My (bad) experience with Metropest in NY(9 posts)
I had horrible service in dealing with a bedbug situation. My building contracts with Metropest, so I had no choice in providers, but if you are paying out of pocket, AVOID, and if you do have their service, watch them like a hawk. Besides their sloppy, careless, incomplete work, their customer service is horrible including lies about what they will do, hangups, unreturned phone calls to the manager, and a basic refusal to stand behind their work. They don't inspect your apartment, they don't do a good job, they don't do anything you cannot do yourself but better.
Possibly the most outrageous thing they did was this. When we found bedbugs, we got zippered mattress covers for our spring and mattress, which locks them inside. When Metropest came, the suggested taking the covers off and treating the bed and spring, which I thought was a good idea, and had gotten new covers for the occasion. Well they took the old cover, which very likely had eggs or newly hatched bugs in it (it had been on for 3 weeks), and just dumped it in the hall, and said nothing about it. Since they didn't treat the hall closet (they were supposed to, but didn't), and weren't treating another room near where they dumped the cover (my choice, as I didn't have time to clear it as per their protocol), they may have spread my infestation by their carelessness.
This is just outrageous. They tell you to bag and wash every textile in your apartment, and bag and seal every possession. Then they take the one thing in your whole apartment that was DEFINITELY in contact with ground zero of the infestation, the cover for the box spring, and dump it into an as yet untreated hallway. If they were deliberately trying to spread an infestation, this is exactly what they would do!
Furthermore, they skipped several very large bookcases that I had labored to empty. Two I noticed while they were here and made them do. One 72x72 inch shelf divided into 25 cubes they started but inexplicably didn't finish, and one in my hall was skipped altogether. They also missed one 5 foot baseboard I had pointed out to them. All these were on the ticket, but undone or incomplete. They also told me verbally they would do a hall closet, and then didn't. When you stay up all night to prepare your apartment, and they neglect to do 30 seconds of spraying, it just shows how little they care about their work. Then they wouldn't send somebody back to complete their work.
Finally, their customer service is atrocious. Before they came, they told me what pesticide they use--not the one they actually used. They assured me they inspect the apartment for harborages, but when I asked the technician if he had seen any bugs he told me, "we just spray."
And then when I called about the furniture they missed, they told me I signed the ticket so they wouldn't come back. Yes I signed the ticket. I trusted that they did what they said they would do without having to inspect every inch of my poison-drenched apartment, which they were telling me to vacate for the next 4 hours. They also tried to excuse their actions because my entire apartment was not treated. I'm sorry, but the state of my dining room doesn't explain why they didn't treat a bookcase in my bedroom! When I said that, the rep hung up on me. He wouldn't connect me to the manager. On the third try, I finally got a message to the manager, who called me back the NEXT DAY, talked to me, said he would call back, and NEVER DID.
Just a nightmare.
Sorry you had a bad experience.
I really hope you will send a copy of that message to the PCO.
And I hope that you will follow up with treatment in 10-14 days.
Please don't panic. It is quite common for some to have a great experience and others to complain about the same PCO. Why? Because so much depends on the actual person who is sent to do the job that day. Many NYC PCOs are very large and during an epidemic like this, they may have all kinds of staff with different attitudes and levels of experience. Even the office staff may vary as per their knowledge and attitude.
Are you getting a follow up in 10-14 days?
Try not to worry. I am sorry YoureLiving had a bad experience with this company, but it does not mean you will. If you do, talk to the managers.
It is normal to be bitten after treatment. And in some cases, the PCOs use a flushing agent to get the bed bugs out so they can encounter poison and die. In such cases, it may mean you temporarily get a slight rise in bites. It does not always happen. But if you have questions, I'd call the PCO. You should make sure they know what is going on.
Also, out of curiosity, how long do they have you keep things bagged? During part of the treatment process? All of it? 18 months?
Different PCOs have a different take on this.
It definitely depends on the actual people who do your service. I had one younger guy who seemed conscientious, and one older one who just wanted to finish up and go.
I will repeat service (they say 3 weeks, by the way), but I will watch them intensively and make sure they do everything they should.
