PCO I hired- What do I do about this situation?(7 posts)
So I hired a company that will be bagging all my things and spraying with an eco friendly insecticide and steaming couches, carpet, and everything and apply insecticide. The problem I have now, is that they may not be able to finish the whole house tomorrow so if they don't they will have to come back monday, which leaves the weekend with us in the house with the job not completely done. I was told they will be steaming the house and if they can't finish tomorrow depending on how many guys there are, they will just steam tomorrow and then do the chemical extermination monday.....but that worries me and doesn't make sense to me because if they steam and then leave the house alone for 2 days and leave us here too.....won't we just carry them on us or with us from one place to another where they already steamed....and won't the bugs that are in the walls and such or wherever they didn't steam, come out and just harbor themselves into the areas that were steamed like the couches, etc.......doesn't it defeat the purpose to steam but not put chemicals down the same day????? Can anyone help me and tell me what they think. Should I pull the job tomorrow and say to please start Monday so if they were not to finish, then at least they will be back the next day instead of two days later.
Advice would be appreciated so much thank you
Where have you found bugs in the house already?
Well, we found them in my parent's bedroom on the mattress and the headboard area, I got bit in my room too, and then I saw one in the hallway near my room on the wall and then another night on the wall near the living room. We left our rooms and started sleeping on inflatable mattress in the living room which is where we still are sleeping. A few days ago, I think I was bit on my neck while sleeping in the living room.
I pulled the job on Friday and moved it to Monday. First, some guys came and they bagged up stuff and put things in boxes after doing some light checking for bed bugs. They said the bugs would die from no oxygen after 2 weeks if they were in anything. They didn't claim to have found anything though, but then again these guys seemed to have no knowledge of bed bugs and told me none of them had seen a bed bug before. They seemed to just be cleaning people. When their manager came, he found and showed us one bed bug that wasn't exactly a baby but wasn't too big either and it was on my parents mattress covering where the infestation seemed to be the most severe. They steamed couches and some items we asked them to steam- like purses, dresses, etc, they cut out our carpets in the 3 rooms we were worried were infested and threw the carpets out, and steamed and vacuumed rugs in hallways and living room. They didn't do any of that downstairs. Nothing was sprayed on the mattresses but they were opened up from their plastic casings and steamed.
Next day, exterminator came and we found an exoskeleton from a bed bug baby who had shed its skin on top of my mattress covering in my room. He sprayed upstairs and downstairs, the attic, and the garage. He used Delta dust in the outlets, and Suspend SC and Gentrol IGR. He's supposed to come again in two weeks to re-spray and check. But he couldn't tell us where he thought the bugs might be coming from or might be hiding now, especially because the cleaning people moved everything. He couldn't find any bugs or droppings or eggs he claimed. So, I'm super worried that we are not rid of these bugs and that the products he used won't work...I don't know if they are good products for bed bugs. I don't know what else we should do to get rid of them. I nervous the things that are bagged up might have bed bugs and they might not die and then we'll open the bags up and re-infest ourselves if there is any egg or anything in something.
Don't know what to do.
Your PCO, except for not being able find any evidence, seems competent. Your "prep" people do not. (Bed bugs in bags will not die in two weeks from lack of oxygen.) Are they taking orders from the PCO or are they doing their own thing? You should talk to your PCO about what to do with the untreated goods in bags. Then watch and see if the work was successful or not.
Here's forum member Jeff White explaining why we bag (and questioning the practice altogether).
And if you haven't already done so, read the FAQ.
How long does it take for bed bugs to die from lack of oxygen? This is the information they told me and they were from the PCO we hired. They did a poor job of bagging items. One of them was slow and might have had mental problems. He was the one I heard saying that he may have forgotten to spray inside two or so bags but that they got most of the bags they bagged up sprayed with this product: [bed bug 911 product link deleted]
Because what they were doing was bagging things up and spraying inside the bag with this product claiming that it was an eco friendly product that would kill the bugs inside the bag.
