombs are a bad idea for bed bugs, based on the advice of many entomologists and PCOS (not simply my own opinion)

- 262nobugsonme 

I have seen several bed bugs in different locations in my apartment over the past few months. I have never noticed any bites on my body. I found one bug in teh fold of one of my pillows, the others have been dead on teh floors of my bathroom and kitchen. I live in an efficiency apartment where I know infestations have been a problem in the past (from what gossip I have heard from neighbors) I will go home and check every crevice of my mattress after reading through the information on this site, but what if I don’t find any more? Is it possible that there are just a few getting into my apartment from neighboring apartments? If I see one does that mean I need to prepare for total infestation of my apartment? I want to take control before its too late, but I saw the first one a few months ago (I didnt know what it was til today) and I have never had a bite.

You all seem to be pretty knowledgeable. Please give me any information you know.

Thank you so much!!

- 263catlover

Well I spoke with my landlord this morning and he came in and inspected my apartment. He said they have been treating in other areas of the building so maybe the dead bugs I’ve found were trying to escape from those other apartments. He and I could find no signs of infestation – I didnt even find one little bug and neither did he, so I guess i’m fine.

- 264catlover 


I hope you come back and see this: it is really hard to find actual bed bugs. Since you have found them in your bed, I would assume you have bed bugs in your home.

With bed bugs, an infestation isn’t defined by seeing lots of bed bugs. And even though your landlord inspected, it is possible for him not to see signs. I would get your home treated and make sure all adjacent neighbors are inspected and treated by a pro (not the landlord!)

- 265nobugsonme 

hi i live in canada and i just moved out of my place where every couple months they were spraying the building and now im in a new place and when i moved i did not bring my couch and most of my furniture the only thing i brought with me is my kids beds (plastic toddler beds) and a playpen and a mattress and i have been living here for 2 months now and one day my i kept noticing my baby kept waking up with a rash all over her body and i couldnt figure out why but then one day i noticed in her playpen there was dried blood marks and i then noticed evidence of bedbugs i threw out the playpen and i just recently bought new couches and i was just ripped the baseboards off and i noticed alot of dead bedbugs they are clear and then some dark spots which im guessing are dead eggs… my landlord told me i was responsible cause i brought them in but now he has changed his mind when i ripped the baseboards off and showed him……but my kids have alot of toys and stuff and im wondering what to do with them i was thinking of bagging them but i dont want to do that is there any other suggestions i could do about stuff like toys?…………

- 266fed up 

Hi fedup

You can use Nuvan Prostrips to treat items like toys. First place items in a bin or sealed plastic bag along with the Prostrips. The Prostrips emits a vapor chemical called DDVP which penetrates through and kills the bed bugs.

- Jeff

Hi fed up,

The eggs are not black but there could be dark spots on the baseboards from fecal matter. The landlord will need to professionally inspect all attached units and have them treated if a professional finds evidence of bed bugs there too.

- 267nobugsonme

Hi! I recently started getting bites and finding bugs in my room. (I live in NYC, so it’s not a shock.) Fortunately, I was already planning on moving in a couple of months. I’ve moved up my move date a month to be able to isolate all my stuff and put it in storage so it can be treated, but my roommates have decided they don’t want me to treat the room AT ALL until they find a new roommate, and don’t plan on telling the new roomie about the bug problem until she’s already moved in.

I have two concerns: first, I think it is totally unethical not to tell the new roomie. They’ve even gone so far as to hide my bed bug spray in the bathroom so that the new people don’t see it.

Secondly, I’ve asked repeatedly for them to call the landlord and get a fumigation, but they refuse, and since I’m not on the lease, I don’t have any direct contact with the landlords.

What should I do? I’m going to treat everything as best I can with spray and powder, but I’m genuinely afraid of taking the critters with me.

Any advice?


- 268scout 

Five days ago I had recovered from strep throat and lying in bed for 7 days. I changed sheets and blanket. Woke up next a.m. with big red welt on side of neck. Next morning two more under chin. Then nothing for one day. This a.m. another on neck (all front or side of neck) and forearm.

