PCO's in NYC(30 posts)
I know this subject is somewhere, but can you direct me to where people talk about their experiences with PCO's in NYC? Thanks, Crawledon
dude, your name is so much cooler than mine.
this place has pretty impressive info, a friend of a friend told me I could take a mite there and have it identified for free
welcome to the fold.
but that wasn't really your question was it?
hope it helps anyway.
Thanks Dinner, for the compliment and the reference. Crawledon
some here (you can tell by the titles):
There will be some overlapping, but you should be able to pick out the NYC ones easily.
Also, you can click on PCO or PCOs or NYC in the tag cloud to get to them (front page of forums, left hand side, halfway down).
I am in NYC and need to find a new PCO. We just had our 6th treatment with our first PCO, and we still have the bb's. Has anyone used Broadway Exterminating? Or Pest Away? I spoke with Pest Away today and they are very expensive and have a super strict protocol. I would appreciate any recommendations for PCO's used recently for bbs in NYC.
I would scroll up and look at the links I provided to other discussions on NYC PCOs.
But I would also say that if you are in an apartment building, then six treatments not being enough MAY not be due to using the wrong PCO. They may be coming from neighbors. If your PCO has not carefully inspected and treated (if needed) all adjacent units (top, bottom and all sides), then bed bugs will persist.
Moreover,if you use a PCO on your own, then it's unlikely they will have access to other units.
Just wanted to mention all that, in case it applies.
Thanks. We are in a coop building. Since we own, we are responsible for getting our own PCO. From reading other entries on this site, I know we should talk to our neighbors; when I asked this PCO, his response was "why would you want to do that?" I thought this was odd, but I allowed him to convince me not to say anything. It definitely is easier to not have that awkward conversation with neighbors I hardly know or haven't met! I definitely think that alerting them will be part of my change of PCO.
Yes--good idea, FedUp. Search for coop (or co-op) in the forums search box and you should find other recommendations from co-op folks in NYC. Some on how to talk to your co-op board and neighbors... very useful.
We just used Pest Away a week ago. I have mixed-feelings about the initial advice, and feel it's still too early to tell how good their treatment is/will be. I had several reasons for choosing this company. One, the public exposure/reviews. They also publicize how eco-friendly, and pet-safe, their products are. I have two dogs, and two cats, and did not want to compromise their health/safety.
When I first called PA, the woman I spoke with was very nice. She seemed knowledgeable, and sent me a preparation list. Well, after speaking with another worker, he actually told me I had the old preparation list, and gave us the new one. They do not come to inspect your home. They expect you to prepare every thing in advance. So we bagged all clothing and soft goods (purses and shoes). They have you buy three types of chemicals, and recommend you buy one of their discounted vacuums (in need of a good vacuum anyway, we bought the Oreck canister).
The first chemical, is a product called Steri-Fab. They tell you that you can use this to spray on shoes, purses, clothing, couches, beds, etc. It is only a contact killer. While the label states not for use around humans or domestic animals, they assured me over and over that it was. They spray it in their office, and on their own clothing and selves. As long as it dries, it's "supposed" to be safe. The second and third products are Permicide and Bedlum (I think I have the spelling right!). You are instructed to begin alternating use, every two days, with these products exactly one week after treatment (i.e., permicide one day, wait two days, then bedlum). Permicide is a spray for cracks, crevices, and furniture. Bedlum is a bit harder to use. It's in a pressurized can, and has a red tube applicator (much like the cans of air you use to get dust out of keyboards). It comes out as a foam. Not ideal for covering anything but cracks and crevices. We were told it would kill eggs--but that needs to be direct application. The initial treatment by PA is supposed to have residual affect for three weeks. We were told to vacuum every day for a minimum of 3-4 weeks, and use the two chemicals for that same period of time as well.
We have a small house, two bedrooms and maybe total sq. ft. is about 1200. We chose to treat the two bedrooms upstairs. Our room had a moderate infestation. BB's were around our box spring, bed frame, wood head board, and I am sure in the cracks near where the floor meets the wall. The second bedroom is used as a closet and office, and even though we did not find signs of BB's, we still treated the room given the clothing stored there and time spent sitting at the desk. We also treated our living room. Total cost--a bank account draining $1300! (First room is $500, second is $400, third $300, and if you do a fourth $200. Plus $100 in tax.) PA gives a 90 day warranty, and will come back as many times as you want treatment, for any reason.
