Advice about Bed Bugs
Berkeley Parents Network >
Advice about Health >
Advice about Bed Bugs
Does anyone out there have experience getting rid of bed
bugs for good? We have been struggling to eliminate them
from our bed since August trying various things, including
mattress covers, frequent cleaning and spackling of all
crevices, diatomaceous earth, ...but each time we think
we've finally got em, and have a week's reprieve -- they
come back. Up til now they've been contained to our bed,
but recently they've move to our 3 year old's bed -- she has
big itchy welts on her and is miserable -- and we're at our
wits end (and bickering and stressed and have been told we
can't travel to see our family back east -- we have plane
tickets for April -- unless we've gotten rid of them).
We've considered the ThermaPure (heat) approach, but it
doesn't seem (from what we can find on Yelp, etc.) that it
really works that well (and they only guarantee it for FIVE
DAYS! We've been able to do five days on our own..) and
costs like $2,000. Has anyone used them successfully? ANd
have a local referral? Or had other success stories or local
pest control recommendations? Help!
Have they actually been identified as bed bugs? Just wanted
to be sure because we thought we were dealing with bed bugs
when it was really rat mites.
I went through a similar situation but didn't know what was happening! My
boyfriend at the time spent the night EVERY night and didn't have bumps
on his body but I had trails all over! I was even embarrassed to wear short
sleeve shirts because I had huge trails of red, extremely itchy bumps (on
arms, as well as belly, legs, back, etc). Everyone thought it was stress -
related since this wasn't happening to anyone who lives with me (mom,
sister and boyfriend at the time) until one day, when I was sitting in bed, a
bunch of them started crawling down my pillow! I threw everything away:
pillow, bed frame ( which was new), blankets, washed everything else in
hot water, etc. I know this sounds crazy but let me tell you, this lasted
something like a year until everything was out of the house. I found their
nest : inside the fabric of my headboard, so the whole thing is forever
gone!!! Haven't seen any bedbugs since and the thought of ever seeing
them again gives me nightmares.
Find the nest! They come out at night!
After I knew they were gone ( or at least hadn't seen them anymore), I went
to Home Depot and bought a bed bug spray. I sprayed the carpet, room
corners, etc daily for a month.
Are you absolutely sure it's bed bugs? I have bites, don't see
any bugs and found out that roof rats, carry mites that can
bite. We have an exterminator setting traps in the attic,
sealing the holes, and spraying to eliminate mites. Hope this
Im sorry to hear you go this. I got them from a meditation center and
brought them home in my bedding. They are hard to get rid of unless you
are extreme. They can hide for a year without eating. You have to kill the
eggs. Only heat kills the eggs.
1. Throw away the bed, carpet and any furniture you can part with, window
treatments etc.. They can hide real well in any crack.
2. Clear caulk every crack in that room. Between baseboard and floor,
between floorboards, between window and door trim and plaster etc.
3. Put a ring of diatomaceous earth around the bed or matress on floor. I
got a cheap air matress as interim bedding.
4. Put all clothing and sheets curtains etc in a hot hot dryer for twenty
minutes minimum to kill eggs.
5. Either throw books away or put them in oven to kill eggs- they love to
hide in books and bookshelves. Throw away bookshelves if not attached.
Remember you can always do Ikea after..
6. Anything that can tolerate boiling water should get dumped in a bucket of
7. Vacuum everyday as this can suck put newly hatched eggs.
Basically throw anything away you are not attached to make it easier. The
emptier the room the easier.
Do not move anything from that room into the rest of the house or it will
spread. Also even if you think you got rid of them not everyone has an
allergic reaction- which is the only way you know you have them.
Finally I used Pestec back in 2004 they were the only ones that
understood them since they were dealing with homeless shelters in SF. No
pesticides work except DDT which is banned which is also why they a
coming back. Please don't bomb the room or they scatter to the rest of the
house! Pestec came with special target steamers and vacuum cleaners.
