Bedbug Dog coming tomorrow -- preparation, advice, tips?(19 posts)
Well I'm in the middle of kind of a whirlwind here, trying to help my friends get their house ready for the bedbug dog tomorrow. (Wednesday morning)
Long story short:
Friends own a house in Bridgeport, CT, live on the top floor, and rent the two bottom floors, which are currently empty. Bottom two floors currently getting renovations. The last tenants that lived in the bottom floor had bedbugs bites, a spraying was done, but the bedbugs are still here. My friends -- and I -- have been getting bites for the last few weeks, it's recently gotten worse.
Sadly they aren't in the best financial shape right now, as a matter of fact they are one month or two away from becoming a foreclosure statistic. Tenants must move in soon for them to keep the house. Ideally the bedbugs should have been more aggressively targeted as soon as was apparent that they were here, but regardless my friends will be doing everything they can in the next couple of weeks to remove the bedbugs.
I hope the dog is more than a gimmick. My friend saw this article,
I did a little bit of research, and it looked like a good idea so we scheduled one of the dogs before they got too busy. I really wish that the dog was just part of a pest control company's effort to remove the bedbugs, that would make is simpler. But I did ask the company's owner, Carl, to recommend a PCO and the PCO he recommended will be coming after Carl and the dog, either tomorrow or the next day to give an estimate.
It did not sound from the PCO like they'd be working as closely with Carl and his dog as much as I'd like, but maybe more on that later. (I figure at the least he might be able to rule out say, the basement as an area that needs to be treated, and could spend more effort on where the dog thinks the bedbugs are, etc...)
Bottom line -- has anyone here used a dog and have any last minute (literally) tips before he shows up?
Scratching away at my dozen or so bites, I am tempted to want to immediately drench any hotspots the dog finds with bedbug killing spray, but I'll hold off as the FAQ bring up a good point -- I would do a much less effective job than the PCO, and might just scatter them, whereas their treatment should be able to do a much better job.
Anyone else have experience with a dog? (how they work with PCO's, etc) Or have anything else they might want to add about what's going on?
For the heck of it I think I'll take some video as well and should be posting it soon on youtube. (if Carl agrees) True, I'm initially posting this in the reader question forum, but maybe I'll put up sort of a blog as well for people who might wonder if a dog might be right for them. Or the more important question -- is it even possible for people in a situation like my friends are in to actually get rid of a bedbug problem, dog or no dog, in the few weeks they have to realistically get it done?
The real bottom line is to get rid of the bedbugs, and I really hope it can be done before my friends lose the house. Maybe they should budget for a return visit of Carl and his dog and just not even think of renting if the bedbugs are still here in a couple of weeks. I hope the PCO & dog are effective, and that my friends and I do everything possible that we can do to eliminate them.
Well anyway time to sleep. Man do I hate sleeping here, the past few days I almost always wake up with a few bites.
I didn't do any preparations for the BB dog except made sure I put my cats and dog in crates in the garage, picked up dog toys and their food bowls (so it wouldnt' distract the BB Dog). But other than that, I left everything as is. The big preparation is when hte PCO comes out.
For the record, Carl said he would recommend a PCO to me as well but never did and when I called him back about it the word was simply "go with any smaller company". That was despite him having someone in mind before the dog came out (or so he said). Also make sure you get a receipt or something -- I am still emailing him about getting the paperwork from my visit which was over 6 weeks ago.... despite two reminders I have nothing to show for my cashed check (Carl did not do my inspection -- but someone from his extended team did, as I don't live up in CT/NY area, so it's no Carl directly that would have that paperwork. I think. ??)
The dog was great though -- found a few things that I would have never known they were in and that the original PCO never even checked/told us about. But I also believe we had a false negative in our bedroom. Overall though, much worth the money (I'd still like to get my paperwork....)
I believe that k9 detection is a good tool, but not 100%. Much has to do with the how the handler and dog work together, experience of them together etc.. for accurate results. I don't think every k9 team is equal and just picking one from an article is not a good idea. A trusted PCO and K9 handler that I have used in the past had good things to say about the team from this company. I have not used them but heard they are honest and train regularly.