Also, I get the distinct impression that this operation is as deskilled as possible. The customer service reps don't seem to know much, giving me wrong info on the pesticide and saying that they would inspect before spraying--both lies. They also told me verbally, AFTER service, and not in their preparation sheet, that dust would make treatment less effective. Of course I vacuumed everything, but by the time they came some shelves had a thin layer of dust that had settled after cleaning.
They say to bag for two to three months, which makes little sense. It seems you should either unbag so the bugs come out and get killed by the poison, or you should bag until the bugs die, i.e. a year or more, depending on temperature. Their prescription seems like it would lead to people letting live bugs out just on the fringe of their 60 day warranty.
I also had to tell them to drill the wall, and to treat my outlets. Besides the stuff they didn't do there was some stuff they skipped but I asked about and so got them to do. For instance I have a large shelf with open shelving on the top and doors on the bottom. He sprayed the open shelves and I could see the poison. I asked did you do the cabinet part and he said "no, I don't think you have bedbugs there." Are you kidding? Isn't an enclosed wood cabinet a favored spot for bed bugs, much more so than the open shelves above? And if you're not going to treat everything you can, why am I disrupting my life to empty those shelves?
But the worst part is the utter lack of response to these complaints.
"They say to bag for two to three months, which makes little sense. It seems you should either unbag so the bugs come out and get killed by the poison, or you should bag until the bugs die, i.e. a year or more, depending on temperature. Their prescription seems like it would lead to people letting live bugs out just on the fringe of their 60 day warranty."
Yes. As much as I always say to do what the PCO says, I would definitely question this. We have a FAQ which outlines those various approaches. Opening bags after treatment ends is very bad IMHO.
In fact, with anyone who has had what they consider poor service or incorrect information, I would call the boss. I would ask the manager or owner about that de-bagging. It may be that the tech is not fully aware of procedures, or it may be the company really is recommending something that does not make sense. But I would go higher and find out, if it were me.
Others have done so, for various companies, and had a much better time after doing so.
I don't know if this is the same Metropest that's located in Queens? But, I've also had them as pcos. And the 1st time there were 2 guys who were very nice and thorough. The 2nd time, there was a younger african american guy and an older spanish guy who seemed to be his boss. Now, the 1st time guys sprayed everywhere including bathroom and kitchen, window frames, etc. The 2nd guys did not. The older spanish guy did not want to spray the window frames or the kitchen or bathroom even when I asked him to. But, when the boss went downstairs for more chemicals, the younger guy sprayed where I wanted him to and was much more reassuring and thorough. I was asking questions about the pesticides and double-checking to see if he sprayed everything and the boss seemed to be annoyed by it. He said the 2nd treatment should be enough (this was 3 weeks after the 1st treatment). I lied to him and told him that I don't think so and that I still saw live bugs, even though I did not. It was only after I told him this that he drilled holes in the walls and dusted them. Metropest's preparation sheet is thorough so it seemed to me that they knew what they were doing.
However, before I hired them and when I called them, the woman on the phone said to bag everything for 2 months and that I will be living outta bags for 2 months. She said after that time I could unpack and go to a normal life. She explained to me that the bugs inside the bags would be dead in 2 months. When I said that they can live up to 18 months she said no. That's why they only want you to bag for 2 months because they do not believe the 18 month theory. She said that people have been giving me wrong information.
Another thing in general about pcos. A lotta them think, I mean really THINK, that they can solve your problem in 1 or 2 visits. If you still have them, you're either reinfesting the place or YOU'RE doing something wrong. Pcos do give guarantees, but they have a hard time and give you a hard time following up with them.
Sojo, Yup, same Metropest, same African-American guy, same receptionist w/British accent. Caulk the holes yourself in the meantime w/compound you can get a small one cheap at the hardware store or Home Depot. Just don't be on top of them when they come back. Whenever the pcos are around, I always walk back and forth, in the room they are in, outta the room they are in. I inspect here and there and ask questions. Make sure they caulk the holes this time.
I removed the name in your comment above.
Remember, the people you're talking about might read this (it happens all the time). And they may know who you are too, in case that matters.
It sounds like the same older Spanish guy. When they come back I am going to insist on watching everything they do, even if that means only one of them can spray. That's the only way I can be sure they do their job. If you get him, I suggest you do the same. His younger, subordinate partner defers, but is definitely more engaged in his job and seems like he wants to do the best job possible.
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