Heat treatment didn't work. Now what?(16 posts)
I just moved back into my one-bedroom condo in a multi-unit building after renting it out for 2 years. Within a month of returning, I found bedbugs.
The PCO brought a dog, who alerted in several locations in the bedroom and living room. The dog found nothing in adjacent apartments. Everything I own, except for clothes, is still in boxes and I have hardly any furniture. I've been sleeping on an air mattress.
Given that I have lots of fabric items, I decided to go with heat treatment rather than launder/heat every fabric item. Well, this morning at 5am, 12 days after the heat treatment, I found one adult bedbug and 2 nymphs crawling on my sheets.
The PCO is sending an inspector next week. I am thinking that I should try pesticide now. This PCO requires that every fabric item be laundered and sealed in ziploc bags before treatment. I "cooked" a lot of stuff in a Packtite and it has been quarantined in ziploc bags for weeks. But, I have 4 closets full of clothes. I am thinking I can put them in ziplocs and then cook them in the Packtite or in a dryer bit by bit.
The PCO said that I had prepped for the treatment properly, so I don't know why it wouldn't have worked. I am so depressed, especially after paying $1500 for a treatment that the PCO told me was 90-95% effective.
Has anyone else had an unsuccessful heat treatment? If so, did you do it a second time or go with pesticide?
I was hoping to get some feedback regarding heat treatments. The PCO came back with the dog today. She alerted on a box of scarves and a suitcase. He said that the company would do a second heat treatment for free. Heck, if the first one didn't work, why would I do the second one? He did not recommend using pesticides. If he did, I'd be charged the full fee, which I think is pretty sleazy. If their treatment is guaranteed for 30 days, they should do whatever it takes or whatever the client wants for those 30 days.
Instead, I am going to Packtite the items the dog alerted on and monitor the situation. The PCO will put out a couple active monitors to see if they can catch anything. Then I will figure out what to do next.
I checked the suitcase where the dog alerted and found a dead bedbug. Haven't found anything in the box of scarves. Having had the dog inspect in my apartment 3 times, she has alerted on places where I then found dead or live bedbugs and dead or live carpet beetles. So, I don't trust that method of detection 100%.
I would go ahead and let them do the 2nd heat treatment. Especially if they are going to do it for free. But I would throw out the scarves and the suitcase first.
I am prepping for chemicals after failed heat as well and I am purging a lot of clothes. In someways once you get started with the purging of the excess junk - it is a bit freeing. After this experience I am on my way to becoming a minimalist.
If done correctly, a heat treatment is very effective. There is an art to this method and he or she must know their business in order to be successful.
I am not a heat users myself although I think it is a viable solution in some settings.
I wanted to post to say it may not be that the heat has failed but that you are still coming into contact with a source of bedbugs. This dynamic is what I call a local source infestation and can often appear that treatment has failed because a small number of bedbugs are found soon after treatment.
The reality is that with more and more places becoming infested such as offices, cinemas, restaurants and public transport it may be that you are inadvertently picking them up.
If you continue to see samples without the signs of them developing in your property (namely cast skins) it may be that they are being topped up.
Hope that helps explain a possibility.
Bed Bugs Limited
Heat didn't work for me the first time. The company my apartment building manager hired came, did their job and left. I had prepped very well.
The next day I saw bugs, they looked pretty healthy.
So I called the manager, she got a pesticide person right away, took about 4 treatments but the bugs went away pretty quickly. The owner was quite knowledgable too, and told me to look for babies, etc that could come, even after I stopped seeing bugs.
No harm in going with pesticide since it worked for me when heat didn't.
There's a lot of good information in that associate content article that devil_youknow linked to, but I do want to post one word of caution about one point in it for anyone who is new to the bed bug fight who reads it. (Devil_youknow found a great solution that worked for him or her, and that's what matters most.)
Encasements can be part of the strategy used to eliminate bed bugs, but not all PCOs or even bed bug sufferers like them, require them as part of treatment, and/or think they're the best approach.
In some situations, they're a great tool. In others, it's almost impossible for them to be effective. (For example, many people with cats will have a hard time keeping the encasements puncture free for two full years. Since many cat owners find declawing cats to be cruel and simply won't do it, for people who cannot keep cats out of rooms with encased furniture, those situations make encasements difficult to use successfully.) When we talk about the fact that it's often not to particular technique or tool, it's the specifics of the place being treated and the skill of the PCO that makes it effective, that's kind of what we mean.
I don't dislike encasements. I have one on my mattress now to make inspection easier. But I do think that it's important that people fully understand what each technology or tool does and doesn't do well.
Thank you, everyone, for your comments.
I cooked the suitcase and the scarves in the Packtite so I think they are fine now. The PCO came back and brought two Night Watch active monitors. He set one up in the living room (where the box of scarves was) and another in the bedroom (where the suitcase was and where I found the live bugs in my sheets after heat treatment. After he left, the monitors started making loud clicking noises, so I called the PCO office and was told that this was normal. To double check, I called the company that manufactures the monitors and spoke to their customer service person. She said that the noise was normal, but that I shouldn't be sleeping in the room with the monitor as I would be competition for it. Since my PCO told me to sleep in the room with the monitor, I did (it stopped clicking after a while). Anyway in the past two nights, each monitor has trapped two translucent bb nymphs.
I tore apart the bedroom and found more live nymphs in a box of dishware in the corner of the room (I still haven't unpacked after moving). They were trapped in a couple ceramic bowls and couldn't get out. The dog, who was here 4 days ago, did not alert on this box. I washed everything in the box in boiling water and threw out the box.
