is 2 days too soon to reapply?(9 posts)
I apologize for the length in advance. I feel I have no one to turn to to discuss this!
I had Terminix come out to do a treatment in my apartment on Wednesday. I had a bad experience with the PCO. The inspector was great and reassured me, but the exterminator's English wasn't so great and I felt I had not been prepared for the treatment. I washed all my clothes on high and bagged them and stored them in a separate area. The problem is in my bedroom. My roommates have not been bitten. I have not been bitten anywhere else in the house or slept anywhere else. The inspector (on Monday) told me that the exterminator would treat all cracks with heat and a chemical.
So the PCO comes Wednesday and sprays my entire bedroom with a chemical (no heat). He sprayed my mattress and box spring with a foam and sprayed the furniture and baseboards with a liquid chemical that he said would create a barrier around the room. He did not treat the carpet (4x6 carpet on hardwood floors). He also treated the baseboards of the surrounding rooms with the chemical, but was a little sloppy (I thought) in his application. He then insisted I leave the house for 24 hours and that when I came back, I needed to wipe down all surfaces with a damp washcloth. He told me sometimes it takes 5-6 treatments to do this.
I came back the next day and saw some white residue on the floors, but no dead bedbugs. I called Terminix and spoke with another supervisor who said that I should NOT wipe off the residue-- that it creates a barrier that the bedbugs will be forced to walk through that will kill them. He said that if I get bitten to call. I put my bed back together, put a mattress cover on the mattress and slept in long pants, a long sleeved shirt, and gloves. I put lotion containing 20% DEET on my feet and got in to bed. Shortly before falling asleep, I saw what I later identified as a nymph crawling on my shirt. I captured it and the next morning woke up bite-free, but saw a live bedbug on my sheets. I was unable to capture this one.
I called the terminator the next morning and told him I had found a bug and a nymph and wanted him to come back. My contact told me that it takes a few days for the treatment to work and that if I had any problems, he would come back next Friday.
The next night, I applied the deet to my legs, slept again in freshly laundered long pants and shirt with gloves on and rubber bands around my ankles to keep anything from crawling up my pants. Before going to bed, I saw a bedbug on the floor walk through the barrier that had been sprayed on the baseboards. The bug attempted to climb up the wall, but looked really confused as to where it was supposed to go. It did not however, die immediately. In the end, it turned around, but I caught it on a piece of tape because I didn't want it to get away and bite me later. I have now taken to sleeping with a roll of packing tape next to my bed.
This morning I woke up. No bites on my feet where I had applied the DEET, but I did have bites on my wrist in the space where I suppose my sleeves had rolled up and there was a gap between my sleeves and gloves. I have 6 new bites on my wrists and in the past month have gotten a total of 30 bites on one hand. It isn't that the bites are itchy, it is that every bite leaves a hyperpigmented scar on my skin. I started to wear gloves to bed because I could not bear to get any more scars on my hands, the only place on my body I cannot cover during the day.
So 6 new bites last night. I want to call Terminix and have them come back again. My new contact said that they do not always treat with steam. I want to call them and ask them to come back on Monday, treat the entire apartment and all furniture with steam and chemicals, remove the mesh from the bottom of the boxspring and treat the inside of the boxspring, treat behind the pictures on the walls, the carpet, EVERYTHING. Is it to soon to ask him to do this? Terminix said they would come back as often as needed for 90 days.
I don't think I can make it until next Friday. I feel disfigured from all of the bites and scars. I am spending money on the ziploc bags, losing clothes, and buying mattress covers. I am reluctant to use my brand new mattress cover (I have one for the mattress and one for the boxspring) on my boxspring until I am sure they are out so I do not have to dispose of the expensive cover. I am breaking out, I cannot sleep, I cannot concentrate at work. I am going to visit my parents in a few weeks and am considering not packing anything at all and just going there and buying new clothes because I do not want to spread the bugs to their house. I am nervous about how much longer I can continue to apply DEET to my person and don't know if it is safe to take Benadryl as often as I do.
Also, I live in a 3-family home. Is the landlord always responsible for paying for the PCO? How do you approach them about this?
Has anyone else had a recent experience with Terminix. The guy in Boston says that they use a chemical that can penetrate eggs and contains and insect growth inhibitor as well as something that forces the bedbugs to molt.
