Thermal remediation in 16 unit Apartment Building(14 posts)
Thermal remediation -- sounds kind of scary, you think?
I'm considering this option but have some reservations as to is thermal the best solution in my situation.
Short story: My daughter's bites began (likely) shortly after she FINALLY unpacked a carry on bag after a short trip to PR. Doctor visit--maybe BBs
A dog was sent by a co. I called randomly with little/no knowledege of the PCO shark frenzy going on in town. Dog alerted 1X. It's very tough to trust the go to people in the BB industry ..... dog's, handlers, PCP providers & reps etc. I Hired another dog owned by a PCO-- no alert... Okay God, if I have BBs show me please. Two days later bagged a bug.
After sending a hireling to confirm my catch I hired the PCO with the dog that failed to alert. Turns out he takes care of a group of high rise buildings in my neighborhood and the building where my moms lives. I had 2 treatments from this bloke (nonames on the forum) with some success. His assistant found evidence of a harbor site in my bunk beds and post treatment I vacummed dead bbs.
I've caught a total of 3 bugs before and during treatment and one bug last Friday after setting an alarm for 3:15 to do a look-see. I bagged an adult and a nymph.
Had already met with a rep from an expensive but ( hopefully) reputable thermal Co. And you do pay for that pleasure. He estimated a thermal on my apartment at $2500.
Some time has gone by. Alone at home now and I'm low on the reactive scale if such a scale exists.
My building is 16 units, what we used to call a tenament. Apts. like mine that have not been renovated have hard wood floors with many cracks and crevices. I can safely state my place is bb friendly
and honestly, house keeping could be alot better. Yeah, and in certain places along perimeters the walls are pulling away from the floors--at least a degree above a crevice???
Anybody out there have any ideas about thermals/ info I've provided? Buggyinsocial- you out there....
Thanks everyone out there who shares in the troubles
One concern is attached units above, below, all sides. Can you be certain the bed bugs came from the carry-on bag? Might they also have come from neighbors? If an inspection of neighboring units can be arranged, this makes success with thermal more likely.
If you get thermal and they actually came from a neighbor, they can keep coming.
Thanks nobugs, thats exactly what the company rep. said
My LL said he'd pay for a dog team to go to the apartment below me.
My neighbor across the hall moved to W. Fl. maybe a month or so before The Troubles
began. This may sound suspect but for the fact that she'd told me over a year ago that this move was
coming on account o her grandfather's failing health. Currently the LL is working on that unit--giving 2A a facelift.
The unit behind me is occupied by a dog! The renter has been working out of town for easily two years now. She has an arrangement with the tenant on the SE side of the building to walk her dog.
The dog owner tenant came into town when The Troubles began. I was just beginning my BB edu_macation. When she told me about her friend who spent $10,000. on treatment just to move out.
I was so dumbfounded it didn't dawn on me to inquire "and how are you sleeping..."
I have not shared the bloody story with my neighbor on the SE. side; the neighbor that walks the dog.
Not the type. Should probably be dousing my floors with Murphy's Oil Soap instead of writing an account of the floor plan/recent history of my buildings 2nd Fl.
Short story long, the only tenant I can expect my LL to have inspected would be the tenant below me;
he's an infrequent flyer coming in from LONDON!
I would not call my LL a slum lord; he's a unique breed in the Big Apple. Lets just call him Patchwork Pete. Five years ago he decided to repaint the halls throughout the building. He also decided to re-paint our front doors and in so doing painted over the stenciled apt. no's. Now if you owned a building in nyc would't you want to go to the Apply- Numbers- and- Letters store nearest you ? Not Pete. Pete
got hold of his 2 inch blue painter's tape and a black marker. Home-made apartment I.D.'s. And so they remain--five years later! Poor Pete, he never too much of a bang for his buck.
So I try to access my level of infestation. Me, a mere newbite, trying to figure whether to go for a slam dunk thermal treatment or pick up the phone and call Killer Queen. Who said thermals a sure thing?
Not anybody who's perhaps gone a bit over-board on the boards.
And then I think about all I've learned on this sacred site and elsewhere. Re: the reproductive bugology of the female sucker and her eggs...."and now go to sleep said Miss Clavel" (Madeline, the children's classic by Bemelmen) I can't remember the author's full name and the book is bagged somewhere in the bedroom!!!!!!
Is it time to put sentiment aside and dispose of the better part of nigh on 40 years--perhaps it's time.
I guess I am a little murky on why the LL does not think other units need inspection besides the frequent flyer (who, granted, is at more risk than some).
The person who moved could have had bed bugs which migrated to you when she left (when did this begin?) even if she planned the move for a while.
The dog living solo can certainly have bed bugs, and s/he would have a hard time telling anyone about the problem.
Anyone might potentially have them. It's in the landlord's interest to figure this out now. It's in yours too. He might get a better deal by having lots of units checked at once rather than one. He is responsible for treatment (and is going to pay, right?) so he should want to fix this and will be the one paying out for longer if he doesn't.
