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PCO confirmed my fears today... Now what?

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  1. BuggeddOutt

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    Posted 1 week ago
    Thu Jan 11 2018 0:41:45
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    I apologize in advance if I ramble on in this post, it's been a hell of a day/past few weeks. I had my inspection done today and after thoroghly checking the toddler bed and king size bed one lone bug was found on the queen size box spring. No other evidence was seen, no eggs, shells, fecal stains, etc. My living room furniture was also inspected and nothing was found. I have decided to have heat treatment as soon as I can pay for it. The company has a 30 day guarantee, is this standard? And can anyone tell me their experiences with heat treatment? I have upstairs neighbors that just moved in and I don't know how treatment will affect them, my landlord has resolved himself of any and all responsibility. I'm terrified that it won't work. And now for the back story if anyone is interested, I actually had bed bugs 4 years ago, in a different house. No one else wanted to cooperate with treatment so the only way out was to move with only our heat treated clothing. We moved and bought everything brand new and I had forgotten what it was like to live in a constant state of anxiety and woe. Fast forward 4 years and out of nowhere my son has some bumps, I immediately thought bedbugs but I tried to be rational, what are the chances of getting them again, right? I thought maybe it was flea bites from visiting people with animals. He was sporadically bitten 3 more times over the course of 6 weeks. I conducted my own investigation and came up empty so finally I had the PCO come. I have so many questions, how did this happen to me again? Is there any chance the we just picked up one stray bug? I'm so worried that I might have spread them to my family during the holidays. How do I explain all this to my 4 year old without giving him issues as well? On top of everything I have pretty bad anxiety in general so dealing with this ultimately consumes me. I will appreciate any and all thoughts, advice, opinions.

  2. thirdusername

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    Posted 1 week ago
    Thu Jan 11 2018 1:06:59
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    Your landlord may be responsible to pay no matter what they say.
    I would not pay for treatment in an apartment. If your neighbours have them, you may just get them again.
    Treatment just to your apartment might spread them to the neighbours.
    I'm surprised your PCO didn't tell you this.
    Could be a stray bug that hitchhiked on a visitor.
    With no other evidence, I would get some passive monitors (much cheaper than a treatment that I think is wasted money in an apartment).

    I am NOT an expert.
    My opinions are just opinions, they may NOT apply to yours or any situation.
    My advice is to always do a LOT of research.
    A lot of what I read contradicts other stuff on the Interweb.
  3. BuggeddOutt

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    Posted 1 week ago
    Thu Jan 11 2018 1:59:51
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    I plan on discussing this with the property manager tomorrow, because you are exactly right. I live in a duplex and when it starts getting hot down here they will just run upstairs. What scares me is my rental recently exchanged hands and the new owner is more of a DIY guy. And I would never allow them to set off bombs or something. I'd rather move again and just pack everything up and leave it in storage for 2 years again. I'm gonna get monitors and just keep an eye on the situation. I am reactive to the bites also so I'm gonna know either way. I'm just in total disbelief that I'm going through this again. I have vowed that I will never let my guard down again. I will always follow the protocol of stripping down and putting everything in the dryer as soon as we get home. I won't even look at a yard sale or thrift store as long as I live... Thanks for your reply, logically I'm inclined to agree with you that treating would be a waste of money (that we really can't afford anyway but I'd rather drown in debt than be an all night buffet) but in my super paranoid state I just want to DO something. I've already begun the bagging and drying process, and steamed the aforementioned box spring and steamed my couch as a precaution bc my son spends a lot of time sitting there. Just gonna keep at it I suppose. I just hate that I will never feel normal again. Even after they're dead I'll always be thinking about getting them again. It took over 2 years for the anxiety to subside last time.... What a great start to the new year eh?

  4. FayeState

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    Posted 1 week ago
    Thu Jan 11 2018 2:36:00
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    I am so sorry you have to deal with this. Could the bed bug have come from your neighbor?