Please Help Me
Sorry about what you are going through. Some things are confusing in your post, but let me just say the following:
a) you can and absolutely should "escalate" with your current PCO -- ask to speak to a technical manager or supervisor and describe your treatment and erroneous instructions received from your technician. You should speak calmly and respectfully, but assertively. I think you have a chance that way of making them do it right. It is very important that all treatments be done thoroughly and correctly, and I would say, based on my own experience, especially the first one.
b) that said, it's normal to be bitten after a treatment. At least some of the bugs are still there; they're not dead and they need to come out from hiding in order to acquire a lethal dose of the pesticides.
c) you should write down (or ask for an itemized receipt) all the chemicals used by your technician.
d) you probably should not be using DEET. If you continue to be bitten in bed and want to get a reasonable night's sleep, consider protecting the bed as discussed in the FAQs.
e) read the landlord-tenant faq to see if your city is specifically listed. If it is not, and perhaps in any case, you should contact a local tenant advocacy group to give you the basics about your landlord's responsibility to eradicate your bedbugs. Let me know if you need help finding online resources. (I just checked and the faq does have Boston info.)
f) read the other FAQs here... for one thing, you can't be sure that your roommates have not been bitten or simply are not allergic.
Call the PCO again and let me know if I should point you to specific FAQs or if you have have any questions.
Thanks for your reply and the advice. I will call and get a list of the chemicals used.
Regarding some of your points.
a) I will call and try to reschedule another appointment as soon as possible. I do not believe the first treatment was thorough enough.
d) I am not using a mattress pad (I had that before), I am using a full zippered vinyl mattress cover. I have a second cover to put on my boxspring as well, but I am afraid that I will have to buy a new one after my next treatment so have not applied it yet. I washed my first one and dried on hot and it definitely shrank some (but no tears or holes). I do not think it will survive another hot dry, however. I will probably purchase some plastic tarps to cover my boxspring today.
I have read through some of the FAQs and they have been especially helpful. I do appreciate everyone's advice and have been trying to follow closely.
Sorry to rant. I feel like I am going insane and am really on the verge of a breakdown.
It will get better, but you need to call the PCO. Sorry about the mattress pad, I corrected that, it wasn't in your post. But you know, the box spring is more likely to have bugs, we're told by experienced PCOs, so covering it should be essential. I think we should not remove encasings from either the mattress and box spring after they are put on, which is why they probably should be put on only after the mattress and box spring are treated. But we always say, follow the PCO's specific advice, except in this case, you first have to determine what that actually is.
If you can guilt them into using steam in your apartment, because of the first tech's blunders, you'll be ahead.
I hope you check out the Boston info.
We're here if you need anything at all.
People have reported good experiences at various branches of Terminix lately, and there is evidence they are training their staff in bed bugs and the latest technologies.
but it also should be mentioned that every PCO has to rely on individual techs who do the work. It's possible you got a bad PCO, but probably more likely, your tech does not know what he's doing, or knows but communicated badly. If he really told you to do the opposite of what the staff you phoned at the same company told you, then you need to speak with the manager and demand a more knowledgeable tech next time.
They can help you determine if you need it done over, or if following up in 10 days is best. (You should get treatments every 10-14 days until the problem is completely gone.) You will be bitten after each treatment until they are gone, but the bites should become fewer each time.
Thanks for your advice. Terminix did mention that they were using a new treatment, so I am hopeful that my problem can be resolved soon. It is good to hear that people at other branches have had success.
I did notice a number of new bites after taking a shower today that I did not have yesterday. 6 on my wrists, one on my chest, and 4-5 on my neck. If I continue to have this volume of bites (which is as many as I was having before), I will contact the company for a more intensive treatment. Otherwise, I will schedule something for the 10 day mark with a different and more experienced technician.
pleasehelpme...have you considered using some Kleen Free or Sterifab, just to spray around your bed before you doze off ??? Can you ask your PCO about this...I agree that if that amount of bites continue then you must demand better service...
Please, I almost forgot, it's very important to talk to your landlord about the bedbugs in your apartment. The other two apartments need to be inspected and the tenants advised on what signs to look for. They also have to understand that they can't rely on the absence of bites. A lot of people are not allergic.
You don't want to get rid of yours only to find they come back from the neighbors.
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