Cannot find good pics with measurements of bedbug bites. My dogs do NOT have fleas; neither do my cats. I have 13 rooms, full of art and stuff, and am really hoping this isn’t bedbugs. Why would they appear out of the blue just because I changed the bedding? Arghhhhh!!!

- 270barkinglips

About 4 days ago, I started noticing bug bites on my body while I was visiting family in Texas. It began very mildly, and at first I thought it was just mosquito bites and didn’t think anything of it. Approximately 2 days later (one day after I returned home from Texas), I noticed bites all over my body. After researching, these bites look extremely similar to all the pictures posted on this website. I went to the doctor the next day who immediately refered me to a dermotologist. The dermotologist said she didn’t think the bites were from bed bugs, and she ruled out scabies as well. She said it looked as though my body was having an allergic reaction to a single bug bite, and my stress and itching caused spreading. She also told me to bring in a bug specimen if I happen to find one. The next day I saw 3 tiny bugs on the wall; one was near the bed, two were still in the bedroom but adjacent to the bed. A body scale from the same looking bug was found at the end of my mattress. These bugs seem similar to the pictures of the young bed bugs on this website; however, they had many more legs. I immediately put the bugs in a zip-loc baggie and took them to the dermotologists office. A 2nd dermotologist assured me that they weren’t bed bugs, but couldn’t really identify them and suggested I have a PCO inspect my apartment. I am having that done in a few days (earliest appointment available), but I am freaking out in the mean time. I am beyond paranoid that I have bed bugs in my apartment. I have not seen any blood or fecal (rust colored, etc.) spotting on the sheets, and that one bug scale was the only thing I’ve found. In addition, my husband, who was on the trip to Texas with me, has nothing on his body to speak of. Does this sound like bed bugs? Also, can pets show signs of bites? I have a cat, who also seems to be uneffected. Again, I am completely freaking out and checking my mattress and inspecting the walls constantly. I know not to sleep on the couch or at a friend’s but I can’t shake the feeling that I have bed bugs. Does it sound like that is the case? Any advice would be greatly appreciated!

hi everyone – this site has been unbelievably helpful, not just for the information but the blogging which has become a great source of emotional support. Just knowing there are others out there dealing with the same problem has moved me from panic/fear/disgust to action.

Here are my questions – my roommate told me and my other roommate Thursday night that she has bedbugs – she confirming seeing actual bugs on the surface of her bed. Her bed was completely infested – eggs everywhere, and when she packed the mattress and box spring in plastic and moved it out of the apartment, bugs were visibly crawling around on her bed and on the apartment floor/walls (even though she packed it in plastic) as she dragged it through to dispose. She told me she just noticed the bites 2 weeks ago, but I feel like she MUST have had the bugs for a much longer period in order to have that level of infestation in her bed, which also makes me believe she may have been in denial for a while. Am I correct in suspecting this? We also found out the apartment on first floor had bedbugs a month ago, got treated, and so far so food – they only washed/bagged their clothes and bought mattress covers.

Bud bug experienced PCO came Sat morning and sprayed down EVERYTHING – the couches, the walls, inside every dresser drawer, and our mattresses completely. He said he had treated bedbugs more than 100 times in NYC and that he has never had to treat a place twice – which I thought was odd after reading everything posted here – am I right? We told him we wanted him to come back in 2-3 weeks to redo. He said he used “Demand”. He told us to wait until the poison dried, and not to sleep on the mattress until we have mattress covers, but that everything else he sprayed would be fine to touch, unless we were touching it for a long period of time (like reading a sprayed book), in which case we should wash our hands often and not touch our faces/eyes. Is this true? I am worried the poison might be more toxic than he let on – my eyes are already burning a little bit after spending some time back in my room on Sunday. Also – I am in the middle of writing essays for grad school apps so I need to be in my room/at my desk – i.e. in the space that was sprayed down. I am concerned about possible toxicity issues. Should I be worried?