So, the exterminator sounded competent to you? Meaning you think he used the right chemicals? How many visits would we need of these chemicals he used? We are due for another treatment in two weeks and then after that would we need more?
Also, is there anything else we can do, maybe purchase diatomaceous earth and sprinkle it around the house and in corners? Maybe even sprinkle it in these bagged up items? Would bagging up stuffed animals and any purses we have and sprinkling some diatomaceous earthh inside the bag help kill all bedbugs in the bag or do we definitely need to dry the stuffed animals and purses in a dryer?
And, I am looking into some product that I can buy to check for bed bugs...perhaps some kind of traps or some kind of traps that mimic human pheromones so that they will go into the trap to eat and then get caught in it....anyone know of anything good like that?? Also, do those bed bug monitors actually work? Please help tell me what are some good products to check for bed bugs and trap them also. Thank you! This will help so I know if we still have them after the second treatment and then I'll have to call the PCO since I have a guarantee.
I am not an expert, but have a hunch that tossing infested items in a bag and spraying them with cleanser (what the spray you linked to appears to be) is not an effective way to decontaminate. (That is, if the items are, in fact, infested.) Such sprays are "contact killers". They will kill bed bugs if you hit them directly. If you spray a surface and bed bugs crawl over it later, they will be unharmed. Contact killers also will not kill eggs. Sealing up items wet also risks mold and mildew.
Bed bugs are tiny creatures and will survive indefinitely on what little oxygen is left in a container. They will die from old age or lack of food. Science is varied as to how long that is, but the general rule is 18 months.
Again, refer to the material in a prior post that explains why bagging may not be needed or useful. And anything that's gone through the dryer or PackTite should be assumed "debugged", no additional sprays needed.
Again, I'm not an expert, but doubt that dusting items with DE then bagging is safe or effective. For DE to work, bugs need to crawl through it. Sealed in a bag with no food source, bugs have little reason to roam and may go dormant. Then, there are the hazards of DE. Proper use of DE is just one useful topic you'll find in the FAQ.
If you need to be certain that an item is bug free right now, your best bet is a PackTite or dryer. With a dryer, monitor your temperature with an instant read thermometer. For delicate items, choose a somewhat cooler temperature, compensating with a longer run to allow penetration of heat.
As far as I see, the products the PCO used are typical. Success is a matter of technique, circumstance and luck. One may have ace PCOs who fail and lazy/sloppy PCOs who succeed, nonetheless.
The best for you to do is take a breath, head outside and have a comforting snack. Treat yourself. In the weeks and months ahead, you'll hopefully develop the instincts, experience and expertise to determine if you still have a problem or not. Our FAQ is your friend, as is a comprehensive guide, like this one.
There are some monitoring devices available.
- Passive monitors, that provide a surface that bed bugs like to hang out on, so you can spot them and their poop. It does not alarm the bugs, which could cause them to avoid that spot.
- "Climb up" cups that intercept (but do not alarm) bed bugs going up or down a bed or couch leg.
- Active co2 monitors (best in unoccupied spaces) that mimic our breathing. There do seem to be a few devices that claim to mimic our pheromones or body heat, but I'm unclear if these really add value.
…but your best weapon will likely be your eyes and your hands.
Again, I'd be sure to schedule a repeat chemical treatment in 1-3 weeks. I'd discuss the bagged items with the PCO. If I did not have better information, I'd open the bags (unless items in the bags have gone through the dryer) and let any stragglers come out to feed and die.
I have not heard any bed bug experts recommend spraying inside bags with a contact kill spray. I am not an expert but doing so seems like wishful thinking to me, frankly.
Putting DE on items inside bags is not recommended.
Bed bugs have to walk through DE in order to be killed. My understanding is that putting them in a bag with it won't make them do so, because they have nothing to be tempted to walk toward (in the normal scheme of things, they'd be attracted to you, and the DE would be in cracks they have to walk across to get to you).
Did you hire the PCO who did these things? Or did a landlord choose them?
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