Heat treatment failed freaking out.(12 posts)
Hello, I'm new to the bed bug terror and in general I have a fear of contact with bugs. So to begin I have bed bugs and had heat treatment today. They raised apartment to 136-140 degrees in order to kill possible infestations. Exterminators were late, they were rude and condescending and don't listen. They were told if I cleared my shelves there would be no floor space in my bed room, did they listen no and they were pissy about it. They gave me a list of things that should not be heated and should be removed after an inspection. They then refused to do their job and inspect the don't heat boxes because they felt it would take too long. Less that eight hour later the apartment is still hot and I found my first two living bed bugs. What is my next step probably telling my land lord right, but he was present during the treatments. Also the company they were using seemed like they were having a bad life. They also didn't check other units they're 36 in this building alone.
I'm also so afraid of spreading this terror to others as well, to the point of avoiding contact with others, this just sucks.
Called the Exterminators this morning they said it isn't uncommon for people to see a few bed bugs for up to two weeks after treatment. If they are alive won't just breed and lay eggs and start infestation again?
@ResistNorm - Sorry to hear about your frustrations with the BB, your recent heat treatment and your continued concerns about future infestations. Unfortunately, you are correct there shouldn't be any living BB (any life stage: nymph, adult or egg) if the heat treatment was properly done/monitored. I would recommend that you contact the company again about your continued concerns as well as see about their "warranty" (If any). I would also recommend having an independent K9 BB Inspection company come to your location ASAP to inspect that property. Be sure to record with photos/video their sweep of your property for the heat company's personnel to see afterwards.
As to your second point, your are also correct. It only takes one egg-laying adult female to start the infestation process all over again. We always say "Kill em all, or go home crying". Good luck!
It's noteworthy because heat treatments have a good reputation of working in one application yet there was another failure recently reported here on bedbugger.com:
A difference in your case vs. that earlier case is, it sounds as though the company who did your heat treatment is not going to be readily receptive to analyzing in any meaningful way where they failed so as to learn some useful information to share here and thus contribute to making heat treatments better everywhere.
At least, was it the landlord paying for the treatment, not you yourself? If so, when the landlord receives your unfavorable report, and then perhaps more unfavorable reports from other tenants if they receive heat treatments which fail also, then it's going to be the *landlord* who is very unhappy with that heat treatment company, and since he's potentially a sizable customer with 36 units, maybe they *will* listen to complaints coming from him?
In the morning my next step is to talk to the landlord. The company won't come out for two weeks and I don't by their excuse that it's normal to see a few bugs. They used heat sensors but they didn't inspect anything except the furniture (Chairs, couch, and beds). They seemed more concerned with their schedule than getting the job done right. Their is a warranty between the company and the landlord that includes a final check and a certification of pest removal and I'm sure they don't what to lose this client because there are eight building total and some are even bigger than this one.
Landlord conversation is probably best. Be sure to request 1.) copy of the warranty agreement between landlord and servicing comp, and 2.) to be present for inspection. Good luck, keep your head up and eyes open. BBFS
Exterminator company doesn't talk to us and gives us the run around but told the landlord that he cannot guarantee pest removal because we have to much stuff and doesn't know when he well get back to us. I guess I'm calling the health inspector next because under state guidelines: "Inspect infested rooms and all adjacent rooms for bed bug harborage. Inspections should include, but are not limited to, seams and joints of mattresses, behind headboards, baseboards, cracks and crevices, floors, picture frames, window sills, all furniture (especially bed frames) and other potential harborage." They did the furniture (Chairs, couch, and beds) and refused anything else. I guess I'll call the health inspector next because they also didn't inspect neighboring apartments.
Done right, thermal treatment of a home should leave no live bugs or eggs. Thermal has no residual action, so unless dusts were also laid (as some providers do), you are not protected from new infestations. Done wrong, thermal can drive bugs into harder to access areas (or into your things where they're not expected), damage your things or cause fires.
There are two national companies licensing/franchising thermal; ThermaPure and TempAir. Both are highly protective of their "intellectual property" and their reputations. Their approach includes sensors and fans to circulate air evenly. There also appear to be a growing group of operators who buy heaters on the open market (heater ads often appear on this forum, courtesy of Google) and hang up their shingles. I'm going to guess that your people are of the latter variety.
Depending on how much damage/inconvenience this operation will ultimately cost you, you may want to keep careful records and get legal advice.
They are using TempAir Equipment. I took a look at both companies web sites and determent that's what they are using. TempAir web site also shows them as a company that has been trained with the equipment so I don't get what their problem is and the landlord swears by them. I'm always massively annoyed when professionals can't be bother to be thorough and do there job to the best of their ability especial when coming into someone's home and dealing with a problem as sensitive as this. My fear is their failed attempt has infested more of the building. I'm asking for pesticides treatment as well this time but my elderly mother will have stay with someone else because of her asthma.
My next plan of attack is to pick up the Packtite in the morning and treat as much stuff as a can (clothes, book, and stuff) and put it in storage so I don't have "too much stuff" as the Exterminator put it. I'm getting both chemical and heat treatment this time but I'm still calling health inspector because they are still playing fast a lose with the state Protocols for the Management of Bed Bugs in Multiunit Housing.
It's possible that my experience was atypical, but one of the reasons that the pest control company I contacted suggested heat was because, essentially, I had too much stuff to make chemical a viable option. I live in a small one bedroom apartment, and I have a lot of books.
The company that treated me sent a thermal tech out to survey the apartment before treatment. The guy did a complete walk through of the whole apartment, specifically pointing out things that needed to be removed and things that needed to be moved around and such.
It may well be that different companies have different protocols (my PCO was a Thermapure licensee, not Temp Air), but there was also no inspection done by them of the items that were removed from the structure during treatment.
I also didn't see any live bugs post treatment.
As you're putting stuff in storage, just make sure it's packed so that it's bed bug proof but also nibble proof by any larger pests (mice, for example) that might be in the storage place. If there are bugs that can get out, or if a mouse nibbles its way through the sealed bag, the bugs may be able to feed while they're in storage.
I have a small 2 room apartment very small, our survey consisted of him checking the furniture followed my a quick confirmation of bed bug in the couch and a tiny amount located by my moms bed he didn't even check all rooms and said they would do heat treatment. He told me to clear off my shelves which I warn would be a lot of volume if put on the floor. I also have a lot of book plus I'm an graphic designer/Illustrator so I have lots of material cleanly neatly stored on shelves. When he saw everything in the middle of the floor in open plastic bins which he recommended he visibly pissed off. They acted the whole time like they were late for something else.
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