Finally – neither myself nor the third roommate has seen bugs/been bitten and we want to know how vigilant we need to be. I bagged all my clothes, have mattress covers arriving tomorrow, and bagged all my other stuff like books, etc. but now I am thinking none of that makes sense because 1) I didn’t wash all my stuff, just bagged it 2) doesn’t make sense to isolate objects because I might just be protecting them from the poison 3) stuff in my closet is not completed sealed. That said, no bugs and no bites. Is it possible we have not been infected and that the thorough spraying of our rooms will be sufficient?

My plan is to stay here in this flat the problem has been solved via PCO treatment, however I need to move out of this apartment in the next month or two – which is not enough time to confirm that an infestation is gone. Not sure how to orchestrate the move in such a way to ensure no bed bug transfer – any suggestions?



My family and I seen bed bugs and are trying to get rid of them now. living here is my mother, brother, son and myself. we have a lot of things all though the house i guess u can say clutter. we are having a PCO come out to the house on saturday my son’s only 14months so i want to get rid of them as fast as i can. i think they are dirty and hate them, i try to sleep but i will wake up and hop out of bed, i cant sleep with them. its 3 in the morning righ tnow and i have to be up at eight and from what i have read there is no where for me to go get away from them. i have a few questions will bed bugs go in your mouth? your ears? can they live in your hair? if u have food such as fruit sitting out and the bed bug lays eggs on it and it was eatten will that harm you? that would mean that they would hatch inside you and thats kind of gross. one more if you are pregnant can bedbugs effect you any differently?

- 274Jennavieve 

Hi Jennavieve,

Bed bugs mostly do not want to hang around. They come along, bite you (which takes 3-10 minutes) and then hightail it out of there, to hide somewhere quiet.

They are inclined to feed as easily as possible, and I don’t think they would seek out the inside of your mouth or your hair.

Their eggs are visible and unlikely to appear on food. I do not think it would harm you in the unlikely event you ingested one.

If you are pregnant, you might want to mention the bed bug problem to your doctor. But the most important thing is prompt, good treatment. Make sure the pest control operator knows you’re pregnant too in case it affects their choice of treatment actions.

- 275nobugsonme 

I just finished bombing my apartment when I read this and now know I might have made the situation worse!! I found bedbugs in my daughters bed six months ago. We went through everything, threw out her bed, blankets, stuffed animals. I bought a spray at Walmart that said it was for bedbugs and sprayed the whole room. I even did other rooms in the house and the couches. Now I just found more bugs in my sons bed! I took all of his blankets outside (it’s about 15 degrees right now) and let off bombs in the house, but this morning I still saw some bugs on his matress. I was thinking of putting the whole bed outside for about a week (it’s supposed to get really cold this week) and possibly renting a steam cleaner. Any other suggestions would be greatly appreciated. I feel itchy all the time, don’t know if its all in my head because i know we have this problem or if I actually have bugs on me. ANother thing is I like in an apartment building with 5 other units besides mine, does this mean that no matter what I do they will keep coming back if the neighbors have them?



Please, please read the FAQs thoroughly and also come to the forum and ask questions before you do anything else.

Putting the bed outside for a week is unlikely to help de-bug the bed, and this FAQ goes into why. Not only do temps have to be cold enough, they have to stay consistently cold enough. Moreover, getting bed bugs out of the bed probably is not going to solve the problem, which also is in your home.

The best thing I can recommend is that you get good help from a professional who is experienced with bed bugs. If you are renting, it may be so that the landlord pays for treatment, depending where you live.

Yes, unfortunately, if your neighbors are infested, they need treatment too. Dealing with the landlord means you have a better chance of making this happen.

- 277nobugsonme 

Thanks for this site, lot’s of helpful info. I am living in Mexico and I think I am being bit by bed bugs. They don’t itch as much as mosquito bites, but the welts are a little bigger. They only bite me and not my husband? Why do you think? Also if we sleep with the light on will that help?