Ok, so our exterminator arrived late. He was nice, and seemed thorough. He wanted to see the bedroom first, and wanted every detail of what we had done from finding the infestation to present. We had bought a "bed bug kit" online, from another company before we found PA, that came with encasements, the dust (DE), and a contact killer spray. He checked out all our products, and actually used the dust for outlets in the room! He checked in and around our furniture, and inspected other items in our room. He then sprayed every thing down, the floor, baseboards, bed frame, headboard, and all furniture. He sprayed all around the window and frame as well. This was repeated for the other two rooms. I'd say total, he was here maybe 30-45 min. We did have to open windows for ventilation, and did leave for a few hours with our pets. We were told it would dry in about an hour's time. Before the exterminator left, I did ask whether he thought one treatment was enough. He basically said we shouldn't have another treatment unless it was really warranted.
After reading through this site, we are definitely having them come back for repeat treatments. I think at the end of three weeks (two weeks from now), we'll have him come back and re-treat. I think even a third time to be safe--I guess another three weeks from the second treatment? Any advice on re-treatment frequency would be much appreciated.
Prior to the treatment, just based on our use of the dust in cracks, and then caulking as much of the room as we could, in the following days we had found two dead BB's. They had turned a dark brown, to blackened color.
Since the treatment, we think the infestation has reduced to a light one. I have no delusions that these suckers are gone! Four days after treatment, I found a dead BB on our bedroom floor. Five days after, I found two nymphs, about half the size of an adult, up high where the ceiling and the wall meet. This was early evening after I'd returned from work, and they did not seem to have much of any thing inside of them (hoping a good sign that it had been maybe a few days, or even since pre-treatment, that they had been able to feed). Later that same evening, I walked into the bedroom, flicked on the light, and there was an adult BB running across the wall! I think this BB was on its last leg--it looked almost black, and after being squashed, had nothing coming out of him other than one small black speck. Seven days after treatment, I found the smallest BB yet, about half the size of the earlier found nymphs. This one was also up high where the wall and ceiling meet. I found him early afternoon.
We think we are still getting bitten. The bites look different, small raised, somewhat itchy bumps. Maybe from smaller BB's? The bites I had before looked like small circle rashes, and were very itchy. So far we have not seen anything in the other two treated rooms. But, I assume they must be hiding. The battle continues...
I suggest you keep records of your bites (dates and locations) and any evidence of bugs you find and where. It can be difficult to keep this information in your head over time. If you write it down, it will help you to see how things are working. And help you look forward to the zero bites/zero evidence goal.
We're told that knowledgeable PCOs generally come back to inspect and retreat at 2 week intervals. 1 week and 3 week intervals are not unknown, but any longer than 3 weeks is trouble.
There is a lot of speculation but so far no evidence that the smaller bite reactions are caused by smaller life stages. In general, the allergic response can change over time in many ways. Just record it, whatever it may be, until it ends.
Thanks for the advice hopelessnomo. I had been thinking along the same lines about the record keeping. A bedbug journal of sorts. I think it will prove insightful down the road if we are not successful, in terms of reviewing our do's and don'ts. Of course, I hope we 'll be celebrating success, though I do believe that's a long way down the road.
The bite thing is so confusing, but I will continue to treat any bite as suspicious and the result of bed bugs.
After digging through the forums a bit more, I did see the minimum recommendation is 3-4 treatments. We are going to do at least three for safe measure.
Battle, there is no minimum treatment recommendation, in my opinion.
It generally takes people 3 or more treatments, from what we hear, so we are suspicious when people say they're told one will do. I would agree that you should not be retreated without evidence the bed bugs persist--but most people seem to have that (bites or live bugs or other signs). In cases where people are not allergic, I think retreatment is a good measure, and luckily this is not your case--you will know if there are signs.
I cannot say anything about PA's treatment method, not having used them, but it does sound like they are enlisting the help of customers in doing some of the spraying. If you're spraying the pesticide bedlam every two days for 3-4 weeks, it is possible that is doing some (or in some cases all) of the work of other people's PCOs coming back at 2 week intervals. (I don't know about permicide, but this information says it's 0.50% permethrin.)
