FAQ: advice on getting treatment to eliminate bed bugs

by nobugsonme on December 7, 2006 · 111 comments

in bed bug treatment

The following FAQ was written entirely by Sean, a Pest Control Operator and entomologist in Vancouver, and is posted with his permission. Check out his Bed Bug Resource [site no longer active, link removed]. Thanks Sean!

If anyone wants to add to this topic, click comments, and let us know what you know!

Advice on getting treatment to eliminate bed bugs, from a Pest Control Operator

I can not stress enough how important it is to do a bed bug treatment correctly right from the onset. The slighest misstep can literally make a solvable problem a nightmare.

All too often you get do it yourselfers that think they can do the job just as well as a licenced technician can. This is simply not the case 95% + of the time.

As I have said many times … leave this one to the pros.

The trick is for the general public to decipher who the pros are in their area. I will not lie to you, there are good companies and bad companies. There are also good companies with some bad individuals.

Two things to watch out for; underpricing and overpricing. Ask them what the job breaks down to on an hourly basis per technician that they are sending (some companies use two techs per job). This puts all companies on equal footing for comparison.

Underpricing means you will get what you pay for; poor service and inexperience.

Overpricing means that the company likely does not want to do bed bug jobs. They price so high that they are looking to discourage people from hiring them. They just plain can’t or do not want to do bed bug work.

Look for a company with middle of the road pricing. Check with the Better Business Bureau to see if they have received complaints recently. Ask the company to provide references from clients that have been satisfied with their bed bug work. Many companies will have letters of praise on hand.

Some other things to look for;

1) Do they offer a guarantee?
2) If so, what does it entail?

Keep in mind that many companies will NOT offer guarantees to hotels or multiunit dwellings because the chance of reinfestation is too great. If you live in an apartment ask what their guarantee is for a freestanding home. This will give you an idea of how confident they are about their work.

3) Do they have liability insurance?
4) If yes, how much does it cover?
If no … walk away.

5) Do they have dedicated bed bug technicians?
Many companies are now forming bed bug task forces if you will. These companies will likely have more experience.

6) How long do they expect the treatment to last?
A thorough bed bug treatment (inspection plus application) is going to take a minimum of two hours (based on a normal hotel sized room).

7) How many treatments does the price include? (Editor’s note: in order to have some confidence that they will eliminate bed bugs in your home, it should usually include at least two treatments, spaced about two weeks apart).

8) Ask the company how many treatments it will take to eliminate bed bugs in the home.
If they say one … walk away.
If they say two-three they are being honest.
If they say several (3+) they likely are not doing the job right.

The last thing is that people need to realize that they are going to need to be bait for the treatment to be most successful. They essentially need to carry on their routine of sleeping in the bed, etc. This will maximize the chance of the bed bugs coming in contact with the pesticides.

Entomologist / Pest Professional

Update 11/2007:

This is what one PCO posted on the forums in this thread, in answer to the question of what traditional treatments entail:


This is what you should look for (as a person knowledgable in the topic):

1. They don’t rely solely on pesticides. Non-chemicals measures are a plus and they should use bed encasements or at least recommend them, vacuums and hopefully steam. Current research is showing tolerance and resistance to a lot of pesticides we have available so relying on them may be a mistake.
2. Some sort of crack and crevice treatment, and hopefully a dust, is an absolute must, these bugs hide in cracks and crevices and if you’re not getting to them you’re not addressing the problem.
3. Follow-up treatments. Having done lots and lots of jobs I almost never eliminate bed bugs in one treatment and depending on the conditions (infestation level, clutter, construction, etc…) is will take 3 or 4 typically, maybe more.
4. They address most if not the whole structure. If they just do the bedroom that has the known problem, or the bedrooms or just the couch it’s a mistake. These bugs distribute throughout the structure and you can’t limit yourself to one area. The treatment should encompass the entire structure.

I could probably go on and on but these are the big ones. The rest is a personal decision.

Editor’s note from Nobugsonme: Readers, feel free to add a comment below which tells us what PCO you used (and your location), and the kind of service you got. Be sure to tell us what you know about the treatment used, how many times they came back, and how long your problem has been solved (or going on, as the case may be.) Obviously, we are not responsible for the mini-reviews below. Anyone is welcome to comment. Please be honest and fair, and don’t recommend yourself!

1 e.r. December 10, 2006 at 10:00 pm

I used Pest Away and after two treatments am still in agony. They were pretty patient on the phone but the treatments were quite short and didn’t seem thorough to me. They didn’t seem concerned about finding any evidence of the bugs (I’ve never seen one) and rely a lot on the customer spraying the evil stuff around. They charge A LOT and make you buy all their vinyl products and spray products and overall I think really take advantage of your desperate state. I think the treatments are warrantied until your problem goes away but I don’t even want to try them a third time because it seems pointless. I am desperately looking for good recommendations for NYC but so far can’t figure out how to navigate this site to find them!

2 nobugsonme December 10, 2006 at 10:23 pm

I am afraid we don’t really have any reviews of PCOs up here yet. In fact, yours is probably the first. And much welcomed. Lots of people in the Bedbugger Yahoo Group (which spawned this blog) have used Pest Away. Others in NYC have used other PCOs. Since there are lots of NYC folks on the Yahoo group, I’d recommend signing on to it and searching the archives. Posting a message should get some good NYC recommendations too. For what its worth, PEst Away has had some very strong reviews as well as some nonplussed and disappointed ones as yours is. It may be the case that they’ve been so busy after being recommended by city councilwoman Gail Brewer and in countless local articles.
Broadway also was recommended by Brewer (but not as often in the news) and also seems to know what they’re doing (as I think Pest Away must have done–and some of them still do. I think they may just be having to hire too many new people, or complete too many jobs; I can’t think otherwise why they would have gotten so much good press and positive user feedback.)

By the way, one thing I do know about Pest Away is that their method requires you to sleep in your bed (to act as bait) — this is common for the methods used by most PCOs to treat bed bugs. The other thing I know is that a repeat visit 2 weeks later is necessary with almost every bed bug extermination, including theirs, though I’ve heard their workers sometimes tell you once will be enough. It won’t be, though, and that doesn’t mean it isn’t working. I would get Pest Away to come back the third time and since you have never been bug free, they should not charge you. It may be enough to do the trick.

Good luck!

3 S. January 15, 2007 at 10:09 am

I am in the middle of fighting bedbugs right now, and I’ll post my story to that section later today, but I wanted to respond to this call for PCO recommendations.

We are using Smithereen, a PCO in Chicago, and I have both good and bad things to say. Mostly good.

Good: they gave us a very extensive “Bed Bug Protocol,” with about 12 steps for the tenant to do. They are strict, and say that if we don’t do these things prior to them arriving, they won’t treat. (This is motivating – you want them to treat, so you follow all their instructions!) The steps include things like washing and bagging your clothes, clearing clutter and vacuuming – no chemicals to spray or anything outrageous.

Good: they charge $125 an hour, or $75 an hour for us since our building is a customer. These prices seemed middle-of-the-road as compared to others.

Good: they recently began forming a ‘bed bug team,’ and have been getting new training and hiring new people.

Good: the last guy who came spent 2 hours, pulled carpet up around the edges of the room, tore open the fabric on the underside of the box spring, turned furniture upside down, and generally did a very thorough job.

Bad: we have had 3 visits, from 3 different people from Smithereen. The last time I spoke to their main office, they admitted that the inconsistency wasn’t working out, and that they were going to start dedicating people to clients. I’m glad they’ve realized the problem. But it’s frustrating because it’s like the first two guys were a waste of time and money – we had to explain the whole story all over again, and they didn’t know the history. Plus they were probably repeating each other’s work. Now, though, we have a third guy, and we are hoping he stays dedicated for any future visits.

