Treating the kitchen and bathroom????(27 posts)
I'm new to the site and would appreciate help with this question. Do you treat the rooms other than the bedrooms? Our PCO is coming tomorrow morning to treat three bedrooms in a 3,500 sq ft loft on two floors. Our new nanny, who moved in two weeks ago, woke up covered in bites and managed to catch a live bed bug to confirm the infestation in her bed, so we know that they are in her room. My daughter has had a single bite (three in pattern) so we are doing hers and although I have not seen any in my room upstairs I'm treating it anyway. We've been unbelievably thorough with the prep work for the bedrooms but I wonder about the rest of the loft. It is a very open space with not much stuff - no TV, no sofa but lots of paintings on the walls etc. The nannies room is off the kitchen and she passes through there on her way to the bathroom... we are on the 3rd and 4th floors and there was an infestation on the first floor but nothing else, so I do not know if this is a major building problem or a recent smaller problem.
Thanks very much.
Treat all rooms and laundry room. You can assume that they may be everywhere. Take pictures off walls and place them against the wall with the back of the frame pointing toward you so that the back of the frames can be sprayed. That is what I did, Three times in one month. The infestation was in the bed but we did find a couple downstairs arond the couch and one in basement. I do not live in an apartment but yes I would imagine that bugs could be in oyher apartments so an neighbors should have an inspection and possible traetments also. Good luck.
I totally agree that your whole place be sprayed. I have killed 1 in the kitchen and 2 in the bathroom. 1 just this morning walking down the wall by the tub. You would never expect them to be there but they just travel and park where ever when the sun starts to shine.
I live in a small studio apt and have never seen a bb in my kitchen/bathroom areas but the PCO treated them anyway. can never be too careful with these things!
The safest way to treat a house is to use the the insecticide products only where needed. This is why inspection is so critical. With regards bathrooms I have only seen 3 or 4 cases where bed bugs were found to be living in these areas and in at least one case the source was the adjoining property connected only via the bathroom, the other cases were all extremely advanced and practically all surfaces in the property were showing signs.
I appreciate that people want to eradicate the problem but blanket application of products will only increase the number of cases of resistance building up due to environmental pressures and selective breeding of the more resistant bed bugs. Its the prime reason why we now have areas of London where the "buy online" solutions no longer work.
Your PCO may have different theories of practices which is why they need to inspect and then work out what is needed but from what you have said te last places I would expect to need to treat are the bathrooms and kitchen.
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In accordance with the AUP and FTC (legal requirements) I openly disclose my vested interest in Passive Monitors as the inventor and patent holder. Since 2009 they have become an integral part in how we resolve bed bug infestations. I also have a professional relationship with PackTite in that they distribute my product under their own branding. I do not however receive any financial remuneration for any comments I make about products.
Wow - interesting, David. Are there bb dogs in the UK, & if so, do you use them?
My PCO did not treat the bathroom and the kitchen of our apartment and the few that I found were only traveling through. I think that in my case they should have sprayed cuz the infestation is in surrounding apartments and this may get some of them before coming to our home.
How does one tell " where needed" would be?
As far as pesticide resistance this has already happened. What the Professionals need to do is to work with the government agencies and come up with a plan to develop another form of pesticide and introduce it into society. Would I be correct in stating that our current pesticides are weak compared to pesticides of yesteryear?
I do remember reading that Potter has stated that upping the dosage still does not kill some bbs. I guess that Gil Bloom is correct in stating
“The social phenomenon of bedbugs is incredible,” he says. “We see dramas unfold in front of us. People’s relationships can break up over bedbugs.”
Bloom notes that preventing and treating bedbug problems requires more cleaning skills than most people have. “The answer is not chemical,” he says.
I say spray the bastards and let the chemicals kill as many as the chemical can and you get the rest with any other tactics available.