Since it is now an epidemic in NYC I am sure there is more info out there
on Internet. But bottom line is if you get rid of almost everything in that
room, caulk and vacuum and bring in Pestec at the end- you can do it! P.s.
maybe rent a private dumpster for disposal and put everything in contractor
grade black garbage bags. Put a sign on dumpster ''everything has
bedbugs'' so no one repurposes it. Also the black garbage bag if sunny
enough out will generate enough heat internally to kill the bugs.
You can find some useful, non-toxic, ideas from Pesticide Action Network at
http://panna.org/your-health/home-pets-garden. Good luck!
Please check out the Bug Man who has a column in the SF Chronicle every
Wednesday. He has great advice for non-toxic, non-poison ways to deal with
all kinds of invasive bugs, rodents, ants, you name it. Good luck to
We have used Northwest Pest Control 707-528-7776
or 800-281-2710 (www.northwesttermite.com) and they were great. We were
looking for the least toxic control available. (We had termites, not bed
I just called, and they deal with that issue.) They were conscientious about
telling us what chemicals they recommended, and their toxicity. Good luck!
I am sorry about your bedbug problem. They are AWFUL. I had
them in NY. First- you want to do more than you think
necessary at the start- if you leave even one behind, they
multiply rapidly. Get rid of your bed and your child's. Even
if you are told you don't have to. Diatamaceous Earth IS
useful. But it needs to go everywhere and it takes a couple
of weeks to work. I brought in a company that specialized in
bedbugs and had a beagle that sniffed them out so i would
know how big of a problem it was. They go into sockets and
hang out in the walls. I caught it at the beginning, but i
got rid of the bed, put my stuff in large plastic tubs with
mothballs(mothballs can kill them in 3-5 days even though it
is not rated for that use) had all of my clothes either dry
cleaned or washed in hot water and dried on the highest
setting for an hour, and had the company come in with a
combination of heat and pesticide. You will want both. Even
the company said Diatamaceous Earth worked- but slowly. And
usually not until it is a real infestation, because the bugs
don't walk around a lot.
Sorry for the news. I know all of this sounds like a lot to
do. But they are really hard to get rid of. You do need the
elephant gun for them.
I had this problem and it won't go away, it will only get
worse. I used a local company called pestec
http://www.pestec.com/. They got rid of the bed bugs by
heating up the house to a very high temperature for
several hours. They did several re-checks and were
extremely thorough. The bed bugs left and have not
returned and it has been about two years. It was horribly
expensive, but not toxic, and I highly recommend it. They
will come out and assess and give you a free estimate.
We had a similar problem with what we thought were bedbugs, but turned
out to be bird mites. We battled them for more than 6 months, used all
sorts of spray, laundry galore, etc. Then I finally caught one, and froze it
in a bag, then gave it to the terminex guy the next time he came around.
He sent it to the lab, and voila, we finally knew for certain it was not
bedbugs, it was bird mites brought in by a dead bird, either in our attic or
just close to the house. Terminex couldn't help with that, but what I
did get that completely solved our problem in one use, after months of
trying to solve it ourselves, was a UV light sanitizing vacuum. I kid you
not, after months of itching and welts, being bitten more than once a day,
this little affordable vacuum did the trick. It claims to work for bedbugs
too, and after seeing what it did for us, with bird mites in our rugs, our
furniture, all three of our beds, and the kids rocking chair, one afternoon
and they were gone. It is so worth the money, and the one we bought is
now half price on Amazon! http://www.amazon.com/Verilux-CleanWave-
I feel you!! I am impressed that you were able to keep it
contained to just one room for so long! My daughter and I
moved into an apartment in August that was completely
infested, in every single room! Two bedrooms and the living
room, I had to ditch all of my furniture and lost many
personal belongings, it was a horrible ordeal, but here's
what I learned in the process.
Heat treatment is the only way to really resolve the
problem! The slumlords who owned my apt building, hired a
big pest control company to come out for chemical treatment
to rid the apartment of bed bugs.
However, after 2 chemical treatments, there were still live
bed bugs running the show. We ditched out of the lease in
I've finally just moved into a new apartment, and after 2
weeks, discovered a bed bug in my brand new bed - most
likely from the boxes of things, (I assumed were safe), that
were stored in my ex-husbands garage for the past 4 months.