Someone, I think Doug, was saying the best way to be close to 100% sure is to have them bring two dogs and one verifies the other's work. I don't know how much extra that would be.
Also, if you have Carl come out, he will give you a big break on a follow up after treatment to re-check.
But of the pest control co.'s that he recommended to me, I checked with one and it just used SteriFab, which I don't think is a good idea. So do your own research about what is the best and then ask the co.'s if they will do that.
My husband knows the owner of Neary Pest Control in Brdgprt and he's is a nice, honest man and seemed to be knowledgable, but I didn't get to the point of asking what his treatment program was because he was too busy to come the distance to where we live.
Regardless of who you go with, bed bugs are a tough, tough problem and the more work you guys do personally-- caulking, removing potential harborages, etc. the better for your outcome.
Like Paula, I've also heard at least one good thing about Quest Pest Control, they have a dog AND do pest control, but they're a ways from you, and I haven't actually used them.
And everybody contact their elected leaders! This is such a huge issue. Our Senators and Representative won't even respond to my comments about this topic. Everyday we read on this blog how devastating this is to people's futures. We need to encourage research in this area, maybe re-allowing something like Dursban that is more effective, maybe allowing tax deductions for the incredible costs of the problem, anything else you can think of. This is such a bad problem that isn't on the radar screen for public officials. They need to hear from tons more people.
Sorry about the tangent, Good Luck.
One question to ask is how the information from the dog inspection is going to be used to create an IPM plan?
Is the PCO going to do anything different as a result of the information that is learned from the K9 inspection?
The Bed Bug Dog inspection should be useful to the extent that it helps produce a more effective treatment plan. A well trained K9 is the best detection & surveillance tool currently available.
I'm not a big fan of BB dogs - they've missed too many hotspots that I unfortunately found the hard way
I am going to invest in that pheramone BB trap contraption when it becomes available later this year. I'll give that a try. Nothing personal to Doug - but I think the whole BB dog thing is a rackett and if this trap works - I hope it makes them obsolete. And since the cost is the same for the trap as 1 bb dog visit - it may make financial sense.
Time will tell if it is effective. I hope so
by the way - I've spoke to charlie at Quest Pest control many times - although I've never had a chance to hire him as he is not licensed in NY - but Charlie is one of the NICEST, CARING AND COMPASSIONATE folks you could ever speak to.
I don't know how he is as a PCO - but I know that if that business doesn't work out for him - he could have a second job as a Bed Bug therapist!!
No offense taken, but I wouldn't rush out to buy a pheromone trap just yet. K9 teams can vary widely in their level of competence, skill & accuracy.
The traps will not be replacing dogs anytime soon.
A Bed Bug Dog inspection provides real time data about the locations of the harborages along with indications that can shed light on migration routes & identify contaminated items. A well trained K9 can survey multiple locations and provide an accurate indication of the current infestation status in a few short minutes.
An effective trap will answer the question of whether bed bugs are present in a given location, but it will need to be in single location for an extended period of time to make that determination. You will likely need multiple traps for complete coverage.
An effective trap will be useful for clearance & long term monitoring applications.
The only trap that is currently on the market (NightWatch by BioSensory) is rather expensive to operate. The CO2 cylinder only lasts for eighty four hours & the NightWatch lure material is replaced every seven days.
I would wait until a trap is developed & also proven in the field before you invest any money into it.
thank you for the explanation.
Perhaps I hired several dogs and teams that were not as well trained and thus did not have effective results
I'm glad you were not offended - I don't want to suffer the same fate as LtDan and wind up quitting the boards because I offended someone!
I look forward to having an effective trap available. It will be a good way to verify the accuracy of an unconfirmed K9 alert.
