Bad Information from Extermination Company(8 posts)
I cannot handle this anymore! I got sprayed last Friday and have since caught about 5 nymphs and 1 egg (who laid that???). I called the exterm company to schedule another appt and to ask questions. I asked about possibly using something other than Suspend (they also can do demand- which is better/preferred?) and she said they've been using it for years and it most times works on the first try. I also asked whether the landlord is obligated to tell the neighbors and she said no and continues to say "they don't usually spread like that- they don't usually go to the other apartments". Are you effing kidding me???
I'm done asking their advice when they're doing bare minimums. I need some help:
1. Which is stronger/preferred? Demand or Suspend?
2. Should I slip an anonymous note under my neighbors doors to alert them of the problem?
3. They spray for a second time next week and I wanted to leave afterwards for a few days but don't want them to go into hibernation. Any ideas?
4. Is there anything else I can be doing to be more proactive?
Thanks for your help. I haven't slept in so long and I feel like I'm going insane. I was thinking of seeing someone to help me with my mental state... I'm feeling so defeated!
I feel your pain, RightLegRavaged. I'm not an expert, but hope I can help with my opinions/ideas.
It's not unusual to see bugs in the days after treatment. Poisons take time to work. Bugs not hit and newly hatched nymphs come out to feed. It's also pretty standard practice to retreat in about 2-3 weeks, regardless, in order to mop up the new nymphs.
Bed bug control seems to be less about what you apply than about how/where/what you do in addition. It's called "integrated pest management". For a good insight, I recommend this guide http://www.michigan.gov/documents/emergingdiseases/Bed_Bug_Manual_v1_full_reduce_326605_7.pdf . Demand and Suspend are two variants of the same class of chemical, synthetic pyrethroids. If I had to guess, it's like a Camry vs. an Altima, two mid size cars, similar in function, price and quality, some people may prefer one over the other. Again, it's all about how/where it's applied.
Communication with neighbors can help, and I'd consider your note under door approach, if you're shy. We've had lots of cases where neighbors discovered that their landlord had been telling each of them that they were the only ones with problems. You should also check *BUT DO NOT POST* your building's history against bedbugregistry.com and if your city government posts violations online, on that site. It's good practice to inspect neighboring units. Still, my (non-expert) understanding is that BB tend to stay close to the host unless disturbed (including by repellent treatments), the host disappears or the population is huge, so your PCO's statement is oversimplified, but not dead wrong either.
Re your trip, try and get the attention of one of the PCOs on the board (EffeCi, KillerQueen, Jeff White, Bed Bugs Co UK) to determine if the timing is an issue. In absence of that, perhaps treat after the trip or install some "Beacons", to exhale CO2 instead of you.
Empower yourself by reading our FAQ and the guide I posted a link to, above.
Be sure to treat yourself extra special. And lean on us.
Sorry to hear about your frustrations, although they seem to be right along the lines of most BB complaints that I hear from owners/renters/landlords/prop managers about these little vampires.
As to your questions about which product is better, Cilecto is correct, they are basically the same product under different names/manufacturers. It is not so much the product individually, but the specific combination of products and treatments (IPM) that will help to increase the effectiveness of any future BB treatments.
Recently the Ohio State University released the first ever genetic study of BBs, which revealed that today's generations of BB are 1000x more resistant to pesticides (such as suspend/demand) than they were only 10 years ago! That could be a major part of your ext's lack of results. The Wall Street Journal did a video piece on it too. Check it out here.
Good luck in your fight!
@cilecto Your last 2 sentences made me tear up a little. I'm stressed and your kindness is greatly appreciated.
Thank you for your entire response. I'm certainly not trying to put down my current PCO. I just don't trust them because I know my landlord doesn't have my interests at heart.
Can I ask why I shouldn't post my current situation on the bb registry? It seems like a neighborly thing to do.
See what I wrote here regarding "leverage".
In addition, once your building's story is up on the registry, your next prospective landlord or coop board can see it and surreptitiously bar you from your next place. Or blame you for infestations found in your new place. Wait until you are safe in your new place before posting.
cilecto - 34 seconds ago »
See what I wrote here regarding "leverage". In addition, once your building's story is up on the registry, your next prospective landlord or coop board can see it and surreptitiously bar you from your next place.
That makes tons of sense! Gotcha.