Unsure if good or bad: they give no guarantee. They had a 2-page ‘bed bug contract,’ where they detail the service they will provide, on an ongoing basis, until the bedbugs are gone. They specify the hourly rate and had us sign it. This seems responsible, to not guarantee anything, but I kinda wish they could inspire more confidence. So I’m willing to try a new Chicago PCO. Anyone in Chicago have recommendations? Or, does Smithereen sound like they are doing things right?

4 nobugsonme January 15, 2007 at 4:33 pm

S, Thanks for your report. (Are you the same S who had the bed bugs in a dry cleaned comforter?)

In any case, I think WindyCityMike used Smithereen and followed their directions, and they got rid of his problem. I’ve heard stories from other Bedbuggers about companies that send someone new each time (this is a common problem) and whether this affects your outcome may depend on whether the company has a protocol each worker follows. In any case, it sounds like you’ve got a good guy now. Remember that most companies expect to come 2-3 times. They should return every two weeks as long as the bites continue. And hopefully, soon they won’t.

If they charge for every visit, by the hour, the potential is there for them to keep coming indefinitely, I suppose. (It sounds like a repiutable company, though.) On the other hand, in a multi-unit dwelling, if all units are not being treated, PCOs who make guarantees may have trouble upholding them.

5 jessinchicago January 15, 2007 at 10:32 pm


S- If you need specific help regarding exterminators/methods/landlord laws/sanity-saving techniques, please contact me via Nobugs. She has my email address.


6 S. January 16, 2007 at 2:23 pm

I am indeed the same S. who had the comforter. The problem is still going on. Jess, I did contact Nobugs, thanks for the outreach and I’ll be in touch!

Thanks for your comments on the PCO. I am contemplating the notion of having a PCO in my house every 2 weeks until…forever. It doesn’t seem feasible monetarily. Especially because it’s a multi-unit building, I feel like they’ll just go away and come back, go away and come back.

So the more realistic plan is one of abatement – just keeping them at bay – rather than total destruction, which I feel is too much to hope for in this building. It’s a beautiful building, but the walls are exposed brick, the cracks and crevices are infinite. We have neighbors above and on both sides. The management company is sympathetic at best.

Our lease is up in August and we’re hoping to be able to buy our next place, and ideally in a building with as few units as possible. (Strange how your priorities can change so quickly!) So right now I’m on an 8-month countdown clock. If Smithereen comes every 2 weeks for 8 months, and spends 2 hours each visit, that’s $2400. If I buy the chemicals, isolate my bed and spray the place myself every two weeks, this has to be a cheaper option.

7 carolyn March 16, 2007 at 11:54 am

so do you recommend doing it yourself? i’m in an apartment building, just moved in…

8 nobugsonme March 16, 2007 at 12:01 pm

Please read the other FAQs.

9 WitsEnd March 23, 2007 at 2:18 pm

Any adive for decent PCOs in the Washington DC area? I just sufferend through a move, only to have my roomate wake up with bites this morning. We don’t know what else to do. We’re both strapped for $, but realize a PCO is the only way to eradicate.

Northern Virginia is actually where we live but it’s close to DC.

10 nobugsonme March 24, 2007 at 6:10 am

Wits–check out the FAQ on selecting a PCO…

11 April 19, 2007 at 3:32 am


I actually live in the Northern VA area as well (Rosslyn). I recently started getting bitten and had a PCO come and tell me I had bedbugs. If I wanted it to be free, I have to go through my building’s management and they use Triple ‘S’ Pest. They should be here within the week for my first treatment session. I would say that I’ll go ahead and use them, see how well it works and report back. But if you’re getting bites, I’m not sure what good that would do since it’d be weeks to detect any improvement at all.

12 April 19, 2007 at 3:32 am

I’m buggedtodeath on the forums, by the way. I’m not sure why it’s not letting me login here, but whatever.

13 nobugsonme April 19, 2007 at 2:10 pm

Anonymous, it should let you log in. Make sure you use capital letters in the same places if relevant. If there’s still a problem, feel free to get in touch (nobugsonme at yahoo) and I can help.

14 boston May 4, 2007 at 4:33 pm

Can you please advice who on good PCOs in Boston? And how to make a condo management to take a proper care of the problem? My management is connected with an awful, no-help PCO and is reluctant to check apartments adjustent to mine.

15 dawn May 9, 2007 at 11:08 am

I’m looking for some recommendations for PCO’s in the New York/New Jersey area. Can anyone please give me some suggestions with whom they have had success?

16 WitsEnd May 9, 2007 at 11:18 am

Success story!!!!! We did it ourselves this go round (after a move and apparently a few clingers moved w/ us). We did the sealed mattress covers, all the sealed laundry, and then chemical treatments on our own.

I KNOW its not been reccommended, but we seriously did not have the $. So, after mucho research, I set in to committ genocide on the little buggers.

I used the only powder treatment I could find that specifically mentioned “bedbugs” and then found a spray that did not interact with the powder. We vacuumed like crazy, then powered the floors, focusing on the baseboards and heavily around and under the bed. The bed was moved far from walls and curtains were sprayed w/ chemicals. All furniture was sprayed with the chemical, too. My dad has aken numerous pesticide classes b/c we have a farm back home. He gave me TONS of advice in regards to mixing stuff up.

It’s been 6 wks, and no bites, no trace, but we”re still treating as though they might be there. Hang in everyone, there’s light at the end of the tunnell!

17 dawn May 9, 2007 at 2:09 pm

i tried to use cooper pest solutions in new jersey but they told me they couldn’t treat until we had an actual specimen. now, we all know many of us go for months and months before we see an actual bug so this seemed ridiculous to me. why wait for the problem to get worse. i have the blood spotting, the rusty spots on sheets, etc. so i thought that would be enough. has anyone else had this experience with a pco who wouldn’t treat without an actual specimen? i thought evidence like blood spotting was enough. i am now considering going with broadway exterminating and i’m wondering if anyone has used them or knows if they are good.

18 hopelessnomo May 9, 2007 at 2:41 pm

Dawn – it’s illegal in most places to treat with pesticides without evidence of a particular pest. I think there is some leeway as to what that evidence might be but I think it’s mostly at the discretion of the pest control professional. Maybe a professional inspection is in order, although we know that with bedbugs even thorough inspections may fail. You may want to check out the bedbugger yahoo support group. People there have reported good experiences with Broadway.

WitsEnd – I’m sorry you had to do it yourself. It takes a lot of work and research to do that safely. Congratulations on being rid of your bedbugs.

Boston – I’m sorry you had no reply to your question. The bedbugger yahoo group may be a place for you to connect with other Boston sufferers. I think that it’s often up to us, the informed tenants, to educate our clueless landlords and property managers. Writing letters, supported by the internet research you’re doing, might be helpful. Also, when you have a mediocre PCO, you need to take charge of the relationship and give direction and generally make yourself heard. This means talking to the techs that come to your apartment, talking to managers at the company, and telling them what you want done (for example, if the PCO has not treated your electrical outlets, you need to insist on that). Making noise is the way to go when you’re stuck with bad pest control service. The problem in condos is often about money, who pays for the PCO. It’s difficult to be persuasive when you’re dealing with bedbugs and getting little sleep.

19 dawn May 9, 2007 at 2:45 pm

thanks nomo. how do i get on the yahoo support group to read the reviews?

20 hopelessnomo May 9, 2007 at 2:55 pm


The link is also on the sidebar of this site, along with links to all kinds of resources.

