About Exterminators(3 posts)
If you read my other topic, you'll know that I basically have no hope of calling in the professionals for this horrible disease my family's been infected with. I just wanted to know, for those of you who've been lucky enough to call people, what does the exterminator do? Do they just spray or do they expect you to do stuff too?
And what's a PCO?
Easy question first: PCO = Pest Control Officer. It's what exterminators prefer to be called these days.
As to what they do, that varies widely. So far I've only narrowed down three PCO's in Edmonton, Alberta (where I am). One, my landlord's choice, will seal the apartment and fumigate. I'm trying to keep this firm away from my problem. Another that I've talked to, requires that I have everything two feet from all the walls. And then they spray like mad in three sessions separated by two or three weeks each. The third I just found recently on the internet claims to be into Integrated Pest Control (IPC) which probably means a combination of spray and dusting. They want me to remove all my outlets, phone receptables, and baseboards. These I haven't talked to yet, but I'm considering them also.
Then you have the really good ones like a few who post here. They actually prefer you leave things alone for the first inspection so you don't inadvertently change the pattern of harborages (the bugs' dormitories). For a mild infestation like I believe mine is they may just steam and treat the affected areas. With this kind, you get detailed suggestions/instructions.
I'm sure someone who knows more than me will also respond.
Sorry you are dealing with bed bugs.
To add to what Eve wrote, just in case this applies to you, I want to note that in some locations, if you are renting your home, the landlord pays for professional treatment. I know that may not be your situation, but I wanted to make sure.
Getting rid of bed bugs without a knowledgeable, skilled professional is harder. But it is possible. I encourage you to do your research, put safety first (and use all necessary safety precautions if applying pesticides or dusts).
Don't buy just anything: foggers and bug bombs are not a good idea, even if they have bed bugs on the label!
Resources listed on the links page under Comprehensive Guides to Bed Bugs may help you learn more about pesticides and treatment generally.
It takes knowledge and skill to self-treat for bed bugs. Some people mis- or over-apply products, or do not use safety techniques, and both of those can be bad. If you do your homework and reading, and ask questions of someone who knows this stuff well, you should be okay.
I also have to note: there are threads here touting over-the-counter sprays as miracle products. There isn't one. (If there was one, I would not only recommend it, I'd buy a bunch and sell it.) Sometimes people with little experience may seem like "experts" on a forum. I recommend you do not get your advice on pesticide treatment from just anyone, and "just anyone" on the forums is included in that.
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