I'm not sure at this point if I have a problem, or if it was
a lone straggler that survived 2 chemical treatments and
over 100 days of starvation, what I can tell you, is that
you shouldn't waste your time with chemicals, go with heat -
It's the only thing that will effectively kill the bugs. If
you've ever seen the show ''Infested'', every time the only
thing that worked was heat!
Also, from all of the entomologist I have spoken too, and
the other professionals from Berkeley Heath dept.,
Scent-Tek, and even entomologists from UC Berkeley as well
as Herb Field - all recommended the same thing, HEAT
TREATMENT!! Here is an article from Gail Ghetty and Vernard
I have done a ton of research and I am so sick of these
parasites ruining my life! I know you feel the same.
I highly recommend you call Kevin Youngblood from Scent-Tek,
415-933-0880, they have great dogs and fantastic resources.
I wish you a lot of luck, there is nothing worse than
dealing with these pest, let alone watching your child
suffer as well! All I can really tell you, with great
confidence, is that chemical treatments do not work, I think
it's worth the money to do the heat treatment. If I have a
problem, it's what I'm going to do. I will most likely call
pestec, unless Kevin or Brent from Scent-Tek have other
companies in mind.
Good luck to you, and here's to not itching any more!!
bed bug bitten as well!!
Here is info about bed bugs.
I find it is helpful to know your enemy, and that site
explains habits and life cycle.
So sorry you're going through this. It must be so
Now, we've never had bed bugs, so I don't know much about
them. However, we've had LOTS of other weird things
happen to us. What I'm wondering is: Could this be
another kind of bug infestation?
A few years back, I kept feeling itchy at night and had
little bumps all over me. No one else but our newborn was
struggling like me. So everyone thought I was crazy.
Come to find out we had bird mites and I wasn't insane!
Once we got rid of the offending bird nest hiding in our
heater vent, we were fine. Maybe something strange like
that is happening? Just thought I'd throw that idea out
there. You never know.
Bedbugs are dreadful, horrible things, like a bad dream,
coming back again and again ! That you are having such
trouble getting rid of bedbugs is not surprising !
Because we own and manage residential rental property (small
single-family homes, mostly), we have, unfortunately, had to
''deal'' with bedbugs !
Years ago, faced with bedbugs when some tenants moved, we
used the ''cook-the-house'' method, which required:
- clearing every living thing out of the house (people,
pets, house plants, etc. - at that time, our small house was
empty before new tenants moved in),
- tenting the house, completely,
- securely sealing-up windows and doors with aluminum-foil
sheet insulation, and
- safe heaters were installed to ''cook'' the whole house for
more than an 24hours.
The folks who worked with us, about ten years ago, have
retired, but we assure you that, done correctly, ''cooking''
your house can get rid of bedbugs !
BUT certainly, a ''guarantee'' of more than five days would
have to be a contractual requirement: it seems a year's
guarantee would be right !
That little rental house has never had bedbugs since it was
We also have had to deal with bb's and it's been a
nightmare. We have done the heat treatment twice, using
Alliance who are based on Santa Clara. They have been very
responsive and great to work with but it's expensive ($1,400
the first time and $1,100 the second time). We just treated
our upstairs b/c no evidence that they had moved down
stairs. They wouldn't guarantee the treatment for us
because we had done an entire 30 day cycle of chemical
treatment (pest guy came out 3X 10 days apart) and it didn't
work completely. Alliance told me that it can be harder to
treat with heat after chemicals because the bb's move deeper
in. Our last heat treatment was just about 10 days ago, so
I'm not sure that they are 100% gone.
I had the bb dog out twice (Scent tek). They are also nice
and the dog is adorable, but the dog cleared us the first
time and I kept on getting bites. I think that the problem
is that the dog might not be able to smell all of the eggs,
which might be deep in the woodwork.
Brent from Scent tek told me that he thought the most
effective treatment would be chemicals and heat at the same
time -- the chemicals would drive them out and the heat
would kill them. Don't know how you'd do that timing wise.
Two things come to mind -- there are these plastic bowl-like
things you should get for the legs of each bed in your
house. They prevent the bb's from climbing onto the beds.
