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Moving

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  1. mrbill0626

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    Posted 6 years ago
    Fri Feb 1 2008 1:51:50
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    Well, I'm getting ready to move. Have to, because the house I've been rooming in is being sold. So It looks like I'll be looking for an unfurnished apt. Any ideas as to how I should inspect a place for bed bugs before deciding to move into it? We had bed bugs here until late last October (24th) when the PCO came and did their thing here. None of us here have seen any BBs or gotten any bites since then. I hope they're(the bugs)are gone. Don't know if I will be taking any of them with me when I move, but since I haven't seen any bugs or signs of bugs and haven't been bitten since Oct 24, well, I'm hopeful. Any suggestions as to how to go about moving without re-infesting the new apt would be greatly appreciated.

    Thanks

    Bill

  2. IveBeenBugged

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    Posted 6 years ago
    Fri Feb 1 2008 8:47:39
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    As crazy as it sounds hire a PCO to check out the new place. Some places do give free inspections although they may charge a nominal fee once you explain (and yes you should explain why you want the place inspected) why you want the place checked out before you move in.

    Once my lease is up I will doing the same thing.

  3. angie

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    Posted 6 years ago
    Fri Feb 1 2008 11:16:10
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    I inspected the prospective house myself when I went to look at it Friday. I checked the ceiling and the baseboards looking for black spots. I also asked the realtor about the history and if there had been any infestations of any kind previously. They told me no. I am honest and upfront about my current living conditions and told them that this is the reason that I am moving. I chose a small 2 br house even though there are 6 of us, kids can share rooms and me and my husband can sleep in the living room. As long as I don't have bb, I will be just fine. I will not look at apartments cuz my theory is that in a single family home, the bugs are my problem and I won't have to deal with stupid neighbors anymore. I can treat the problem and know that all is being done to insure that they don't come back!! My advice on how to move bug free, leave it all behind and start over! You can replace your furniture, I will. One piece at a time. I am also going to unpack everything outside and move it in after I have had a chance to inspect. Wash the stuff that can be washed and make sure that no boxes go into my new place! A lot of work but that will help me feel better about not having bugs! Hopefully this helps you and good luck in your new place!

  4. Bugless

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    Posted 6 years ago
    Fri Feb 1 2008 12:33:24
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    MrBill asks how to know whether an apartment he might move into has bedbugs.

    Tell the landlord you want references from the 3 tenants who moved out most recently, including the one who was in the vacant apartment.

    Current tenants might be scared of the landlord and will not talk. But you could also knock on doors without the LL knowing.

  5. IveBeenBugged

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    Posted 6 years ago
    Fri Feb 1 2008 12:49:55
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    That would only work if all previous tenants are being honest about it and it still leaves you with neighbors who may have moved in after the other tenant moved out and possibly brought them with them.

    I'm getting way to paranoid these days. I like angie's take on this now if I could only find a one bedroom cottage somewhere. It would be so much easier without an uncooperative tenant in the building.

  6. parakeets

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    Posted 6 years ago
    Fri Feb 1 2008 13:08:21
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    I agree with Angie and IveBeenBugged about moving into single-family housing. A tenant can't possibly control bedbugs in an apartment building if there are uncooperative landlords or uncooperative (or simply unaware) fellow tenants. It's difficult enough to eradicate bedbugs in your own place, but you can't eradicate them from an entire building if you don't have 100% cooperation of everyone involved. If folks here even have problems getting their spouses, kids or parents to cooperate on the issue of bedbugs, how can we convince all our neighbors?

    In a tight housing market in my area, where housing prices have dropped overall, the starter-home market (small homes) has gone up. I wonder if that is due in small part from some people moving from infested apartments into small homes?

