Friend Plans on Treating Herself....Help!(5 posts)
My friend's son has been getting itchy welts all over his body for over 2 months. A few days ago as my friend was lying down on her couch she felt something bite her and when she looked at her leg to inspect she saw a bed bug running away. She immediately threw her couch out and told her landlord but he exercised his right to refuse to hire an exterminator. She called me and I told her to call Section 8 as she is a Section 8 tenant and the health department. Both of these were dead ends and they told her, the landlord is not responsible because it's an epidemic and there's nothing they can do for her either. So now she's stuck trying to eradicate this problem on her on and she is on a VERY tight budget. She just had a baby and is out of work so she is not making any money at the moment. She will be filing her taxes soon and I tried to convince her to hire an exterminator but she refuses. She thinks it's a waste of money and she plans to leave all her possessions and move out when her lease expires May 31st. I told her that they can multiply a lot by then and to go 4 more months with them will be agonizing. She plans to spray the beds with alcohol on a regular basis and put DE in between the mattresses and vacuum often. She is also going to launder her clothes and store them in plastic bins in her backyard until it's time to move. What else can she do on her own to get rid of them? Is it even possible on a dollar budget? Should I try a little harder to convince her to hire a PCO? Any info is appreciated.
DBBD: Depending on where your friend lives, landlords have no "right" to refuse to properly maintain the homes they make money renting, "epidemics" notwithstanding. Your friend should check with a local tenant rights organization. Please tell us what city and we can try uo point you in the right direction.
Whether your friend self-treats or goes with a pro, we have tools that can help you feel more empowered. Read this site's FAQ. Then browse the Resources section and please read the "Michigan Guide". http://www.michigan.gov/documents/emergingdiseases/Bed_Bug_Manual_v1_full_reduce_326605_7.pdf I believe it's essential reading.
That, honestly, doesn't sound like a bad plan, but that the DE might be an inhalation hazard if placed in between the mattresses. Although I have to say I have it all over my bedframe and, even with my asthma, my lungs are ok. And she needs to line the baseboards with DE.
Having a newborn in the house, I would NEVER be spraying pesticides and stewing in them for four months. Alcohol, DE and vacuuming will keep them tolerable, if she hits all the cracks, for four months. Not for a year, and certainly not all summer, but she has an ok plan. Now, when she moves...that will have to be an air tight plan or she will be suffering.
Don't believe all the hype you read about "needing" a professional. I've done the pro thing, and the self treatment thing. They persist, but at least with self-treatment, I'm not shelling out hundreds to be poisoned for months on end. And their numbers are comparable (1-2 bites a day) to when I had a pro in three times.
She is right in my humble opinion. With a newborn, she will need that tax return for something else. I know others will disagree, but if I had a newborn, I'd be doing the same thing.
We live Westchester County New York and she's been told by the county's Health Department, Section 8 and even the Department of Social Services that he has the right to refuse to treat. I even went online to research and sure enough he is not responsible in this county. The 5 boroughs of New York City is different because landlords ARE responsible but this county hasn't caught up yet. I asked for advice here because she literally has dollars to spend...can't afford encasements, can't afford a vacuum, can't afford a steamer, can't even afford to do her laundry right now. Her plan is to use the money she gets from taxes to move so she doesn't wanna put any of it toward treatment.
Amy: My opinion is that she is a single mom of 2 children and the time and effort it will take to ward of the bugs will take away from the time she will need to devote to her children. If it was just her, I'd say go for it but I don't know how thorough she's really going to be with a dollar budget, a newborn and a 9 year old to take care of. The 9 year old is suffering the most as the bugs have not made their way to her room yet. He is being eaten alive with welts all over his body for the last 2 months. I strongly disagree with her decision not to hire an exterminator but I can't force her to so that's why I'm here.
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