Then you should move the beds away from the walls and make
sure that the bedding doesn't create a walk way from the
floor to the top of the bed.
Before our chemical treatment I brought all of our bedding
and every single piece of clothing that we owned to the
laundromat, put it all thru the dryer for 30 min, and washed
all the bedding. Then I bagged up all of the clothes that
had been thru the dryer, and we lived out of a few bags for
the month that we did the chemicals.
We also bought new metal bedframes, and have them on the
anti climb up things. (I got the plastic climb up things on
There's a great website called the Bed Bug Forum. Tons of
info and advice, and some really scary stories.
Sorry for the long message! I wish we had done the heat
treatment right away, and I think that you have to pick one
method and stick to it, probably repeating as much as
necessary. Just resign yourself to the fact that it's going
to be expensive. Or, you can just use the chemicals, which
is not expensive, but you might have to do them many many
times (you should call Helmut at Bay Area Pest Control -- he
deals with a lot of bb's).
bugged out, i am sorry you are going through this! we recently went through a
much smaller scale of bed bug(s) and i feel your pain. i take it from your post
that you didn't go the chemical route. i would have preferred to do the natural
way, but really wanted to get rid of them FAST before spreading to other rooms.
we used Burge Pest Control(out of Alameda-i think), and they were helpful.
Have you tried the little dogs that can find them? There are a couple companies
out of SF that will travel to the East Bay. Burge said they were 100% accurate.
From there, you have choices to make(chemicals, heat treat..). Best of luck. I
hope you are able to sleep soon.
sleeping a little better
I have a couple thoughts on the subject. The mattress covers
have to be really good-not cheap ones that leak. Allergy
Control Products makes really good ones.
You could try flipping the mattress in the sun for a few
days if that is within reason, but good covers on pillows
and mattress should isolate and kill any infestations.
Pesticides would be a last option. Maybe those insect
foggers in aerosol cans to gas each room for a day then air
out. They work awesome for spiders! Additionally all bedding
must be laundered in HOT water at least a couple times-maybe
even with bleach or bleach substitute. Clothing too must be
laundered. If you don't implement a house-wide effort you
can keep transferring them back to bedding.
Are you sure it is bed bugs and not scabies?
been there too
Hi, we had that same problem in our bed many months ago,
and I understand the horrible that it feels be eating by bed
bugs, I strongly recommend you to buy BEST YET, in amazon,
this product kills forever all kind of bugs in our bed
including the bugs eggs, a little expensive but chemical
free control and effective, good luck.
I'm thinking of getting furniture for my children's bedrooms from
consignment store or craigslist. After the recent reports of bed bugs
I'm wondering if it's safe after all.
I need some help here. How should I inspect the furniture before I buy
it? What should I look for? Or should I just keep going to Ikea?
Go to ikea!
Bed bugs can hide in the tiniest cracks-- it is virtually
impossible to inspect furniture enough to detect them. It
honestly isn't worth the risk. Unless you want to wrap the
furniture in plastic, airtight, for 4 to six weeks, I
wouldn't do it!
Ikea is alright
Yes, you can get bed bugs from used furniture, sadly. My friend got a
horrible infestation from some used fabric donated to her for use in her
art class. She couldn't sleep in her room for months . She finally got
rid of them by aggressively vacuuming the bed, carpet, and washing all
bedclothes at once, on same day.
Seems to me that you could take a vacuum cleaner to the person's
house and vacuum the couch or whatever really well before sticking it in
your vehicle. Then wrap vacuum bag in plastic bags, seal them and
throw them in dumpster outside. Bedbugs can get into little cracks in
the wood though, and down into spring area. Maybe you could get
some chemical to put on it, but that would be toxic for you. You can
also ask the seller, and see what your gut feeling is about whether s/he
is telling the truth. You should really avoid the second hand store and
the ''flea'' market (see why it's called that?). It's really sad that this has
happened. I get practically all my furniture used, and it's great stuff.
But that was before the problem started. Now i will still get used
clothes, but it goes straight into the washer (or bucket of water) before
it goes anywhere else.
Used furniture lover.
