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Help me escape my bed bug hell.
I have been dealing with a bed bug infestation for about a year and a half. It is a nightmare that has been going on for too long. Although it's a minor infestation, no matter how many times my place is treated/vacummed/sprayed etc. it doesn't go away...the bugs probably travel from apartment to apartment in my building. I've gotten to the point where I just want to move. However, I want to make sure I do it right.
THE PLAN: To rent a new apartment and put every single thing I own into storage. Since I live in the northeast, if I move during the dead of winter and store things in an unheated storage unit, I am expecting that the cold will kill the bugs and the eggs.
For the first month all I will bring to the new place will be a brand new bed and clothes that have been freshly washed in hot water. Then after an adequate amount of exposure to below-freezing temps, I will bring the rest of my stuff out of storage and into the new place. The question is—how long is adequate?
I cannot find any hard & fast information online about exactly how long it takes to freeze the bugs and their eggs to death. I am *terrified* to take these critters to a new apartment. The good thing is that since my apartment has been treated so often, if anything the infestation is very minor...so I'm hoping I only have to worry about a few bugs trying to hitch a ride to my new place. But if I don't do this right, I could bring them along. Has anyone who’s had this problem successfully moved to a new place without these critters along? What are your thoughts?
To clarify, your question is specifically how long does it take for exposure to cold to kill bed bugs? I think you would need to leave all belongings in below-freezing temperatures that were consistently below freezing for a number of days. I am not sure that is a situation you can easily do, although perhaps you can if you move during the worst of a northeast winter.
An exterminator sprayed my apartment, and told me the poisons would remain active for six to eight weeks. I moved within that timeframe and while I do not want to say that I got rid of them (it's become a superstitious thing with me), I will say that I have not seen any live bed bugs since my move. In my case, I tried my best to move long enough from the spray date that it had time enough to kill everything, but not far away that a fresh infestation had time to take hold.
By Sara Anne
I threw a lot of stuff away, particularly wooden furniture, as wood is the preferred egg-laying surface of bed bugs. Keep in mind that bed bugs can live for a whole year without a meal. I stored most things that I kept in an unheated garage for a year, and it seems to have worked.
If I were you I'd buy a new bed, and wash all your clothes and linens in the hottest possible water before allowing them in the new place.
Sorry you're going through this. I had a similar situation, and it made me feel crazy, verging on paranoid, like I'd never escape them.