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Le cauchemar des punaises de lit: Un témoignage véridique

Le cauchemar des punaises de lit: Un témoignage véridique

insidious
Parlant de ce dossier justement, afin que vous puissiez comprendre tout le drame pouvant impliquer la situation d’être aux prises avec une punaise furtive, je vous laisse le lien ici pour lire le compte-rendu d’une dame allergique à l’insecte. Dans son cas, j’ai bien l’impression que l’option d’engager un chien renifleur est la dernière chance possible pour trouver l’intrus.

 

Montréal, le 13 septembre 2011

Dear Mr. Applebaum,

I am writing to you because I have come up against a problem I haven’t been able to solve. For several years I have been struggling with a very challenging situation involving bedbugs in my house. Not an infestation, but the occasional bedbug, one every few months.

Three years ago, when we realized what we were dealing with, we called in the exterminators. But the bugs always seemed to reappear, even after an absence of 4, 6 or even 10 months. Over time I became highly sensitive to their bites. On several occasions I have had to go to the hospital, to get prescriptions for potent antihistamines and for an Epipen. I have been bitten all over, including my face, which swelled up dramatically, forcing me to cancel a public presentation I was scheduled to deliver. As a result of bedbug bites, I have lost many days of work, because the bites are extremely painful and the antihistamines I take make me very sleepy and prevent me from functioning normally.

Furthermore, the bites make me agitated, which is upsetting for the other members of my family, in particular my son, who was only 9 years old when the bugs first appeared in our home.  It can take as long as a week for the bites to subside and for life to return to normal.

All this is very disruptive to my family life, to my sleep and to my work. Not to mention my bank account. The cost of repeated extermination is prohibitive, and we have spent countless hours searching for bugs and cleaning every corner of our house, including a number of months during which we washed and steamed every piece of fabric in the house, all the clothing, sheets and blankets we own, as required by the exterminator.

But still the bugs came back, one at a time.  The exterminator claimed that we must be “reintroducing” them, picking them up on the métro, at work or school. Which seems unlikely since I don’t know anyone else who has an unending bug problem, caused by repeatedly picking up bugs outside the home. I began to suspect that the bugs came from my neighbour with whom I share a wall. But the exterminator, a reputable one  reassured me: bedbugs do not cross a double brick wall. And I was loath to trouble or alarm my neighbour, a woman in her 80s with whom I have always had a friendly relationship.

Finally, after a bug bit me following a bite-free period of ten months, I requested that city inspectors go into my neighbour’s home. Just before the scheduled inspection, my neighbour put her mattress out on the sidewalk, in front of her house and mine. It was covered in hundreds of bedbug casings and debris.

The inspection took place, bedbugs were found, and one would think that would have resolved the situation. But no. My neighbour denied that she had bedbugs, insisting that she only had cockroaches! She hired an exterminator who did a partial treatment – for cockroaches. The situation became very complicated – I felt that my neighbour needed assistance with a major cleaning and extermination but she refused any help. Eventually, last winter my neighbour accepted assistance from the CSSS. In addition, my local city councillor, a former exterminator, inspected her house, and visited me. We were told that her house had been cleaned and that there were no more bedbugs. We thought that finally the problem had been solved. But I was bitten in May, and once more two weeks ago.

In case you’re wondering whether these really are bedbug bites, it has been confirmed several times by my general practitioner and by my dermatologist. As my husband says, in a sense we are lucky. I am a living alarm system. The minute there is one bug in the house, we know it, because I get bitten and have a severe reaction.

We have exterminated many times. We have put silicone along the baseboards and plugged the electrical outlets with foam. Now we live with diatomaceous earth, which destroys bedbugs,  all along the adjoining wall, around the bedroom and the bed.

My city councillor says it’s a mystery where the bugs are coming from. The CSSS seems to be reluctant to go back into my neighbour’s house.  In fact they,ve closed her file! (She hoards objects, so I imagine cleaning her place thoroughly poses a real challenge.) So where can the bedbugs be coming from, if inspectors and exterminators say there is no infestation in my house? Personally I don’t consider a visual inspection sufficient to judge the presence of bed bugs or not.  You won’t see a bedbug if you inspect my house, (as my city councillor did last week). Yet I was bitten very recently. I don’t think there’s any mystery here. My neighbour had a major infestation. We discovered that bedbugs do cross double brick walls. I suspect there are still bugs in her house, and that the occasional stray still makes its way over to my house.

