Bed Bugs Bugging You – You’re Not Alone

Bed Bugging in Brooklyn – You’re Not Alone

Have you ever had to deal with bed bugs?

If you live in NYC – you know someone that has Bed Bugs  (I know you do)

New York City

Can you spot a Bed Bug - they can spot you

Oh, don’t run away from this post. Come back⎯I’m trying to help you out! I’m going to save you a lot of stress and heartache. I have never had to deal with bed bugs in person, but I have had to deal with them from 3,000 miles away.

When my son and his roommates discovered they had bed bugs in the apartment they love and live in, we had a major problem. We had to deal with a landlord who was not really concerned for the kids. I, on the other hand, was more than concerned. It’s not that I was worried about the kids’ health, but it was a pesky situation. My son, sweet and honest as he is, called his company to let them know about the bedbugs. He told them he would return to work as soon the situation was handled and the apartment was clean.

My first thought was, “Get those kids out of that place, throw away all their stuff, decontaminate everything they can’t toss, and move on. That would be impractical, though, and they were well on their way to handling the situation. Or so they thought…

They quickly learned that it was not a problem they could solve on their own. The main lesson was that they had to work with a professional and their landlord. I have learned some good hints and tips, and some dos and don’ts, to help you out if you’re ever in this situation. I’m here to pass them along so you don’t get bed bugged.

When you’re looking to rent a place in NYC or anywhere, even if you don’t think it’s necessary, you should definitely check for bed bugs. You need to ask, but you also have to look around. Look in the crevices and the floor cracks. Anywhere you can see that might be a good hiding ground⎯look.

Can you spot the Bed Bugs

What are you looking for? The insects are tiny brown specks that look like coffee grounds. They sometimes leave red splotches on bed sheets, indicating the insect fed on human blood and then was crushed. They may lay tiny white eggs, and nearly always leave behind little dark spots of fecal matter.

If you find bed bugs in your residence, the best advice I have read is to stay in your place and sleep in your own bed. Stay put⎯you don’t want to bring the bugs with you into another room, or transfer them to another piece of furniture or a friend’s house. The bed bugs need to be treated while you’re still living your life and sleeping in your bed. You’re the bait. If you leave, some will travel with you, and the ones that remain will go dormant when you leave your space. They will come back when they need to feed again, and that could be 18 months away.

If you find bed bugs, save them. Place them on a piece of tape and show the pest control professionals, your landlords, and your roommates. They are hard to find, and you may find only the speck of feces they leave behind. Save them and share them (with professionals) to make sure you’re getting the right treatment.

Storage Locker

Don’t try to treat them yourself⎯get a pest control professional in there as soon as possible. There are lots of things you can do to help, if you do them properly. If you seal up your items in bags, make sure the items and the bags are free of bugs. Try to find the special strips that will kill the bugs. Wash your clothes, and then seal them in bags. Wear only the clean clothes from the clean bags until the area has been treated.

As BedBugged in Brooklyn puts it:

“…also, about clothes….once used, they need to go into a ziplock bag for soiled clothes. once washed, they go into the clean clothes ziplock bag. I won’t say what you should do, but I’m only using a small amount of clothes, and washing every 4 or 5 days. only 2 sets of brand new sheets are used for my beds, one may be in the laundry ziplock, while the clean one is on the bed. all old sheets are not used…most were tossed out.”

This may take many treatments. It’s best to do the treatments no more than two weeks apart, but ask the pest control professionals what they recommend. Also, if you try to treat only the area where you see the bugs, you may force them to another area of your home. This makes the problem worse in the long run.

“Each year the challenges of fighting bed bugs change and grow,” said James Bell, CEO of Protect-A-Bed, a company that makes mattress encasement products to keep bed bugs away from their human prey. “Now that the industry has begun working together it’s easier to see the best way forward.”


Image via Wikipedia

For great information, and to stay informed, go to the Protect-A-Bed website ( They have information onsite and a Bed Bug 101 app for iPhone. There is no need to panic, and the best advice is to get a mattress protector to save your bed and your sanity.

Protect-A-Bed sponsored our Chicagonistalive show.

Protect-A-Bed products feature patented BuckLock® with Secure Seal® technologies. More information about bed bug management solutions and Protect-A-Bed is available at

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T.J. Maxx For Back to School & Dorm Decor

I just sent 3 kids off to college, and I saved a bit of money, a lot of time, and found items that were in trend, built to last, and my kids liked them..How did I make that happen?


Last week I was invited with some other Chicago mom bloggers to preview a T.J. Maxx & Marshalls Back-to-School fashion show. Author, Blogger, and Fashion expert Audrey McClelland of and Audrey  has worked with T.J. Maxx for over three years as a spokesperson and was on hand to give us some shopping tips for back to school. Some of  the fashions and some of Audreys tips…

Here are some of the latest trends to have in their wardrobe as they head back to school this year:


From sweater tunics and legging sets to more sophisticated denim ensembles, little girls will flaunt their individual style with some of the following trends:

  • Tops:  Long and short sleeve tops in stripes and two-fer styles; some will even come with attached necklaces.
  • Sweaters:  Sweaters and sweater dresses with cowl necks, belts, hoods and dolman sleeves.
  • Jeans:  Skinny and bootleg jeans in dark washes with belts, back pocket detail and embellished legs.
  • Outerwear:  Hooded fleece, pleather jackets, brightly colored trench coats and double breasted pea coats.


T.J. Maxx also has scouts shopping for new items 40 weeks during the year to keep inventory fresh.

  • 10,000 items arrive in T.J. Maxx stores each week Size:  There is tremendous buying power behind two national chains. T.J. Maxx has more than 950 stores in the US. Marshalls has more than 870 stores in the US and Puerto Rico.
  • Buying closer to need: Traveling 40+ weeks per year to negotiate with more than 14,000 vendors in over 60 countries (vs. department stores who buy seasonally) offers more opportunity to score great deals.

I found great dorm items, lot’s of kitchen gadgets for my son living in Brooklyn, and was thrilled with the selection of clothes that are hot now, and my kids liked them. So take a look at T.J. Maxx is so much more than just the run of the mill (mall)  items. Save Time, Money, and happy kids all in one store shopping trip…I’m happy

3 Kids in college – Shop Smart


Tonight on Twitter, you can join the discussion with Marshalls and T.J.Maxx they are having a Back to School Twitter party tomorrow, August 25th from 8 -9 p.m. EST join them for a chance to win $50 gift cards! You can find us using the #MarshallsTJMaxx hashtag.


-          The hottest trends and must-have looks for students this school year – and how to find them up to 60 percent less than department or specialty store prices

-          How to cut back on multi-store trips and find key essentials and supplies under just one roof

-          Tips and tricks styling kids to earn that “best dressed” designation in the hall!



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