  7. mrbill0626

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    Posted 6 years ago
    Fri Feb 1 2008 14:37:41
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    IBB:

    You say: "As crazy as it sounds hire a PCO to check out the new place". Well the problem with that (where I'm considering moving into an apt) that I see is that I probably won't get the key to the apt until I decide to move in and sign the lease. Then it's too late to back out (I think) if I then have it inspected by a PCO and he finds bed bugs or evidence of them. If I go to just look at an apt to see whether it's what I want, the landlord or his representative is going to be with me to show it and having a PCO with me at that time to inspect the apt may not go over too well, but I don't know.

    Really tricky, it looks like to me.
    Bill

  8. parakeets

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    Posted 6 years ago
    Fri Feb 1 2008 15:13:44
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    I have to agree with Mr. Bill.

    My building has had an up-and-down bedbug infestation for a long time and through all that time they are continually showing apartments in our building and bringing in new tenants without ever telling them we have bedbugs.

    One clue--as soon as we had bedbugs, real estate agents stopped showing apartments in our building. I surmise new tenants (who pay the real estate agent's fee for apartment rentals in my town) were somehow able to get back the real estate fee they paid when they moved into a building with bedbugs and had to move out quickly. I guess real estate agents didn't want to deal with that or with the disclosure stuff. So ever since we got bedbugs, my landlord advertizes our 14-unit building only on Craigslist. If you get your apartment through Craigslist, beware. It doesn't have the same safeguards as going through a lic. real estate agent. You can ask an agent about bedbugs. I don't think a lic. real estate agent is allowed to lie about a property they show without getting into potential legal trouble.

  9. BBcoukHome

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    Posted 6 years ago
    Fri Feb 1 2008 15:23:26
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    Hi,

    Just an idea and something I have been asked about in the UK, find a good PCO or entamologist to conduct a pest survey of the property prior to you moving in. Ask them to check for signs of all pests and in particular bed bugs.

    In practice this is easier to do in furnished properties rather than unfurnished ones but if you find someone willing to offer a written report I am sure it is well worth paying for. If you were buying a property you would seek a structural survey so why not a pest survey.

    With regards costs, the answer is to explain what you want from them and ask for a cost, if you specify the detail you want searched to they will I am sure be able to work out a time and cost for the job. There are such things as professional qualifications in pest assesment.

    As for the agents not letting you have the key, I am sure that if you explain to them that you have a phobia of pests such as mice they will understand why you want the survey done. Its also feasible to have allegies that can be tested for prior to you moving in, after all they dont want you to move in and need to break the lease on valid medical grounds.

    I see the loggic in the past references issue but what happens if you get 3 non responders in the property in a row. With a higher percentage of non responders to responders the odds are staked against it.

    There is always the possibility of an unoccupied unfurnished property being decorated to remove all traces and signs of a bed bug infestation but in practise, this takes more effort than anyone foolish enough to try do it is likely to be able to do.

    If you do find signs of anything and do not decide to move in you must share the information with the letting agents to avoid it becoming an issue for anyone else.

    Sorry its a long winded post but lots of points to cover.

    Regards,

    David

  10. IveBeenBugged

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    Posted 6 years ago
    Sat Feb 2 2008 10:35:24
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    Sorry Mr Bill I didn't think my response through. You brought up some valid points that I never thought of. After rethinking it I'm not sure how to answer your ?.

    I will say that once I move I think I will still be acting like I have BB's for a few months and continue with the dusting of the walls and baseboards. I know that self treating isn't the wisest thing but even if I do the commodity (in a u haul truck) fumigation who's to say once bug didn't make it through or that there are already bugs when I move in. I will also be doing the bagging thing for a long time after they are either gone or I have moved. Better safe than sorry!

    A future landlord may not mind having the place inspected before you sign a lease though. Worse thing they could say is no. I would think as long as they don't have to pay for it it shouldn't be an issue. You don't have to tell them it's for BB's just say for bugs.

    Finding a one bedroom with no or only one or two neighbors seems much more appealing now.

  11. mrbill0626

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    Posted 6 years ago
    Sun Feb 3 2008 0:58:38
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    David:

    You say: Just an idea and something I have been asked about in the UK, find a good PCO or entamologist to conduct a pest survey of the property prior to you moving in. Ask them to check for signs of all pests and in particular bed bugs.