The NYC Bed Bug Portal has a page for landlords which says they should,
Notify tenants, and inspect all units adjacent to, above and below apartments found to have bed bugs.
I know how hard it is to convince someone in his position to do things differently, but maybe you can show him that resource if you haven't yet.
And by the way, these NYC Bed Bug Portal resources may help too:
Enforcement Protocols for Bed Bug Complaints: What Property Owners Should Know says that once the city records a bed bug violation, the Commissioner's Order from the Health Dept. (sample PDF) which accompanies the HPD's violation notice requires landlords to inspect all attached units and to professionally treat those which need it. (This was a new development in 2011.)
Now, that only happens if you get the city to inspect and they find evidence and declare it a violation. (Since you seem to have a small problem, they might have had trouble finding evidence at this stage, just as your k9 team did.) So this rule does not currently seem to cover YOUR situation.
However, it is what the city requires when they are aware bed bugs are present (although the wording is a bit vague on who has to do the inspecting). It may do something to convince your landlord of the value of inspecting attached units.
This document is also very convincing:
What’s Working for Bed Bug Control in Multifamily Housing: Reconciling best practices with research and the realities of implementation (download a PDF from the NYC Bed Bug Portal)
When the PMP finds bed bugs, he should perform a thorough inspection (FN 1). At a minimum, the PMP must have access and inspect all units—above, below, and on all sides (including across the hall)—adjoining infested units. An adjacent unit is often an unreported reservoir of bed bugs (FN 2).
FN 1 Inspecting the infested residence is a must, but inspection should go beyond the infested unit (Wang et al., 2010†). Adult bed bugs can travel over 16 feet in five minutes (Haynes et al., 2008‡), and adult fe- male bed bugs tend to disperse from clusters (Pfiester et al., 2009†). Early instar nymphs often cluster (Benoit et al., 2007†), increasing the likelihood of detection. These nymphs also tend to stay close to food sources, which increases the likelihood of detection.
FN 2‡ PMPs report migration resulting from dense bed bug infestations and the use of foggers. Building-wide policies against the use of foggers can prevent both migration and the risk of an explosion. At minimum, property management should offer information on proper label use and product selection.
† = source has undergone peer review
‡ = source is not peer reviewed
I think those documents may help you in dealing with the landlord. I hope so.
Yes, thermal lacks a residual. But a PMP using traditional methods also cannot prevent bed bugs from coming back if they're in adjoining units.
And as for the tossing out of 40 years of accumulated stuff, well -- you probably do want to part with some of it sometime. And stuff that's just clutter should probably go. I don't think you need to necessarily get rid of things which matter to you. And remember also that if you dispose of things which may be infested in the usual way, bed bugs may come back into the building.
Thanx for hanging in the with all your clear and relevant info. nobugs.
I understand that you find the situation with my LL to be murky. My tenancy is layered in murky issues. My husband died nearly 20 years age. Raised by his grandmother from the get; She was a rent controlled tenant. My husband inherited the rights and the LL never sought any remedies to up his rent as he was
entitled to. Her rent was sealed when she turned 65. After her death the LL could have sought remedy with HPD to have the rent raised but he never did. For whatever the reason it appears the LL does not like dealing with bureaucratic city agencies-- not the HPD or the courts though he questioned my tenancy at the time of my husbands death. I'm one of two tenants that maintain the rent control status. 3 other tenants are stabilized. That leaves 11 tenants who pay market rent
I would by no means say my LL's in dire straits. A vacated 2 story adjacent to us on the Avenue side(N.) collapsed and eventually a high-end 18 floor assisted living facility was built and the LL sold
our air rights to that corporation. They wanted to buy our building but would not come anywhere near what my land lord wanted though he did sell the air rights to this corporation.
In the course of friendly conversation my LL has several X proposed an offer of $50,000. to move.
Obviously to another part of the country. A native new yorker, with a blue a collar background-- I don't even drive! The only thing I go to LL for would be a plumbing problem. My walls need major plaster every 7-8 years max. Obviously I'm no engineer or architect but I feel confident to say this building has been structurally wounded through gentfication over the last 25 years and now the MTA has invaded the life of the neighborhood, I"m reminded of the old 70's tune Shattered.
"Rats on the West Side, bed bugs uptown.
This towns in tatters...."
Re: your suggestion about educating my LL to the fact that inspecting apts is to his benefit as well as
mine. I will try to convince him of this truth with everything I've learned on this cant-thank- you and the host of old timers and the many smart, talented well informed members that post enough. This site is a blessing.