It goes some way towards explaining why people might need fewer PCO visits if they use a company with this protocol. Customers spraying these pesticides every other day are following up a professional treatment with a kind of self-treatment. You may not need follow-ups because you ARE following up. I would personally use a face mask and gloves while doing any pesticide applications of permicide and Bedlam.
ABC interviewed PA folks last week and one of their techs was saying they use "two chemicals, Suspend and Gentrol." This must be their initial application. You can see it here.
Nobugs, I just watched the video (which I hadn't seen, so thanks for the link!). The tech that was interviewed by ABC, was the exact same guy who came to our house to do the treatment.
I would rather not have to go through several treatments, but it seems inevitable in our situation. We have a lot of cracks and crevices throughout the entirety of our house. We only treated the three main rooms, where we spend the most time. We're in the process of caulking every thing, but that's going to take some time. It is hard not knowing how many are harboring in the cracks and crevices. Today I just finished all the major cracks and crevices in the bedroom, but there are still spaces in the floor boards where a small BB could retreat or come from. Plus our pets, may end up the new victims for any BB stragglers who don't get to us. It's hard to fight the paranoia that they must be every where, and our efforts won't reach them all the first time around. I guess we will just see what the situation looks like during the next two weeks.
And, I've got my mask, gloves, and even paper towels to clean up stray drops. And, a window open for ventilation (though that was hard to do for long today with how cold it was). I only use eco-friendly products in my day to day, so I'm super concerned using these other products around the house. We just started our permicide spray today (PA recommended starting one week post-treatment). I sprayed more in the bedroom, and other upstairs room, which we keep closed off to the pets. Less in the living room, just corners and spaces out of the way. Luckily, the chems seem to have very little odor, and tend to dry fairly quickly. But, still, I'm creeped out thinking of all the residual stuff we're all breathing in.
It sounds like PA is advising you correctly. A company in Queens, N.Y. which is owned and operated by a man named Gil Bloom also advised me to use Bedlam once a week for six months after being treated by a PCO. I did not use Mr. Bloom's company because I did not think of them when I was stressed out after we discovered our infestation but I would if God forbid I get another infestation.
Bloom is an entomologist recognized and respected by many professionals and has been aggressively fighting the bed bug war, his office is located in Astoria, NY which is said to have been a ground zero for the bed bug epidemic that our country is currently in the midsts of. He is one of the professionals that believes that because of its petroleum base bedlam has that bedlam does kill a percentage of eggs if directly sprayed. It is normal to receive bites and see bugs after a treatment. After the initial chemicals wear off I steam and then treat with Bedlam. Remember to turn furniture over and inspect, steam and spray. Look under legs of furniture for bugs and eggs and in any crevice or crack in furniture. I have used Steri-fab and believe that it is a good contact kill but becareful because it can stain a minimal amount of fabric so test it first. I would not worry too much about living with chemicals because chemicals these days are very diluted compared to the chemicals of yesteryear but do check into the 50% permethrin chemical because that sound like a heavy dose. You should be able to find the data sheet on line for that product. Personally I think that we need stronger chemicals to battle bed bugs and I would not be surprised if sometime in the next couple of years because of this growing epidemic we will see stronger chemicals approved bt the government to fight bed bugs.
Good luck with your war, it may take a little time and aggrevation, expense and stress but you can win.
LtDan. Would you be able to let me know the name of the company Mr. Bloom works for and his phone #. I know that you probably cannot post on the forums, but maybe pm me w/info. would be ok? Thank you.
I sent you a PM.
Battleofthebugs was not told to use Bedlam once a week. BotB was told to treat every two days, using Permicide one day, Bedlam two days later, Permicide two days after that, Bedlam two days after that. Bedlam alone is being used twice in eight days.
Yes nobugsonme I understand. I am telling what was told to me on how I should use bedlam.
Just to sort of clarify, I had misspelled one of the two products I am supposed to alternate the use of (sorry for the confusion, and I'll be diligent to check my spelling of these chemicals in the future!). I had said "Permicide," but the product is actually Permacide with an "a" not an i. Nobugs, I tried to look for this spelling on the link you provided above, but could not find the manufacturer(Summit Chemical). But a google search will provide anyone interested with a link to the site, which includes label information (it's Permacide P-1). It says .50% permethrin, and 99.5% inert ingredients. Regardless of the concentration amount, I can't help but feel uneasy about the arsenal of chemicals we're using. Especially when it's been 10 days since our treatment and I'm still getting bitten. I have not spotted a BB in four days. I know this is just how it is, but it's frustrating nonetheless.