    And IBB you say: A future landlord may not mind having the place inspected before you sign a lease though

    Do you guys really think that a landlord is going to allow me to have a PCO come in to inspect their apts before I decide whether or not to move in there?

    Bill

  12. angie

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    Posted 6 years ago
    Sun Feb 3 2008 1:20:15
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    If you have been through a bout with bb's , you will know what to look for, so do it yourself!! There is no reason to have an "expert" come in to inspect when you know that you will be able to see things that the PCO won't. And if you are honest with the prospective LL, then he will be able to understand your reasons for doing what you do!! If he doesn't, then you don't want to move in there anyway!

  13. Bugless

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    Posted 6 years ago
    Sun Feb 3 2008 1:51:09
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    Before you even talk to the LL about an apartment that is for rent, knock on other apartment doors in the building. Tell them you are thinking of renting the empty apartment and ask if there are bedbugs or any other problems in the building. You could also ask whether the landlord is an S.O.B!

    If you get 2 or 3 OKs for the building, go to the LL and have him show you the apartment. If you like it, stall the LL - tell him your husband or wife will have to look at it. Then knock on some more apartment doors in the building and ask again about bedbugs.

    The reason for this 2-stage inquiry procedure is that you don't want to waste a lot of time talking to a lot of renters, and then find you don't like the apartment.

    Then as a final check, call in a PCO for an inspection.

    The same process can be used with a rental agency.

    First thing, of course, is to check the online lists of bedbuggy buildings, if there are such lists for your city.

    All of this is a bit of trouble, but it is far, far better than moving into a bedbug hell.

  14. mrbill0626

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    Posted 6 years ago
    Sun Feb 3 2008 2:16:29
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    Bugless:

    Have you actually done this yourself that you're suggesting that I do, knocking on apt. doors and asking tenants about bed bugs and what kind of guy is the landlord? See in the first place, I'm only going to see the apts if the landlord wants to show them to me. I'm going to see apts that are advertised in the paper and the landlord's name and phone number is given as the contact person. And without calling him/her, I have no idea where the apts are located. I have to get that info from the landlord when I call the number in the ad.

    Would you say that I could just ask the landlord if there has been or is any bed bug problem?

    Angie:

    How am I going to see bed bugs' eggs? Nymphs? Bed bugs that are hiding under carpet or in the walls? Are you serious? I'm not an exterminator. And I am looking for an unfurnished apt so there won't be any furniture to inspect.

    Bill

  15. mrbill0626

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    Posted 6 years ago
    Sun Feb 3 2008 2:19:26
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    Does anyone think it would be wise to ask a prospective landlord of the apts I'm looking at and considering moving into if there has been a problem with bed bugs-before I decide whether or not to move in?

    Thanks

    Bill

  16. angie

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    Posted 6 years ago
    Sun Feb 3 2008 2:37:40
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    You know, I am not on here to offend you! I expect the same respect from you! I have been dealing with this for almost 9 months and I will tell you that I will be able to spot a fecal spot or a bed bug on the ceiling from a mile away. IF you have been dealing with bed bugs, then on your walk through, just sneak a peek at the walls and ceilings and if there are spots, investigate them. As far as furniture goes, what is that?? I won't get furniture for a long time. And as for the prospective LL, what do you have to hide? I have disclosed my bb problem to who ever will listen. IF the prospective LL has something to hide, you will know it. I have had very good luck on talking to prospective LL and they totally understand that the move is necessary. Also, find out how long the property has been vacant. If its been a while, then you will look for hungry bugs, not babies.

  17. Bugless

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    Posted 6 years ago
    Sun Feb 3 2008 2:56:33
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    Bill: I've lived in the same place for a number of years and haven't had a need to move.