21 dawn May 10, 2007 at 11:12 am

has anyone heard of stern environmental group in new jersey? that’s who i’ll be using for my bed bug control and their website seems to indicate they have had great success with their treatment. their guarantee their work, in that they will come back at no additional charge as long as there is still evidence the bugs are present. they do have an entomologist on staff and the cost is around $650 for a two bedroom apartment. they will treat the bedroom areas and the living room. does this sound legit to you guys? i’m in dire need of treatment and don’t know where else to turn. broadway exterminating doesn’t serve my area of new jersey so i can’t use them after all. any advice?

22 Bugalina May 10, 2007 at 11:31 am

I suggest you request an exact list of what how they are going to treat. For example, are the going to treat inside your electrical outlets, are they going to fan spray the lower portions of your walls. A big question I would ask is , do they consider a bite as proof or evidence that the bed bugs are still there, I would hope so…they have to err on the side of precaution, thats my opinion. The price seems right but please remember. If its not in writing its not….get every promise they make to you , in writing…

23 dawn May 10, 2007 at 11:37 am

they consider blood spots on sheeting and bites enough proof that the bugs are still there and they will continue to treat until they aren’t there anymore. their website indicates some great reviews from consumers who have used them for bed bugs and the woman i spoke to said that have had great success with the products they use. they also suggested mattress and box springs covers and they will treat the mattress and boxspring before they are covered. they said they would be using bedlam, drione dust and suspend. does this sound like they know what they are doing?

24 Bugalina May 10, 2007 at 12:12 pm

Well to be honest, Its only second hand info…I think buggedinbrooklyn said it, but they had no success with bedlam…however the other products you mention are standard to the industry…what I would like you to ask is exactly HOW and WHERE they are going to apply the products…make them give you specifics…how are they going to treat the bedding before its covered…where are they going to use the suspend and drione…Its sounds like they are a good company but you must be as educated as possible ..the educated consumer is the one who gets the best job..that’s my opinion

25 S May 10, 2007 at 12:55 pm

Hey Dawn, I think they sound as good as any. They certainly sound informed, at least, about the multifaceted approach that is required to solve the problem.

I think you should have them come out, but take careful note of where they apply pesticide. If possible, as hopelessnomo has mentioned, you should help direct them – making sure they don’t miss places of importance, such as the outlet plates, under the edges of the carpets, inside drawers, etc.

26 dawn May 10, 2007 at 1:12 pm

i will be there when they do the treatment so i’m going to make sure they apply in all the necessary areas, under carpets, etc. the bed bug sniffing dog only found a small infestation in two areas. he didn’t bark in the living room or even in the second bedroom. the only place he barked was at the middle of our mattress and inside my dresser so i’m hoping the problem is only limited to those two areas right now and that it’s small and localized so that the pest control people will be able to get to it before it gets bigger. does that make sense?

27 Bugalina May 10, 2007 at 1:38 pm

Well it makes sense if you have total confidence in the dog…but I think you should treat the entire place…its better to play it safe…also …S is right , make certain they spray inside your drawers and under your furniture…be there to direct them…be nice, but be firm…

28 dawn May 10, 2007 at 3:24 pm

they are treating both bedrooms and the living room. they are not treating the kitchen or bathroom because they said that’s not where the bugs would breed. they did say they spray furniture completely, underneath and all the drawers, etc. and they said they would also spray the underside of the couch even though the dog did not detect any bugs in the living room. i’m hoping i caught it very early since i have barely seen any signs and haven’t had any fecal spotting at all. i have inspected all areas of my room carefully and found no evidence whatsoever but because the dog barked in those two spots, i’m insisting on extermination anyway.

29 dawn May 11, 2007 at 10:39 am

is it acceptable that the pest control company is not treating the kitchen or the bathroom? does that sound like it still means they know what they are doing? again, if anyone is familiar with stern environmental in new jersey, i would truly appreciate your input.

30 hopelessnomo May 11, 2007 at 11:23 am

Dawn, I encourage you to post your question in the forums. You will get more responses.

Bedbugs have been reported in every room of a dwelling. It’s not that they can never be found in the bathroom or kitchen, but that a majority of PCOs will only treat the most likely areas of infestation. Whether this is wise or not, I am not qualified to say. Whether this is because that particular PCO has never had a single case where bedbugs were found in those areas… you’ll have to ask. You have to develop a comfortable relationship with your PCO, why not raise these questions with them?

I’d say this does not necessarily invalidate their competence. You need to evaluate within a context and I just don’t know enough about them (other than perhaps observing that they appear to be regular readers of this blog). You can at least ask them to inspect those areas.

31 dawn May 11, 2007 at 11:33 am

hi nomo,
are you saying that stern environmental reads this blog? how do you know this? how can i go about posting on the forums? i’ve never done that before. i appreciate your help.

32 hopelessnomo May 11, 2007 at 11:43 am

Click the link I provided above.

I posted your question for you to get you started.

Use the same login that you use here and just look around. I’m sure you’ll get oriented in no time and you can post additional questions or comment on existing threads.

Stern Environmental has a blog. They seem to especially appreciate Parakeets’ travelling advice.

33 dawn May 11, 2007 at 11:58 am

so stern environmental reads the bedbugger website? i’m sorry but i do not see the link you provided to the forums. it doesn’t appear to be there. can you please repost the link and tell me where you posted my question to get started. i’m sorry if i’m being dense but i’m still learning the process here and i really want to know if anyone is familiar with stern environmental and if they sound like a reputable company.

34 hopelessnomo May 11, 2007 at 12:08 pm


There’s also a big blue bug at top right hand of your screen.

35 Bugalina May 11, 2007 at 12:08 pm

Dawn..At the top of this page you will see a big bed bug against a Blue Background..and it says Forums….Click on that ane you will see that there are ongoing discussions. Your PCO sounds good but I think its best to treat the entire apt. This is only my opinion, but in the first home where I discovered bed bugs, I saw three bed bugs , all in the DAYTIME, one in the kitchen , one in the bathroom ( on my shower curtain ) and one scampering into a crack in the hallway floor. I am a firm believer that all rooms should be treated.

36 Zema June 21, 2007 at 3:27 pm

I live in an 152 unit single room apartment. My manager hired “Dewey Pest Control”. They said it would only take 1 time. They sprayed fully once and came back 1 week later and just sprayed around my bed area and told me it would be the last time because they really don’t do follow-ups for bed bugs. They also said I probably wouldn’t be bitten anymore after 30 days, which I think is a long time. This has been going on for at least 2 months now because we had another company doing the work that knew less than “Dewey”. So, naturally I have questions. Thanks in advance.

1. Should my building get their money back or have the same company spray 2 or 3 more times, 2 weeks apart? Can they get their money back if need be because Dewey said they could get rid of the problem but they obviously can’t.

2. How long does it take for a pro to get rid of the bugs? Should I be getting bitten for the entire 2 week intervals? And if I am to be bitten for any length of time after proper treatment as bait, what do I do about the paranoia that keeps me up until 2 am every night out of fear of being bitten?

3. How many times out of the 3 is it necessary for me to pull furniture away from baseboards, empty all drawers, closet, night stands, desk, etc, remove my pictures and switch/outlet covers from the walls, and launder alll my clothes? If the 2nd and 3rd times don’t need to be as thorough, where does pest control need to spray?

4. What amount is middle-ground pricing because I don’t what they charged my building but I was informed by my building as well as well as “Dewey” themselves that it was a lot.

5. How do I find a REAL specialist in my area? I live in Los Angeles, California.

37 nobugsonme June 21, 2007 at 7:31 pm

Hi Zema,

Is your whole building infested, or just your unit? Do you know what they used? (Whoever paid should have a receipt stating what they used.)

The vast majority of cases need 3, 4, or more treatments spaced at 2 weeks. You will still be bitten but should have fewer with each treatment.

