For about two years, my apartment (for privacy I do not want to put the apartment number) has been infested with bed bugs; however, my landlord had initially refused to send an exterminator until after other tenants in my building complained over two years ago(since June 2008)that they also had bed bugs. So many young people move in and out of the other apartments in my building, and without their help, my family has no voice against the landlord to get him on it now. Recently, my family has bee
n able to keep it under control on our own, checking the beds and couches, corners and cracks every week, putting down some sprays every two weeks, and I, since I often come home late while my family members are sleeping, I check their bodies for bed bugs and bites. I usually find two (adults or smaller ones) a night either on each of my family members or pursuing them. I have an allergic reaction to the bites and have had to go to the doctor for creams and antibiotics to both reduce the swelling and prevent infection. The bites burn and swell to about the size of a quarter and can swell above my skin to about the thickness of three or four quarters stacked on top of each other, and the swelling and itching usually remains for a few days. Having an allergic reaction is terrible, but once I have been bitten, I put down more poison for the bugs. My other family members do not have a reaction, so it was no surprise this year when I moved other beds or couch away from the wall in the beginning of Spring, I found a small nest behind each in the other rooms. We are able to keep ourselves from getting infested to compared to the horrendous extent we had to the first year when we got them and had to throw all furniture away: beds, couches, tables, a computer printer, almost all stuff animals, clothes, pictures and frames, and many irreplaceable items from decades ago. We have new beds and a new couch this year, and I refuse to lose all these items. Every spring when these bugs seems to come back full force in my building, we keep on top of it the best we can. We are setting up appointments with exterminators to come and check the apartment, documenting every cent we spend of our own money on bed bug prevention, and we are setting up the necessary legal paperwork to be able to take their bills out of the rent, but more on that at another time. These little guys are relentless, and to prevent another infestation, checking the beds, coaches, and putting down the necessary poisons must be added to normal chores weekly or preferred, daily. Unfortunately, looking for bed bugs and battling them has become as common for me as washing dishes or studying for school. I would rather deal with any other bug than these guys...and my landlord too.