Apartment building treatment/moving advice(1 post)
EDIT: SORRY EVERYONE: I JUST SPOKE WITH THE LANDLORDS, AND THEY ARE GOING TO HAVE SOMEONE HERE SOON. THE NOTICE ON THE MAIN FLOOR WAS FOR OTHER NON-BEDBUG PEST CONTROL SERVICES.
I received some excellent help identifying the bugs in my Brooklyn apartment from a husk (which led me to catch a few live ones) on here. Now I could really use some life advice, on several fronts.
As per the Bedbugger FAQ, the primary tenant (it's a sublet) and eventually I started calling the property managers in order to get a PCO in right away. The managers were out of the office that week, and the voice mail was full. Finally on Monday I got hold of someone. She told me at first that they would have a contractor over within two days. When I phoned to follow up Tuesday, I was told there would be a sign-up sheet in the lobby of the building that night. That night, a sheet showed up saying there would be "pest control services" in the building for two hours a month, on the last Wednesday of every month, and to be in the apartment if we wanted to avail ourselves of this.
Presumably, this is because several other tenants have called (I've seen a few mattresses and cushions in the garbage the past week or so). These visits will start fully a month after I first identified the bugs. My sense is that two hours a month for what's probably a fifty-unit apartment building represents a harm reduction/cheapo/butt-covering approach, rather than an aggressive campaign to eliminate them. I don't get the sense there's going to be any steam-cleaning, etc.
So my questions begin here:
1. Does this represent adequate effort on behalf of the landlords? If not, should I (or rather the primary tenant, who's in another city for a few months) be insisting that the problem get addressed more directly? (In NYC, landlords are responsible for ensuring a bed bug–free environment.)
2. This was a furnished sublet, but I had to make the initial arrangements from another city, and probably wouldn't have known at the time what to look for even if I had seen the place firsthand. I did, though, meet the tenant in my city and ask him if he'd had any problems and checked the bed bug registry, both of which suggested the place was clear. (This infestation is probably fairly recent, and I believe him that he didn't know. Just horrible timing for me.)
Question here is: Would you move ASAP if you were me? And how adamant would you be about getting the last month's rent back, if so? (If he is willing to give me back my last month's rent, I would be able to go as soon as three weeks from now; if not, seven weeks.)
3. The infestation in my apartment is fairly minor, at least in terms of the number of bites. I didn't realize until after I'd started that you're not supposed to spray, so I had done some spraying of the bed frame and underside of the boxspring, as well as a nightside table and a hole in the floor by the radiator where I suspect they came in, and don't think I've been bitten since. (This is to suggest that I have some fear that I might have dispersed them.)
Because the place was furnished, I don't have a ton of stuff here. Broadly speaking, it falls into three classes: small household items (kitchen stuff, tools, framed pictures); technology and media (computer, video game system, electric guitar, printer, books, DVDs); and clothes (plus one carpet). I removed the bigger technological items from the room; heat dried the clothes and double-bagged and cable tied any clothes I don't need for the next few months. Probably 2/3 of my stuff is in the living room, and I've mostly isolated the bed (though hadn't bagged the boxspring, where they were, because I was waiting for the PCO, as per the FAQ) and only use the room for sleeping.
Question here is: If I'm moving, what do I need to do to ensure that I'm not bringing the bugs with me? I know the answer for clothes; I'm more concerned about the more expensive tech items, the books, the carpet, and the household items.
And should I just go ahead and bag the boxspring for now? (I realize I handled this badly; I was worried because I wasn't hearing from the landlords and read conflicting advice on the web.)
4. What's my responsibility in terms of telling potential new roommates or landlords that I'm coming from a place that was infested? I'm sure everyone here knows this dilemma: you can't get a new place if you're honest, but you'd feel terrible if you spread them any further, and THERE'S NO WAY TO KNOW FOR SURE!
Seriously, there must about four horror movies about these things in production in Hollywood right now. Thanks so much for your help, everyone.
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