BBcoukhome -- I can't imagine where the source would be. I don't have any regular schedule of places I go (office, gym, etc). Unless they are coming from a neighboring unit. Devil_youknow, the PCO told me that I can have a second heat treatment for free, but that doing pesticides will cost me $500. Buggyinsocal--I have been sleeping on an air mattress so an encasement wouldn't be of use. Kind of ironic that I have bedbugs and I don't even have a bed.
The PCO is coming back tomorrow to pick up the monitors. I guess I will schedule another heat treatment. I don't know what their policy is if the second heat treatment doesn't work. I hope they will do the pesticides for free.
Kind of ironic that I have bedbugs and I don't even have a bed.
When I first moved into my apartment and had no idea what was biting me, I was sleeping on a shikibuton on the floor, too. Seems like something with legs will be easier to monitor with interceptors. I plan on getting a cot with separated legs until my situation has been resolved...
Did you have your stuff in storage? perhaps they source was a storage location.
If that is true, I would think that you should unpack everything and have the second heat treatment. If that does not work then consider the pesticides. These things are damn expensive to get rid of so if someone offers treatment free take it - if it works then you are in good shape.
I'm a victim of a failed heat treat, it was on Jan. 27th, the next morning I called to let them know it didn't work, based on how many bites I got just cleaning up after all the heating machines, and the many more I got that night in bed. I've complained the whole 90 days they had a guarantee for, so they've come back to find little of nothing, I find stuff they were looking for minutes after their departures, but haven't ever seen a bug, just castings, set up glue traps (inactive) sent a dog just last week,( 85 days into the guarantee) who after 15 minutes decided I was clean, even let it up on the bed, I had 2 bites that morning, so I thought surely the dog would find the bugs. The PCO wanted the doghandler to leave as soon as I wanted to move some furniture out of the way for the dog, where I suspect we have hiding places. I've since had a couple of what I call "frenzy bite" nights, so I know I'm not free of them. I also suspect that the doghandler had a system to let the dog know not to find anything since the PCO doesn't want to come back to repeat the heat treat. They were the choice of the coop I live in, I've done further research, and found other companies have far more experience with this problem. Well, now, they are trying to tell me I'm a nut-job, and something completely else is biting me in my bed between 2 and 6 am. I've kept a record of bites and basically a diary of all the details of this torturous situation, and if I were the payor of record to the company, I'd be calling a lawyer about now. Since I'm not though, I'm getting some active monitors, and if that doesn't work, I'll have to hire my own dog and a better pest control company and try another heat treat. I did everything they said to do for the first one, got rid of half the contents of my house, then after it failed, got rid of the whole bed and living room couch. Now I'm tearing out every last bit of carpet, forcing DE into the floors, and walls as I completely re-do my upstairs. I just can't believe a bug I never see is creating this disaster. I'm in SE Michigan if you know of a reputable heat treater or have had a success story with it.
I live in SE Michigan too and was wondering what company did your first heat treat... I am wanting to get it done, but don't know which company to go with..
We just recently found out we had these horrible creatures and i want them gone!! hope you got rid of yours.. If you did please share what company worked!
I got bed bugs from my downstairs neighbors, who have apparently had them for a year, and my landlord didn't feel the need to tell me when I moved in in April. I got a heat treatment done yesterday, but when I came home last night, I found 12 alive and well on my bed! I haven't slept since I found them a week ago, and I'm losing hope. Someone from the PCO is coming over to take a look, but they had told me the heat tx was the most effective and sure way to eliminate the bugs. What do I dooo? I feel like I'M dying, as well as my two cats, and not the bugs!
Edit: I live on the second floor of a very old house. There are apartments on each floor. And the PCO would only treat my bedroom and living room, even though my cats or I could easily have transported them to my kitchen (which is attached to the living room) or my bathroom.
QUESTION ABOUT HEAT TREATMENT
I am trying to properly prepare for our second heat treatment. I'm also taking all steps possible to prevent re-infestation. For the first treatment the representative advised us to bring everything into the treatment area. We empour dedicatied the attic, and disposed of anything not necessary to sustain life. I placed 12 bins of files in the treatment area (main floor of house- house has crawl space and attic). I know they used propane to heat the house. Hopefully that identifies the type of heat treatment used. Would the Sterilite tubs prevent the contents from heating? Does anyone know? If an individual is not armed with a Pack Tite - has that individual learned of a way to treat shoes for daily use? My dryer is not sturdy enough for my son's size 13's.This is related to preventing re-infestation. Any advice is deeply appreciated. Thanks all of you for your dedication to the bedbug war.
Our PCO advised us to take all of our clothing out of the Ziplocs and place it loosely in laundry baskets that have side holes. The holes allow the heat to be distributed more evenly. My husband went to Walmart and purchased 15 + of the cheapest laundry baskets they had (around $3.00). The cashier asked him why he needed so many laundry baskets and he told them they were for a school project. He wasn't kidding since the bugs hitched a ride home with me from school.
Good luck with your treatment.
Our PCO told us to take all of our clothing out of the Ziplocs and place it in laundry baskets with side holes. The holes allow the heat to be distributed more evenly. My husband went to WalMart and purchased 15+ of the cheapest laundry baskets they had (around $3.00 a piece). When the cashier asked him why he needed so many laundry baskets he told her that they were for a school project. He wasn't kidding because the bugs hitched a ride home with me from school.
Good luck with your treatment.
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