However, that’s if all infested units are treated and all tenants are fully participating in treatment (which is a lot of work as per our FAQS–cleaning clothes on hot, drying on hot, sealing in bags, etc.) If only some infested units are treated, the bugs can keep migrating over and you never get rid of them.

It sounds like your PCO does not know a lot about bed bugs, because follow-ups are unfortunately necessary in almost all cases. If you still have an infestation, I’d say follow up treatments DO need to be as thorough. The poisons need to be reapplied in the same areas (withthe exception that PCOs may “mix” chemicals by not using exactly the same things every time in a course of treatments).

Don’t go and hire your own company if your building is not going to get all the infested units properly treated. It really can’t be just your apt. that is done right.

I am not a PCO, so all of this is based on what I’ve heard from others, including PCOs and people with bed bugs, but I have been hearing stories for a year.

We have a FAQ written by a PCO that tells you how to find one that knows bed bugs. You might share it with your landlord.

38 August 10, 2007 at 4:02 pm

I realize this is an extremely delayed message, but I see that Jessinchicago and Nobugs have a wealth of knowledge on PCO’s and other things that they offered to S many months ago. I was wondering if I could get some PCO advice from them for the Chicago area? Thanks for the help in this painful senario!

39 nobugsonme August 10, 2007 at 5:06 pm

Hi Anonymous!

Sorry–I am not in Chicago, and Jessinchicago is not active on the site right now. However, another bed bug blogger, WindyCityMike, used Smithereen, a reputable and long-running Chicago PCO, and seemed very impressed. He thought they were good and I believe they wiped out his bed bugs.

Hope that helps.

40 I Lo September 25, 2007 at 10:37 pm

Just this past week i found two adult bed bugs and some babies. I then threw out me and my parent’s mattress and sofa (getting bit there too), I know it wasn’t the smart thing to do but it just completely grossed me out. I got an exterminator and he sprayed the house, it only took like half and hour but he sprayed everything. The company is PDF. He charged 300 for the house and a guarantee, so he’ll come back until their gone. My new mattresses are coming on monday, is it too soon to bring in new stuff or should it come and i have him spray the bed. Someone HELP!!

41 nobugsonme September 25, 2007 at 10:42 pm

I Lo,

Read this:


Then fully encase your mattress and protect the bed. Do not use the old frame unless it is fully cleaned as per the instructions there. Encase the mattress and isolate the bed the minute it comes in the home, and it should not get bed bugs. Use the best encasements you can afford, some are more easily ripped or have gaps where the zipper is.

42 aznxprncss September 26, 2007 at 11:17 pm


thanks. I bought murphy’s oil and plan to wash down my bed frame and my floors with the stuff over the weekend. The problem is that my bed frame doesn’t have four separate legs, a front board and back board. I don’t think bed risers would work, i am going to use the double sided tape and get a mattress encasement. Also i haven’t seen anymore bed bugs around my bedframe or on the walls, I hope this is a good thing

43 aznxprncss September 26, 2007 at 11:19 pm

How much would the best encasements range in price?

44 nobugsonme September 27, 2007 at 12:45 am

The cheapest vinyl ones from Target are around $10, and will rip.
The most expensive covers are $100 and more from various companies.

National Allergy sells stronger vinyl ones and hybrid ones with a protective layer on the inside and a soft outer cover which is more comfortable–prices range from around $23 to $80 depending on size and type. Those are the ones I use. If you click here you get a discount on National Allergy. (Note: I and many others here bought, used, and recommended them for 6 months before we started advertising them on the site.)

45 aznxprncss September 27, 2007 at 11:03 pm

Thanks so much.. I just purchased them from there and i hope it’ll be worth the money. should i leave them on for 18 months.. so i know the bedbugs will be dead

46 nobugsonme September 28, 2007 at 2:23 am

But don’t put them on until your pest control operator treats the bed (as per the FAQs).

Yes, leave them for 18 months. You’ll probably want to leave them on indefinitely–they keep dust mites out of the bed, and if you ever bring bed bugs home again (God forbid!) then they won’t move into the mattress itself. Don’t forget the pillow covers!

47 Bencannon September 30, 2007 at 2:06 am

I just discoverd this forum this week while searching online. My wife and I moved into a new apartment in manhattan early this year and discovered a heavy infestation of bedbugs. We wish we could have located this site before we finally solved our problem. Our management company hired 2 different pco to treat our apartment but the problem continues. Yes, these companies mentioned that the bait will only work if we sleep at home so the bedbugs and come out to feed on us and in the process get poisoned. This went on for a few months where we would be bitten almost every other evening…it was a living nightmare. We finally got fed up and hired our own pco. They were amazingly knowledgable and friendly. The conducted an agressive 2 part treatment for us over the course of 10 days and we have been free of bedbugs ever since. They also treated several of our adjacent neighbor’s apartment which I’m sure helped as well. They advise on how to prepare and clean with great details. We’re exhausted now but at least free of bedbugs thus far.

Lessons learned from my experience. (1) Take the time to find the right PCO, (2) follow every instruction provided (3) Work with your management company (4) survey your neighboring apartments, and (5) Do panic. There are many good resources in this forum.

48 nobugsonme September 30, 2007 at 3:09 am


I removed the name of your PCO since it is the fourth time you have posted a similar message about them in as many days, and in fact, a message nearly identical to this one was posted in the forums. You have told me you don’t work for them and are simply a happy customer. However, readers are fully able to read your other mentions of this company and how great they were in the forums.

I am really glad you found a good PCO to deal with your problem. If i were you, I would remain vigilant, however. Since your neighbors were treated by the landlord’s PCO, and you felt they were not doing a good job, your neighbors may still have bed bugs, or may have them return, and so, unfortunately, your apartment may have them again in future. Be alert, and you are in a good position to seek treatment swiftly if needed again in future.

49 JackinCrisis October 2, 2007 at 1:04 pm

Has anyone ever used JB Pest Control out of Staten Island? My apartment and my neighbor’s apartment have become infested with bed bugs in the last month, and we are at the mercy of who our management company assigns to our building. It appears they have a contract with JB Pest Control. We signed a consent form agreeing to prep the apartment before they come in, but their website doesn’t even mention that they treat bed bugs. How can one find out if their exterminator is knowledgeable at this, and do I have a right to tell my building management who I want to treat my place? (I don’t want to pay for it. I’m broke) Thanks in advance for your help, everyone, this website has been fantastic.

50 persona-non-bugga October 4, 2007 at 5:50 pm

edward jacob works at and/or owns Pest2kill, Inc.

This is likely a fake testimonial.

I think this “advertisement” should be left up, so readers can make up their own mind about

(1) the integrity (or lack thereof) of a PCO who does this sort of thing.

(2) the intelligence of someone who sends a sham testimonial but uses his real name.

51 nyjammin October 4, 2007 at 9:29 pm

Great detective work, pnb! I cannot believe that these pcos are trying to cash in on the anxieties of bb victims. Can’t this man be reported for false information?

52 Marc terry March 20, 2008 at 11:12 am

I am a PCO from GA dealing with new outbreaks of bed bugs here. I have found this info very usefull. We have a new product that is “GREEN”. It is a dust that has botanical insecticides. I am just starting to use with all the other non pesticide methods. Hope to have great results. Thank you for the great info posted here.

53 Bedbugproblem April 12, 2008 at 7:58 pm

how the triple S work out with you anonymous because they treat my unit in Fairfax and they are coming for 4th time !

54 nobugsonme April 12, 2008 at 11:09 pm


This is not a defense of your PCO since I never used them, but getting four bed bug treatments by traditional methods does not necessarily mean you have a bad PCO. 3 or MORE treatments is unfortunately the norm.