Okay, I am finally accepting the high likelihood that my
family is one of the many now suffering from the new
resurgence (epidemic) of bed bugs. My kids had been waking
up with a few new red bite marks every morning, which we
originally thought were mosquito bites. But then I saw a
few telltale brownish spots on their sheets, and when we
picked up their mattresses we found I think two very tiny
bugs total. We pulled the mattresses off, vacuumed all
around them and the bed frames, pulled the drawers out from
under the beds, washed all of the clothes in those drawers -
and the sheets - in hot water, and bought those special bags
to zip around the mattresses and prevent bed bugs from
moving out of the mattresses. It seemed to help for a
little bit, but now I'm seeing more bites again. I suspect
that the little buggers are hiding in the bed frames,
drawers, and other crevices, so the mattress sealing isn't
Does anyone have advice about how to deal with this? Any
exterminators you've used for this problem? I've been
researching it on the web and the news is not good - they
seem to be very difficult to get rid of and generally
resistant to a lot of pesticides now. I'm hoping we can use
some kind of IPM approach - at this point, I'm okay with
spraying some chemicals, but also expect to do major (and
regular) thorough cleaning.
I'm so sorry you're dealing with this. The Bugman has some
good, detailed advice for eliminating bedbugs in his column
in the Chron: http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2007/04/28/HOG27PEHTJ1.DTL
Bugged by Bugs
My former housemates had a bedbug infestation (fortunately after we moved
out!) and they found a service that tented the whole (quite large) house and
heated it up to 140 degrees (maybe I have the temp wrong but it was super-
heated for several hours). They had to remove wine, electronics, and some other
items that would be damaged by the heat (and of course all people and pets).
But it worked like a charm, with absolutely no chemicals of any kind. I don't
know the name of the service but you can probably find an alternative pest
company that will do it.
good luck with the ick
Diatomaceous Earth and bedbugs
this stuff worked wonders....
I always consult Richard Fagerlund who writes the Ask the
Bugman column in the SF Chronicle. He is against using toxic
pesticides whenever possible and has lots of advice on
controlling many pests. Here's one bit of advice he gave
about bed bugs: http://bit.ly/aWpw33 He also recommends using
diatomaceous earth (natural grade, not swimming pool grade).
You can always email him for advice. Good luck!
Check out these two articles. You can probably start with
just the vacuuming, duct tape, and water/alcohol/soap
spray and then move on to the other steps if you're still
having problems. It can definitely be fixed. Good luck!
Bed Bugs are definitely on the rise!! I dealt with this a
few months ago and I was miserable. At first I thought the
bites were from mosquitos, then fleas, then I realized the
triplicate pattern of the bites were classic bed bug bites-
though I never found or saw evidence of them in my house. I
was going out of my mind with discomfort (physical and
emotional)...the thought of these bugs descending upon me
and feeding at night was (is) so gross!! I checked BPN and
found a guy who I would recommend. His first name is Helmut
and he is with Bay Area Pest Elimination.(510)717-3506. It
was not cheap or easy to have the house exterminated (need
to do it twice)and to have everything- I mean everything-
dry-cleaned and washed.
In my case, I believe I picked up the bed bugs when I
stayed at a nice hotel in LA for work. It is not a sign
of ''dirtiness'' to have bed bugs. Hotels, by the way, have
no legal obligation to disclose reports of bed bugs. Make
sure to look at the mattresses in hotels for evidence and
never put your luggage on the floor. There are recent
articles in the Chronicle and NYT. I hope you are bed-bug
free soon! Good luck.
Last night I listened to Terry Gross on NPR, interviewing an entomologist on this
topic. I hope you can find something helpful at
Listen to the interview, don't just read the synopsis. The comments also have
All my best wishes
BED BUGS MAKING ME MISERABLE!!! I checked the archives-
nothing too recent. I thought at first the bites were from
mosquitos, just a couple of bites here and there (after
returning from LA for work); then more bites and I checked
for fleas on my dog who is treated monthly and showed no
signs of them at all; then, significantly more bites all
over- many in triplicate patterns. My research (and
miserable symptoms) indicate bed bugs, probably from a
hotel. My son sleeps in another room and has had less then
10 bites. I have about 75-100 right now....soooo gross and
miserable!!! No rats around here, BTW, so not likely to be
rat mites. Unfortunately, about 15 years ago I got scabies
from travel and this is different, so I have ruled out
scabies, as well.
