You woke and noticed a small blood smear on your sheets but as most people assume, you must have scratched yourself during the night and sloughed it off as no biggie.
During the day you start to itch here and there but too busy to really pay attention to it until after work you go home, eat dinner and take a nice HOT shower before you relax for the evening.
You’re sitting in your easy chair watching the evening news and you are scratching yourself silly. You glance down at your leg and notice little red welts which catapult you up and out of the easy chair as you start to examine your arms and torso. You notice red welts on your arms, legs, neck and basically all over your body and wonder what the…?
Your mind races through all the possibilities of what did I eat to give me an allergic reaction, do I have hives, or maybe mosquito or fleas but never once does it pass through your mind that you could have been bitten by bed bugs (especially in your nice clean home).
You wake the next morning with a few more blood spots on your sheets from a marathon of scratching all night long. You frantically call the doctor’s office to set up an appointment. During your appointment the doctors says to you “they look like bites of some kind to me”, do you have a dog or cat or been camping? – assuming they could be from fleas or mosquitos. With no animals in the house, the doctor then asked a myriad of other questions in order to nail down all the possibilities. He sends you home with an anti-itch cream or possible anti-histamine and tells you they should go away in a couple of days and to keep an eye on it and wants to examine the possibilities of allergies with you so keep a log of foods eaten.
Five days go by and while some of the old bites are gone you now notice new fresh bites around your neck and other areas of your body. You douse these new bites with cream and continue to stuff anti-histamines down your throat to stop the itch. This same scenario continues to go on for the next three weeks.
You then remember having read an article in the newspaper a while back talking about bed bugs. You thought to yourself no way could I have bed bugs, I am a clean person! You go online and find information on the places where bed bugs hide and begin to peel back your sheets and Wha La!
Along the piping of your mattress near the head of your bed where a cluster of little bugs that scurried off as soon as you disturbed them. You then continue your investigation and see them tucked away between the piping along the sides and at the bottom as well. You toss the top mattress off and pull the material back off the boxspring seeing clusters of bed bugs, fecal stains, and castings throughout. At this time you are totally disgusted and are wondering how it could have gotten so bad and why had you not figured this out sooner?
You freak out and call the exterminator who tells you he can make it over in the morning. The exterminator reveals the fact that yes, you have bed bugs, they are probably all over the house by now and you “need to throw away your mattresses and furniture” before he can come in and do a treatment.
What? You don’t know any better and assume the exterminator knows what he is talking about; so you spend the next two and a half hours disassembling the bed and dragging the mattress, boxspring, and furniture down the hallways, through your house and off to the curb. And by the way, because you didn’t wrap them properly before moving – you now have dropped bed bugs off in areas of the house that didn’t have them.
There are a few things that one would need to take into consideration BEFORE you throw away your life and start over:
Can you afford to buy new furniture to replace all you are throwing away? Not all furniture needs to be just tossed away because it has bed bugs and can be treated no matter what an exterminator tells you. Not everyone can afford to just throw away and replace their furniture. Furniture can be heated to get rid of bed bugs and protective encasement can be used on mattresses and boxsprings afterward.
AGE OF FURNITURE
Some people may choose to get rid of furniture because of the age of it but it is not a prerequisite for a bed bug treatment. Many companies do treatments using vacuuming, steam, and a spray made especially for beds and then use dust and chemicals everywhere else. When using this type of treatment it can take several treatments over five to six weeks to make sure they are all gone.
In some of the most severe cases when a person has bed bugs for great lengths of time; a mattress may have stains, holes or tears and be so infested that you would want to throw it out and start over again but I urge you; DO NOT REPLACE the mattress until you know without a shadow of a doubt, that all bed bugs are gone. You will risk the new mattresses being affected in a short period of time as well.
HEAVILY DETAILED OR WICKER TYPE
Furniture with gross amounts of carved detail, sensitive wood inlays or basket weaves and wicker can present a challenge because of the many hiding places they have. These may not be good candidates for a spray on chemical, which may also take several treatments in order to get rid of all the bed bugs.
HEAT TREATMENT CAN SAVE BED BUG INFESTED FURNITURE
When addressing these types of items; think again of whether you want to dispose of them or not first. Then if you chose to keep them, ask your Pest Control Professional about their heat treatments. Rooms can easily be heated in 6-8 hours, resulting in total bed bugs elimination in one treatment. Some pest professionals require 24 hours before moving back into your space.
To review, no one can “insist” that you just throw away your furniture. Always take into consideration condition and whether the treatment you chose will work on the particular item. Weighing conditions and the risks upfront will save you from kicking yourself later.
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