    If the LL won't give you the address on the phone, have him show you the apartment first, then stall him. A bit later, start knocking on doors. If a person is married, it would be best for the wife to do that - a strange man at the door might seem a bit threatening to some people. And, of course, talk nice to them. Get into a bit of a chat with them.

    When you talk to the LL, if he won't deny that there are bedbugs in the building, just walk away. Of course he might lie about it, so don't take his word for it. Knock on doors.

    Another thing that could be done is to call late in the afternoon and make an appointment to see the apartment next day and get the address. Start knocking on doors the same day - evening would be best anyway, when people are home from work.

  18. fightorflight

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    Posted 6 years ago
    Sun Feb 3 2008 3:31:51
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    MrBill - I understand your frustration. Many of these suggestions may not be wholly executable. Feel out the situation on your own and see if there is any questioning of current or former tenants you could accomplish. As for inspection, by yourself or PCO, I kind of agree with you. Couldn't hurt, but we know how stealthy the beasts are. Inspection can produce false negatives. Do everything you can and the rest is luck. BTW, when I went through my quasi-homeless period following abandoning my condo, I was able to able to ask about pests, first in a roundabout way and then directly. It's like asking at hotels - you might learn something by how the question is answered. Good luck!

  19. mrbill0626

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    Posted 6 years ago
    Sun Feb 3 2008 11:38:05
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    Angie:

    Have you asked prospective LLs if there has been any bed bug problem in their apts? and what did they say? Oh, you know, not to be picky, and no offense intended, but what if the LL has washed the walls and ceilings and any fecal spots have been removed? I know what. I'll take a BB dog with me and let it sniff around the place, that is if I can find a dog to do that.

    Thanks

    Bill

  20. Anonymous

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    Posted 6 years ago
    Sun Feb 3 2008 14:22:04
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    I think the most important question to ask is how the building owner or property manager handles pests. What is the policy? You can learn a lot by their answer. The question of whether there have ever been bedbugs in the house or apartment conceivably can be answered satisfactorily but does not give you an indication of what would happen should bedbugs ever make an appearance there.

    More important to know what the landlord would do in the case of an infestation. Are they already educated? It's a very simple conversation to have given the press that bedbugs have gotten. And it's a way to spread education about bedbugs.

    Much better to move into a building where they know what it takes to get rid of them or are simply prepared in any event than to move somewhere where bedbugs are unknown and the landlord's response could be one of the terrible ones we hear about here.

  21. mrbill0626

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    Posted 6 years ago
    Sun Feb 3 2008 20:04:10
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    So far, the apts I have seen are a big apt building and have a locked front door and the only way to get in and knock on tenants doors is if someone, either the landlord or a tenant, lets me in. Geez!

    Bill

  22. bugbasher

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    Posted 6 years ago
    Sun Feb 3 2008 21:23:07
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    mrbill, Why not just have a chat w/ LL after you see the apt. and ask when the exterminator comes? First wed. of the month? By law every building is supposed to have an exterminator available on a once monthly basis.If the LL stalls or acts weird about the question you've got your answer,no pest control for you.If he says yes,ask him to see the signup sheet or even better,knock on doors and ask the other tenants.If they look at you like you have 2 heads,then you will know he's full of doody.I think a building that has an exterminator come monthly offers at least some protection.They at least are following the law.Anyway,that's what I would do.Good luck

  23. Bugless

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    Posted 6 years ago
    Sun Feb 3 2008 22:23:05
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    Another way to find the address of a place for rent is to phone and tell the LL (or rental agency) you want to know the address so you can check out the neighborhood.

    Here's another way. Have a friend call the LL and the friend tells you the address. Then, if the building has a self-locking front door, have the friend look at the apartment and say he doesn't want it. As your friend leaves the front door, you slip in and start knocking on apartment doors.

    Any suggestions of what to do if the LL or rental agent leaves with your friend?

    How about leaving a note in each mailbox of the building, and tell the renter you are thinking of renting the empty apartment. Ask the renter to call you if there are bedbugs or other problems. If they are a person of good will, they will call. (Mailboxes have to be outside the front door so the mailman can get to them.)

