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hopeless turn of events: PCO in denial, too?

(9 posts)
  1. buggedoutinbaltimore

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    Posted 10 years ago
    Mon Nov 26 2007 10:04:34
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    hi all. i am anxiously awaiting my PCO visit - coming in two weeks for the first treatment (planned for my apartment unit and surrounding units) and wanted share this story for your information and for my sanity.

    quick recap: after being bitten for several weeks, the second visit by the PCO turned up a nymph on our mattress. on his first visit, he found none. the PCO treatment is being handled by a very reluctant and unsupportive rental company and i cannot support a PCO of my choice at this point in my financial life, so i'm stuck with this one.

    the PCO has just informed me that he believes the bites we've been getting may, in fact, not be bed bugs. (WHAT?! didn't he himself turn up a baby bloodsucker?!) he said he's "not worried" about bed bugs, and that he thinks he won't need to treat too much in my apartment and does not plan to treat more than once and that i'm too worried about this.

    well, i am nervous about this business. if the PCO who found an actual real-live alive bed bug in my bed is not worried about the presence of bed bugs in my apartment, i fear that this will be an endless battle with a monopolizing rental company and bugs and it's just mentally draining and awful.

    but this does make me wonder, is it possible that some people just have a wee vampire chillin' in their sheets and that's the end of their story? did mama bug just drop off the kids and go on her merry way to some better, fluffier mattress slept on by people with a more voluminous blood supply? i suppose i already know the answer to that, though i still hope someone will convince me otherwise. i just wish i could find the hang-out place of these buggers so i could begin my amateur extermination since it is clear the professional kind is not a'happenin.'

  2. parakeets

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    Posted 10 years ago
    Mon Nov 26 2007 11:24:37
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    I am in a similar position in that my landlord has been treating ineffectively--for some time now--but the bedbugs are not going away permanently, just cycling up and down in numbers. It is such a tough spot we are in. As for not being able to afford your own PCO--I am not allowed to bring my own PCO in, and I believe most PCOs won't treat when another PCO is treating the same unit since that would be counter-productive.

    For the moment, be sure to document when you spoke to the PCO and landlord and what was said. You might eventually have to bring the matter up in housing court. I bet other tenants are having a problem, too, and it would help to have a group effort.

    Since there are some bedbug cases that actually are treated with only one treatment, I don't know about your case. I hope the PCO is right. Sometimes what they say and what they do, or what they say and what is actually happening, just don't jive. Sadly, one doesn't have to be a good communicator to be a PCO! You will judge by if the bites stop.

    At least you have a great sense of humor as we can tell by your last paragraph. Hey, it's about time for a "bedbug blues" song to hit country radio. Are you a song writer?

  3. buggedoutinbaltimore

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    Posted 10 years ago
    Mon Nov 26 2007 12:37:10
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    parakeets, i'm so sorry we're in a similar situation! but thanks for the support.

    i am guessing other tenants in the building are having bug problems but quite honestly, i have not even wanted to know. the rental company has made it very clear that their policy is to charge the tenant who's "responsible for the bed bugs" for extermination so i am guessing that everyone here wants to keep their mouths closed. i'm not sure what the results are of the recent building-wide inspection. i asked the PCO if he found any other bug (other than my little one) and he said "i shouldn't have even told you that i found one in your apartment! look at how worried you are." so he avoided answering my question directly and i have avoided asking again because i really need a mental vacation for a few days.

    i am not a song writer, but i sure am singin' the blues.

  4. itchyincharmcity

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    Posted 10 years ago
    Mon Nov 26 2007 12:50:46
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    bugged, perhaps it's time to bypass the management company and contact the owner of the building directly. Do you know the name of the real estate development company who owns the place? Also, perhaps you have a bad technician, maybe you want to call the owner of the pest control company? And there's always City Council and the Mayor.

  5. buggedoutinbaltimore

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    Posted 10 years ago
    Mon Nov 26 2007 12:57:35
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    itchy, i think you are right. i did contact the owner of the rental company three times, about two weeks ago. i received no responses to any of my concerns.

    the PCO is the owner of his own company, and he is under contract with the rental company. ahhhhh, monopolies.

    just this morning i sent a letter and email to my city councilman, along with links to studies and resources (including this one). i will keep y'all posted!

  6. Nobugsonme

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    Posted 10 years ago
    Mon Nov 26 2007 13:27:51
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    BOIB,

    Sorry you're going through this.

    I just posted an article on the blog about NotSoSnug's bed bug hunting strategy. If you are still getting bites, you might try and hunt with a red light as per NotSoSnug's strategy. If you turn up samples, they can't argue.

    I started and run the site but am "not an expert."
  7. currentinsomniac

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    Posted 10 years ago
    Mon Nov 26 2007 15:03:09
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    We are also in a rental, but our property management has left us to our own devices. I guess from seeing this post there is good and bad in that. However, even with paying for our own PCO who is willing to stick with us for a year and come as often as needed, I'm getting frustrated by the lack of any progress. We isolated our bed, cleaned a bunch, and started self treatment on our own with DE/pyrethrin while we interviewed PCOs around the first weekend of November. Bites not too bad at this point. But after our first treatment on the 16th I have yet to notice a decrease in the bites. They got worse after the treatment, so the PCO came back on Tuesday afternoon to spray our couch and box springs more. (At this point I took off the vinyl cover and ripped off the backing of the box springs so he could spray it REALLY good). I've been doing everything else listed on this site (like laundry, etc). Still, we are all getting the same amount or more bites. I tried the red light tactic two nights ago, but didn't have any luck in the time I was able to stay awake. Last night they kept waking me up and I had the excitement of chasing one around on my body and into my bra. I don't seem to have any more bites than usual there, but I had a couple new ones on my leg. But I don't know how they are getting to us or where they are coming from. Our PCO sprayed the crap out of our mattress and I've covered the entire carpet with DE and reinforced the barrier around our bed. So I also wonder if we might end up having a strain of BB that are pyrethrin resistant. After all, if they come from Peru as I suspect (though not 100% sure) they very well could be. I found out that in Peru you can buy pyrethrin candles about everywhere. That doesn't inspire a lot of hope.
    But I get the impression that our PCO also is questioning if it is BBs that we actually have since he doesn't find too much during his inspections. But I think they are since we are getting the bites and I still occasionally find the black specks on our sheets.

  8. bummedindenver

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    Posted 10 years ago
    Tue Nov 27 2007 2:48:01
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    I am seeing more and more posts here where people are saying the treatments aren't really working, and I am reading more and more about pesticide resistance. We had three treatments, and they didn't seem to do much. Then I see articles (or at least abstracts) describing studies that found some populations of bed bugs to be extremely resistant to certain pyrethroid pesticides (including what was used in my house).

    At some point, if it ain't working, I have to ask, do we need to just give up on the PCO and deal with it mechanically, with DE, with bed and/or furntiure isolation, with carpet tape, and waiting until the rest of the world has them too?

    I personally am not eager to get sprayed yet again, exposing myself to more toxic chemicals, when they don't seem to be doing much harm to the bugs.

    My faith in the PCOs is dropping by the day. Mine doesn't even "get" the concept of pesticide resistance.

  9. bedbugdude

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    Posted 9 years ago
    Tue Feb 10 2009 19:36:35
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    I'm amazed at PCO's that would say one treatment is good enough.


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