Any PCOs in NYC which offer free and reliable bed bug inspections?(3 posts)
I think my boyfriend *might* have bed bugs. However, I'm still not convinced either way. There is some evidence that it might be a problem with gnats or fleas. Is there a knowledgeable/trusworthy company in the New York area that can provide a free inspection to identify the problem? If it's not bed bugs, it's definitely something else, and I'd like to figure out what it is as quickly as possible.
I know of a few friends who had free "inspections" where the PCO would say there were bed bugs even when there weren't any. Even some places which used dogs were unreliable.
Please don't post here to advertise for your own company. I would like unbiased reviews from those who have been through the same experience in NYC.
Thanks so much!
Put out some passive monitors which are good at fleas and see what you get. Also check info on bird mites to rule them out as well.
Have you thought of doing a preliminary inspection yourself if you can't find someone to do it for free (which might be difficult to find) or don't want to pay for an inspection?
I went to a bedbug conference in Boston where advisors strongly stressed that people do inspections themselves on a regular basis as a preventive measure. It is a good skill to learn and a skill we all need. Even when you don't have bedbugs, or if you have them and get rid of them, it will still be important to inspect regularly since most of us can't keep paying to have PCOs in to inspect repeatedly (though I do applaud places like hotels that can afford to have regular bedbug dog inspections).
You can even pay to have someone do an inspection and there is no guarantee they will do a good job. People here have paid good money for a cursory inspection and weren't happy with the inspection.
What bedbug PCOs do when they inspect is simply to look with eagle eyes for any evidence of bedbugs. They know what bedbugs and their markings look like (you can find this on this forum) and they know where bedbugs are likely to hide (you can also find that on this forum). You know your place and will know what is usual or unusual and might spot something someone else wouldn't notice. You can spend a long time looking and have someone look with you. There are links that describe how to inspect but basically you need as good a flashlight as you can get, and someone to help you since it will involve looking in places that might be hard for you to get to alone.
It's best to start your focus near where you are sleeping since that's where they are more likely to be. Look at bed, mattress, boxspring (very important to take the thin fabric off the bottom of the box spring and look in there), all around the bed slats, where the mattress is supported by the bed legs, etc. Some people think you are more likely to see bedbugs in the middle of the night but if you can find where they congregate during the day, called their harbourages, they will be there during the day, too. Look behind picture frames, drapes, behind light fixtures, behind electrical switch plates. Carefully inpsect any furniture such as a nightstand or bookcase right near the bed. Have something with you so that if you see a bedbug you can capture it and save it to show a PCO. If you find bedbugs, try not to disturb their harbourage and call a PCO imemdiately.
Another place to inspect is your bedding and nightclothes. I suggest using pale, solid sheets and looking for tiny blood spots, or looking for blood spots on white t-shirts that you wear to bed. This is good indication of bedbugs and something else you can easily do on your own.
So until you find someone to do your inspection, inspect on your own. Only hire reputable licensed person to do a bedbug inspection.
I have to tell you that this self-inspection stuff can work. I know someone who once had had bedbugs in the past and subsequently stayed at a house where they were bitten during the night. Since they recognized what bedbug bites were, they inspected and found evidence (blood spots). This was enough to convince the homeowner to hire a PCO to do an inspection. The PCO spent an hour inspecting and said he found no evidence of bedbugs. Fortunately the owner decided to believe the person who did the self-inspection and not the PCO, and followed up with a bedbug dog who confirmed the presence of bedbugs and found them and the home was treated.
I wish you the best. It's tough not knowing if it might be bedbugs.
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