    Considering the trauma of bedbug infestation, you are entitled to use any means to find out about the place you will be living in.

  24. fightorflight

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    Posted 6 years ago
    Sun Feb 3 2008 23:31:57
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    I, too, thought about getting a bedbug dog to theoretically inspect a place I would want to rent (or buy). Problem is, we have no sniffer dogs in Colorado or even close. Company in NYC said I could fly one out for $1500 though...

  25. mrbill0626

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    Posted 6 years ago
    Mon Feb 4 2008 1:02:31
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    Hey Bugless! That's a good idea about leaving notes in the mailboxes. Now if I can just get in the door to do that, because most of the mailboxes I have seen are just inside the front door, which is usually (but not always) locked for security and so as to prevent solicitors from leaving notes in mailboxes.

    Thanks

    Bill

  26. Nobugsonme

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    Fri Feb 8 2008 13:53:39
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    I think there are laws about NYC mailboxes having locks and keys (at least in actual buildings). Is this not so?

    I started and run the site but am "not an expert."
  27. Bugless

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    Fri Feb 8 2008 20:51:31
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    MrBill wrote, "That's a good idea about leaving notes in the mailboxes. Now if I can just get in the door to do that, because most of the mailboxes I have seen are just inside the front door, which is usually (but not always) locked for security ...."

    In many other parts of the US there is no automatic lock on the front door of an apartment building. There are also places that give the address of a place that is to rent right in the newspaper advertisement.

    As for sending a note, or making a phone call, to ask other tenants about bbs in an apartment building, I can think of 3 ways when there is an automatic front-door lock and the mailboxes are inside.

    The quickest and simplest way is to use a reverse address phone list. It will give the name and phone number of all persons living at the address you ask about.

    Here is a reverse address phone list that can be used without charge:

    http://www.whitepages.com/10583/reverse_address/?source=GO000009&KW=reverse_address&s_kwcid=reverse%20address|854317442

    Try it with any apartment building you know of. Try it with your own address.

    Try it with 350 Fifth Avenue, New York, NY. (That's the Empire State Building.)

    Unlisted phone numbers will not be on the list. But that is only a small number of people. You should be able to get most people in an apartment building.

    You can either phone them, or send them a letter by regular mail asking them to call you about bbs. If the building has bbs, most people will be glad to warn you.

  28. Bugless

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    Posted 6 years ago
    Fri Feb 8 2008 21:07:52
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    P.S. If you give only a street name, city, and state in that reverse address phone list, you will get the name and phone number of everyone who lives on the street. You can view them 10 at a time.

  29. Bugless

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    Posted 6 years ago
    Fri Feb 8 2008 21:44:49
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    P.P.S. One of the people on the reverse address phone list will be the landlord (if he lives there) or the building supervisor! So when your friend goes there to view the apartment, ask him to remember the name of the person who shows him the apartment.

    If you ask the landlord or supervisor about bedbugs, he'll think you are a "troublemaker" and will not rent you the place.

  30. Bugless

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    Does that sound sneaky, to have a friend look at an apartment with no intention of renting it?

    And for you to phone other tenants in the building about bedbugs without the landlord knowing you're phoning them?

    Well, don't worry about it. It's perfectly legal.

    In any case, you can be pretty sure the landlord will be checking up on you - behind your back. He will very likely check your credit rating.

    He might also get a "full profile" on you from one of the firms that collects and sells personal data. Much of that data is unverified - the firms that collect it just pick it up and slap it in your record. Some of the information may be false. (It is not unusual for a person to get an unjustified bad credit rating, and sometimes they cannot have it removed.)

    Some people don't even have a credit card. I have never had one. My policy has always been to pay cash and keep out of debt. But if I ever move, I might have to rent a place in a slummy building that will take anyone, and that may be a known bedbug haven.

