Please help! Bedbug infestation in Greenpoint (Brooklyn, NY)(8 posts)
I am dealing with a bedbug problem and need your advice. I live in Greenpoint, Brooklyn and had a problem with bedbugs last December (I have caught some and froze them, so I am certain it was bedbugs).
My landlord has not been helpful -- he is not a bad landlord, but he seems to work on the cheap and called an exterminator he knows who basically tried to dissuade me from having the apt treated by scaring me with stories of how difficult the treatment would be for me. After several more bites, out of desperation I called A3 Superior myself and had a good chat with Jeff Klein, who told me they would not generally treat a single unit in an apt building in NYC because they cannot guarantee their work unless the entire building is treated, but gave me some great pieces of advice. So I tried to contain the problem myself with a combination of steaming, DE, soap/alcohol mixture, and Bedlam. Most of my clothes are in plastic bags, though some which I use frequently are not.
The problem did indeed disappear for almost three months, and I thought I had managed to get rid of the beasties. However I got bitten again at the beginning of April. I repeated the same treatment and after getting bitten again I sprayed Bedlam toward the end of April, but got bitten again a few days later. Last December the bites were on my legs and feet, but this time they have been generally on my arm or wrist, and vary in number (from 2 bites per night to 20 bites). Last week, after I got bitten on my arm again, I repeated steaming, soap/alcohol mixture and DE, and put vaseline all around the bed. Again after a few days I got bitten again -- this time on my face, and I freaked out. I have been sleeping at my boyfriend's since (we are extremely careful and vigilant about not carrying bugs around, though obviously one never knows here in NYC), but I cannot go on like this forever. I have brought up the problem with the landlord again, who (once again) does not seem very proactive about it. Apparently I am the only unit in the building (8 units) with a problem -- though I frankly suspect they are not telling me the truth. Finally, the landlord sent somebody to caulk the cracks in the apartment (and there were many, believe me) so I hope this will help at least a little. But I obviously do need to have a PCO treat the apt, though I am a bit suspicious of the exterminator my landlord relies on, after that first meeting last winter. At the same time, I cannot afford to spend hundreds of dollars with a company that will not give me a guarantee, and then have the problem reappear after one month. I had also contacted A3 Superior to get a canine inspection a few weeks ago, to know if there are particular problem spots, but will have to wait until the end of the month since the dog cannot come for 30 days after spraying chemicals.
So here are my 2 questions:
1) Can anybody recommend a reputable company in NYC which will give a guarantee if a single unit is treated?
2) I think that landlords are legally required to treat apartments for bedbugs in New York City, though many do not -- I would like to maintain a decent relationship with mine, but if he keeps being unresponsive I will have to remind him of the law. In any case, do I have to go with the exterminator he chooses, or can I pick the company I think is most reliable and then have him pay?
Any suggestion is really really appreciated. Thank you!!
im going thru the same thing sorta. my infestation has only been about 1 month or so. i havent lived in my place for that month basically. packtite'd everything i have with me. which is like a laundry bag of clothes.
everything else has been vikane'd by bed bugs and beyond / stored and moved by moving right along for the time being.
i basically went the expensive more effective route when it came to my actual material possessions. i would've gone with M&M environmental as the PCO... they're super nice and super knowledgeable and right by me in the lower east side but my landlord won't pay for them and i have a shitty guy from key pest control working on it.
i've stopped by my apartment 1x to see how it went and it basically looks like he just sprayed the outlets. he's using chemicals, suspend for making males sterile and some other chemical for actually killing. forgot the name. though who knows if he did any of this. he seems not really all that motivated.
as far as the law is concerned i believe that if you recommend someone you trust as your exterminator you'll have to pay for it. otherwise the landlord is obligated to choose whomever he/she wants. and im sure for cost cutting reason they all choose the cheapest/crappiest pest control.
here's to shitty NYC landlords, nothing in world like them.
My understanding is that the law requires NYC landlords to get rid of bed bugs in your apartment, but they can use any licensed PCO they want.
If they will not do it, you can call 311 and they may send an inspector who may find bed bugs and enforce treatment.
As to whether there are legal situations in which you can pay to have repairs made (in this case = bed bug treatment) but I would definitely consult Met Council on Housing on that (link in the tenants section of the Resources page) or a lawyer. (Note: I am not a lawyer.)
(It's fully possible, in a small building, that others have them and no record is in either location, but worth a look!)
Thank you, I will look into M&M environmental.
There are no violations on record for my building, though there is a report from 2008 on the bedbugregistry. I was aware of it, but unfortunately I saw that only after I moved in and hoped the problem had been taken care of.
If anybody else has recommendations on good PCOs in Manhattan/Brooklyn please let me know. Thank you!
Lots of feedback on NYC PCOs here:
> My landlord has not been helpful -- he is not a bad landlord, but he seems to work on the cheap and called an exterminator he knows who basically tried to dissuade me from having the apt treated by scaring me with stories of how difficult the treatment would be for me.
Frania, I know this has been a few days, but I was particularly irked by this. If there's an infestation in the building it needs to be treated. For him to dissuade you from treatment because it'll be onerous is really sleazy. Imagine if there were a fire down the hall or a burst pipe above and the landlord said "treatment will be difficult".
I had a landlord in BK that refused to hire a PCO with bed bug experience. After months of spending my own time and $$$, while the landlord claimed I was making it up, I finally called 311 and the inspector issued a citation.
After that, he turned off my heat, claiming that he thought I moved. I could have continued fighting, but i just left. I never got my security back either.
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