My PCO experience + Row House Issues(2 posts)
Hello Forum Friends,
Just a quick note, b/c we all have so many stories and much to exchange here---I'd like to keep this brief but really need to share that taking the earliest steps possible to properly *identify* your situation and then get the right treatment for your individual case is a good way to maintaining some sanity here.
In April of 2010, I was alone in my 3 story row-house home, owned by my Grandmother, who had to go to Puerto Rico for family matters, and when she left we knew the neighbors were dealing w/bb's, but I had no idea what would happen next once I realized what this really meant. In the abridged version here, she shortened her trip, returned home to take control of her beloved albeit pain in the arse house, and save me from my existential crisis, since I had all but panicked and turned the place upside down in cleaning and trashing things (though I think this actually helped us, b/c I got rid of my old loveseat which--who knows WHAT had taken up residence in there, plus a number of many other undesirable household items) and bagged/washed/dried my clothes (I live in basement, where they hadn't visited yet)---thank goodness (so grateful) we have a washer + dryer in the house and my paranoid vigilance to save us actually, albeit dramatic, worked in the long run, since it created a prompt reaction. I let all the neighbors know, though no one seemed to be up in arms the way I was (b/c i was on bedbugger day and night maybe obsessively and paranoid, but it was helpful all the same) and let the "hot" house know that they had to take the right measures (the home that was initially infested is a high-risk home; the wife works in hospital, the husband is paralyzed from waist down, and son is agoraphobic, plus they have caretakers in and out everyday, whom the wife blames for bringing them into their home, and at this point we'll never be sure). In short, it was hard to not get them on board, but we had to face it, the steps to treatment was in OUR hands, as usual, so I researched PCO's nearby and finally, had the incomparable Cesar Soto and his team at Freedom Pest Controlhttp://www.expelpest.com/ (fyi, of course, no one is paying me to say this, I am just spreading word about a truly knowledgeable and compassionate professional) come over to inspect the ENTIRE home, and because our infestation was essentially in the invisible stages (meaning the hosts in the connected home were likely great enough such that whatever was happening hadn't come over here in a full/real way) we put protectabed covers on all the beds & springs in home (thats 4 rooms!) and interceptors on the beds in my room and my Grandmothers (Grams' room connnects to the room where we think they are "headquartered", as it connects to room where the immobilized neighbor sleeps next door while his wife & unknown "teams of helpers" spray random things throughout the house and we have no clue what kind of treatments they are doing, if any
Ok after that, we were all clear (remember that was Spring 2010, up until--dundundunnnnnn---)a few days after New Years, this year, 2012. I had bites intermittently, and was praying to the sweet heavens this was not a possibility for us again! People came over for a huge party I threw (hey, when the cats away) but they were all limited to my basement, and so were their coats. Long story short, bites happened days after party clean up was done, but if they were the culprits, any of them, and there were many, I think I would have gotten bitten within 2-3 days of their presence. We can't know for sure if anyone from the party brought them, though the likelihood is small b/c they would have bitten me almost immediately after. I slept in Grandmas room (upstairs) new years morning, and a number of weeks after the party when I noticed bites! I was freaked, paralyzed and tried to tell myself something else had bitten me, but my gut told me, beware, u have two houses connected to yours that have likely grappled with major infestations, all those ppl were here (now when i think of it i want to gag for even deciding to have that party), this possibility isn't far fetched. And guess what, Grandma's in Puerto Rico again! They seem to like to test me when I'm alone---very interesting---maybe the solitary host is more their style? hahaha. sorry, it's just such a movie, and the humor keeps things in perspective when your fear is trying to run things.
Again, I called up Cesar. Once we got our schedules aligned (basically in one day) he came by to inspect house again, and checked my room, told me to set the house up because I had found a baby the night b4 at 5 am on my slipper!!!! It was about 3 weeks old he said (b/c I saved it in rubbing alcohol and a shot glass) for confirmation, and so, Cesar was concerned that next door, their spraying was of course, sending the bbs deeper into hiding, making their way over here (hence the baby on my slipper at 5am). In fact, on the day of treatment when I went up to 3rd floor to move beds from wall in Grandmas room--I found 2 dead adults, meaning, they were indeed making their way through the walls, laying in half dead wait, probably having crossed over whatever bs spray they were using next door. The situation is definitely not easy to wrap one's mind around, and this house has been in our family for over 4 decades! It's hard for Grandma to let go, but the truth is, though their dirtiness and hoarding is in not a "magnet" per se for these cretins, it certainly doesn't help us with treating, and the neighbors are textbook definition hoarders and though Grandma is organized, she also has YEARS worth of stuff that she can't part with (thats called organized, hidden hoarding, and the older you are, the more stuff you have, and Grandma's 80!). Cesar understood these cultural sensitivities, and made sure to note what our next steps would be, and in 2 weeks will be here for a follow up, and for now I have to keep my eyes peeled, and be a detective, which I'm great at (noting interceptors, and of course when Grandma returns to sleep in her her room in 2 weeks, THAT will be the real test)!
He treated the entire home, very strategically, and of course, did what I like to call "thinking like a bed bug", which of course is key here! It is indeed half the battle when you're working with a PCO who is upfront with you about cost, treatment-time-period, chemicals used and so forth. The bottom line is whether we're ready to face it or not, on earth, we're all in this together, and honesty is kEY. I consider Cesar to be one of the people in the "front lineS" so to speak, up with the other true-blue PCO's who realize that their job isn't only treating a home of pests and getting paid for it, it is also treating their customers w/kindness, empathy and respect. This, he has always shown us, and in closing I would like to throw in that the chemicals used were environmentally safe, which means SO much for us b/c I'm a highly allergic person and so is my senior dog, whose health is already kind of "meh" and the treatment smelled of mint and rose, which, in such a frustrating unsure time, only helps to calm one the heck down. Inhaling industrial smells isn't what anyone needs at this time, so pleasant experiences to the senses can't hurt ANYONE
Thanks all, and best of luck to each and every one of you.
Be vigilant, be preventative, stay strong (meditating & praying, b/c hey, why not---it surely helps, if you can manage it)
Keep us updated about if you are able to win again. It's good to hear all the details. Thanks.
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