Bed Bugs - How Big of a Threat?

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298
Location
USA
I watched a TV show on it the other night. I think it may destroy me if it happened to me in my 1000 SF house. Is there much chance of them entering my home through boxes of things I buy on eBay? I don't buy a lot of things, but maybe 3-4 things per month. Lately I've put these items in zip lock bags and taken the boxes outdoors and sometimes I throw away the packing, just in case.
 
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26,152
Location
MA, Mittelfranken.de
Yep i saw that. Scary stuff, it seems they can get around on/in anything. I don't need anything like that either, it seems they will ruin the house.
 
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3,058
Location
Columbus, Ohio
Originally Posted By: Scoot_4_20
I watched a TV show on it the other night. I think it may destroy me if it happened to me in my 1000 SF house. Is there much chance of them entering my home through boxes of things I buy on eBay? I don't buy a lot of things, but maybe 3-4 things per month. Lately I've put these items in zip lock bags and taken the boxes outdoors and sometimes I throw away the packing, just in case.
Oh lord I hadn't thought of that. I work in a library and we have found them in books and I have worried about that. They scare me! John
 
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25,985
Location
Upstate NY
The professionals have a dog that can sniff them out. Maybe I can train Molly? The best way these days is to freeze them. The steam and chemicals do not always work. I read somewhere that the world had basically eradicated them after either WW I or WW II.
 
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36,528
Location
ME
Yes they can come in the mail. You can also get them by going to the movies, or presumably from sitting in a chair at work etc. Freezing is a good line of defense. Motels are the hugest way of getting them. I've read of flight attendants who have an "away bag" that doesn't come in the house.
 
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329
Location
Manheim, PA
We stayed at a hotel a little over a year ago that had a very good rating and was supposed to be very clean. After about a week of being home, my wife and I started getting all bit up. I started finding the little buggers all over the bed. We picked all of them off that we found and bleached the sheets in hot water and cleaned the whole room top to bottom. We had an exterminator come in and he didn't find any more or any signs of a continued infestation and told us we probably caught them early enough. A few weeks later I found one or 2 more, but they were really slow moving and discolored. So far so good. No more hotels for us!
 
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3,610
Location
Ponte Vedra Beach, FL
They had to close some department stores in NYC because they were infested with bed bugs. They closed them until they cleaned up the problem. I guess people will try and sell bed bug contaminated clothing on E-Bay to try and make a buck off of unsuspecting people. If homes/apartments are infested with bed bugs some people will try to unload all of their contaminated possessions for the the most money. Then they can replace their possessions with clean, fresh items and make sure their home is bed bug free after extermination.
 
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626
Location
Fresno, CA
bed bugs are pretty much the hardest insect to get rid of period. if you got some in your home, be prepared to call a professional on bed bugs or you're in for a long fought battle!
 
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3,610
Location
Ponte Vedra Beach, FL
Very true. Then they started banning DDT, Malathion and other strong insecticides and they have re-appeared with all of the trade in Africa, Asia, Eastern Europe and South America. The NYC housing projects, built decades ago, have the least amount of problems with bed bugs. When they built those structures they soaked the buildings with insecticides to make sure to have infestation problems under control and would not cause an epidemic.
Originally Posted By: Donald
The professionals have a dog that can sniff them out. Maybe I can train Molly? The best way these days is to freeze them. The steam and chemicals do not always work. I read somewhere that the world had basically eradicated them after either WW I or WW II.
 
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1,340
Location
Louisville,KY
One of my fathers rental property got those nasty creatures. Soon people who leave in that house are moving out. So the battle is coming. Good thing it will be cold, but I don't think we will allow temperature go below freezing, pipes can rupture:( Pest exterminators estimate is around $1000 with one month warranty. But since there will be nothing to eat for couple month and chilly I hope they will die.
 

JHZR2

Staff member
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46,293
Location
New Jersey
Yuck. I travel a lot and so stay in hotels a good deal. I always check the bed, FWIW. May not be good enough though...
 