Ok a few to reply to:
pleasehelp - no as far as I am aware there are no sniffing dogs in the UK at present. I simply us trained people to do thorough detection. For example one of my screeners was recently able to identify a single bed bug in a room which was part of a complex with 60+ beds. Its a slow process and yes it takes days to go through 200 - 300 rooms but at present its the best way we can do it.
lieutenantdan - where needed for us is based on inspection, not a 60 seconds yes and no but something a little more detailed and only conducted by people who have worked along side me for at least 2 months so that they understand the principles of how I work and why the system we employ works. With regards resistance yes it has occurred and will continue to occur with other products if they are used inappropriately. The best analogy is with antibiotics and medicine. If you hand them out like sweets then they will quickly become resistant.
Yes there are new products needed but just like the development of a new medicinal drug it takes time and a lot of money. In the pharmaceutical sector we used to say that you had to screen 1 million compounds to get a potential drug and it would cost between 500 million and 8 billion to get it to market and rarely in less than 8 years. I am not as familiar with US pesticide regulation but there are approvals that are needed and data that must be shown in order to get a licensed product, its not a short process.
I agree about the new products although would people be happy with new products being professional use only?
I would agree with the statement from Gil Bloom, I have often been quoted as saying BB control is only 10% chemical. To put it another way if you treat the symptoms (i.e. the bugs) you are not actually treating the problem. Despite all the advice I give people I have actually had 2 clients get bed bugs again between 12 months and 2 years later having not checked a hotel bed before sleeping there. I have also seen trained people fail to get the same results as myself despite using the same products I do and equally people have previously tried to use 20+ liters of insecticide where I have used just 1 to clear the problem.
I say you carry on blanket spraying and increasing the risk or resistance developing and I will carry on dealing with it in a more effective method. I have tried heating, liquid carbon dioxide freezing and think I will stick to what I have done for the last 5 years because at least it works.
David, I really appreciate your answers... Could you tell me this: are you able to inspect an extremely cluttered home, and if so, how do you do it? If not, what methodology do you recommend for decluttering?
pleasehelp - here in lies the problem. I inspect because I need to know lots of factors such as type of bed, layout and configuration of room, sleeping pattern of the occupants of the room, local and international travel habits of the occupants of the room. Before I do all that I am already in possession of information about the building and how it relates to adjoining neighbors. Having requested that the room is left completely as normal I then inspect the area looking in detail for:
Fecal trace signs
I am backed up with a camera (cannon EOS400D with 100mm macro lends and fully automatic exposure meter) to magnify down to individual fiber level if needed and a bright LED torch.
The rest is just attention to detail and experience which I cant really write down in less than 200 pages as there are way too many variables to start to go through.
I will however say that if you have used foggers or aerosol domestic grade sprays in the area you may have to look harder for the actual specamins than a room undisturbed before inspection. This is also true in rooms that have not had professional and detailed treatment.
I once found a colony living beneath a fuse box in an apartment in London. They had started int he beds but after 7 rounds of treatment they had decided to move through to just above the front door. I suppose at least they knew when food was delivered / arrived home.
As for decluttering methods anyone treating will be in the best position to advise you based on what they have inspected. No point you spreading the problem around the house as you rush to declutter prior to inspection.
bed-bugscouk we could use you in the U.S.
Thanks David... there've been no treatments in my home. But very detailed inspections just aren't the norm here. And I can't get treatment until the clutter is gone. So I guess I'll just start bagging/sealing things up, starting away from the bed, to be trashed immediately or stored for later vikane treatment, and work towards the bed & vacuum until the room is clear.
Thanks for all the advise. I've decided to just treat the bedrooms. Seems that there is enough evidence for that. I'm also using this as an excuse for a major purge of stuff. I'm just very carefully throwing out everything that we do not use. That's a good feeling actually. I will also take the approach of nothing on the floor so that we can vacuum well all the time. I'm hopeful that the two schedualed visits will do the trick...
Best Wishes to All
Yeah, throwing stuff out seems to get easier the more you do it!