- 278Lina

Hi Lina,

Thanks for your comments.

You can’t diagnose bed bugs solely by the appearance of bites, but they can be large welts or small, or anything in between. Many people are bitten and get no reaction and this may be what your husband is experiencing. Sleeping with the light on will not keep bed bugs from biting. You should seek the best help you can get. Only aggressive treatment will get rid of bed bugs. Please read the FAQs and come to the forums if you have questions.


The building management informed me two days ago that an apartment right next to me has bedbugs and the exterminator needs to come in to do some precautionary treatment. which he did. he put white powder in all of the outlets of the apartment. (Except for the bathroom and kitchen) He couldn’t ell me which neighbor, but I’m guessing it’s the neighbor above me because I heard lots of furniture being moved right before the exterminator came to me.

After he left, i started researching bed bugs and now I’m freaking out! Everyone insists on tis site that if the neighbor has them, then I will too. The exterminator claimed the neighbor no longer has them. It seems he did all our apartments at the same time. But, unless he treated her apartment at an earlier time, then how could he get rid of the bed bugs in one treatment/ And, are the outlets the only way they can travel into my apartment? What about the heaters?

What do I do? Do I hire another exterminator to inspect my apartment? Do I ask the management to arrange that? Should I buy some bed bug killer treatments and put them around my apartment? What is the best bed bug killer? The DE got bad reviews on here as being ineffective. I’ve been putting lavender and basil oil around my front door every night. I’m officially freaking out! Help!

- 280Sam 


It’s quite absurd to call DE ineffective and yet put lavender oil by your door. (I am not trying to give you a hard time; I did stranger things myself!) I would suggest you read our FAQs both on DE and on “natural solutions” like lavender oil.

You might try caulking and sealing, or getting your super to do so if possible. This can help prevent them coming over. Unfortunately, they can come via any gaps in the walls (where pipes go, heaters, etc.). You can’t guarantee they won’t walk over. But you also can’t be sure they will.

One thing I’d be concerned about is that if you or other neighbors don’t react to bites, you may not know if you have them.

- 281nobugsonme 

Thanks for responding nobugsonme. I’ve decided, unless I get further info, to call my building management tomorrow to find out what they can do in terms of sealing up cracks, etc. I’m also going to find out what the treatment was. I’m assuming it was DE, but not positive. The lavender oil is just for now until I decide on what the best treatment is. The DE reviews on this site were disappointing. But, if others have had success with it….please tell me.

After I declutter and seal up as much as possible….I may splurge on one of those dog sniffers. I’m feeling very paranoid right now, but after reading everyone’s horrible nightmare stories, I’m not sure if I’m over reacting.

Was just treated by PCO with Gentrol for first time. Bugs were very bad for about 12 hours after treatment, then they seem to have died or retreated. Took a while for landlord to get on board but giving him info from here was very helpful. And I was able to talk to PCO intelligently. I understand I need to have the treatment again in two weeks. I’m doing the wash and bag and use just minimum of what I need to get by for a few months. As a temporary measure I use just regular old rubbing alochol 70 percent in a fine spray mist on my sheets, blankets and pillows 1 hour before bed. Provides some relief between washings but make sure you have an open window nearby to avoid fumes. I also put 1/2 cup of pine cleaner in the wash. Seems to kill or repel better or it could just be wishful thinking. I tossed my cheap mattress and feel psychologically much better using an air mattress. At least I can clean it when I change the sheets. I need help, though, from you all. I got the bed bugs from an elderly woman who I ran errands for. Sometimes I would sit with her since she was lonely. She has the “hoarders” OCD thing. Can’t throw anything away. After several months I finally noticed the blood smears all over her walls. They were bad. I mean too numerous to count. That’s what I get for helping out a stranger, I guess. Since she is impossible to deal with, I informed the landlord but he won’t do anything unless she complains. Even if he did do anything, I think she would put up a fuss. She loves to file junk lawsuits and knows just how to manipulate the system. She is so attached to everything, even the junkiest stuff she has found and brought in off the street. Called adult services but they won’t “interfere.” They whole situation is just sickening. I can no longer speak to her because I’m still pretty upset. She lives just next door to my apt. Even though I don’t visit her anymore, I’m afraid that they bugs crawl through the walls or I track them in via the hallway outside our apts. What more can I do to protect myself and get rid of the bugs I already have?