Last thought on bedlam. The manufacturer's site has info that gives differing levels of residual effectiveness depending on the surface, and the amount used. Elsewhere, I have read its residual effectiveness is up to one week. I guess this would vary depending on the saturation level? I know when I sprayed, I sort of "misted" every thing. With the applicator tip I did saturate the crevices in the floor, since i suspect this is where we have some stragglers hiding.
Permicide is also 0.50% permethrin, so they sound similar. Please exucuse my typo above.
My point was that this was quite different advice from what you were given, in my opinion.
I am not giving advice but what I am doing is passing information that I have on to others as others also do. I have found over the past year that much info differs in this war with bed bugs and also changes from time to time. It appears to me that when I mention Bedlam it strikes a sour note and I do not understand why but I can only speculate. Again I am only passing on the info that Gil Bloom had told me directly, that is it. Does it differ from other tactics and info on how Bedlam can be used, of course it does I do not find that odd at all. It appears that in dealing with bed bugs we are in a time where the owner or renter must be creative in their approach in fighting these disgusting little creatures that our professionals and government and us had seem to forgotten and because bed bugs were just a fairy tale we were caught offguard and with our pants down. If I were a professional in the pest control business in extrermination, an entomologist, a chemist or owned a pesticide manufacturing business I should have seen this bed bug epidemic coming. It appears that we Americans are very good at being surprised. In my opinion this bed bug epidemic should have never happened. Maybe some were counting on it happening, it is good for business.
LtDan, I think the Bedlam thing is just because for a very long time incorrect information circulated about bedbug eggs. Everyone said (and some people still say) that "nothing kills the eggs." It was one among many errors and inaccuracies that we all absorbed.
So the skepticism is ingrained. Further, most people will be skeptical about manufacturers claims--they will be seen as self-serving until they are corroborated by others.
In fact the questioning is healthy. We need to discover what else we think we know that just isn't true.
You are misunderstanding my point. Your response to Battleofthebugs was that "It sounds like PA is advising you correctly." (Permicide 2x and Bedlam 2x in eight days.) You go on to cite your advice from Gil Bloom which is significantly different (Bedlam once a week). I am simply making the point that that's a BIG difference. That's all. You can't disagree with my statement.
I am not critiquing any advice you or Battleofthebugs were given, or their sources, which seem sound. But I think there was a difference between the two sets of advice.
Furthermore, in other threads I myself have clarified for others that Potter has given data on Bedlam killing eggs and that I don't consider this in dispute.
So please do not assume that my skepticism is related to that. I am concerned about the overuse of pesticides either in the short or long term.
There has also been some suggestion that some people have reactions to sustained pesticide use (which can include itching!)
I am also concerned since I get the impression PCOS like to alternate subtances in order to kill the most bed bugs. I don't think using any one thing long term is better than using multiple things.
I'd be more interested in your personal experience, Dan. Did you see bed bugs when you first started spraying bedlam once a week for 6 months? Did your incidence of bites or itching decrease over time? Does it persist? Obviously this is not scientific, but anecdotal, though it is of interest.
Well, I think this is the perfect time to follow-up on my original post concerning the PCO I've been using.
I had no problem scheduling a second treatment. The same technician came again, did what I thought was an equally thorough job. For two weeks, we did not find any BB's (the first time since discovering our infestation). Then, early evening one day, shortly after this two week mark, I felt an itchy spot on my back. I am positive it was a BB bite, which I had a delayed, and mild reaction to (it was itchy only for a few min., then went away. The bump remained for several days). I inspected our bed, and found 2-3 super tiny fecal stains on the top-side of the fitted sheet. We wash them every weekend on hot, and I meticulously inspect them for just this thing. It had been 2 days since we last washed them, so I knew these were brand new. Full inspection of our mattress, which is encased, it looked fine. Then on to the vinyl encasement on our boxspring. Barely noticeable were several tiny tears along where the metal cross bar meets the frame. We found small tears in three spots. Taped them up, put tape down on the frame to prevent future tears, and ordered a second encasement to enclose the first. That's when we decided to schedule our third treatment.
