Am I being unrealistic about treatment expectations? I'm pregnant and need help!(4 posts)
I just sent the following email to firstname.lastname@example.org. I am curious if I am being unreasonable and impatient. Any advice on how to proceed would be greatly appreciated as I am just so sick over all this. If I was not pregnant I don’t know if I could go on any more. I am sure the pregnancy hormones are not helping my mental state so if I am being crazy about this please let me know....
I am writing to let you know how unhappy I am with the service I received yesterday, April, 14th for a bed bug treatment in the Charleston, WV area. I first discovered I had bed bugs on March 30th after having been getting bit for about 6-8 weeks but not realizing the cause. We found the bug right before leaving to go out of town and captured it. We sealed it up in Tupperware and started calling pest control companies to set up appointments for when we returned two days later. Saturday, April 1st, one of your sales/inspection staff members was sent out. He could not find any bugs or any signs of an infestation but since I had a bug to show that he confirmed was a bed bug he said he could treat my house for the minimum of $1100+tax with a 90 day warranty.
Another local company offered to treat my house for $250 with a 30 day warranty and we decided to go with them since we didn’t think we had a very serious problem. We thoroughly did all the exhausting prep work and I took a day off work for treatment. When the techs from the other company showed up they looked really sketchy but at this point I had already taken a day of work, lost sleep, lost weight all while being 5 months pregnant, I decided to let them go ahead and treat because I was desperate for this nightmare to end. The days following treatment bed bugs started appearing, adults and babies, which from what I know now sometimes happens anyway, but I thought their treatment failed. I was panicked so I called the Terminix sales rep to come back out for help instead of waiting for the other company to do a follow up treatment. Your sales rep came back out April 10th and I paid for service.
He said it might be a week for them to come out to treat as there were some accidents causing staff to be out. In the meantime, the amount of nymphs I was seeing daily was alarming so I called another company about a heat treatment. I told each company whoever could come out first could have the job as I can’t keep living this nightmare. My Terminix sales rep put me in touch with Branch manager Danny Cook who put me in touch with another guy who was able to rearrange things and get me in much sooner, which was yesterday, April 14th. I was very thankful for that and thought I was going to be able to get back on with my life.
So I took another day off work for treatment and to my surprise the tech showed up by himself. I assumed there would be at least 2. I showed him around the house. He then asked me to help him remove my old encasements so he could put his on. I was really shocked that I paid $1166 for treatment but yet I am being asked to help with the work. At that moment I wondered if I should refuse treatment but I felt confident that your company was going to get the job done after the sale pitch I was given so I just sucked it up and helped so that I could get this over with and get back to living my life. I am now wondering if we put it on upside down because I would think the zipper should go on the underneath side instead of on top. Also, my sales rep lead me to believe they would be using some sort of special freezing technology on my mattress and when I brought that up to the tech he said I didn’t need it. I then pointed out a dead bedbug that he removed off it and after the fact I am now wondering where he even disposed of it. I bagged up the old encasement myself in a trash bag and removed it from my house. I asked him what he thought about my bed because I have been super concerned with it being platform storage bed with drawers underneath. I brought it up to my sales rep too and he said it was fine as is and there was no need to dismantle it and remove the drawers that they treat beds like that all the time so I left it as is. The tech said I definitely should have taken it apart so I went and got my tools to do so. He said not to worry about it. He would spray real good and if any survived to take it apart for the next time. I then suggested we at least move the bed from the wall so he could treat around it. I assumed the team you would be sending out would move furniture around because the sales rep told me I didn’t have to move furniture away from walls. The tech was reluctant since I am 5 months pregnant and my bed is huge and heavy but I insisted because I just cant live like this anymore. So together we moved it.
We then went to the downstairs guest room for me to help him with those encasements and I told him I really didn’t like the encasement he brought as mine were more fitted and asked if we didn’t put them on if that would affect my 90 day warranty and he said no. He left them for me in case I wanted to use them later since I paid for them.
I had asked my sales rep when he came out for me to sign the contract and pay if I need to redo my outlets and such since the other company already filled them with cimexa, he laughed because that is something you can get for cheap on the internet or walmart. Also, when I told him that I paid $250 he said that Terminix would be using more than $250 just in chemicals. I am pregnant so I told him I would like a list of the chemicals that they would be using to give my doctor and he said it was an OSHA requirement for them to have some sort of sheets and he would make sure they brought them.
So when I asked him for the info sheets on the chemicals he was going to be using he told me he didn’t have them but he would bring the chemicals that he was using in for me to see and write down the names. I then left for my 2nd treatment, first with your company, with my 2 cats and parked down the street and waited. I looked up the chemicals and all three of the items were ones I could buy on the internet for a little over $100 and more than likely enough to treat multiple houses. I was livid. I felt so deceived in that sales pitch. I thought I was getting some special professional service but it was no better than the other much cheaper company I used at first. The rep told me my bed was going to be frozen and it wasn’t. He said they would be using more than $250 worth of chemicals, which they didn’t. He mocked the other company making me think that you use chemicals only accessible by professionals but they were in fact products anyone can by. I was completely disgusted to know I was taken advantage of in such a vulnerable state I am in from this experience of living with bed bugs. I did not call right away as this person was still in my house with all my valuables.