Today- I spent $225 on an exterminator (no visual signs of
the bed bugs) but he tells me it is rampant right now in
Berkely, El Cerrito, and Albany??? I spent another $150.00
on the wash/fold of all clothing items in my room and my
son's room; and $100.00 on new mattress and pillow covers
and new pillows. What else? (Can't afford new mattresses
right now- both are relatively new.) I am using over the
counter cortizone cream to help, but it's not providing
much relief. Is it true....is this location experiencing a
rash (no pun intended!) of bed bugs? Any further advice?
Tired of scratching!
I'm so sorry you're dealing with bed bugs. The Bugman has
some good advice for non-toxic ways to deal with the
critters -- sounds like a lot of work, but worth a try:
I really think you have to find some evidence of bed bugs
before you do anything to get rid of the problem. Although
they are small, if they are there, you should see them or
Then, for treatment, I would suggest you find a company that
can heat the bedrooms to 140 degrees for a few hours. That
should kill them without harming the humans.
More info here:
I am not sure they always help, but the only thing that's
worked for me for both bed bugs and fleas is ultrasonic
insect repellers. They're a fairly cheap investment too. I
suspect some brands are better than others...I had a few
from Costco years ago that worked superbly, and then I
couldn't find that brand any longer. Anyhow, you could try
buying a few different brands and putting a bunch in your
bedroom. I think they won't necessarily repel the current
generation, but they interfere with mating and communication
and hopefully it can break the cycle of reproduction. You
can buy them at Home Depot, some drugstores, and Amazon.
The low frequencies repel bigger pests like mice so you want
the high-frequency insect ones.
Good luck--as the person in the family the insects love the
most, I really feel for you!
I'm so sorry you are having to deal with bed bugs. They are truly
awful. I wanted to advise you to see a doctor about the bites - they
can prescribe something more powerful than over-the-counter stuff. I
got bitten badly once a couple years ago from staying in an infested
Red Roof Inn in Cincinnati, OH. The bites were so itchy - way worse
than the typical mosquito bite - so I got some prescription creme
(can't remember what it was).
No sign of them in our house in Albany, and I have not heard of anyone
complaining of them. Good luck getting rid of them!
ugh, i'm sorry to hear about this... but my friend had a problem with bedbugs,
and he got rid of it with diatomaceous earth which is a food-grade, powdery
stuff. two others got rid of fleas with this substance also.
however, even though it's touted as safe and my friend didn't have ANY effect, i
must warn you that i had a horrible reaction to it when i had to treat fleas. my
body cannot handle powdery particulate matters (i.e. drywall dust), so what most
people don't experience, i can feel it and end up with bronchitis. my situation is
very unusual, and i honestly don't know anyone who reacts like me.
that being said, my friend got rid of the bed bugs in some time by dusting his
place with diatomaceous earth with a duster which ''puffed'' it out. but i will
personally never use this product. still, i'm recommending it cautiously because
it worked for bedbugs for someone else. good luck.
- a fair recommender
So sorry you're going through this. Have you considered rat
mites? Similar reactions. You'd see blood marks on your
mattresses if they're bed bugs (we just had an episode in
Mexico), but not w/rat mites. I'd check w/Alameda County
Vector Control if you haven't already.
We use Flea Busters, a non-toxic descicant powder, which you
can sprinkle around then vacuum up.
Bed Bugs and Rat Mites
Like another poster, I used diatomaceous earth (for mites,
not bedbugs). My approach, to avoid inhaling it, was to put
a *little bit* of the product in the palm of my hand and rub
it all over me, from shoulder to ankle, then get into my
pajamas. I didn't apply it to any part of my bed, or above
my shoulders, to avoid inhaling it; using a little at a
time, and not slapping it around, helps keep it from puffing
up in clouds (which do nothing to help you anyhow). It
really quelled the critters and did not irritate my lungs.