As far as treatment is concerned I've paid for the dog teams, 2 chemical treatments with Bedlam/ Gentrol/Sterifab/ Tri-due and Transport. If LL actually carries through (and I'm pressing, believe it)
for an inspection below me, he'll ante up for that. I love and thought about a group rate for a comprehensive inspection of the units but I have doubts. First thing LL said when I informed him I'd caught a few bugs and told 2 tenants ..."DON'T TELL ANYONE ELSE"
I'm not communicating the situation to the LL himself, He's back in Europe but will be back soon. I'm talking to his son and my guess is he may have some issues with the way papa does things things-- especially of not taking the 2.5 million the high end assisted living facility for seniors offered 12 years ago!
Think Ill try and catch a few more zzzzzz's ! Take Care
PS. will copy and print the resources re: Land Lord obligations. I've seen the Bed Bug registry naming address of reported infestations in NYC. Also, a kid that used to live here not long is a real estate agent doing residential business in this neighborhood. The LL is currently using his services exclusively. Perhaps I should try to get him on board....but maybe not. Every time he finds a market rate tenant he earns a commision. Any ideas on trying to enlist the agent in this cause?
Hi bedbugs uptown,
I don't really know much about landlord-agent-tenant relations. I am skeptical about whether an agent would care about a rent controlled tenant.
It would not be surprising for a landlord to let a unit fall into a bad state to pressure the tenant to move.
Of course, it is foolish for owners to be negligent in this case because bed bugs do spread so easily.
I do think your LL should be paying for the treatment. It is the law. And a good PCO is liable to tell him he should inspect other units.
However, I understand that paying for your own treatment means you can choose the method and service provider, but I would not necessarily choose an expensive one-shot method if you can't get access to ensure other units don't have a problem.
The landlord actually PAID for a K9 team to inspect that apartment below mine. The one with the infrequent flyer. No Alerts! At this point, after Boot A Pest gave me a thumbs up I'm not
rushing to my dented savings account (God bless rent control) to give A3 a leg up, no. Like I posted
last nite, my skin may be sensitized for the moment but I've seen no action in the bed--over 3 weeks!
Not ready to pop the cork on a bottle of French Champagne; I'm in the holding pen, hunkered down
with my Pack Tite....the waiting game.
"The dog living solo can certainly have bed bugs, and s/he would have a hard time telling anyone about the problem."
Your funny nobugs!
Always thankful for your support.
You're welcome Bedbugsuptown. I do feel bad for the dog, though, bed bugs or not. Getting walked is one thing but I bet that dog is lonely living alone.
My goodness, your sooo on it! Yeah, poor Miles gettn' old all alone.
About my infestation: It coincided with my daughters return from a brief trip to Puerto Rico.
Upon returning home she dropped the canvas carry- on bag she traveled with at the entrance
to the front room. And she left it there for maybe nine days........ God love her, she's a hard
workin' kid and when I'd she her it was "...and when you gonna tend to that bag???"
After reading the article posted on your home page I got to thinking. Not exactly sure what I
thought but it occurs to me as I post that her leaving the bag on the floor for all those days
mighta been a good thing. By the time she unpacked and put some stuff away the BBs she brought
home were just making it to the bed.
Of course this is conjecture, can never know for certain. But the series of (unfortunate?) events
do coincide. At the least we were both guilty of poor house cleaning.
This weekend she came over to pick-up some pack-tited/zip-locked bags of her clothes that I'd
prepared. She's eyeing up all the cool knick- knacks she's lived with her whole life long and asking
"can I have this"
"can I have that"
"can I have the glass paper weight"
"no, I like it-- besides it's a family heirloom.....here take this carved turtle, its an heirloom too"
"Oh, thanks mama!"
Then we get into some argumentation about nuthing much. I grab the turtle..."You can have this
next time you come over IF you act right"
pause..."Your an Indian giver" and I quickly replied
"I may be an Indian giver but I ain't no bed-bug-bringer"
She didn't laugh like I did. Poor kid.....when you get down to it the younger they are the harder
they fall. BB's hit 'er hard. Don't think she'll ever find anything to laugh about when it comes to
the little suckers. Guess I'm just as crazy as a bedbug--but your not nobugs!
I'm such a softie... After reading all the posts all I can think about is the poor dog living alone...
Ihatebedbugs1 - 5 minutes ago »
I'm such a softie... After reading all the posts all I can think about is the poor dog living alone...
Seriously, it's bugging me too.
Sorry all you kindred spirits--it is a dog's life. Poor Miles, I'll be sure to give her extra attention and a cat treat next time we meet. Thanx for the reminder!
....and now go to sleep said Miss Clavel.
Miles, the doggie tenant in apt 2C. Her moms/owner is back in town. Miles looks so happy-- though she's gettin old and the stairs are becoming a problem for her. Really glad my bugs never made it to her crib.
btw--even though Miles is a bitch her owner who is also a female and not a bitch named her after a guy--Miles Davis. Kinda like a boy named Sue. Poor Miles can't catch a break. Perhaps she should take a tip from her namesake and turn her back on her flat-leaver of a mother.
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