I'll make this as short as possible, but feel a certain level of detail is important. When I called to schedule a treatment, out of no where my treatment options were limited. I was told I couldn't have a weekend treatment, and my only choice was a Friday, and only two Friday's out of the month. I hadn't been given these limitations before (and their website advertises that treatments are done Mon. through Sat.). In fact we had had Sunday treatments the previous two times. Long story short, I was told that it was either the upcoming Friday, during a narrow window of time (as if this was the cable guy coming to our house!). I could go on, but for brevity's sake, I ended up writing a very lengthy letter to the owner addressing several ongoing concerns. I had preexisting issues with the advertising on their website, the information given out by their staff, coupled with the newly derived limitations to my treatment options. I spoke with the owner, who kept insisting I was the first and only complaint he had ever received in 18 years of having an impeccable record! He challenged my every point regarding misleading advertising on his website. In so many words he ends up telling me that some of his clients are well-educated financial people who live on the upper-east and west side, and they are fine with every thing he does! (Apparently, I must not be well educated enough since I had complaints!)Through out the conversation there were similar pot-shots, but the end result was that we rescheduled the service over the weekend and not for a weekday. An ensuing miscommunication occurs on their end, with the technician showing up at our house on the weekday, when no one was home! I am obviously frustrated at this point, and call to speak to the owner, who has left for the day. His staff was rude to me (they obviously read my letter where some of them were individually named). After being told I would not be able to speak with the owner, they do reach him at home, and he calls me while I'm still at work. The level of unprofessionalism that ensued was unbelievable. The owner then proceeds to insult me, all while screaming at me for how difficult I was, and how he has never in 18 years ever had a complaint, or ever had a customer as difficult as me! He blamed us for his scheduling mishap, and told us, in so many words, that since the tech was at our house already, we could take the treatment or forget about it! He told me I had to work it out with the tech, thereby removing himself, as owner of the business, from any responsibility! I had to drop what I was doing at work, and RUSH home to meet the tech. I found out from the tech, that even he had read my complaint letter!
Don't use these guys. I think the last tech we had was great. The tech that came to do our third treatment, was also great. The company isn't. I found out that I could contact the tech directly for my final treatment, and as he is an independent contractor, I will go to him in the future if I need to pay for a further treatment. I also recently learned that not all of their tech's are certified to use the chemicals' they spray! (some are, but some are hired w/out the certifications due a business need to cover as many jobs as possible). Also, I felt it was far fetched that a company would not have a complaint in 18 years, and I confirmed with the tech they have gotten lots of complaints over the years. I even went to the BBB and looked them up, and did find one complaint in the past 12-36 months that was resolved unsatisfactorily for the customer (though they have only been a member since 2006, so that's not telling the full story. I guess the owner forgot to tell me that I wasn't the only one!).
After the unprofessional way in which I was dealt with, and given my ongoing concerns that the public is being mislead by this company's business practices, I am taking this to the next level. They pissed off the wrong person!!
(I'd be happy to share my letter with anyone who wants to know what my specific complaints were about this company. But, I warn it is looooong :-))
Battle, is it Pest Away you used? Just want to clarify. this thread has gotten lengthy.
Yes, it was Pest Away. I know this thread is now huge, no thanks to my long posts! For continuity's sake, i thought it best to post here.
I would not have even posted this follow-up if I just felt that I could chalk this up to "bad customer service." When I learned that some of the tech's might not be certified, I thought that was something other bedbuggers should know. Had I known that, I certainly would have gone with another company.
Battle, since you used Pest Away, I'm assuming you're in NY.
The NY Department of Environmental Conservation advises people to report the misapplication of pesticides to their appropriate regional offices. I don't know how good the NY-DEC is with follow-up. But a PCO directing an unaccompanied uncertified tech to apply restricted pesticides is a violation of state law. A company that does this should be called on it.
Here's a list of NYDEC regional offices. For NYC, the number is (718) 482-4994.
To all: Is your PCO using restricted pesticides which are being applied by an uncertified technician?
By state law, PCOs in NY must make available written materials describing which pesticides are being applied in your home.
If you're in NY state, you can check whether your tech/applicator is certified here:
Battle, I've sent you a PM.
BoB, we appreciate you sharing your experience
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