If this could work for your situation, it's worth a try.
Remember, once they crawl through it they're in trouble, so
if you're going to be ''bait'' anyhow, you might as well take
advantage of that.
My neighbor's apartment is infested with bed bugs. They want the
landlord to pay for the exterminator. My building manager refuses
and suggested they seek council. Since the problem has spread to
the whole apt my other neighbor and I want our apartments to be
checked to make sure they are not infested. My question is who is
responsible for treating this problem and what rights do the
tenants have in this situation.
As far as I know, who is responsible for pest control is
included in the rental contract; if your contract says that it
is your responsibility, then it is. However, you would probably
be advised to check with local rental laws to determine whether
or not an infestation of this sort comes under a higher
authority, such as communicable diseases, in which case the
landlord is likely responsible for taking care of this
infestation. So, first, get some legal aid advice about
California rental laws, second, if it's the landlord's
responsibility, get the whole complex together and file a
complaint with the rental board. the landlord should come around
rather quickly when confronted with fines and sanctions.
Good luck to you, gosh I'd hate to have bedbugs!
It is illegal for the landlord to not take care of the bed bugs
in the apartment. It is considered ''inhabitable'' and the tenant
can refuse to pay rent. I am a landlord and follow the strict
rules of renting. Your friend should contact a lawyer who deals
with these cases for support.
Bed bugs can become a SERIOUS long lasting problem, you should
take whatever action you can immediately. You can check for
bedbugs yourself by examining your mattress (you can google for
more info on what they look like, but I believe they are supposed
to be small and clear looking). If you can move and they haven't
infested your stuff yet, this may be the time to do it. If they
have, you may have to get rid of your mattresses, etc. I've read
that bed bugs can live in walls for up to ten years or more and
they are very difficult to exterminate, even if your landlord
actually hired one. I'm fairly certain that its a violation of
your lease for him not to deal with this issue, I would check
with tenant's rights groups.
Has anyone else ever bought a futon and brought it home only to find
bedbugs in it? We bought a futon for my daughter to sleep on and she
started to get bites at night. We cleaned and washed all of her
bedding thinking that we might have a spider around. My daughter is
sleeping in a small bed in our room at the foot of our bed. We didn't
get any bites but each morning she would wake up with nickle and
quarter size bites. This went on for 3 days. Finally we realized
that the only thing that we didn't wash in the room was the new futon.
We removed it from the house and put our couch cusions on her
frame....NO BITES. It was the futon. I called the shop where I
bought it and they said that it couldn't be their futon. I asked for
the owner to call me on my cell, she would not. Instead she knowing
left me a message on my home number when she knew I was out. It said
that there is no possibility that her futon had bedbugs. I called her
several times after that and she would not come to the phone or return
my calls. Has anyone else had this experience with them? What can I
do about this? I really don't care about getting my money back but I
do care if this company is selling futons with bedbugs in it. My
daughter has to take Benatryl each day because the bites itch so much.
She is uncomfortable sleeping and I don't want to see this happen to
someone else. Can I report this to some government agency who might
follow up? Any idea's would help.
I'm sorry that happened, and sorry also to hear of bedbugs
arriving in the bay area. Yuck. I just wanted to share that when
bedbugs were first getting into the news, they mentioned that if
a truck is both delivering new mattresses and also picking up old
mattresses (as they sometimes do) the bedbugs can migrate from an
old, infested mattress to the new one. I don't know if this might
have happened to you or not.
Don't rule out a spider. The nickle and quarter size bites you
described are more spider-like than bedbugs. I was so upset when
my son had sporadic bites like this (four separate times) that I
researched this like crazy. (1) Bedbug bites tend to be three
(or more) smaller bites in a line/row. Spider bites tend to be
larger and have a raised point in the middle. (2) Bedbugs can be
seen. An hour or so before sunrise, heating pad on the futon,
look with a flashlight, they move as fast as ants. Also, look in
the mattress seams for droppings or blood. (3) Moving around
furniture can stir up bedbugs from your bed (which is touching
the futon, right?) or spiders from anywhere...bedbugs can feed as
little as once a week so the removal of the futon and the
elimination of bites may not necessarily be linked. Same with
spiders, they just move on.