Of course, each treatment should be reducing the problem–if someone has not noticed a reduction in bed bugs and/or bites (assuming you react to bites), then there might be cause for worry.

If treatment is not working, though, it doesn’t even mean the PCO is to blame. It can also mean they are coming from the neighbors or another source, and it can also mean prep isn’t being done thoroughly or properly, and so on.

Just wanted to throw that out there. Make sure your landlord/bldg. management has ensured all neighbors above/below/on all sides have had a pro inspect carefully. Don’t take neighbors’ word that they have no bed bugs, or assume they would notice bites. Up to 50% of people don’t react to bed bug bites.

55 Bedbugproblem April 15, 2008 at 8:36 pm

yes they treating people below me too!,no baits on us(good thing) but i found one so they coming 5th time , I hope thats it.

56 nobugsonme April 15, 2008 at 11:09 pm

You may be someone who does not react to bed bug bites. If you are still seeing bed bugs, unfortunately, you may need more than 5 treatments–especially if your building is badly infested.

57 Bedbugproblem April 16, 2008 at 7:54 pm

a saw only ONE thats it 🙂 so they coming i hope one more time 🙂 I am tired of this.

58 nobugsonme April 16, 2008 at 8:09 pm

You probably don’t realize but some people are bitten for six months and see one. Bed bugs hide very well, they’re designed for it. Sorry that’s not what you want to hear, but knowledge is power.

59 Bedbugproblem April 18, 2008 at 8:57 pm

my wife get bite last night the nightmare is back. 5th treatment is coming when will be over 🙁

60 nobugsonme April 19, 2008 at 2:17 am

Sorry, bedbugproblem.
Please continue getting treatments at 2 week intervals until there are no more signs or bites.
And please make sure your neighbors (if you live in a multi-unit building) are professionally inspected (top, bottom, all sides). If your neighbors are attached and have bed bugs, so will you. Come to the forums if you want to discuss this further, please:

61 InaDream April 21, 2008 at 7:03 pm

I have been a member for only a few days but never posted a comment. My husband and first got bite on April 9th 2008 and I on April 10th. By April 15th I had found this site and reading up on everything you guys had to offer. I feel like an expert now lol. It took me 3 days to prep for the PCO. It’s now April 21 and today the PCO came over to spray and told us he found NO proof of Bed Bugs. “No Bed Bugs” so what I’m I going crazy!!!!! I have to say he was a good PCO he was all up in my Box spring and checked every inch of our apt. He still sprayed and is coming back in 2-3 weeks. He said it could of been dust bunnies. Has anyone ever been wrong? I read and checked every link, picture, FAQ and blog to make sure what we had was bed bugs but now I’m some what confused. Any ideas ?

62 nobugsonme April 21, 2008 at 8:00 pm

InaDream, sometimes people “prep” so vigorously (for example, cleaning and throwing things out) that they clean away evidence of bed bugs. For this reason, we recommend people do not clean or prep until a PCO inspects and finds bed bugs.

Sometimes, though, PCOs can inspect carefully and not see bed bugs. Even if they are there.

On the other hand, you could have another cause for what seem to be bite marks. You might have scabies (which a doctor can rule out, and which would get markedly worse), or fleas, which a PCO should be able to rule out, though you can get plug-in flea traps to rule them out yourself.

Even if the PCO is treating, it is wise to try and find a sample and rule out other problems.

Please click the forums button at top right if you would like to discuss this further.

63 Bedbugproblem May 2, 2008 at 7:41 pm

what type of chemical they use (PCO)

64 nobugsonme May 3, 2008 at 1:25 pm

There are a variety of chemical and mechanical treatments. Your PCO should be able to tell you what they’re using. Come to the forums if you have additional questions:

65 Melissa May 3, 2008 at 2:39 pm

I felt like I need to share my story with all of you because I have visited this Website regularly, which has really helped me through my bed bug nightmare. It started out like any other story I’ve heard or read on the internet..suspicious bites and huge hives that itch like hell. I went to my doctor and he gave me some anti-itch cream and sent me on my way. Things weren’t getting any better, so I went to a dermatologist who told me it looked like flea bites and def. were not scabies. Funny thing about the fleas is that I am allergic to dogs/cats and am never around them. So, I got my super (I like in a 3-floor apt. building) to exterminate for fleas…(you know where this is going). Weeks later, problem is still there. I am thinking beg begs but everyone thinks I am crazy, until I find one. I knew it right away when I saw it. I freaked and did the things you’re not supposed to do like threw out my bed and old dresser. (I ordered a new bed and frame that has been warpped in plastic since it’s been in my room). I called the super and the exterminator came to spray, and I was scheduled for them to come 2 more times. During the three treatments, I was still getting bit and my life was really sucking. I washed all my clothes (am I am a girl who loves clothes, so it cost me a lot to clean ALL my clothes). I refused to bring the clothes back into the apt except for a few key items, so everything is in plastic in my car. I’ve cried a lot over this, but I know that if this is the worst thing that can happen, I’m pretty lucky. But, that perspective argument only can comfort you so much. Anyway, I knew these bugs couldn’t have come from me, so I asked my neighbor who had traveled in Europe about 2 months ago if he was experiencing anything like I was. He said no, not at all. Then, yesterday, after 3 months since this whole thing started, he told me he found a couple big, red bed bugs. Since I think I am an expert now on this subject, I knew right away that he was the source of the bugs and the reason why the extermination was not working- they were coming from his apt. Big, red bugs means only one thing- there are a lot of them and these are fully-fed, grown, happy bugs feeding off of a human whose body does not react to the bites at all. My lease is up June 1 (it’s May 3), and I have to leave here for other reasons. I am extemely nervous about bringing the bed bugs with me to my new apt. If anyone has any tips on making sure I don’t bring them with me, please let me know. I am hoping my move, along with my neighbor getting his apt exterminated in the next few weeks will end this nightmare.

66 Bedbug victim May 4, 2008 at 2:31 pm


See Bedbug victim’s question in forums:

67 Bedbug victim May 4, 2008 at 6:51 pm

Sorry for the double-post. I posted the comment before I realized that you had forums.

68 nobugsonme May 4, 2008 at 6:58 pm

No worries, Bedbug victim!
Glad you found us.

69 Nightmare May 9, 2008 at 1:58 am

I have a question Had a treatment on April 28th. Threw out all furniture infected (room is bare) still seeing babies. How long before I will not see the babies any more? thank You

70 nobugsonme May 9, 2008 at 2:03 am


You need to have follow-up treatments until all bed bugs are gone. Call your PCO today and try to get the next appointment within the next few days (follow-ups within two weeks are best. Traditional treatments do not kill eggs and the eggs hatch within 7-10 days which sounds like your experience.

Do not let up with treatment (approx every two weeks) until all signs of bed bugs and all bites are gone. If you’re renting, in a building, sure landlord has neighbors professionally inspected and treated.

If you have further questions click the “forums” button top right and go there.

71 Nightmare May 9, 2008 at 4:02 am

My PCO has returned twice but the pesticides he used he says has a 30 day lasting period. He is scheduled to retreat the entire house 30 days from April 29th. Should i still be seeing babies? They are now secluded to only seeing them in the bathroom and closet? Thank You

72 Nightmare May 9, 2008 at 4:05 am

Should I call my PCO every time I see a bug? Thanks Again

73 beingeatenalive May 9, 2008 at 12:17 pm

I recently realized that I have a serious bed bug problem. Ive been noticing bites for about a month I now have about 40-50 bites. Ive just interviewed several PCO’s but IM un sure how to pick the right one they are all competitively priced and offer the same treatment procedures. I was thinking about eliminating the ones that dont offer steam cleaning. Does anyone know any thing about Terminex. I’m ready to start treatment immediately .What should I use to disqualify a PCO. Does anyone have any recommendations for the New York area. I would like to chose one today I can not stand this any longer. Thanks for your help

74 nobugsonme May 9, 2008 at 2:41 pm


Please click the button at top right that says “forums” and repost your query there to get lots of answers.