I cannot continue to live like this. Over the last year I have developed a stress-related physical disorder and lost 25 lbs.  I am afraid to sleep in my own bed, I wake often in the night, and move to another bed in another room. I can’t afford to lose more sleep, more work or more weight. I would like to feel secure in my own home. And I don’t want my son to continue to see me agitated and suffering from painful insect bites.

We live with an invisible enemy. I cannot solve this problem alone. I need help examining the situation, figuring out where the source of the problem lies and how it can be eradicated. I need to find a solution very soon.  We have limited resources to deal with this situation. The Ville de Montréal must certainly have the means to help us solve this problem.

Sincerely,

—- 

Tout d’abord tous nos remerciement pour toute l’aide que vous nous avez apporté au cours des derniers mois. Je ne sais pas comment ma conjointe et moi aurions pu survivre sans votre aide et compréhension.

Monsieur Carl Boileau est venu la semaine passée poser les pièges sous le lit et faire une inspection, sans malheureusement pouvoir identifier une piste de solution. Pas de trace de punaise.

C’est apparemment un mystère, pour lui aussi, que cette récurrence de punaises malgré les nombreux traitements chimiques, lavages, nettoyages fréquents et applications de terres diatomées sur nos planchers. Malgré l’inspection et le résultat négatif chez notre voisine en mai et le traitement appliqué à cette occasion, la situation n’est pas complètement résolue.

Nous sommes toujours dans le noir, avec un ennemi invisible qui se manifeste à intervalles irréguliers sans que nous sachions d’où il vient. Nous sommes épuisés. Ma conjointe a perdu 25 livres, elle dort mal, nous avons une vie déséquilibrée. Nous ne pouvons même pas nous sentir à l’abri et heureux chez nous. « Chez nous » c’est le lieu de l’attaque. Le symbole même du repos du guerrier, le lit, est le champ de bataille où ma conjointe est toujours l’éternelle perdante. Les punaises sont l’ennemi no.1 mais se sont rajoutés ces acolytes intangibles que sont «la peur de la nuit et du matin», le stress permanent et un lourd sentiment d’impuissance.

Nous n’en pouvons plus et demandons une aide plus appropriée et plus agressive.

Au cours des derniers mois les interventions se sont appuyées sur le système d’alarme qu’est ma conjointe. Les pompiers-exterminateurs et les inspecteurs interviennent après le fait,  après les piqures, chez nous d’abord et chez la voisine, mais moins souvent.  Alors nous sommes dans l’attente de la prochaine attaque qui peut arriver à n’importe quelle moment. Donc toutes les nuits deviennent sources de stress et d’inconfort.  Cette stratégie aurait pu être efficace si nous avions pu circonscrire le problème à notre maison, mais nous constatons que le problème doit être vu et traités dans son ensemble.  Sinon, nos actions ne sont que des coups d’épée dans l‘eau.

Il est temps de passer à la vitesse supérieure et à une méthode préventive efficace et directe : Identifier la source du problème une fois pour toutes, trouver le ou les nids et les détruire.

Nous sommes dans un cul-de-sac et nous nous sentons incapable de continuer à vivre cet état de crise constant.  L’obsession et la paranoïa commencent à s’installer certains jours. L’ennemi est-il déposé par des voisins malveillants? Arrivent-il par le courrier de la poste, par les publi-sacs? Tout le bloc de maisons est-il infesté?

Nous avons besoin d’un plan plus large avec des moyens plus importants : spécialistes ou chien renifleur sur le terrain, action concertée, intervention plus musclée chez notre voisine (ceci toujours avec le respect dû à sa situation et son âge) ou pour l’ensemble du bloc de maison que nous habitons.  Ou pour la rue?

Nous demandons une intervention rapide et concertée.

Et en même temps nous entendons dire que le problème est sous contrôle à Montréal!!!!

Alors qui peut nous aider à le contrôler et à l’éradiquer?

Cordialement