Incompetent PCO? Toxic? Please advise!(12 posts)
My landlord hired a new PCO who treated my apartment today--this is after we had KillerQueen treat awhile back. My bug trouble is light, but constant, because they are coming from an infested neighbor.
The new guy sprayed a combo of Demand CS and Exciter, but he SOAKED my apartment in the stuff. I stayed while he treated (wore a mask) and watched while he used the spray wand pretty much like a garden hose. It was dripping down the walls. Where he sprayed around the furniture, there were puddles. Should it be this heavy? Then he used Z 55 aerosol everywhere.
He also sprayed the Demand/Exciter on the surface of my couch, my armchair where I sit most days, and my mattress encasement. Isn't Demand NOT for areas where you'll be sitting and touching? My other concern is that he sprayed inside my closet with the clothes still on the hangers. Can I wear them? Or do I need to launder them?
Anyway, I left the apartment to dry for the night, but I really want to mop the floors tomorrow. It just seems like too much pesticide everywhere. Is it dangerous?
I'm very anxious about sleeping in my bed tonight--or sitting on my chair or couch, or wearing my clothing--because the label for Demand says it is not to be sprayed on surfaces where people will be sitting or on clothing--and that's what the PCO did. He sprayed directly on my couch, chair, and mattress encasement, and sprayed into my closet where the stuff no doubt got onto my clothing in there.
Is this "acceptable" off-label use? Or do I need to worry about this stuff? PLEASE HELP!
Sounds like a very sloppy, and from you say an "off label" job. That said, probably best to talk to a pro regarding next steps. Obviously not your "pro" but maybe email "KillerQueen" who is familiar with your situation or hopefully another PCO will respond. Once you collect more information you might want to contact your landlord about what happened. I'd document everything at this point because you probably don't want this particular company back in your apartment.
Thanks Richard. I did PM KillerQ. Now I'm back in the apartment--24 hours later and there are actually puddles of Demand in all my bureau drawers.
Is this the first bed bug job that the PCO has done or is this how he treats all the infestations? As noted above, you should take photos of treatments. If the neighbor has a problem, is it being taken care of as well? The problem probably isn't only in the 2 apartments, so is the LL having the exterminator search other apartments or are the tenants speaking to one another about the bed bug problem? Do tenants know something about dealing with bed bugs?
This was this PCO's first visit. I used to have KillerQueen, but the landlord wanted someone who speaks his language (Korean)--and is probably very cheap, based on the job he does. I'm going to add some photos here of the aftermath.
I followed up and answered your PM.
Sorry to here you're still dealing with this. Sorry to hear and see what the landlord's PCO did in your apartment.
For the other folks interested in the details of this case.
This was a job I really wasn't interested in and tried to walk away from because I knew it would only be a short time fix. This building is a case of control verses eradication. I don't do contract or control work, I eliminate bed bug problems and move to the next job, where some companies have no choice but to offer control based on certain buildings or tenants. This poor guy is above a mentally challenged hoarder who has bugs throughout his entire apartment & didn't seem to care. I also inspected the apartments above and next to him, and they were also infested.
The landlord is not the issue here. The tenant above may also have some challenging issues. Please forgive me, I'm not saying these people don't need or deserve assistance/help, but cooperation was impossible with the tenant downstairs (somebody I never treated and I think wouldn't let anyone else treat him) and I just don't think the man upstairs "got it", clearly both needed help from the city.
When I was first called for this job my recommendation for jack was to move because I was sure this was going to be an uphill battle, and frankly, if it wasn't going to be addresses right, I didn't really want any part of the job. He insisted his landlord hire me against my better judgement and I was asked to treat his apartment the best I could. The apartment above, below, and next to him, are all infested, confirmed by me.
To give you an example how good these bugs are, and again, if you don't treat the source infestation, most always this doesn't go away.
What was done 1 year ago:
Walls were drilled ever 18" in each room of the apartment, including kitchen & bath. Both DE and Tempo 1% dust were applied into the voids where I drilled. This would provide for a quick kill with the Tempo (100% mortality in 24HR's or less) and also provide a long residual with the DE. Walls were drilled about 5 feet up from the floor, then dusted, then sealed. Dust was also applied to the cracks and crevices under the baseboard molding everywhere including closets. All plumbing, heating, outlets, switch plates, and any other voids I could find were dusted and sealed as well. Every crack and crevice I could find was dusted and sealed with sealants throughout the entire apartment. Steam treated all furniture, and use the liquid products I normally use based on location.
Follow up treatment 2 or 3 weeks later with different chemicals to mix things up and provide a different mode of killing power. Things seemed like they would hold up well for some time but couldn't say how long with the surrounding problems.. After some time, 2 or 3 immature bugs were found on the shower curtain in the bathroom. The pipe that held the shower curtain was 2 inches away from a vent shaft that went throughout the entire building. This couldn't be sealed off completely and was the likely point of entry given the location the bugs were found.
I think I asked Jack again (great guy BTW)... why don't you move out of here? Long story short, this building will continue to have problems and will need "control" treatments to keep things at bay. I'm not saying the treatment you received from the new PCO was the correct way to apply chemical (please see your PM). Unfortunately the building needs to be treated as a building wide problem and the proper cooperation is essential to getting rid of this for good. Only thing is if people in the building don't change what they do after the problem is gone ... who knows when this nightmare comes knocking again.
Good Luck Jack .... move out jack!!! .... Call me if I can assist you in any way.
Thanks KQ--you did a great job for me and, as you said, it's an "impossible" situation. I believe you protected my apartment as best as could be, given the tenants above and below and their problems. The landlord does not understand the issues involved and does not want to make an investment of treating the whole building. He wants to do minimal work and cheaply.
I think moving out is not possible for many people, such as myself who don't have the finances in an expensive city. When you've lived in a rent-regulated apartment for 20 years, moving out means leaving the city and your life. Some of us have no good choice but to stay and fight.
I do think that, as time goes on with this BB epidemic, especially in NYC, "control" will be our only method. As more and more buildings get infested--and we know so many landlords who don't "get it" and won't spend the money to eradicate bugs from a whole building--we will see more and more of my kind of situation. I am hearing about it now from more people all the time. What we need is support from the city government. Unfortunately, until Bloomberg gets his own infestation, I fear we won't be seeing that support.
Anyway, keep fighting the good fight, KQ. You're the best! As I've said before, I wish more PCO's were as conscientious and tenacious as you.
Have you checked the HPD website to see if there are any open complaints or violations for your building?
Sounds like this may require a lawyer (or legal proceedings) as opposed to an exterminator. From my understanding in NYC it is the landlord's responsibility to remedy the problem, including forcing non-compliant tenants into compliance. You also appear to have financial remedies, including witholding rent. If you haven't read this already, here's a pretty good resource to start with. Good luck. http://www.metcouncil.net/factsheets/bedbugs.htm
Richard56 - 34 minutes ago »
You also appear to have financial remedies, including witholding rent.
I would stress that it's important to get legal advice before you do anything drastic like withholding rent.
Met Council gives free advice from trained counselors (not lawyers) but is a great place to start.
I also suggested you check the HPD listing because it may give you an idea as to whether other tenants have called 311 to complain and, if so, if any of these complaints have been deemed "violations". It may be helpful to know that.
I would be too worried about wittholding rent, but I will check out those two links. Thanks guys. I appreciate the help.
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