The tech called me 45 minutes after starting to let me know I had 4 hours from that time to reenter. This was another red flag because I would think for one person to treat my whole house it would take more than 45 minutes. I immediately called Danny Cook, the branch manager to express my concern and frustrations with the treatment. He genuinely sounds sympathetic and unhappy about my experience. He wants me to get in touch with him Monday about my progress and has offered to come out himself and at any time of day/week to keep me from missing more work. I specifically requested that the original tech not come back as I am worried that I have got him in trouble, which I absolutely hate. He was a very nice guy and the last thing I want to do is to get him or my sales rep in trouble. He was nice, too. But I feel like I was suckered into this special amazing service that turned out to be a joke.
My husband and I skipped the first night of sleeping up there because of chemical odor but we realize that we have to force ourselves back up there to bring out bug from hiding and to monitor bites, which I am the only one to react. I went up there during the day and disappointingly found several nymphs again already. I searched the encasement and there are small holes along the seams where it looks like threading should go through which does not make me confident in it working correctly. Then I decided to search around the bed and noticed right away and very easily a harborage area with eggs and feces that was located on the back side of my headboard. Even though I helped the tech move my bed out about a foot from the wall I am wondering if he was even able to fit back there. I was under the impression no one was finding any signs so I am shocked I found it so easily. My husband sprayed it with 91% alcohol.
I am very unhappy with your company and the service I received. Not only do I feel like I was misled but I had to help do the job. That is just unacceptable. I am just so sick over it all. I am 5 months pregnant. I have lost weight. I have lost sleep. If it doesn’t end soon I will likely end up losing my job and marriage over it. And I hate to think what the stress and repeat use of chemicals is doing to my unborn daughter. At this point I would like a refund so I can use a reputable company to provide a heat treatment on my home.
You are not overreacting one bit. I had a similar experience with Orkin. Was told a team of 2 should take about 2 hours to treat with 2 different chemicals. Well only one guy showed up, used only one chemical that was actually a $30 aerosol can which is a big no no with bed bugs and he was literally out of the house in ten minutes. Turns out he spread the bugs and made the issue worse. I was livid, but there was nothing I could do cause my landlord hired them. Here I am, 4 months later, still dealing with the issue. I did my own treatments with professional sprays and a pump sprayer as well as using cimexa and have controlled the issue for the most part but I'm freaking out now. This house isn't a candidate for heat treatment because of the heat sinks (concrete) and Michigan basement. We are planning to move our family of 4 in a month and I'm starting to lose it cause moving successfully is extremely difficult. We are replacing almost everything but the majority of our clothing which will be treated in a dryer for a few hours but that's not a guarantee.
It is not completely out of the norm to see a few after your first treatment, it sometimes flushes some bugs out of hiding and they may still harbor in a chemically treated area and die later. The part thats not right is you finding a harborage with living bugs after treatment. If he had sprayed them directly, they would be dead or on their way to dying and most likely would have scattered when sprayed. Wooden bed frames like you have are usually difficult to treat as there are plenty of harborage locations for the bugs. Sometimes it is necessary to properly dispose of them and get a basic metal bed frame. Steam from a high quality dry vapor steamer is usually one of the more effective treatments on that kind of frame as it can penetrate all the cracks and crevices they have. If you do dispose of it, make sure to dismantle and bag it or rap it in plastic to make sure you aren't spreading the bugs throughout the house.
They should have used their freezing method if they told you they would, especially on that bed frame. I would definitely demand a refund by calling them or demand a more thorough treatment. They also should have treated the mattress and box spring with their freezing method and maybe a pesticide labeled for mattresses before encasing it.
Heat treatments can be successful if done right but they are expensive and can fail if not done properly. Even if done properly they tend to leave a few stragglers here and there which is why any reputable heat treatment companies should be using a chemical and/or dust treatment as a backup to catch the stragglers. The trick is also finding the right company. All the companies that service my are including the oldest pest controller in my state won't do a chemical/dust backup and only treat the bedrooms and the living room. This rarely works. The whole house should be treated as leaving any cold rooms or spots would leave areas for bugs to escape to.
The thing with nationwide companies like terminix and orkin is that each branch is different. There's someone on here who used terminix and she has been very happy with them and hasn't seen signs for a couple months. It really depends on the branch.
If you paid them using a credit card, you could call your card holder and try and get them to refund the payment if you explain the situation. Someone on here has had success with that.
I wish you luck, I know the feeling. I'm mentally losing it and I'm scared to death my 2 little girls will have to live like this forever. I hate this. I want my life back.I am not an expert, any advice I give should be considered as amateur advice and not taken as fact. I mean well with all my posts and try to give back. If you plan on using any of my advice, I suggest doing research into said advice to make sure it is in your best interest.
Study on Thermal Death Points(pages 18-29 of pdf) : http://www.propanecouncil.org/uploadedFiles/Council/Research_and_Development/REP_12221%20Efficacy%20of%20Heat%20on%20Bed%20Bugs.pdf
Study on Cimexa: http://www.pctonline.com/article/pct0814-silica-gel-research-bed-bugs/
Thank you mp7 for taking the time to respond to me. I really appreciate that. I have no clue what I'm doing as I don't even know anyone that has had bed bugs before. I will continue my fight with terminex and see where that goes. I wish you the best with your situation as well!!
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