HEAT treatment in multi unit housing?(4 posts)
My apartment has been heat treated as well as one other adjacent apartment- landlord insists everything is bb free-- however the adjacent apartment found 2 alive bugs since then.
My boyfriend has now discovered he has an infestation (probably got them from me) and he lives in a condo.
He's had 2 different PCOs come out, the first said to heat treat immediately. The second said not to heat treat at all because its a multi unit building. The theory is that it A) doesnt heat up fast enough and they have time to scurry and B) they will just run to the next unit that isn't as hot then make a return later...
is this true? condos and apts shouldnt be heat treated? is it less effective if it is heat treated?
I suspect it will largely depend on the expertise of the heat treatment professional. I live in a post WWII multiplex. (We're 4 one bedroom units in one building.)
I had heat treatment on *just* my unit about 3.5 years ago.
However, I live in southern California, where pest controllers have been using heat for a long time to treat drywood termites, and small multi-plexes (bigger than a duplex, smaller than a 12 unit building) are *super* common here. The company in question had done a lot of heat treatments.
It also worked because I only have 3 neighbors, and they all cooperated with the inspections they had to go through. Each of them was inspected and found to be free of bugs. If your boyfriend's neighbors consent to be inspected, and the PCO does a good inspection and finds them clear, heat treatment is a possibility.
However, many full service firms would likely be able to provide a combo: first heat, then lay down some chemicals as a back up.
I also suspect the construction of your building may affect things. My building, for example, is a lot less "sharey" between units than many places I lived back east. We don't have radiators going to a central boiler. (We basically don't have heat in our apartments. We have these kind of useless wall unit things, but they're contained--one to each living room in each apartment.) Each unit has its own water heater, housed in each unit--not pipes connecting us to a central tank in a basement. (We don't have a basement.) I can't swear that that makes a different, but it's possible it does make is harder for bugs to travel from unit to unit--either during an infestation or during treatment.
As for your building, are you sure all the units around your place and the other infested unit have been effectively inspected?
Heat treatments do fail--esp. if done improperly. But it's also possible that there's an infested unit that didn't get treated. Unfortunately, it's kind of a process of eliminating possibilities, which I know is time consuming and frustrating.
The PCO said that his condo has probably had them for 3-5 months..... it is completely independent,, own heat, air, water..etc. I think heat would be more effective for his condo instead of my apt. The first PCO said to heat treat them follow up with Chemicals treatment. My Apt was the opposite, 4 sprayed chem treatments then one heat. Im more concerned with his condo bc his landlord was surprised by the infestation and had never had any other incidences of BB.- My apt complex on the other hand has been plagued with them for years (which is why i say i "gave them to him")
I just feel really bad for him and his roommate as i feel responsible and his LL is making them pay for it - so I just want to do the most effective treatment for his particular living situation.
As for my apartment-- its completely out of control- im in the process of Sueing- Ive already given up on getting rid of them there...we are moving/ being evicted
Annnddd we live in MIchigan- thanks for your help We are sort of lost
As buggyinsocal notes, heat can work in a multi-unit building if all infested units are detected and treated at once. That is to prevent infested neighbors from sending bed bugs back over after treatment.
The other wildcard is that it's always possible someone with bed bugs has been re-exposed from a source outside the building. This could be a case of exposure from the original source (for example, your neighbor got them from the same friend, twice). Or the person could have spread bed bugs (unknowingly) to car, work, another location, and picked them up again that way.
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