  5. BuggeddOutt

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    Posted 1 week ago
    Thu Jan 11 2018 9:59:45
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    I don't think so, they officially moved in after the first bite reaction. Unless they brought stuff in beforehand and I didn't notice or the property manager brought something or someone to the apt during the showings. Does anyone know what the law is in PA regarding treatment for tenants? I feel like the only surefire way to eradicate them would be to treat the entire duplex, which my landlord would have to pay for.

  6. Mizlizkitty

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    Posted 1 week ago
    Thu Jan 11 2018 10:21:45
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    You might want to check out the city codes for where you live. I am in NYC and the landlord can be reported to the city and fined etc. In the meantime monitor your apartment for signs. And if you catch one or find evidence hold onto to it.

  7. Mizlizkitty

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    Posted 1 week ago
    Thu Jan 11 2018 10:22:50
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    Thats just what i was posting-your particular city/county should have laws regarding this situation.

    BuggeddOutt - 22 minutes ago  » 
    I don't think so, they officially moved in after the first bite reaction. Unless they brought stuff in beforehand and I didn't notice or the property manager brought something or someone to the apt during the showings. Does anyone know what the law is in PA regarding treatment for tenants? I feel like the only surefire way to eradicate them would be to treat the entire duplex, which my landlord would have to pay for.

  8. BuggeddOutt

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    Posted 1 week ago
    Thu Jan 11 2018 13:35:53
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    Who is responsible for exterminating?
    In Pennsylvania, the warranty of habitability is implied by law into every residential lease. The
    warranty of habitability requires landlords to provide safe and sanitary conditions for tenants. An
    apartment or house infested with bed bugs is not in safe and sanitary condition. A tenant cannot waive his
    or her rights under the warranty of habitability in the lease. If your landlord refuses to hire an
    exterminator, you could contact your local Code Enforcement/Building Standards office. An officer
    should come out to inspect the home and issue a citation to the landlord if an infestation exists. You may
    also be able to be reimbursed for the costs of extermination if your landlord refuses to exterminate and
    you pay for the extermination yourself. Call North Penn Legal Services (NPLS) for more information.

  9. BuggeddOutt

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    Posted 1 week ago
    Thu Jan 11 2018 13:46:53
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    That's what I found so far, I spoke to the property manager this morning and he says they aren't liable for treatment costs. He did at least agree to having an inspection done upstairs. And I explained the possible complications of only treating my unit. I just feel pretty hopeless at this point. I have a theory that this might have come from a family member, I don't go to their house but they come to mine and ride in my car sometimes. It seems that they have been experiencing "hives" that started right before my son's first bites which occurred after they had been visiting. So the timeline fits, but they insist that it's only hives and that they have checked for bed bugs. But it just seems too coincidental. Having bed bugs makes me trust no one.

  10. thirdusername

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    Posted 1 week ago
    Thu Jan 11 2018 19:47:46
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    BuggeddOutt - 6 hours ago  » 
    That's what I found so far, I spoke to the property manager this morning and he says they aren't liable for treatment costs.

    https://www.chesco.org/928/Bed-Bugs

  11. BuggeddOutt

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    Posted 1 week ago
    Thu Jan 11 2018 20:33:17
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    Thank you

  12. BuggeddOutt

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    Posted 4 days ago
    Mon Jan 15 2018 1:43:29
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    I am really needing some help in deciding what to do. I'm terrified that heat treatment won't work bc they would only be treating the first floor and not the second (duplex) so the bugs would just go up where it's not being heated and spread them to my neighbors. I feel like every day we aren't getting treatment is a day wasted and more eggs laid. My mental health is already being severely impacted. I've basically quarantined myself to my house. I just don't know where to start. Does chemical work if you follow the prep? I just can't stand the thought of them breeding. Every bite I see on my 4 year old makes me cry. I need help guys. I literally cannot live with this. I'm already considering leaving everything behind and just starting over again. I appreciate any and all thoughts or advice. I need words of encouragement and possibly a referral for good companies in PA.

  13. thirdusername

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    Posted 3 days ago
    Tue Jan 16 2018 1:08:02
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    If chemical is not done to all floors, bugs might move and come back.
    I would have another talk with the building manager about the legalities of paying and the potential for movement of the bugs between neighbours.

