is this a bedbug? ie is the nightmare about to start again? :P(11 posts)
Two k-9 inspections post treatment and I thought we were clean and I could forget about the horror, but I just found this on an ottoman in my baby's room
and here with a penny for scale:
Hopefully it's still identifiable -- I crushed it but there don't seem to be any innards. It looks horribly like the first bedbug we found that started all of this, so I am really worried it's a shed skin.
Can anyone tell me y/n?
It is a cast skin but the question is whether it is new, or has been there for months.
Dead bugs and cast skins can linger long after live activity stopped.
Thanks, Jim. Unfortunately there's no way it's been in this particular place for any longer than half a day -- it was sitting right on top of the ottoman very visibly and that piece gets a lot of use.
I add to the thread by the way that this means that my PCO's treatment failed. (PestAway in NYC New York) Since I looked for reviews myself before using them and didn't find any helpful ones, I'll describe their process:
- We went with their "Extreme Green" treatment which involves intensive steam+vacuum treatment plus diotomaceous earth in light sockets/outlets, no pesticide residuals (because of the baby, and because they said the treatment routinely worked on the first try).
- Their prep involved packing up everything in the apartment, which was truly nightmarish in our case because we have literally thousands of books and papers. However, they said we could skip packing up the living room and master bedroom, since only the baby's room at the other end of the apartment had had an alert and was where we found the original bug.
- The steam/DE treatment itself took two days. We stayed out of the house with the baby so I can't really speak to how it was done.
- They basically didn't treat the master bedroom at all. For instance, after the treatment was over I looked under the bed and saw a flock of undisturbed dust bunnies.
- On their advice, we checked and got an all-clear from an independent k-9 team 4 days after the treatment, and PestAway told us we could unpack without treating the contents of our bins and bags (the dog checked every container and didn't alert anywhere).
- They were extremely expensive, far more than any other quote we got. We only used them because they're our building's official exterminator and at the time I didn't want to fight with the building and delay treatment, but I regret it a great deal now, of course! (Our building would have paid for a default treatment, just someone coming to spray, but they wouldn't pay for the Extreme Green treatment that PestAway themselves recommended.)
- The staff were all extremely nice personally and worked extremely hard on the packing, but my questions about why it was okay not to pack and treat the master bedroom, why we could unpack right away etc were not really answered.
- The real problem of course is they were telling me things I wanted to hear, because it was nightmarish enough to pack as much as we did, so I let that trump my judgement based on my research here. :'( I share this as a lesson for anyone in the same situation.
- We unpacked ourselves over the course of about three weeks. In the third week, I started getting lots of mosquito-like bites, but this was right as the weather got muggy; but after my husband also started getting bitten, we had the k-9 team in again. The dog hesitated very briefly in the master bedroom and then alerted on a second pass, but the inspector found no visual traces and said that 99% likely we had nothing, and should just wait and see. Obviously, I have now seen.
*weeps, calls KillerQueen*
Sorry you're going through this.
Steam is a contact killer. It can work well but can also need multiple applications.
It sounds like the idea here was that the DE would catch anything that remained -- though of course it can only kill bed bugs which walk though it.
It is possible there was a bed bug in the stuff which a k9 missed.
But it's also possible you were reinvested. If you originally got them from a neighbor, it may have happened again. If you got them from outside the home, you may have repeated this, especially if you were not aware of where you got them.
Personally, if I paid a firm and was in this situation, I would contact them and give them a chance to make it right, before calling and paying someone new.
nobugs, reinfestation is impossible to disprove, but in our case, all our adjacent neighbors were checked at the time of our infestation and were negative, and our nanny (the likely original source) was treated and has been negative since before our treatment, was just rechecked earlier this week and was still negative, and as she and her son were suffering visible bite reactions, they aren't likely to have an unnoticed infestation. So I think the odds are against it.
I might even so still let PestAway try again, because I know that often times bb treatment does need to be repeated, but apart from the general concerns I have about their protocol, their required prep was massively expensive and also hugely disruptive. We aren't willing to pay them thousands of dollars more to once again pack our 5000 books and stuff all our possessions into bins stacked four high around the apartment just so they can try again. And that's assuming that their second try would work when the first one didn't, and we wouldn't have a third go-around to deal with.
(Also in our particular case, the cost of the disruption is vastly more expensive for us than the actual fee for the treatment, because we do most of our work from home, so it's not just our private lives that are being disrupted but our professional work.)
Just to add, the DE was only put in the light switches and power outlets, and (at my pressing) inside the radiator boxes; it was also put down in the infested room as more of a residual dust, but I'm not sure where. It was not laid down elsewhere in the apartment. (I knew from reading on here that something like that probably should be done, so I asked.)
Yes, I understand you might not want to deal with exhaustive prep.
Those books in bins-- do they get treated somehow during this process?
Nope. There was no treatment recommended for any of the stuff in the bins, except if the canine check had alerted on one of them (which it didn't), in which case we would have packtited that bin's contents.
To be fair, I will say, the handler tested the dog repeatedly on all the varieties of containers we had used -- he put his test vial of bugs into a sealed ziplock bag, into a tied garbage bag, and into a sealed and taped-up plastic bin. In all cases the dog alerted on the test container, so I was pretty convinced of his powers, and so I wasn't more resistant to unpacking without treating, even though (again) I kind of already knew better from here! :/
Thanks for explaining that.
it sounds like a completely inadequate treatment to me, i had a mild case as well but it still took a couple of months of very intense pest control work which included deep cleaning ,packing things away to be heat treated and in my case pesticides followed by much diligent followup cleaning and very in depth inspections of areas likely to harbor these insects,i had to retreat with pesticides four times before i stopped having "sightings" and for the next several months i will be doing monthly treatments although much less extensive .so having said that you see what it took for my mild infestation to be gotten under control, i feel that the treatment you received was inadequate,i know that steam treating and DE are effective but it would take many many treatments and they would have to be thorough, it doesnt sound like thats what took place.
this doesnt mean you are starting all over again it just means you arent quite done yet,try to stay patient and talk to your pest control guy about doing something more in depth, if you are really against pesticides then this is going to take a good long while, the pesticides on the market that pros use are actually quite safe for humans, they do not cause cancer ,for that matter they arent proven to cause any health issues for humans except in rare cases where a person is allergic to the substance, i would just get it over with and have them use pesticides
Anyway i'm not a pro this is just my humble opinion based off of my own personal experience.I wish you all the best and i can assure you this isn't going to be going on forever.
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