- 283Bugbegonner

Thanks nobugsonme!

So after weeks of searching, in the middle of the nigh I was dreaming of mosquitos and begbuggs bitting me. I woke up, to find a bedbug on my wall! I caught it with tape. Now I don’t know what to do, think we are moving out soon! The manager said he will fumigate our room with raid, don’t think that will work, we live a a complex with 20 other rooms. Thanks again!

- 284Lina 


Raid will not work, nor will treating one unit.

I suggest trying to find out the local laws re: pests in rental units. In some locations, it is illegal for someone not licensed to apply pesticides to do so in your home. A tenants’ organization or local library reference desk should be able to help you find out the local laws re: landlords, tenants, and pests.

- 285nobugs 

Please help!

The exterminators have come 3 times already. The first time I had baking soda every where b/c I read some where that would kill them so I guess the chemical got absorbed by the baking soda.

My room is extremely small, almost the size of a closet and I have a lot of clothes and books here b/c I am a student. The exterminators told me to leave the clothes in the closet and they’ve sprayed my bed, bed frame so many times. I went without any bites for 2 days and now, after the 3rd treatment, they are back already. I got one particularly after putting on a scarf from the closet. They told me to dry everything for 15 minutes but it seems like everyone is saying 1 hr. However, my dryer stops after 15 minutes b/c it senses that it is too hot inside. Now I am drying everything for 15 minutes and putting them inside bags. B/c the room is so small, all the bags are stacked on top of another. I took some of my clothes to the dry cleaners (only 6 things and it cost $70). As a student, I can’t bag all of my books b/c I need them.


- 2863 times sprayed

3 times sprayed,

I cannot comment on the baking soda except that I have not heard this to be a useful tactic with bed bugs. It may well be sabotaging your spraying as you describe, I do not know.

In addition to removing the baking soda and having a knowledgeable PCO treat, all units connected to yours (above, below, sides) must be professionally inspected. Has this been done?

My girlfriend’s mother has bed bugs in her apartment. She stays with me during the week and so she carries clothing and other peronal items such as bags and shoes to my apartment. Is there anything I can do to stop the bugs from infesting my place. Should I buy the sprays and dusters and ask her to treat the stuff she carries with her? She knows she has been bitten while at her mother’s apartment, but so far it doesn’t appear that they’re in place yet. I have boric powder, is it a good idea to dust the door to my bedroom as a means of preventing them from leaving the room if they are indeed in there? I am going to recommend that we both take our clothing over the laundrymat and put it in the dryer on high for 20 minutes. This is crazy…its in the newspaper today abut huge infestations in central brooklyn. The NY State Authorities should be looking into this thing…people could really spread this thing and then start a panic. NY is clutter…the city is filled with close quarters and small connected apartments. Not to mention the subway.

- 288Gizmo 

Hi Gizmo,

Your girlfriend’s mother needs to take precautions to avoid spreading bed bugs to your home, to public places, her workplace, etc.

The travel FAQs include advice on how to avoid taking bed bugs from one place to another.

Boric acid is not very useful for bed bugs. It works for roaches because they ingest it; bed bugs don’t lick their feet as roaches do. However, food grade diatomaceous earth can be carefully applied to places it will not be made contact with, see this FAQ as a starting point. Do your research and do be careful: dusts in general are not good for lungs.

Your best bet, as you’re already aware, is avoiding them being brought into your home in the first place.