I am planning to move soon. I fel like a prisoner in my home. I'm getting my next treatment next week so I hope that gets the last of them and whatever is left over. Otherwise, I'm chucking the mattress and sofa and putting the rest (bureau, bookshelf, books, documents) into storage for a year and a half. This is all so upsetting to me. It's painful. I feel embarrassed, ashamed, I go into the bathroom at work to cry- I don't know why this affects me so much!
I totally had a mini breakdown when I found that egg last night. I'm almost positive that's what it was- I have a 10 x loupe and it was pretty clear. I just bought those sheets Sunday night and that means there must be a female laying eggs around (or am I wrong?). I've been monitoring the bed and slats every night and have seemed to find something- no adults- every single night. This is a nightmare!
I don't know why this affects me so much!
Well, let's see.
A bunch of blood-sucking vermin have moved into your home, making you feel unsafe in the place that most of us retreat to in order to feel safe.
And, I expect, you're not sleeping especially well, due to the point I just mentioned. Sleep deprivation has never done wonders for my emotional stability. I think that's true of most people.
Also, no matter how rational you are about the fact that bed bugs are not caused by being dirty, for many decades, we were fed that line, and emotionally, it's really had for a lot of us to let go of those unconscious beliefs in our heads.
And let's not forget that the bugs are masters of evasion and escape, and it can be really difficult to tell if you've got them or if you've gotten rid of them.
Many of the stories you've read online probably make you feel like you won't ever be rid of them,or if you are, it'll take months. (Not necessarily true, by the way.)
In other words, I cannot speak for everyone. But I can vividly remember how I felt when I had bed bugs, and everything you've described matches how I felt.
There's nothing wrong with you. You're not crazy. You're not even having an unusual emotional response to this.
Bed bugs are, hands down, the most stressful pest I've heard of.
What Cilecto said is important. While this is going on, you need to take care of yourself. I don't know how you're sleeping, but I found it absolutely vital to get out of my apartment for one night to get at least one solid night's sleep.
I took all appropriate precautions (showered, got changed into clothes that had been dried within an inch of their lives, packed into ziplocks only what I needed) . . . and I went to sleep at a hotel before I tackled the worst of the prep.
My infestation got discovered right before a heat wave (my apartment is only somewhat air-conditioned), and I had insomnia before this all started. After finding the bugs, I wasn't sleeping for more than 2 or 3 hours at a stretch, and I was clearly not firing on all cylinders.
If I hadn't been able to get one night of 6 to 8 hours of continuous sleep, I'm not sure what I would have done, but it wasn't going to be pretty.
Bed bugs can be beaten. They can even be beaten without using heat or Vikane. They can be beaten with imperfect PCOs. It doesn't feel like it now, but you will not be suffering this extremely in the future. Hang in there.
@buggyinsocal - thank you. Yes, my future in laws have offered their home to me this weekend (my birthday ) for me to get a good nights rest. I plan to remove all clothing before entering the home, putting it into a Ziploc, and then washing it. I need one night where I get more than a few hours of sleep. I'm up every hour - sometimes multiple times.
Last night I got home and did my usual search of the bed and slats and for the first night did not find anything- no nymphs, no eggs, and no skins. I could also just be exhausted and not have seen what was there. I plan to clean the sheets tonight with bleach and then dry them until they disintegrate. But knowing I'll be able to sleep normally on Saturday night is really pushing me through. I also have lots of support from all parents who either had them when they were younger or compare it to having lice/ticks/fleas. That helps too.
I have my second treatment next week and I hope all goes well. Thank you for your words regarding beating this. If I weren't neurotic, I wouldn't be on here, and hearing the horror stories really keeps me from trying to think optimistically. I plan to buy some Murray's soap this weekend to scrub the hardwood floors down with and also buy a bedbug beacon for the week I'll be on vacation in 2 weeks. I'm just stressed about taking them with me when I eventually move. I've already decided to not open much of what I bring for at least a year and a half (which makes my stomach turn) and not buy real furniture until the end of the year. I'll survive on very little. Perhaps it will humble me/make me appreciate things more.
I'd like to go see a movie Saturday for my birthday but don't want to risk bringing one home with me to my in-laws house. Funny enough, they're going on a cruise. i worry I'll take every precaution and not bring one in only to have them get one from the cruise and hate me. But I can't do that, I know. Thank you everyone for the support. I'm trying to get through as best I can with some mental stability. i'm trying to take it day by day but it's hard and I feel beat up. Thanks again for listening!
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