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25,985
Location
Upstate NY
Originally Posted By: zyxelenator
One of my fathers rental property got those nasty creatures. Soon people who leave in that house are moving out. So the battle is coming. Good thing it will be cold, but I don't think we will allow temperature go below freezing, pipes can rupture:( Pest exterminators estimate is around $1000 with one month warranty. But since there will be nothing to eat for couple month and chilly I hope they will die.
A hospital moved them from one facility to another by moving old wooden bed frames that had been in storage. They can live for years without a host to bite.
 
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1,707
Location
Ohio, USA
I don't get it. I've slept at so many places... old homes, new homes, hotels, motels, hostels, outside camping....I have never experienced bed bugs. *Knock on Wood*
 
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Scoot_4_20

Thread starter
Messages
298
Location
USA
Originally Posted By: Donald
They can live for years without a host to bite.
I think it's up to a year they can live without a host to bite.
 

Scoot_4_20

Thread starter
Messages
298
Location
USA
It's a growing problem in cities more than anywhere else, but, we need to learn about how to prevent these things. They say 1 in 10 New Yorkers has a bedbug problem. They can hitch a ride on your clothes, or gym bag. Use ziploc bags at hotels and gyms, just to be safe. Don't buy used clothes. Careful how you buy beds and bedding.
 
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36,528
Location
ME
Originally Posted By: JHZR2
Yuck. I travel a lot and so stay in hotels a good deal. I always check the bed, FWIW. May not be good enough though...
The trick that seems to work this month is to pull the headboard off the wall-- it just hangs from a couple drywall screws. If there are bugs behind there, they're in the room. The maids never lift the things. If you stay in a hotel, your odds are better of not spreading them if you put your suitcase in the bathtub, and your laundry in a ziplock bag. Dryer heat kills the nasties so do laundry on your last day of travel, and or strip naked by the laundry room when you get home and jump in the shower... get clothes from your home stash while the trip laundry gets done. May seem paranoid, but beats paying bunches of money and the inconvenience of moving ALL your cloth stuff.
 
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6,367
Location
Midwest
We have a pest control service that treats the house every 3 months, and the gentleman that usually does our service is also their bed bug specialist. Since we have beagles and he has a beagle that sniffs bed bugs we started talking about the problems and places in which he sees them. When we first started using them I was frequently traveling and staying in upscale motels, assuming I'd be safe. After talking with Jim and hearing the horror stories that he sees on a daily basis, I'm reluctant to travel and stay in a public place. I also don't purchase any used furniture, nor will I purchase used clothing. He's seen cases where bed bugs have come in with used books, in used clothing, in used furniture, and just about any used item that you might bring into your home. He also has treated a lot of apartments, retirement centers, hotels and motels, and a large number of single family residences. They've also had to treat commercial buildings and workplaces when bed bugs have traveled in on workers clothing or other soft goods from an infected home. They recently treated a hotel (a large, fairly expensive upscale chain hotel) and the management decied to dispose of a number of the infected mattresses. They placed them next to the dumpster with the intention of cutting them up-by the time they returned to destroy the mattresses, several had already been taken by "dumpster divers", complete with blood stains and bed bugs. It can run a couple thousand dollars for a minor infestation, several thousand for a more severe infestation. Needless to say I'll work hard to make sure we never have that issue.
 
Messages
1,478
Location
Iowa
We don't stay in hotels much anymore, but when we do all clothes immediately go into the washing machine once home, and our soft sided bags go through the dryer for a heat treatment.
 

Scoot_4_20

Thread starter
Messages
298
Location
USA
Good points you all make. I was thinking of flying to somewhere just to get away for a day or two, and staying at some motel/hotel somewhere, but I'll think twice about that from now on. I guess I'll "leave well enough alone". If I do travel, I'll make it a point to check room very well, bring many ziploc bags, put my stuff in the bathtub, etc., after I talk to management beforehand.
 
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