The Cost of Bedbuggery – Boulder Edition

I can NOT believe my misfortune. Just 20 months and 1700 miles after my first incident of bedbuggery, I am back in this awful situation of having to deal with it. AGAIN.

Three hours ago I killed two blood-filled bugs between the pages of a paperback and captured another – also between the pages of that paperback, but since it hadn’t fed on me yet, it didn’t “squish”. This happened around 12:15am local time (bedbugs are nocturnal), and the trapped bug can’t climb the sides but keeps trying (bedbugs can’t climb plastic, metal, tile, etc). I was looking for them tonight because I found a shed exoskeleton and got suspicious. Further investigation found a smear of something on my just-washed sheets toward my feet – and I have no cuts. My sheets are the color of fruit punch so I couldn’t figure out the smear color. So…after 10 mins of lying still while playing Words With Friends (well…strangers), I’d exhaled enough carbon dioxide to attract the little bastards.

That mild rash on the back of my elbow/upper arm that I thought was related to heat or friction? Bites. Those odd red marks on my neck and upper chest? Bites. Strangely I thought I knew what the bites look like but I have something that’s more rash-like – I have the Wikipedia bed bug entry to thank for finding out that’s how it can look. Guess I’m a little allergic to bedbugs. I wish the reverse was true.

In a few hours I’m going to take the trapped bug to the management office and hopefully they can skip the inspection step and go straight to the spraying. Unlike my horrible NYC experience, I don’t have much stuff to spray and wipe with alcohol and pack into plastic bags.

Last month we had new windows installed, and they taped notices to our doors. One of my neighbors across the hall scribbled on their notice “bed bug spraying tomorrow”. I called management and they said “the tenant bought a suitcase from a thrift store and got paranoid”. I think management LIED. But to be fair…everything in my apartment is second-hand and I could easily have brought them in. If I did, I suspect the couch. I’d noticed little bugs but since it was daytime, figured they were something else. However… they’re just like the ones I squished in my paperback.

I’m worried about how they “treat” for bedbugs. The inspection is done by human eye, not sniffer dog snout. I’m worried they’re going to pump a little spray – much as I could do myself for $9.99 from Bed Bath & Beyond. Well see if Boulder can match the Big Apple on this one.

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8 Responses

  1. My sister had bedbugs once; a tenant in her building had them and moved out without notifying the landlord about the problem. Usually to find out if you’re infested they look for casings and bedbug waste that would most likely be in your mattress. Hopefully it’s not bad enough that they find any in your apartment! They should still spray if other tenants are having problems as well since it’s a very common problem. Hope everything goes well!

    • So far I’ve killed 6 and trapped 2. I’ve got molted casings and bites and nasty little dead bug blood smears on my sheets. Sadly, there is no doubt. This sucks beyond sucking.

  2. Remove your bedskirt and put double sided tape around the frame of your bed and move it away from the wall. Start washing everything in hot water and then put it directly in plastic bags. I had a problem with bird mites and it was about as bad as bedbugs. Good luck!

    • Hey Diva… Sadly I remember the protocol from the NYC edition of bedbuggery in Nov ’09. I threw out the bedskirt and my bed isn’t in a frame (will be changing that on Thursday). I did all the hot dryer/plastic bag stuff — and then the guy came in and did a really lame spray job as if I had ants or something. I made him come back again after being bitten 56 hours afterwards (“they’ll all be dead in 24 hours”) and he thought I was imagining things because he’s sooo effective – he told me to catch one and prove it. Today I got bitten by an adult bug which had clearly survived two sprayings. And I brought that bug alive in a ziploc baggie to the management office. Here it is 12 hours later and I just killed a much younger one. This is beyond disgusting and what he’s selling is less effective than snake oil.

  3. oh no!! i’m so sorry! i hope it’s all over soon. thank you for the warning though… i’ll stay away from used furniture!

  4. I feel so sorry for you! I had bed bugs at university and they were an absolute nightmare. The reason that the management of your building are probably reluctant to do anything meaningful is because removing bed bugs is actually really hard work. They tend to live in the wood, as opposed to soft furnishings necessarily. In the end I set an alarm for midnight, got up, took photos of the horrible things and took them to our university halls managers. Faced with photographic evidence, they had to act.

    • Harri – I actually caught bedbugs in ziploc baggies and handed them to both the management office and the exterminator. They still wanted to pretend like it was questionable!

  5. i hope he ripped off your base boards & whatnot ! i live in canada, & it seems like they are popping up everywhere! I work for a rental community, and almost every day we have tenants coming in saying they have bed bugs. we don’t charge them for the spray, unless we know that they brought them in themselves or didnt prepare properly for their spray. I hope everything is tooken care of! I feel so terrible for anyone who contacts them 😦

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