For anyone reading what I posted yesterday (see beginning of hte thread), I have an update. The team that did my inspection still hasn't provided the paperwork to Carl but I'm getting a great break on a follow-up inspection (we're pretty sure we're BB Free right now but I have a few more weeks to wait out before I can say for sure) with a new team and I will get my paperwork this time (PM me for specifics).
So kudos to K9 Detectives for that excellent customer service! (When they come out it will be 5.5 weeks since the last treatment so I think the timing is good)
How'd it go with the dog, Sean?
Paper work should be provided immediately after the K9 inspection. Be careful of the K9 service that you use. Their are a lot of bed bug K9 inspection providers who claim an association certification. I would say to you beware of any association that, claims certification of their own member dogs for, bed bug detection work, by their own members. For the person who was told of a false positive by the K9....that is crap. A dog and handler trained in specialty discrimination and detection tasks either knows it or doesn't. Nothing makes me madder than a dog handler who says that he or she had an alert from their dog and the handled fails to produce the item. So they blame the dog. No.....I am sorry but the handler is lying. If any one wants to debate me on this please, respond.
This is to Sean Newbite, and others interested.
I live in Bridgeport CT also, and boy do I have a bedbug problem! I would love to work with anybody who is familiar with anti-Bedbug Resources in this area! Dogs, PCO, repellents, anything!
When I sign onto blogs and boards, I find that people who have promising techniques often are too far away in USA or elsewhere to be of any help to me!
Please, out of the kindness of your heart, give me any names of PCOs or anything that works, and, where to find it!
Now for some of MY minor successes.
I looked for something MENTHOLATED as a possible repellent.
I found Bristol-Meyers Therapeutic Mineral Ice in my medicine chest and rubbed it all over most of myself for 2 nights. I only got bitten where I did not apply the cream!
(My scalp, and on 1 lige where I deliberately put NONE on.
I have not used it every night because it is a pain to spend so much effort, and to smell so heavily mentholated, but it seems to work if I am desperate.
I have tried heating my bedroom to drive them out.
Using a room heater I got up to 88 degrees F @ 62% humidity.
I slept without a bite that night, after usual nightly torture.
I repeated the heating the next day.
That night my roommate, who stood up as a watcher, discovered 3 bedbugs near my bed and killed them with insecticide. I had no bites that night. This was last night.
Today, I plan to try greater heat with extra heaters.
I will let you know.
Has anyone had any luck with HEAT?
HHRACC - you REALLY need to get a good PCO in there to help you - Quest Pest control is in CT - although I don't know if they go to Bridgeport - but Charlie is a great guy - look up the number and give him a call
You are not raising the temperature high enough to kill the bed bugs.
At this point you are probably just annoying them enough to cause them to scatter to avoid the heat. You may be doing more harm than good with your current strategy.
To obtain a uniform temp of 120 degrees F many professionals raise the temps to the 130 to 150 degree F range. If you don't achieve the minimum lethal temps at the core of the contents you will likely experience a treatment failure & simply cause them to migrate to other parts of the building.
Baking a building is a treatment approach that is best left to the professionals for a number of good reasons.
Chamber heating such as placing affected contents in a clothes dryer is an effective heat treatment that most people can use successfully on a wide range of items.
you are treading on potentially very, very dangerous grounds unless you are a trained HVAC professional, or a licensed Thermal provider. You could not only spread the problem but you could damage a great many items, set off sprinklers etc etc. Depending on the type of heat you are thinking of you could literally kill yourself.
Feel free to pm me any questions you have, but of all the do-it-yourself techniques, thermal is the last thing a layman should attempt.
I work for a company who got a dog in November and we have been nothing but impressed with our dog. By far the best investment our company has made. We have used in some problem accounts we have had with amazing results. I was a sceptic at first but am now a believer in the dog's ability!!!!!! Hands down the best thing you can do.
I echo what Tony posted about the dangers of doing a treatment on your own. Do not attempt unless you are trained with heating, plumbing and or thermal remediation.
There are trained thermal remediators who will travel to your area.
I own Pure Heat. We are located in Massachusetts and will travel to Connecticut.
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