75 nobugsonme May 9, 2008 at 2:43 pm

PCOs who know bed bugs seem to favor treating every two weeks or so. The chemicals may claim to have a 30 day residual but we are told that more frequent treatments are a good idea and every 30 days is probably going to mean you have bed bugs for a very long time. I am not a PCO. Please click the forums button at top right to go to the forums and ask questions there. You will get more answers.

76 lastresort May 26, 2008 at 1:25 pm

Darn bed bug bit me in the bell button and @$$ crack. I’m going to try to cut a deal with these little bastards. I’m going to leave’em a couple of shaved, drug-induced-sleeping lab mice under me bed at all times so the leave me the hell alone. If that doesn’t work, I’m burning the place to the ground.

77 mike May 27, 2008 at 4:26 am

Maybe it’s time for everyone to move on to the acceptance stage of the bed bug epidemic. Bed bugs are not ever going away. That war is lost. In fact, bed bugs will never, ever be completely eliminated from one single dwelling. Certainly, people can spend many thousands of dollars to hire PCOs. But no matter how thorough the treatments, a few resistant and hidden bugs will always remain to re-populate the space. And those will soon be augmented by bugs reintroduced from other infected people and homes. Bed bugs are like herpes. Symptoms are treatable, but the disease will never go away.

78 hopelessnomo May 28, 2008 at 11:14 am

I’m sorry you are despondent, Mike, but I disagree.

Bedbugs can be gotten rid of. In the most severe situations where there are several spaces or additional units in the structure that are infested, then getting rid of them will probably require a strong will and a hefty financial commitment. But I disagree that one must be reconciled to living with them.

79 nobugsonme May 29, 2008 at 6:17 pm

Hi lastresort and Mike,

Mike–I agree with hopelessnomo. People get rid of bed bugs all the time. Some find they just can’t, but it is usually true that they have a recurrent source of infestation (such as a neighbor who has bed bugs and continues sending them over). It’s a bad situation. No one should “accept” it. And it’s not like Herpes. You can cure it.

lastresort– Bed bugs are treatable. I know what a pain they are and I am hoping you’re getting good help in fighting your problem. Click the forums button top right if you need support or advice.

80 MiseryInTheD June 2, 2008 at 7:53 pm

Deleted at author’s request.

81 IGotTheHeebieJeebies August 7, 2008 at 2:12 pm

Hi guys,
I am a boston resident. I’m a single mom with a 3 yr old daughter who lives with her parents in a 3 family home, dad the owner. I am sleeping on an airbed, draws have been emptied, clothes have been washed, and placed in garage bags, we pulled up the old carpet in the living room, threw away the old couch as it was infested, as well as some of the other prevention tips required. I have chosen to use a PCO(Ecosystem Pest Control) uses a product called Phantom. Same process as Nigtmare stated above 30 day treatment. Problem is that I still see the bedbugs even on the airbed. The clothes are in garbage bags on the porch or lower level as it is a family house what a hastle this can be and feeling like you have to clean everything you own feeling like I have the heebie-jeebies 😉 The PCO says well the bug is a life-cycle bug and this is why they treat 3 times. Why is it that the PCO was able to spray while we were in the house and only charge $185 a floor? Anywho I called around and spoke to another company who told me that Phantom is not that strong and is only best used for ants. They charge about $425 for 1st time and $250 for 2nd time 2 weeks apart. They use something called Suspend and mix it with an IGR a growth regulator.
1.) Does anyone have any recommendations on exterminators in Boston Area?

2.) Does anyone know or have any info about these products?

3.) What has it costs people on this blog to get an exterminator?

Thanks much feedback is appreciated it’s been past 30 days and i think I gipped out of my money!

82 Nan August 9, 2008 at 4:09 am

Has anyone worked with a company called Magic in the NYC area? They came out and then sent a contract with what seems like an extremely high price ($4,125 for a 5 bedroom house on three levels). Return visits are free if the customer buys an extended plan for $125/month.
Does this seem way too expensive? And has anyone used these people? THANKS for any help!

83 Nan August 9, 2008 at 4:19 am

Another question: I am in an old brick house which has so many cracks and crevices, expecially in the basement, attached garage, old radiators, and stairways–It would be impossible to ever track them all down for sealing. Is there anything special that can be done with the CPO treatment to address this issue? THANKS!

84 Barelyliving August 9, 2008 at 7:46 am

That’s a good question. From what I understand, a lot of people recommend Phantom for bed bugs– including Harvard university, but it does take something like 7-10 days to kill them, so you wouldn’t see immediate results. Also, it sticks around longer than Suspend and doesn’t repel bugs from the treated areas like Suspend. So, I’m hoping it’s a good solution (it’s what our guy is using), but it all depends on how good your PCO does in getting all the important areas (including areas they could spread to) each time.

Your price is better than ours, but we’re south of you.

It’s hard to know what’s best, I made our guy come every two weeks, but now I’m not sure if that’s best with Phantom.

85 nobugsonme August 10, 2008 at 1:10 am

IGottheHeebieJeebies and Nan,

I strongly suggest copying and posting your questions in our Forums:

http://bedbugger.com/forum/ (or click the “forums” button at top right).

There, you will likely get many more responses.

You can create an account for free and it can be anonymous if you choose an anonymous username.

86 hopefullygone August 16, 2008 at 8:02 pm

I live in nyc and just moved into a new apartment. I am an extremely clean person and live in a new building in a small studio. I still have never gotten bit (knock on wood) but my boyfriend had been getting bites for a while when he would sleep at my place. After he saw the doctor, who didn’t think it was bed bugs, a month after moving in and getting settled I found them on my bedskirt and little bug-like stains on my sheets.
I contacted my building to have them hire an exterminator and was convinced the bedbugs were already in my apartment before I moved in. My building paid for the exterminator but both the doormen and management had said there were no other cases of bedbugs. After googling my moving company and bedbugs I realized I had gotten them from my move- probably on the coverings they use to cover my furniture.
My question is my exterminator only found two bugs when we was here, before he came I had found a few bugs one night which I killed myself. The exterminator said I dont have them bad at all and doesn’t think he needs to come back- unless I spot them again.(He also used this chemical which is a African flower root or something? Starts with a P I think… anyone familiar with this?) Its been 2 weeks since the extermination and I have done everything I was told (laundering and packing all clothing/fabrics before extermination; putting mattress and box spring encasements, caulking, steaming everything, vacuuming thoroughly, etc) I haven’t seen anything since and have been inspecting constantly. I don’t sleep here every night but neither me or my boyfriend have had bites when we do. Can I assume they are gone? Should I make the exterminator come back even though he doesn’t feel its necessary? Any help would be appreciated as I am afraid to buy anything new for my apartment and just want to sleep peacefully again!

87 nobugsonme August 16, 2008 at 8:45 pm

I am not a pest control professional. (We do have some participating in our forums.) So read what I am going to say in light of that fact.

It sounds like your PCO used pyrethrins. It is a substance used in many pesticides, and it can kill bed bugs.

A few warning bells go off for me: first, most PCOs use more than one chemical or dust in the course of treating for bed bugs.

This is in part because some populations of bed bugs are developing pesticide resistance to pyrethrins. So it’s not unusual for them to use a second chemical or a dust (mechanical killer).

Second, most bed bug treatments (especially those that do not include careful, meticulous inspections) don’t get rid of bed bugs in one shot.

