Thermal treament/holes in walls(1 post)
Hi all! Please read and bare with me! Stressing out. I'm sure you understand. First time bed bugger here.
I moved into this old rental house one month ago. The owner put in new hardwood floors and he says it has been unoccupied for 22 months. He bought it 1 year ago from an elderly man. I really like my landlord...he is quick to fix things and a nice person.
One week ago I found bed bugs on the bed in my spare bedroom. Factors: In the spare room there was a used mattress from my mom's friend (new to me), used desk and bookshelf from one of my landlord's other properties, and wood paneling on the walls, shottily installed aprox 30 years ago. Have not seen any bugs in my bedroom (aprox 12 feet away), but have seen them crawling on the walls in the living room and bathroom (both are connected to spare bedroom). Also see them on the ceiling in the infested spare room coming out from behind the wood paneling. I put down a DE all over the room, wrapped the mattress in plastic and took it to the dump, inspected and put most of the smaller things from the room into plastic bags (to be treated with my packtite as soon as it comes in the mail), vacuumed the desk and bookshelf and left them along with an amp, speakers, and sewing machine which I can't visually inspect. I can see trails from the bb on the floor in the DE, showing that they are traveling from the floorboards into the cracks in the hard wood floors. Have not seen any bites on me, but I do have cats. The infested room is usually closed to them, but I'm sure I now have bugs in my living room looking for meals and finding my cats and me (I may not show signs of bites, not yet at least).
So, long story short(er), called PCO for inspection, confirmed bb, gave options and I decided to go with thermal treatment (at my cost because landlord says I brought them in so he's not going to pay). The wood paneling was flimsy in the infested spare room, so I asked the PCO if it would be best to remove it before treatment. He said yes.
We (landlord and I) removed the wood paneling today, and boy what a mess. There is old thin plaster (house built in 1926) with many many holes into the interior wall it it. These holes would be accessible to the bb even with the paneling up, so I'm glad we took it down to see what we were dealing with. However.... I am going to find out tomorrow from the PCO if the treatment will get into the interior walls and what his suggestions are for repair after the treatment. I do know there are many cracks and crevices in the house, as well as more flimsy wood paneling on the porch and sunroom. There is no way I can find and fix all the holes bb might be able to get into.
So, my current plan is, if he says it will penetrate into the walls, do the heat treatment this Friday and have my landlord repair the walls in the recommended way. If the treatment does not work or the PCO says it is not recommended for my house, I will methodically treat what I can with my packtite, get rid of most of my furniture, and move. Chemicals are not an option for me.
I am a teacher at a new school (new to me) and school starts 2 weeks, so this couldn't come at a worse time for me. Also, I am totally paranoid about taking them to school with me, or possibly that I already have before I knew I had them. Ugh. Hopefully I will not be writing on this message board for advice about that.
Anyone have an idea if the heat will penetrate into the walls?
Legally, do I have to pay to treat the bed bugs? What if the first treatment fails because of the condition of the walls, is it still my fault?
Any ideas or insight into my thought process? Does it make sense?
Any help would be very very much appreciated. I am trying to get as educated as I can, but your experiences and thoughts would be even more valuable to me. Thank you.
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