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More bedbugs...we are screwed

(7 posts)
  1. cantstopitching

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    Posted 3 years ago
    Wed Sep 29 2010 23:11:08
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    We discovered bedbugs in our bedroom and figured they were brought in by workers who were in our room. It was a "light" infestation and we have had 2 treatments...the 2nd was yesterday and we were feeling pretty good like maybe that would do it. We live in a house in a CA suburb and there are no bedbug reports registered anywhere near us. The PCO only treated our room because he felt that was likely the only room they were in and we have a fairly big house so to treat it all would be quite expensive. Well, today I discovered them in the guest room. Over a month ago we had a guest stay over who lives in the city. I have to think that must be the source. It doesn't make sense that they would start in our room and migrate to an empty room. So now I fear they are all over the house and of course we'll do what it takes, but I fear the huge expense and they have been here MUCH longer than I thought so we are probably pretty significantly infested. It's a big house, but by no means are we rich or even well off, so this hurts. The PCO is coming again tomorrow, but I'm not sure what we should have him do. Should we seriously consider heat treatment? I think it will cost a thousand dollars or way more...we don't have that. I am freaking out.

  2. spideyjg

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    Posted 3 years ago
    Wed Sep 29 2010 23:20:25
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    See people tent for termites? That is a Vikane treatment and is an option here in CA to consider as well as thermal.

    Bear in mind that most of the cost is the labor in tenting and the process not the fumigant. They need to use 3X as much for BBs than termites but the side benefit is dead termites.

    Look into both and see which is better for you.

    Jim

  3. Slides

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    Posted 3 years ago
    Thu Sep 30 2010 12:16:52
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    Look at it this way, you're lucky to not live in a rented shared unit where you're at the mercy of management and neighbors.

  4. Richard56

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    Posted 3 years ago
    Thu Sep 30 2010 12:35:51
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    Sorry about what's going on.

    First, make absolutely sure that you have bed bugs. I say this because from what I've learned here, many people who are convinced they have bed bugs don't. And unfortunately, your PCO may not be the most reliable/educated source. If I were going to treat, I would be 100% sure that I've seen either a live or dead bed bug (many bugs look similar) or at least direct evidence such as cast skins or fecal stains. Best way to have a bug identified is by an entomologist -- either send a sample to them or post a picture here. Can't emphasize this enough because treating on inconclusive evidence is just the beginning of a very slippery and expensive slope. And btw a positive dog alert without confirming physical evidence is not enough.

    Assuming you have the bugs, heat treatment would be my first choice if I had a large house. Well -- money aside -- actually Vikane might be my first choice but you mention you're on a budget. Just make sure you call around and get someone very experienced and that you feel comfortable with. Also ask what kind of warranty they offer and under what conditions will they come back and what will they do when they come back -- heat the home again, chemicals, etc.

    Also, ask if they use chemicals along with the heat. When I was calling around, adding chemical treatment to the mix cost only incrementally more and I felt that it was xtra insurance in case of stragglers, although some may disagree here.

    Good luck.

    Richard

  5. cantstopitching

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    Posted 3 years ago
    Fri Oct 1 2010 2:31:09
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    We definitely have bedbugs. 3 were found in our bedroom where we thought they were contained. We just discovered that they are also in the 2 guest rooms!! and who knows where else. We have a great PCO who we trust and has been very fair and seemingly thorough, albeit maybe not as cautious as he could be as he thought they were probably contained to our bedroom and now we know that's not the case. We did have a guest in the 1st guest room about a month or so before we discovered the bugs. Once we discovered bedbugs in there we figured we would find an infestation if they came with that guest and since it has now been about 2 months since the guest was in the room. We found 2 right on top of the sheets and could not find anymore. The PCO said they were "teenagers." The same guest spent 1 night in the other guest room the weekend before we discovered the first bug in our bed. We examined that guest room and did not see anything at all. The PCO sprayed his magic chemicals on the box spring and about 6 tiny (the smallest yet) bedbugs came out. He also found 1 adult cast skin, however, we have not found any live adults yet! Our bedroom has been treated twice and now the 2 guest rooms have been treated. I am worried about that room because it has a large bookcase and a lot of books. I am remaining hopeful that we won't have to tent or do heat because it is such a huge undertaking and expense but I cannot believe they are in 3 rooms (and maybe the whole house!) and I fear I am too hopeful. We thought painters who were in our room brought them, but that seems unlikely now. The guest has not found any evidence of bedbugs in their own place and has NO bites...but lives in an apartment in a big city. I know that neither of these mean anything as evidence can be hard to find and some people do not react to bites. It is all so overwhelming (and expensive)...it's only been 2 weeks and I already feel like I'm going to lose my mind. I'm not as freaked out anymore that they are going to attack me in the night, but I am freaked out that they and their eggs are anywhere and everywhere in the house and will eventually take it over. These little frickin jerks are just so awful and suck so bad!!!