While some people do get rid of bed bugs in one treatment, it is usually if their PCO was extremely fastidious. Did he carefully inspect the entire home (including underneath and within other furniture items such as sofa, chairs, etc.)? Did he locate every bed bug and every bed bug egg, and remove them? I would hazard a guess that he didn’t.

If you got the more common, more cursory kind of inspection and treatment, then you will likely need follow up. Most cases take 3+ treatments, spaced two weeks apart.

If any eggs were left behind, they will hatch in 10-14 days of being laid. They can be killed by walking through a residual, but they might not, and any residual effects won’t last forever.

You will probably know soon if you still have bed bugs if your boyfriend sleeps there and is being bit. But this can take longer if there are few bed bugs and he’s not sleeping there much.

I would actually encourage you both to sleep there nightly if possible (while taking precautions to avoid spreading them to his home or your workplaces– see TRAVEL faqs for more on that; this faq is about not taking them to others’ homes, but will be applicable to the workplace too).

Here’s why: YOU may be bitten but may not be allergic to bed bug bites. If the bed bugs are biting you, you won’t know. And if there are a few bed bugs, they only need to feed once a week or so.

So imagine you are there a few times a week, BF is there a few times a week. If the bed bugs bite YOU, they may not be hungry again when BF comes over. So you can imagine if this is the case, it could be weeks before he is the one who’s bitten, thus alerting you that you still have them.

Personally, I’d get a follow-up. I’d ask if he can spray again and put down a dust if he uses them. And I’d have BF sleep over a lot.

Again, that necessitates steps being taken to make sure he does not take them home and you don’t take them to work. But it may be your only way to know if they’re gone.

If you want to discuss this further, please come to the forums, where more people will respond!


88 peter greenwald September 22, 2008 at 12:36 pm

I don’t know who edward jacob is but I do know EDWIN who works and/or owns Pest2kill and he really IS amazing. I live in brooklyn and we discovered we had a bedbug problem a couple weeks ago. I called around after doing extensive research and ended up first calling a local exterminator- Ecology Exterminating. I was fastidious in following all the adice I got on bedbugger and cleaned and bagged EVERYTHING to prepare for a first treatment by Ecology Exterminators. A guy showed up and basically fogged the place. Didn’t turn the mattresses over. Didn’t spray the beds. Did nothing. He called me after 45 mins and said he was done and ready to be paid….$400!!!!!!!! When he opened the door I saw that the place had been fogged and because of what I had read on bedbugger I knew that was not the thing to do. I asked him if he had treated the putlets and, get this, he LIED and said “Uh…I treated the ones I could.” A lie. When I called ecology to complain they sent one of the desk guys, a guy who itold me he is in week one of exterminating school to come by and squirt dust into the outlets. It was a disaster. I called to complain to a friend and she told me about this great exterminator she has been using who keeps telling her how busy he is treating bedbugs, a guy named edwin. I called him right away. He came that night, with another PCO and they spent two hours doing a full treatment. They found the bugs hiding under my childs crib and in our bedframe. Told us what we should throw out and what to keep and after that we have not had a problem. That was 10 days ago. Edwin is actually coming back today to do round two and seal up all holes in the apt. But i googled him, came upon this unfair post and am just trying to correct the public record. Edwin IS a true professional and has been a godsend to us. His last name, which I don’t remember isn’t Jacob, so I don’t think he posted that himselfand I hope anyone in trouble will consider giving him a call. (and yes, to finish the story, I asked for my money back and they gave me all back but $65, which is worth the price of knowing never to ever call ECOLOGY EXTERMINATING again!!!!!!

89 ColdTear October 16, 2008 at 9:32 pm


I got bitten for few times now, but I am not exactly sure if those bites are from bedbugs, eventhough my doctor said so. I looked all around my bed, and I found nothing. Are there any other possibilities or explanations for these bites? Or where else can they hide around my room?

90 nobugsonme October 17, 2008 at 12:19 am

There are other possibilities. Sometimes folliculitis or scabies are mistaken for bed bug bites. Doctors can’t diagnose them on sight alone.

However, it is also true that bed bugs are very hard to detect. You may have them and not see them for a very long time.

A very careful inspection by a pro who does careful inspections, or a bed bug sniffing k9, might be options.

Please read the FAQs and come to the forums if you’d like more suggestions:


91 Steph October 18, 2008 at 6:03 am

I had an exterminator come in Sept. 1 and it looks like I’m one of the lucky ones.
Would there be evidence of reinfestation by now if the bed bugs were still hanging around? Nobody has been bitten and I haven’t seen any more (and I’m checking all of our beds thoroughly every day) of the bed bugs.

92 nobugsonme October 18, 2008 at 7:08 pm


It sounds like you had only one treatment. I have to warn you that most pest control operators seem to expect to treat more than once in order to get rid of bed bugs. (There are some who take exception to this, but they also describe searching the home for hours at the outset and finding the harborages before treating.)

Bed bug eggs are not killed by traditional treatments, and so there’s a high likelihood they hatched after treatment unless the PCO found and removed them all (not an easy task).

If you reacted to bites in the past, then not having any bed bug bites for 55 days may be a sign you have beaten them (according to entomologist Richard Cooper). On the other hand, not seeing bed bugs is no guarantee, and bed bug reactions can vary among people or even in the same person over time.

If neighbors are also infested (knowingly or not) or were not carefully professionally inspected and treated if necessary, then you might not even decide to relax at 55 days.

You can get additional opinions in our forums:

93 hkbugs November 13, 2008 at 9:59 pm

I just discovered I have bedbugs. Have probably had them for about 10 days. The landlord hired East Park Exterminating Co to come out on Monday. Does anyone have any experience with these guys? He said one treatment would probably be enough but that I should call after two weeks if I want a follow up or there are any problems. He also said that the chemicals last about a month (meaning that the pesticide would continue to kill for a month – I assume that means all eggs would hatch within that period of time). Does this sound correct?

94 Paranoid December 5, 2008 at 11:05 pm

About 4 days ago, I started noticing bug bites on my body while I was visiting family in Texas. It began very mildly, and at first I thought it was just mosquito bites and didn’t think anything of it. Approximately 2 days later (one day after I returned home from Texas), I noticed bites all over my body. After researching, these bites look extremely similar to all the pictures posted on this website. I went to the doctor the next day who immediately refered me to a dermotologist. The dermotologist said she didn’t think the bites were from bed bugs, and she ruled out scabies as well. She said it looked as though my body was having an allergic reaction to a single bug bite, and my stress and itching caused spreading. She also told me to bring in a bug specimen if I happen to find one. The next day I saw 3 tiny bugs on the wall; one was near the bed, two were still in the bedroom but adjacent to the bed. A body scale from the same looking bug was found at the end of my mattress. These bugs seem similar to the pictures of the young bed bugs on this website; however, they had many more legs. I immediately put the bugs in a zip-loc baggie and took them to the dermotologists office. A 2nd dermotologist assured me that they weren’t bed bugs, but couldn’t really identify them and suggested I have a PCO inspect my apartment. I am having that done in a few days (earliest appointment available), but I am freaking out in the mean time. I am beyond paranoid that I have bed bugs in my apartment. I have not seen any blood or fecal (rust colored, etc.) spotting on the sheets, and that one bug scale was the only thing I’ve found. In addition, my husband, who was on the trip to Texas with me, has nothing on his body to speak of. Does this sound like bed bugs? Also, can pets show signs of bites? I have a cat, who also seems to be uneffected. Any advice would be greatly appreciated!

95 Uma March 11, 2009 at 9:51 am


i live in Fairfax, and my apartment got infected with bed bugs. So we did a treatment from Triple S. They completed their fourth treatment and after a week saw one more bug.

Did they completely go after the fifth treatment from Triple S?