Hey Nobugsonme…thank you so much for responding. I am encouraging them to get help. She called 311 to report to NYC DOH. She also informed her landlord who promised to send his PCO. I am concerned that the LL’s PCO will have very litle experience with BB’s. I’ve told them to suggest that he seek a specialist (one of the PCO’s listed here), but there is no gurantee that the LL will do this since their inhouse PCO’s are really a dime a dozen. I think another forumite said that the LL’s don’t have to undertake “extraordinary” eausres to meet their legal obligations regarding exterimating pests, but I’ll certainly encourage them to insist if they can. I am not sure what help NY DOH offers via 311, but I am sure its best to inform them so they can trace the route of the infestation for any broader progam the City may undertake.

As for my apartment, I haven’t seen any signs yet but its been less than two months sine my Girlfriend had her first bite and started to move back and forth between her mother’s apartment and my apartment. She says she inspects her clothes and bags, but gets defensive if I point out that her inspections are probably not very effective. I tried to do some de-cluttering, checked the matrass, keep a flashlight beside the bed ect. So far neither of us has been bitten here. I keep feeling that creepy crawly feeling but show no display of bites so far. When bitten she shows right away, but she doesn’t have any new bites while staying here. She goes back home and then get new bites…comes back here and complains. I feel like I am playing Russian Rulet, but she is my fiance what can I do?

I decided I am going to buy Sterifab and spray my room thoroughly. I am hoping to stop it before it starts. I tried to confine our movement to my bedroom and I was wondering if there was a way to set up a border at my room door with the sterifab. I realize they can crawl on the walls or ceiling, but if I can pre-empt the infestation and limit the scope of my exposure then maybe my PCO bill wont bankrupt me.


If your girlfriend is complaining AFTER coming to your home, it is fully possible they are in your home biting her and biting you, but that you are not allergic. I just want to throw that out there as a possibility. It’s common for people to not have any reaction to bed bug bites.

I am not a PCO, but my understanding is that Steri-fab has very little residual. As such, setting up a “barrier” of Steri-fab is not going to do much.

Definitely read the travel FAQ about how not to spread bed bugs to others, which should help you and your girlfriend prevent moving them from place to place.


Hi, I’m a college student and I’m just about to move out of my dorm apartment next week. I’m going home for 4 months and then I’m moving into an entirely different apartment. For the last month or so, my roommate has been getting crazy bedbug bites, while i’ve barely gotten any. We’ve had some pest guys come and they say that it’s probably a small infestation. They’ve sprayed three times so far, once a week.

We’ve bagged everything. But I’m really worried about bringing it back home. Most of my things are away from the bed area and packed in cardboard boxes, with every single opening taped up, even the sides, but I’m worried that the bugs might actually be living in the cardboard. My roommate says that they can do that, and I’ve been getting mixded reports about it. Is this true? the boxes are going into storage for the summer, and I don’t want the bugs (if there are any) to stew in there for 4 months before attacking as soon as I open the boxes.

Also, I’m worried about the things that are bagged. I’m not worried about my bags or clothes as I plan on washing them right before I leave and packing them away from my room, but I’m worried about my other things that are bagged (movies, stereo, shoes, etc). These are all things that I can neither microwave or freeze. I can’t just blast the temp. in my room as we don’t have a thermostat. What can I do with them?

P.S. if someone could tell me what the hottest setting on the washer and dryer are, that’d be appreciated. I’m not sure as the washer/dryer that I use in my apartment only lists the options of delicates, whites/colors, and permanent press. I usually use permanent press, but should I use something else?

- newx94022

Sorry I forgot to add that seeing as it is a college dorm, the bed and mattress are pretty much made to avoid such infestations. the mattress is protected by plastic and the bed frame is specially made to prevent infestation by bed bugs. the only thing is that the floor is made of carpet. I want to vacuum only I don’t have one on hand that is bagless and that’s what I’d prefer. Hopefully the pest guy can help with that. And all our furniture is made the same way, or with plastic/metal. So the only thing that I’m really worried about are my personal possessions that can’t be microwaved or frozen.