  14. BuggeddOutt

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    Posted 3 days ago
    Tue Jan 16 2018 10:49:00
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    I did speak to him again yesterday, he still maintains that they aren't responsible. They had an inspection scheduled for upstairs and my neighbors conveniently weren't home for the inspection to be performed. He basically said if upstairs is clear then they won't be paying for treatment up there unless something happens. He doesn't realize I'll be wasting my time, money, and effort for a failed treatment. I had a company basically say they would do my treatment but couldn't give me a guarantee if the upstairs isn't treated at the same time. They offered to cut the landlord a deal and he refused saying they would use a different company should issues arise. I'm just sick over this whole situation. In between a rock and a hard place so to speak. I have 2 more companies coming to do estimates today and tomorrow.

  15. thirdusername

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    Posted 2 days ago
    Tue Jan 16 2018 17:02:15
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    I think you really need to consult and find out for sure if the landlord is responsible to pay for treatment in your area.
    I sympathize, you're in a bad situation.
    Is the heat treatment followed up with a chemical residual?

  16. BuggeddOutt

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    Posted 2 days ago
    Tue Jan 16 2018 18:21:38
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    I can't thank you enough for your replies and sympathy. I had another company come today, we worked with them before for an ant problem (paid for by my previous angel of a landlord who sold the house to my current asshole landlord) and he said this issue is very minimal. He found a dead unfed nymph on my couch but nothing else. He's confident he can rid me of this infestation with the usual chemical treatment schedule (3 treatments every 2 weeks) and has a 60 day warranty. He is also the most affordable of all the other companies. I'm still waiting to hear about what's going on with the inspection upstairs but I'm pretty sure my neighbor are clear as of now. I think I caught this early and I'm hoping to be free from it all soon. I am going to get something in writing from the landlord stating that they are aware of the risk of prolonged infestation should they choose not to treat upstairs and that if the neighbors or I should have issues in the future they will be held fully financially responsible for all treatment costs. I put up with enough nonsense in this house with faulty wiring and other structural issues. I don't deserve their poor treatment of the situation, I am a good tenant and always pay my rent on time or even early, I deserve better from them in regards to this issue. But thanks again for your reply, I really appreciate it!

  17. BuggeddOutt

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    Posted 2 days ago
    Tue Jan 16 2018 18:24:12
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    And to answer your question the heat would also include chemical.

  18. bugged-cdn

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    Posted 2 days ago
    Tue Jan 16 2018 20:22:31
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    The landlord is required to pay for treatments to eliminate your bed bug problem. That's a fact-- he can say whatever he wants, he's still on the hook.

    He is however not obligated to treat adjoining units if those tenants aren't reporting issues. Obviously that isn't an ideal situation but that's how it is.

  19. thirdusername

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    Posted 2 days ago
    Tue Jan 16 2018 23:39:28
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    bugged-cdn - 3 hours ago  » 
    The landlord is required to pay for treatments to eliminate your bed bug problem. That's a fact-- he can say whatever he wants, he's still on the hook.

    Suing is probably not easy.
    It is a tough choice.

    bugged-cdn - 3 hours ago  » 
    He is however not obligated to treat adjoining units if those tenants aren't reporting issues.

    Interesting to know.
    I suspected they didn't treat my neighbours.

  20. BuggeddOutt

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    Posted 2 days ago
    Wed Jan 17 2018 9:16:16
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    I do believe he should be required to pay, buy I can't fight with him about it now. I want to get treatment ASAP. I'm going to give them a chance to make things right after it's all said and done but if not then I plan on just nailing them to the wall with code enforcement and asking for reimbursement. I understand they aren't responsible to treat the neighbors unless they have an issue but I have seen many times where preventative measures were taken for adjoining units, especially in duplex situations bc it is technically one house with everything connected. I would think that they wouldn't want to risk problems down the road but I guess not. We've decided to have chemical treatment so I'm hoping and praying that it will work. It seems like the best option for our situation.


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