traditional vs fumigation(5 posts)
I have found 2 nymph bed bugs in 1 bed in my house. I had Orkin and terminix out to inspect. They identified the bugs I found but neither found any other evidence of bed bugs. Orkin said my house should be fumigated(2K) but TERMINEX said they would treat the 1 room once a week for 3 weeks($900). Which is best? Who do I trust?
That is definitely your call. If I am not mistaken I heard Orkin guarantees the job so if they come back, Orkin will come back and do it again for FREE! Not sure about Terminex. I'm still waiting on my landlord to call the exterminator in.
Since both Orkin and Terminex are franchise style businesses, exactly how good any particular office will be will vary by location. It's one of the reasons that I'm always at a bit of a loss to suggest good PMPs to people in the greater Los Angeles area. Geographically, we're a very big area, and while my PMP was a franchise too (albeit a much smaller one), unless the person lives in the exact same part of Los Angeles and Orange Counties as I do (an area that is probably around the size, mileage wise, as the entire state of Connecticut), there's no guarantee that what I say about my company is the same as what someone else would say about that company because you're dealing with slightly different businesses.
I'm not sure what you mean by fumigation. One of the methods used to treat bed bugs is tenting the structure and pumping it full of Vikane, the same chemical used to eradicate termites (although when used for bed bugs, pest controllers use three times the concentration of Vikane as for termites). Living in southern California, I'm pretty familiar with how Vikane works. I had heat treatment for my bed bugs because I rent an apartment, and Vikane is generally done only on whole buildings.
Vikane, if done properly, can get rid of bed bugs and their eggs in a single treatment. It will generally mean being out of the structure entirely for about 2 or 3 days. It will also involve prep work--mostly, taking any potentially infested items out of plastic containers, as Vikane cannot penetrate plastic.
Traditional chemical treatment requires even more extensive preparation. Generally, all washable fabric items will need to be washed, dried until they are good and hot, and then put into sealed plastic bags. Everything that is fabric that can't be washed would need to be dry cleaned, dried while dry (Which many dry clean only items can tolerate if they aren't wet when they go into the dryer), and/or run through a cycle in a Packtite.
With traditional chemical treatment, you must act as bait for the bed bugs, luring them out of their hidden harborages to cross the residual chemicals--esp. to cross those chemicals after the bugs have had a blood meal from you. Chemical treatment will generally require several visits since there is no chemical pesticide that kills all bed bug eggs. Generally, one treatment is scheduled and performed, and then a few weeks later, the PMP comes out to perform a follow up treatment.
Depending on the specifics of your situation, the cost between the two methods may--when you add up all the costs including the prep materials and time, alternative places to stay during the treatment--vary, but often they come out a lot closer to the same than people think about.
The most important part of eradicating a bed bug infestation, however, is finding an experienced pest control professional who really knows how to eradicate bed bugs. They're a very difficult pest to deal with, and choosing the right professional the first time around is probably the single most influential thing you can do in terms of minimizing total cost and speeding up their eradication.
Hope that helps!
Thank you. I did mean tenting. Is tenting a 100% guarantee to kill all the bugs and their eggs? Terminix did not think I needed the tenting since they were unable to find further evidence of the bed bugs and they would only treat the room they were found in. They also said tenting would be difficult due to a tree behind my house in the middle of an attached deck. Orkin said it would be possible with extra tarps. I really just want what would be best so I do not get a horrible infestation but I don't want to go overboard either. I also want what is safest to use when I have cats and a bird. I have already evacuated them but I don't want to bring them back to residual pesticides that would harm them. These bugs are stressing me out! Thank you every one for your help and suggestions.
Is tenting a 100% guarantee to kill all the bugs and their eggs?
If Vikane is used properly, then yes, it is one of the two treatments that when done properly should kill all bed bugs and their eggs in one treatment.
Of course, that's the tough part. The trick is figuring out which PCO knows his or her stuff.
As for which one to go with, it's really up to you.
There are a lot of factors to take into account.
The PMP tell us that Vikane does not leave any chemical residue behind; traditional chemical treatments will require the use of pesticides with a residual effect. As long as the chemicals are dry when you and your cat return, it should be safe. However, I'm not sure about birds. I have a neighbor who had several birds as pets and my understanding is that birds are very different than mammals, so ask your PCO. (Like the whole Teflon pots are bad for birds thing--that was totally news to me.)
If you're not someone with a lot of clothes and linens and/or if you have your own washer and dryer (which I presume you would what with living in a house) the prep work and cost of dry cleaning may not equal out the difference between the two treatments--esp. when you factor in the cost of lodging for the several days you'll need to be out of the house.
Personally, as someone with insomnia and who really doesn't like bugs? The thought of having to act as bait for the bugs for weeks on end would have been more than worth the $1100 price difference to me if I'd had the funds at the time.
On the other hand, $1100 is a lot of money, and if your infestation is small and your laundry/dry cleaning costs aren't substantial, and you're not bothered by acting as bait, that's a lot of money to save. And if the Vikane fails and the PCO isn't willing to re-treat because you haven't provided sufficient "proof" of infestation? That wouldn't exactly help in the whole peace of mind department.
For that reason, whichever option you go with, be sure before you hire either one that you've done your research on the company in question--not the national one but the local branch you're planning to hire.
Also be very clear and get in writing how long after treatment they warranty the place to be bed bug free AND details on precisely what proof of infestation they will require in order to retreat in the case of a failed treatment. Look the companies' records up to see what people say about them. What I've learned about bed bugs at this point is that the method of treatment is often less a measure of the chance of success than is the expertise of the particular company or pest management professional in dealing with this pest in particular.
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