- newx94022


First, if you have additional questions, PLEASE post them to our forums, where you will likely get more, and quicker responses.

Bed bugs can easily be moved. They can harbor in boxes, and spread from there to the storage facility (and other people) OR hang out in your stuff to eventually be moved again.

They can obviously also be stored in sealed bags.

It is essential to try and kill them.

I would not personally use a microwave on belongings. Some readers have used a Packtite to heat items.

Clothing/linens/etc. can be heated in a dryer but we cannot tell you the heat YOUR dryer will reach. Usually the hot setting is hot enough if done for long enough. But it may vary.

If you and friends have a lot of stuff, it can be put in a truck and treated with Vikane Gas (depending where you are). This is pricey.

And I would store with care after doing this: others may have improperly wrapped stuff in storage, waiting to spread bed bugs back to you.

Can someone help me? My husband believes we have bed bugs, he has several 12-15 bites on 1 leg, in the same area. Pictures posted on the web look similar to what he has. However, he doesnt have bites anywhere else, and I sleep next to him… no bites on me. My daughter often sleeps in both beds, ours and hers across the hall – no bites. Is it possible to have bed bugs? (no other criteria match other than him waking w/ bites, not travel, ect.) help! He’s driving me crazy!

- 295Jill 

It is possible. Many people do not react and this may be the case with you and daughter.

You should rule out other possible causes like mosquitos, fleas, folliculitis, and scabies.

In an early stage of bed bug infestation there may be few bed bugs. They may only have bitten him and then only on his leg.

You should keep in mind he could have been bitten in a public place, but it is also possible you have bed bugs at home.

- 296nobugsonme 

Hi Guys – Wow I was reading thru the postings from the top and its a wealth of information. You guys have been doing this for 2 yrs now. Ok now coming to my problem I got some furnitures from my friends place and also got some bugs. I did not know there were bugs in it. I have just moved in to a new appartment and got the first bite yesterday while sitting on the sofa in the living room. I got up and searched and saw a bug on the sofa “Welcome to the bug world”. I took it and killed it. I am scared now because I am afraid all the furnitures I brought from there could be infected. It has been in my apartment for less than a week now. Do you guys think it would have spread by now? Please advice. I am very upset with this buggy thing. Please advice at the earliest.

- 298BugsEradicator 

Yes– they may well have spread. If you were to toss out the sofa they may spread even further. PLEASE get a pest control operator with lots of experience killing bed bugs to help.

- 299nobugsonme 

300TotallyBuggin' NYC 

Hi Everyone,

So I’m a little freaked out. I just moved into an apartment 3 weeks ago. The lease that the management company put together had a disclosure letter stating that “no cases of bed bugs have occurred in the building to date”. I signed it acknowledging that I read it and figured I was fine. BUT today I found out from someone who no longer lives in the building that they infact had bed bugs, AND it was in the unit right above mine. How can I prevent them? And why would the lease have that letter if there were infact bed bugs? Was the old tenant mistaken or is the management company being tricky? Also is there any law requiring them to disclose a situation like bed bugs or were they just throwing that out there to cover their butt?


My landlord didn’t help us at all. When we called him about our situation, he asked us to call him back and then avoided us for a month. We ended up skipping rent and leaving the bed and sofa behind for him to take care of.

The Vancouver eastside is full of roadside used furniture and often I’ve seen transients lolling around on old mattresses. Please, if you get rid of bedbug infested furniture, keep it away from buildings and make sure no one tries to take it home thinking it’s “free”.

Finally seem to have gotten rid of all the bugs….

Best solutions I found:


WOW That did the trick….

Them buggers are in steam clean heaven…

It’s a process though, took a while, found a hand held steamcleaner.

what a relief…

If you use distilled water in it you don’t have to clean the machine…

Keep washing your clothes and steamcleaning even after you think they’re gone…

Steam Vac for big houses, I have a small apartment, watch out for glued surfaces, stay away from the glue, the ste

am will tear it up…

All the best… form sunshipway

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