post off: have you experienced bed bugs?

bedbug1

In New York, it feels like bed bugs are everywhere. Even if you don’t have them, you can’t ride the subway or read a newspaper without seeing an advertisement or story on them. Just last week, the New York media were abuzz with the closing of a Hollister and an Abercrombie & Fitch store due to infestations, and I also read about how popular they are with the plush seats in movie theaters. A few weeks ago we had our own scare and it was completely emotionally draining. The good news: we didn’t have them. The bad news: many people do, and they’re very hard to control. There are numerous online resources for identifying and treating the problem, but when we were buggin’ out (sorry!) we found speaking to friends who’ve dealt with them most helpful in quelling our anxieties. So sound off, for the love of bug-free beds! Have you ever experienced bedbugs? How did you know, and what did you do about it? — Sarah C.

Photo via MedicineNet

From our partners
Petra

Well the good news for renters is that in some states it is mandatory for the landlord to pick up the tab if you have an infestation and need an exterminator. But there is a lot of preparation involved before the exterminators spray your humble abode. You have to clean everything, and inspect clothing + wash any possibly infested items in hot soapy water. You may also have to empty dressers, as bed bugs can reside in wood. They can also reside in upholstered furniture like couches and chairs. So all those furniture items will likely be sprayed in addition to just your bed.

Mary T

Wow, nobody? You luckies! I had an old boyfriend whose home was plagued by them. I never experienced them, but that was because, by the time I knew him, he’d dismantled and thrown out half his furniture. And was suing his landlord. What a mess.

amy

honestly, the ever-increasing number of bed bug horror stories are making me want to flee new york with immediacy. i’ve known a few people who’ve had them and it was a NIGHTMARE. they had to throw out tons of stuff, their landlord didn’t do anything to offset the costs of having bed bug exterminators come in, and they were sorta social pariahs for a while. i myself cringed a little the next time i saw and hugged said friend. whole neighborhoods are rife with the monsters, and i recently read all about how bedbugs can hitchhike onto you from people squished in next to you on the subway. i’m already having bad bed bug dreams and i feel like the longer i stay in this city, the better my odds are of bringing some of the critters home with me. shudderz.

Megan B.

Sheesh. Kinda makes me rethink my whole vintage furniture thing. And makes me itch. I, too have friends with ENDLESS horror stories, but alas, I remain bedbug free. But here’s a helpful (or terrifying) resource I found about hotels with bedbug problems: http://bedbugregistry.com/

Lynn

After living in NYC bedbug-free for ten years in a too-small apartment with a rotten landlord in a terrible neighborhood, in April I moved fifteen blocks away into an apartment I love in a neighborhood I’m also enjoying.

Last weekend I started getting bites; two days ago I learned from a neighbor three floors down that there have been bedbugs on his floor. I checked bedbug registry too late – even though my apartment wasn’t on it, several buildings nearby (including a building I’d decided against in favor of my current bldg) The landlord is sending an exterminating company for inspection on Monday.

From everything I’ve read online this week, I’m heading into an epic battle that I may not win…

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The thought of getting bedbugs terrifies me.

I’m in NYC right now visiting a friend, and before I would agree to come, I asked her if they’ve ever had a problem with them because I was worried that they would hitchhike home in my luggage!

I’ve heard that there are a few “bandaid” fixes to help get some sleep while more permanent fixes are in the works: strip the bed and put an impenetrable cover over it (bedbugs in the bed will not die, but they can’t get you), put the legs of the bed in water with some dish soap in it (bedbugs can’t jump or fly, so they climb bedposts at night). They’ll still be able to get you (they can climb walls and drop down from the ceiling), and this isn’t a real fix, but it might help with sanity-saving sleep in the meanwhile.

Mike Johnson

We were attacked by bedbugs at the Lulu’s Surf Club restaurant in Waikiki. We didn’t know they were bedbugs at the time, having never seen them, and the place was crawling with them. They were hiding in the chairs.

When we figured out what they were — the minute I saw the telltale breakfast-lunch-dinner bites on my wife’s legs a light bulb went on — it was two days later and we were back at home. I called Lulu’s and they said, “Oh yeah, it’s bad, but we have an exterminator who comes once a month to spray for them, and besides, every hotel and restaurant in Waikiki has them.”

We had to boil or freeze everything we’d taken with us, and everything that had touched anything that had gone on our trip. Fortunately, we didn’t develop an infestation in our house. But it was a lot of work trying to prevent one.

The lease is finally over!

I had a horrible experience with them last summer. Here in Montreal the landlord is obligated to foot the bill, but that doesn’t mean they’ll do it without a fight. I had to go through the rental board to get my landlady to take action. I took some very serious precautions–heat treated or threw out everything–and they were gone after one spray. Unfortunately the same cannot be said for the rest of the apartments in the building (my mattress was originally on the floor, and most likely they came up from the apartment below ours). They’ve been back to spray twice since but we’ve had no signs of bugs. Thankfully I am OUT of there and I’ll be doing my reseplace before I move into a new place.

shelterrific » Blog Archive » a few things we learned last week

[…] Bed bugs make bad neighbors (and hotel guests). Not too many responded when we asked if you’d had bed bugs — perhaps you’re all too busy cringing? But we did relate to this comment from Amy, who […]

Got to get a bed bug dog detector.