Please advice what to do.

96 nobugsonme March 11, 2009 at 8:50 pm


Sorry but we have no way of knowing if your bed bugs are entirely gone.

If you react to bites, I would continue to be cautious until several weeks have passed with no bites or signs of bed bugs.

If you do not react to bites, I would be cautious even longer.

It would be very difficult for a human to tell you if bed bugs are entirely gone, by looking.
I would consider hiring a bed bug sniffing dog if this is an option.

If you repost your message on our forums: http://bedbugger.com/forum/ — you may have more responses than you do here.

97 freakinout June 19, 2009 at 6:25 pm

It’s been confirmed that we have bed bugs. Ugh! And of course I began to do all of the wrong things. My husband and I moved over to the livingroom to sleep because the biting was so bad that we could not sleep. And we have jobs that if we are not rested and alert it can cause seriouse consequences. (He is a mechanic working with heavy equipment and I work with seriously emotionally disturbed children who can become violent at the drop of a hat.) I threw a bunch of DE on the bed and the draperies above our bed. And I was going to do my own treatment. But I found this website so I’m changing my gameplan. I had contacted ABC Pest Control ( I live in Texas) and they inspected and confirmed the infestation. But was going to charge me about $1, 5000.00 which included 2 treatments, with poison and steam and was going to supply us with one bed encasement bag. After encountering this website I did some more PCO shopping. And found one PCO who will treat for about $600.00 which includes a liquid and powder poison and a growth regulator in two treatments with a 60 day warranty. I was leaning toward this PCO, until I talked to “Lawrence” who is a PCO. He will charge me about $500.oo for as many treatments as it takes to get rid of them. When I asked about a warranty, he said, “I guarantee my work. I keep treating until they’re gone.” Lawrence said that he uses only poison and no growth regulator. When I asked why, he said that he been in business for 29 years and he’s heard the regulators are not safe and he does not like to mess with chemicals that start messing with reproductive cycles and such. It’s just too screwy. I don’t know, I like Lawrence’s down to earth style and seeming pride in his work. When I checked with BBB, and even though he is not BBB accredited, they gave his company a rating of A, listed no complaints against him in the last 3 years, he has been in business since 1980 and he was the sole propieter of the business. The other PCO is BBB accredited with a rating of A+ and the corporation has been in business since 2000, and no complaints in the last 3 years. Any reason that I should not go with Lawrence?

98 nobugsonme June 19, 2009 at 7:44 pm


Please copy and repost your query in our forums: http://bedbugger.com/forum where many more will see it and likely respond. Thanks!

99 Bernadine August 17, 2009 at 3:16 am

Can I sue a motel for having to many bugs sending me to the doctor 2 times? It was the worst and most painful expierience I ever had to deal with at the hospital.

100 nobugsonme August 18, 2009 at 11:59 am

Bernadine, we are not lawyers and cannot advise you. However, I suggest looking at the last two FAQS in the legal issues section. They will help you determine if you want to see a lawyer, and if so, how to contact one. Please also take care to make sure you do not bring bed bugs home, if you have not gone home yet, or be vigilant about their appearance at home, should you already have returned home.

101 victorypest October 12, 2009 at 4:46 pm

Hello all, as a new member to this site, and as a Pest control operator in NJ, I am amazed all of the activity and comments on this site. What a great online community and resource this site is. We have been reading your comments and concerns as we are always trying to do our job better and with sensitivity to those effected.

I like some of the suggestions that I have read from other pest control companies about making sure that the company that you choose is licensed and insured. Also try to see if they have any letters of recommendation from prior clients. We bring a book of letters with us to every consulation. Someone on the site said to beware of those “make a quick dollar” companies. I can’t tell you how many times I hear from people that some guy offered to do the job for a hundred bucks, one treatment, and they’re going with that company. Sadly I often get a call back shortly after asking us to come in because they still have the problem. Bed bugs require a thorough investigation and preparation, beware the quick fix companies. At our company, we first establish 3 zones of your home. The zones consist of 1. what needs to be sent to the laundromat, 2. what can remain in sealed bag or bins on your home in the “bed bug free area” of your home, 3. and what is going carefully into the trash. The prep work is essential to locating the problem and extinguishing it! When you hire your pest control company ask them for their prep sheet and their “plan”.

I want to reiterate that the company should have a pre-treatment checklist for you. There is a lot of preperation that must be done prior to the arrival of the company that you have chosen. This is not an ant treatment with “one spray” and its done. This is a very unique insect that we are fighting. The better you communicate with your pest control operator about what to be done before, during, and after treatement, the better the outcome will be.

I can go on and on, and I thank you for allowing us to join the conversation…

102 nobugsonme October 14, 2009 at 1:41 am

Thanks for your feedback, Victory Pest!

103 Mike October 15, 2009 at 1:51 am

I was told that bed bugs could be killed using a more commonly found Lice treatment. it contains 0.50% permethrin and 99.5% other ingredients one of which is Petroleum distillate. IS THIS TRUE? i have a small case and not to many bites so i am looking to get it now before it gets bad and dont want to spend a whole lot. Will spraying this on my sheets, bed, and other funitures, as well as washing my clothes do the trick?
thanks for your help

104 nobugsonme October 18, 2009 at 7:41 pm

I do not recommend using any product outside of its label instructions. Truly, I don’t recommend self-treatment at all. But if you’re going to do it, do your research, use safety precautions, and stick to products labeled for bed bugs, and follow all label instructions (including ONLY using products where and how they are labeled to be used).

You may try sealing all bedding and clothing in airtight bags, washing and drying on hot, then re-bagging in fresh clean sealed bags.

You may also carefully inspect your bed. We have FAQS on how to get bed bugs out of your bed. We have FAQs on using steam and on diatomaceous earth, but I have to caution you that even a small case of bed bugs may be difficult to treat. In addition, if attached neighbors are infested, and you try to solve this on your own, they may keep coming to you.

Please come to our Bedbugger Forums if you need more support or want to discuss these issues.

105 Audrey B. June 14, 2010 at 2:00 am

We have problems with bedbugs now. I didn’t know what there were at first. I think they are in the walls and attic. where there is insulation. It seems so impossible. How can I completely get rid of them. I’ve tryed by cleaning, freezing, spraying, now bug bombs in the attic, mattress covers, plastic risers on our bed frames, but we’ll still find one once in a while. Is the chemicals that they have to use going to cause cancer because of the use to kill them. I’m so discouraged about this. I want so badly to get rid of them.

106 nobugsonme June 14, 2010 at 10:31 am


Please do not set off any more bug bombs. They do not get rid of bed bugs and can make them spread deeper into your home.

It is possible to get rid of bed bugs in a free-standing house in one shot using Vikane gas fumigation or thermal methods, where the home is professionally heated to 120 F and kept at that level throughout the home, for 4+ hours. (Heat should be the more reasonably priced of the two, based on figures I have heard mentioned, though I’d be happy to be proven wrong on this.)

You simply cannot get rid of your own bed bugs by doing DIY freezing or heat treatments, but professionals have great experience with heat.

Please come to the forums if you want to discuss this further — you will have more readers than in this comment thread.

107 Patrick July 12, 2013 at 5:08 pm

Hello, is this forum still active? I found this when looking for information on bedbugs. Any recommendation on PCO in West Los Angeles area? Also, what is the most effective method? Is heat more effective than spray? Which one should I go for?

108 nobugsonme July 13, 2013 at 2:29 am

Hi Patrick,
This is the “blog” and FAQs end of the website. Our active user forum is here: http://bedbugger.com/forum (also linked at top) — and it’s the best place for your question.
Also — because many people may have left reviews in the past who are no longer active– see forum posts tagged LA PCOS:

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