Feel betrayed by landlord(7 posts)
I have lived in my current apartment for two years. I always really liked my landlord. Five months ago I started getting bitten by bed bugs. It took me about a month to figure out what was going on (I thought I was having an allergic reaction to new medication.) My landlord brought me some spray stuff his exterminator gave him and I used it for a month, to no avail. The exterminator came and there were a few honeymoon weeks with no sightings or seeming new bites. Then they ravaged one of my arms. (I am always covered from head to toe except myface when I'm home and I sleep with a scarf across my face, so Idon't even see how they're getting me. Anyway, I thought my landlord was arranging a followup extermination but then he said he hadn't seen any bedbugs. I showed him my arm and he said he didn't know those were bedbug bites. He gave me some cardboard-and-glue traps to see if we could trap any. I went to my doctor; she positively ID'd the bites as being from bedbugs and called him. I called him twice today and he's not returning my calls. I feel bad as he's a one-building owner, not a huge corporation, and I really think the city should be paying for the exterminations, at least for small landlords, given it's an epidemic/natural disaster. I already threw out half my stuff the first time, and did all the laundrys and vacuuming of cd's etc. Now I guess Ill have to throw out everything else. It's been very costly and now that my landlord no longer has my back, I feel very depressed. I can lodge a complaint with the city, but then he'll get hit with penalties as well as being forced to exterminate. Any advice on how to handle the situation with him? and do people really get rid of these bugs, as I feel even if I move they'll be with me forever.
P.S. I've also been using diotamaceous earth and steaming this time around but it doesn't seem to be helping.
Throwing your stuff out usually is not necessary and won't solve the problem.
If you want to move, fumigating possessions with Vikane has may be an option, as may a heated trailer.
If you have to stay, you may need to involve the city. I sympathize with small-time landlords too, but of the law says you have a right to a professionally-treated home free of bed bugs, I would not put up with an ineffective response.
Keep in mind that some city agencies have bed bug canines, most don't and so inspectors need to see something. Monitoring may help you get some samples. This will also confirm for you that the bites are not delayed reactions, from another cause, or occurring elsewhere.
Note your doctor cannot have diagnosed bed bug bites with any certainty. It's just not possible.
Thank you for your response. I work from home so it's not likely I'm getting them from somewhere else.
Also, most of the bites seem to spring up overnight. (I've occasionally outlined old ones in pen so I can tell a new one from an old one in the a.m.) Why can't my doctor diagnose them? They have that breakfast-lunch-dinner bed bug pattern, for starters.
I did actually see and squash a number of bed bugs the first round. So, logically, since these are the same kind of bites, can't we just deduce they're bed bugs?
Lately, the only evidence of them has been the numerous new bites that itch like mad. If we wait till I capture one, I'll just have more bugs. (I don't know the rate they replicate at, but I've heard it's pretty speedy.)
Does your user name stem from your having had bed bugs but successfully gotten rid of them?That would be reason to hope!
Yes-- I started the site because I had to deal with this when there was not much good information on the Internet.
I suspect most people here do successfully get rid of the problem. Some also move, of course.
The simple fact is that doctors canny diagnose bed bug bites. Other problems may cause similar effects. A skin scraping can be tested to prove it's an insect bite-- nothing more. And the breakfast, lunch, dinner pattern doesn't happen in many cases-- and even if you see it, doesn't mean the suspected bites aren't from another pest or cause.
If you had a verified problem in the past, it does seem likely to be bed bugs. (Although, in some cases, people have believed they suffered lingering reactions for a time after the problem is gone.)
You should use monitors and try to get samples. Bite reactions are not proof as far as anyone else is concerned and you may need evidence so an agency can enforce treatment.
Well, my landlord came through, so that's one good thing.
I don't see, though, how a one-building owner can afford to keep treating an apartment. If the second treatment doesn't work, do I ask for a third? I don't want to bankrupt this man.
Unfortunately, i dont think there are any easy solutions. Small time landlords need some kind of help, in my opinion.
One thing you can do is ask about their approach. When treatment is failing, it sometimes means all infested units haven't been identified and treated. Finding and treating all units that need it may seem more costly, but in fact can save money later if it means treatment succeeds.
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