  6. cantstopitching

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    Posted 3 years ago
    Fri Oct 1 2010 2:31:13
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    We definitely have bedbugs. 3 were found in our bedroom where we thought they were contained. We just discovered that they are also in the 2 guest rooms!! and who knows where else. We have a great PCO who we trust and has been very fair and seemingly thorough, albeit maybe not as cautious as he could be as he thought they were probably contained to our bedroom and now we know that's not the case. We did have a guest in the 1st guest room about a month or so before we discovered the bugs. Once we discovered bedbugs in there we figured we would find an infestation if they came with that guest and since it has now been about 2 months since the guest was in the room. We found 2 right on top of the sheets and could not find anymore. The PCO said they were "teenagers." The same guest spent 1 night in the other guest room the weekend before we discovered the first bug in our bed. We examined that guest room and did not see anything at all. The PCO sprayed his magic chemicals on the box spring and about 6 tiny (the smallest yet) bedbugs came out. He also found 1 adult cast skin, however, we have not found any live adults yet! Our bedroom has been treated twice and now the 2 guest rooms have been treated. I am worried about that room because it has a large bookcase and a lot of books. I am remaining hopeful that we won't have to tent or do heat because it is such a huge undertaking and expense but I cannot believe they are in 3 rooms (and maybe the whole house!) and I fear I am too hopeful. We thought painters who were in our room brought them, but that seems unlikely now. The guest has not found any evidence of bedbugs in their own place and has NO bites...but lives in an apartment in a big city. I know that neither of these mean anything as evidence can be hard to find and some people do not react to bites. It is all so overwhelming (and expensive)...it's only been 2 weeks and I already feel like I'm going to lose my mind. I'm not as freaked out anymore that they are going to attack me in the night, but I am freaked out that they and their eggs are anywhere and everywhere in the house and will eventually take it over. These little frickin jerks are just so awful and suck so bad!!!

  7. buggyinsocal

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    Posted 3 years ago
    Fri Oct 1 2010 10:24:46
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    Do not begin self-treating with random chemicals that someone on a board begins suggesting. You're already under professional treatment, so keep talking to the PCO.

    You have several much safer and much more reliable options than that.

    First up, if you like this PC and trust him, and you think his treatments are reducing the bed bugs in the room that was treated, you could stick with him.

    Here's the thing. On the boards we only get one person's perspective. And what I'm about to write may sound like an accusation, but it isn't. PCOs are people. If they were told that you thought the bugs came from a worker, and the other bedrooms were guest rooms, particularly given that my sense of PCOs here in California is that they don't have the DEFCON 1 level of "Danger, Will Robinson" urgency (to mix a few metaphors) that PCOs in, say, NYC have because bed bugs aren't as widespread/well-known as as wide-spread here as they are there. I live in a one bedroom apartment. There really weren't that many places to go. If you live in a bigger house, it's logical to assume that the bugs are only in the bedroom that's inhabited. Since we weren't party to the actual conversations, you may have been very convincing when you asserted that the bugs were from workmen, and your nice PCO may have felt that insisting upon inspecting other bedrooms would have stressed you out more.

    You were there. I know that during the stress of bed bugs, having to try to sort out how much you trust a particular PCO when you're still getting up to speed on bed bug knowledge is hard. So i don't have advice for you about how to figure that part out. But ultimately, that's going to have to be your call.

    Chemical treatment can be very successful if properly done. the big downside to chemical treatment is that you have to continue to act as bait to lure the bugs out during that time period. If that freaks you out, sometimes the additional expense of heat or Vikane is worth it. On the other hand, if you're not freaked out, and you trust that now that you all know where the bugs are, this PCO is on the right track, the expense of one of the one-shot deals may not be worth it to you personally.

    If you own the home--and it's a single family detached house--and you want/need a one shot treatment, the remedy I would look at most closely is Vikane. Here's why:

    1. Heat treatment can damage some items. It also requires that a lot of items be removed from the home. It's a great option for some people (like me)--esp. those who don't live in single family homes.

    Vikane doesn't require the removal of that many items (if any). It doesn't run any risk of damage to items like electronics, DVDs, CDs, photos, and so on.

    Heat does.

    2. If you're concerned about the neighbors, no one in California is going to look twice at a house being tented for termites.

    3. You live in California. It's likely you're going to have to tent the house at some point in its life anyway. Tent it now, sign up for the company's annual inspection program, and know you have the standard number of years before you're going to need to tent again. With Vikane, you're getting rid of one pest and nipping another in the bud. (Or something. I mean, I guess my point is, Vikane is something you can expect to have to do from time to time anyway, so I would feel a little like it's a dry run for whatever future termite treatment you're going to need, right?)

    My bigger concern long term is what plans you intend to put in place to make sure you don't get reinfested by other guests.

    I would take exception to your comments about how your guest came from the city. A guest from the city isn't actually any more likely to come with bed bugs than anyone else. the problem with bed bugs is that they are a pest of exposure. I live in a very densely populated part of Los Angeles county. I picked up my bed bug infestation (I'm pretty sure) in bucolic Ventura County. Bed bugs are a pest of exposure; if you are exposed, you may end up with an infestation. After all, some experts think that bed bugs didn't go away 100% during the decades we thought they were gone; some experts think that bed bugs continued to thrive in bird populations like farms with chickens. If that's the case, people from rural areas could have been singled out as more likely to bring the bugs with them. It's not nearly as important what the population density of where someone lives is as whether the person is aware of the bed bug epidemic and knows how to inspect regularly and take precautions to minimize the chance of exposure.

    Regardless of where your guest got the bugs, if the guest has been there several times and both bedrooms are infested, what's to keep the guest from bringing them back again--or any other guest? It's a good idea to get up to speed on inspection and precautionary behavior and start thinking about what your post treatment plan will be to avoid a repeat appearance.

    Hang in there.


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