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Landlord's PCO wants to make apartment unlivable for 6-8 weeks

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  1. treggers155

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    Posted 4 months ago
    Fri May 12 2017 19:12:02
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    Hi all,

    I recently found out both of my roommates had been not mentioning bed bug infestations until they spread to the rest of our NYC apartment when I got bites (3 bedrooms, 1 office, kitchen + living room... it started nearest the door and apparently spread from there).

    According to the PCO, who had a dog come through, one room is totally infested (nearest door), the living room and my bedroom (farthest from door) all have signs of bedbugs. The middle bedroom seems to have lucked out on the dog check because my roommate got bites and sprayed Hot Shot insecticide in there ... I believe dispersing the bed bugs from there to the rest of the apartment, including my room. Lovely.

    Anyhow, the PCO my LL hired wants to use ULV/Cryonite, and has advised that they will not guarantee against reinfestation unless we dispose of the couch, our beds and bed frames (despite my mattress already being in an encasement...), and all furniture that cannot be dissassembled and placed in the middle of the room (so, basically goodbye all of our IKEA shelves, desks, bedside tables, etc that cannot stand up to repeated dissassembly and reassembly.).

    They say all of this stuff they have asked to be destroyed would need to be fumigated offsite and stored for 6-8 weeks to guarantee against reinfestation, which I do not believe my LL is willing to pay for.

    The most egregious part is they do not want us to introduce any new furniture including encased mattresses, etc. for the 6-8 week period to guarantee there are no potential harborages. This would essentially mean our only options are, what? To buy sleeping bags?

    The LL says he did not realize this procedure was so involved or would require us throwing out virtually everything we own, and is willing to get a second opinion, but there is a good chance we will be stuck with this company. This all seems extreme to me, and my impression is that turning our apartment into a glorified storage area for 6-8 weeks essentially violates our right to a habitable environment. Making this worse is the lease is up in mid-August anyhow, meaning it will likely not be worth it to purchase any furniture after the 6-8 week period is over. Any advice?

  2. treggers155

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    Posted 4 months ago
    Fri May 12 2017 19:26:08
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    I understand getting rid of these things will be an intense process regardless but stripping the entire place down, full renovation style, seems like it basically will render our place uninhabitable. I assume the law is on the LL's side as far as rent, etc. goes however.

  3. Richard56

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    Posted 4 months ago
    Fri May 12 2017 20:20:41
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    "Extreme" is being kind! Speak to a tenant's attorney. Depending on your local laws, the landlord may be responsible regardless of who thinks who brought in the bed bugs. You may also have a warranty of habitability. In that case, some or all of the expenses may have to be picked up by the landlord, including putting you up in a hotel and associated expenses if the place is not habitable. I won't go into the landlord's treatment strategy but it sounds terrible from the use of cryonite (killerQueen one of the pros here calls it "cry all night" to throwing out stuff.

    Richard

  4. Nobugsonme

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    Posted 4 months ago
    Mon May 15 2017 11:00:03
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    ULV is a kind of fogging/bombing treatment which does not work well on bed bugs, from what our experts say. (Several experts weigh in on this thread (What is ULV?) such as Jeff White and Winston-- pseudonym of a pro I can verify).

    Cryonite can work but is not popular as Richard noted and if it does work, it takes multiple applications. It's a contact killer. Why would you need to dispose of beds and frames if you're using an effective contact killer? Well, that's an awfully good question. Either it's not that effective, they're lazy, or I don't know...

    As a tenant, as Richard suggested, you may have some rights, since the standard for treatment is a combination of sprays/dusts/steam (sometimes not all three). One might ask why the landlord isn't choosing a more traditional approach which is well regarded.

    I started and run the site but am "not an expert."
  5. Richard56

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    Posted 4 months ago
    Mon May 15 2017 11:19:14
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    NB,

    I think the thing with Cryonite is that it's used because it's less time consuming than say steam so large areas can be treated with less time and cost to the PCO and hopefully to the homeowner. The downside again is that it's less effective than steam as some bugs can blow away, etc. Jeff White has some good videos showing this but he doesn't conclude Cryonite shouldn't be used, just that it has limitations. In any case, I doubt if most PCO's would use Cryonite as their only treatment as most PCOs would not use steam as their only treatment. Just as a quick kill to knock down populations with survivors to be picked up by pesticides and possibly repeat treatments. When I shopped around for prices several years ago, steam was sometimes offered as an add-on but at a significant cost.

    But in this case it's just outrageous what the PCO and landlord is asking in terms of throwing out a lot of stuff and other demands.

    Richard

  6. Richard56

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    Posted 4 months ago
    Mon May 15 2017 11:55:13
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    Well, I take some of what I said previously about Cryonite back. Just saw an add for a major PCO that uses Cryonite and apparently it is their primary treatment method if you choose the "green" approach. Not sure how many treatments they do but I do remember one of our pro's using the phrase "cry-all-night" for "Cryonite" so that was not much of an endorsement. On the other hand they do seem to offer some sort of warranty.

    Richard

  7. Nobugsonme

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    Posted 4 months ago
    Mon May 15 2017 23:36:01
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    Richard56 - 12 hours ago  » 
    NB,
    I think the thing with Cryonite is that it's used because it's less time consuming than say steam so large areas can be treated with less time and cost to the PCO and hopefully to the homeowner. The downside again is that it's less effective than steam as some bugs can blow away, etc. Jeff White has some good videos showing this but he doesn't conclude Cryonite shouldn't be used, just that it has limitations.

    I didn't say anything about Jeff White's opinions on Crypnite. I mentioned his opinions on ULV and linked to a thread where he expresses them.

    You seem to be disagreeing with my post but I'm not sure on what basis.

  8. Richard56

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    Posted 4 months ago
    Mon May 15 2017 23:50:26
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    Hi NB,

    I misread, sorry. Been under a lot of stress the past day or so with my shower pill bug encounter That said, Jeff White does have a really good video on comparing Cryonite to Steam. Worth watching if you haven't already. I think we're in agreement on things here.

    Richard

  9. treggers155

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    Posted 4 months ago
    Tue May 16 2017 20:11:05
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    well after initially sounding open to our concerns the LL has stopped responding to emails, even though we took off vacation time to do prep. sigh

  10. mp7ski

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    Posted 4 months ago
    Wed May 17 2017 1:48:51
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    Look into if there are any laws for bed bugs in your state or city. The landlord may have so many days to address the matter if they are liable. If not, consider getting legal advice regarding the situation or research your options. Contacting the housing commission or some authority like it may be an option as well.

    I am not an expert, any advice I give should be considered as amateur advice and not taken as fact. I mean well with all my posts and try to give back. If you plan on using any of my advice, I suggest doing research into said advice to make sure it is in your best interest.
    Study on Thermal Death Points(pages 18-29 of pdf) : http://www.propanecouncil.org/uploadedFiles/Council/Research_and_Development/REP_12221%20Efficacy%20of%20Heat%20on%20Bed%20Bugs.pdf
    Study on Cimexa: http://www.pctonline.com/article/pct0814-silica-gel-research-bed-bugs/

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