If you are willing to concede that you just aren't sure whether
it could be spiders or bedbugs, than try wrapping the futon in an
allergy cover or two large (tape-sealed) garbage bags to ensure
nothing from the futon gets out. No matter what you decide, it
is worth starting a *constant* vacuuming and elimination of
untouched crevices routine in your room. We finally did and our
son has been bite-free for almost a year.
It may be something other than bedbugs. My husband and I got
an infestation of carpet beetles once and I had been itching
for weeks before we figured out what it was. They gravitate
towards natural fibers like wool and cotton (thus loved our
woolen carpet and cotton futon) but can be found on other
things, too, and they are common in this area. In fact we've
seen them in our new house on a wooden floor. I am quite
sensitive to bugs and I don't know if I was allergic to them or
their poop or whether they were biting me but it was a drag. We
had to wash everything we owned, etc.
I have no advice about how to get this business owner to be
open to the suggestion that the futon contained some bugs but
if you still have it is it possible to cut it open and see what
is crawling around inside? I remember calling a state or
county agency (vector control or something like that??) that
deals with infestations of all sorts of vermin about it and
getting some advice - perhaps they could suggest a way for the
item to be tested so you would have some evidence. Good luck -
I really feel your pain. Since my experience I've become a fan
of those dust mite cover things to protect my new mattress.
How frustrating! I don't know how you can make it right with the
company, but I do know that wool futons are naturally fire
retardant (and so the legally-mandated toxic fire retardant used
on all new mattresses is not used on woolen beds). Also, wool is
not hospitable to skin mites (which may be different than
bedbugs, not sure). The downside is they are not cheap.
Check out this site: http://www.shepherdsdream.com/
hi - you should buy an allergen mattress cover (from macy's or
online at amazon) that protects against dust mites. We put one
on our mattress after we were getting bites and it really
helped. I'm assuming your futon would probably take a regular
twin or full cover. it might be worth it to get one for the
pillow as well just in case. here is the link to the one amazon
sells that we bought.
You can file a complaint through the Better Business Bureau
website (www.bbb.com). My husband did this when he was having an
issue with a company and he ultimately received a refund. Also
consider Michael Finney's 7 On Your Side:
Consider gently informing the business owner of the steps you
intend to take...this might change her response...
If they were bedbugs in a futon that was adjacent to your own bed I'm
why they didn't make the leap to yours. That is strange. Have you tested
to be sure they are bedbugs? What if your daughter had an allergic
something in the futon instead? I think the store owner is handling this
but unless you are sure it is bedbugs then I too would be on the
have experienced bedbugs from a trip to asia and they are the worst but
bugs were on every bed not just in one. I'm not sure why they would
or your bed.
Yes it is possible to get bed bugs from a new bed. There are many cases
bed bugs from the old mattress jump to the new mattress on the
This is what I would do.
1. Try to settle the matter with the business. If they are not
responsive, call them
and tell them you will be calling The Better Business Bureau. Call The
Business Bureau and follow their direction.
2. Did you charge it on a credit card? Call the credit card company
and explain the
situation. Most will stop the payment or hold it in escrow until a
3. You can always voice your opinion on YELP or other similar sites.
4. If you want to keep the mattress, there are many websites that
explain how to
get rid of bedbugs. Please do me a favor though.. have your child
else until they are gone. Her condition sounds really miserable.
I would take the darn thing back to the store; physically take
it back. I would push for a refund (or complain to the credit
card company). Even if I couldn't get my money back, I would
leave the bed bugs at the futon store. I would also call/email
the KGO consumer guy to see if he can help you. Oh and if you
can't get it re-dressed...I would put it in writing to the
store and copy the better business bureau.
this page was last updated: Mar 20, 2012
BPN is now a 501(c)(3) non-profit and we are building a new website!
Read more, and see how you can help:
The opinions and statements expressed on this website
are those of parents who subscribe to the
Berkeley Parents Network.
Disclaimer & Usage for
information about using content on this website.
Copyright © 1996-2015 Berkeley Parents Network