I moved in to this building in October 1997. Although there was a roach problem, we had no bed bugs at all.
Fast forward to September 2003. I went to bed one night with a comforter that I'd had stashed in the closet over the spring and summer. On my way to work the next morning, I discovered several itchy bumps all over my arms. I thought maybe a mosquito had gotten to me. When I got home, I noticed that workmen were in the apartment adjacent to mine as they were gutting the apartment ou
t since the tenant -who had lived there for over forty years- had just moved out. They ripped out the moldings and everything.
A few weeks later, I was lying on the couch watching TV when I saw a little bug crawling across the pillow right next to my head. I killed it, thinking it was a baby cockroach. Much to my dismay, I noticed a few more of these small brown bugs crawling on the couch late at night. I looked at one closely, and was curious as to why it was rounder than a regular cockroach and so flat. I was also concerned because the sofa was one of those knitted fabric types so they kept slipping in between the fibers when I would try to get them.
I researched these bugs online and figured out that they were bed bugs. I was mortified and disgusted, especially when I found them between the mattress and boxspring in the bedroom! They were under and in the carpet and infesting the sofa and love seat in the living room. They were in the closet as well. I had been working a lot of OT in the evening so I had not been home (and awake) long enough for weeks on end to have noticed them crawling around as the lights were usually off. I also never got many other bites after the first round.
So, since I had a pet, I did not want to use pesticides. I instead discovered a natural enzyme solution that kills bed bugs by eating away at their oute shell, causing them to molt prematurely. The enzyme also kills the eggs by eating through the protective casing and killing the bugs before they hatch. I was delighted because it was non-toxic to human or pets, so it could be sprayed on the furnitue and on the bedding itself, as well as used in the laundry.
The battle raged on for two months, until February or March of the following year. There were no more bites and the enzyme helped keep them at bay, although always came back right away. Talking with neighbors it was discovered that the entire building was infested with bed bugs. I moved out in May of 2004, having thrown out 95% of all of my belongings. The entire ordeal was a very stressful, very horrific experience because I could not sleep knowing that the bugs were there. For months I sat on a metal chair, Indian style, with the lights on and dozed off only when exhausted because the infestation had gotten so bad.
Within the past year, I was told that this building is still infested as are other buildings in the neighborhood. Now, after living in my new apartment for nearly 5 years, bed bugs have entered my building AGAIN afew floors away from my apartment. We did not bring any with us and have not had any bites or any indication of bed bugs the entire time we've been at the new place...until now. I am already stressed out LOL