    And, of course, a landlord will never provide a rental applicant with a written statement of why he was turned down. It might have been for a false reason. That's why I say that the first person who applies for a rental apartment should get it, or else be given a written reason of why he was refused as a renter. (No, I have never been turned down by a landlord.)

    And as for the methods I suggested to check on bedbugs in a building, go ahead and do it. You don't want to move into a bedbug hell.

  31. Nobugsonme

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    Mon Feb 11 2008 1:40:04
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    This may work, but it can also backfire, Bugless.

    Look, if the neighbors are pissed because they have bed bugs, they might call you and warn you.

    But they may also be pissed at being contacted in this way--especially if you are tracking down their info and not just leaving a note for whomever lives there. It can make people feel their privacy's invaded. And if that happens, they may tell the landlord, who won't rent to you. This is especially likely if the building IS nice and bug-free and they feel comfortable there.

    Just thought I would throw that out there.

  32. IveBeenBugged

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    Mon Feb 11 2008 9:06:34
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    Hmm the more I think about it the more frustrated I get. Even if you knocked on doors and talked to others in the building they may not be truthful with you about bed bugs. Remember we have one lady in our building who (even though she is being bitten) swears that she does not have bed bugs but has ants.

    Maybe a better approach would be to not even mention bed bugs to ask what would be done about ANY type of bug problem.

    I think a prospective landlord may be a bit leery of renting to anyone who is coming into a new building that had a bed bug infestation especially is that infestation is still ongoing at the old place.

  33. Nobugsonme

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    I think having a dog check the new home BEFORE you move your stuff in is a great idea. Look, you can't do this before you sign the lease in most cases, but if you find bed bugs before moving your stuff in, you're in a position to try and get out of the lease. It might involve a lawyer. It's a lot better, though, than moving in and getting bed bugs.

  34. mrbill0626

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    Mon Feb 11 2008 22:09:44
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    The PCO suggested that I just get a bottle of bed bug spray from their store and spray the apt before I move in, in case there would be any bugs there. Of course that's not going to kill any that are in neighboring apts, but after I spray the place, then I can put down some DE around base boards and such and if there are any bugs in neighboring apts, that should keep them out of my place, I would think. Sound like a plan?

    Bill

  35. mrbill0626

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    Well, I found an apt and plan to move in on Tuesday, 2/26/08. The apt owner plans to steam clean the wall-wall carpets the day before. So that could be expected to kill any bugs or their eggs that are in the place couldn't it?

    Welcome any comments

    Bill

  36. bugbasher

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    Bill,
    That will kill anything on or in the rugs only,not walls.There's a
    resource to check perspective apartments called http://www.apartmentratings.com You could check there as well to see if the people who rent there are happy with it.It may not be listed ,but worth a try.I assume you've also tried http://www.bedbugregistry.com They list bb complaints submitted by apartment dwellers.Good luck on your move!

  37. IveBeenBugged

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    Posted 6 years ago
    Sun Feb 24 2008 19:21:35
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    Glad to hear you found a place. Good luck with the move and getting away from the BB's. I think I'd treat the new place more than once after move in though. At least that's what I plan on doing once I can move.

    Once again Good Luck!

  38. mrbill0626

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    Posted 6 years ago
    Sun Feb 24 2008 19:21:41
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    Bugbasher:

    Thanks for the info. Also, on the outside chance that there are any bed bugs in the walls,what would you suggest about killing them? DE? I checked this apartment address where I'll be moving into on the bed bug registry and it said no bed bug encounters have occurred there.

    Thanks

    Bill

  39. bugbasher

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    Posted 6 years ago
    Sun Feb 24 2008 20:18:01
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    Bill,
    I would put DE or drione dust in all outlets and cracks before moving the furniture in.Best to do the outlets and swtches before the power gets turned on if possible,if not be sure to turn off the power at circiut breaker first.Have a spray bottle with alcohol handy for the first month or two,just in case you should (hopefully not) see a bug.Good luck,all the best!


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