You should know that people sometimes report bedbugs, which were not apparent in some areas, migrating to those areas if left untreated. One person reported bedbugs in a desk in a hallway connecting bedrooms in an upstairs floor (if I remember correctly!) and, sure enough, that area had not been treated by the PCO. You should discuss this issue with your own PCO. And good luck!
There is a document, a PDF, linked on the blog and elsewhere here authored by Dr. Stephen Kells of the University of Minnesota. (He is one of those entos with PCO experience I think.) In it he talks about designating a "clean area" to work with as PCOs inspect and treat items. You might consider a similar strategy, and whatever else you can learn from his document, as you go about decluttering. If it were me, I would put a premium on inspecting and bagging things in place as much as possible, before moving items or bags to a different location. I'll try to find the link again in a moment.
The PCOs in the US do not really inspect. I think in many US states, a PCO cannot treat unless they see proof of an infestation. Proof is very liberal. When treating, they ask you to clear out the rooms so they can spray. And the term is literally spray, it's fast.
Of course when you move things, you worry about bringing them to another part of the house. I try to carefully inspect everything. But to be honest, it's hard to look at everything.
Honestly we should all get red LED flashlights like NotSoSnug, or head torches like David.
Nomo, Thanks so much for the link. I have to leave now but will read it when I get back!
I'm not sure about all the reasons behind this no inspection business in the US. I think some PCO firms understand the need to inspect perfectly well (obviously) but do not consider it cost-effective. After all, you can imagine how much longer they would need to take in performing a service. Another reason could be that the technicians who actually perform the services are not trained in these techniques. So, no time, no training, little experience, etc. (And of course this is a generalization that is unfair to those PCOs who do inspect. It's just that it's a common problem.)
The practice here usually involves receiving a prep sheet from the PCO which involves the customer doing extensive cleaning and bagging and vacuuming before the service. If the customer does not prepare as instructed, the service may not be done.
In New York the problem is more severe when PCOs refuse to offer inspection services to people who suspect infestations and call for an inspection. This boggles the mind but it is what it is. I suspect liability issues/worries are in play.
I think I'll start a thread seeking comment/suggestions for the many occasions when we need to inspect ourselves. The perennial questions: Where do bedbugs harbor? How do we find them? We know a few tricks already, thanks to PCOs and sufferers alike, like the MetroCard, the red LED light. We need to collect more such information.
(Sorry buggub, I hijacked your thread.)
What we did here in NYC was notice the bites (about 40 of them all over our au pair), catch a live bug at night, put it in a jar and then she went up to Pest Away to have them look at the bug and the bites. They confirmed based on this but were not willing to make a visit. We've cleaned up a lot and probably destroyed most of the evidence. Since the clean up she has only had one more bite and no one else has had any. So we feel certain about her room. We're just doing the others to play it safe and because it's 350 for the first room and 75 for each additional room. We'll see how it goes tomorrow...
buggub, sorry to hear of your travails. Why wouldn't the PCO make a visit, especially since you had evidence?
hopelessnomo, I think the cost-effective point is well taken. I had one PCO (a well-regarded one) tell me an inspection would take no more than 10 minutes. When I asked about all the nooks and crannies, he told me to try and imagine how long it would take for him to inspect all of those places. He made me feel a little foolish for asking, actually. And I guess it would take much too long, but when I hear of the time and care David puts into it, I get a little envious!
I think part of the issue re: not inspecting in NYC is that the PCOs who are getting the bulk of the bed bug calls (and buggub mentions one to whom this might apply) are so flat-out busy, they don't have or take the time. I am definitely not excusing this, but it is my hunch. They have had such a growth in bed bugs, they can't keep up.
If there truly is such a shortage, than an intelligent government would help get more people trained in this specialty area (esp. as it is a growth field).I started and run the site but am "not an expert."
I totally respect David's expertise and perspective, and I wish more people had access to his thorough and knowledgeable approach.
That said, in a situation where PCOs are not properly inspecting, and you're in a multi-unit, I would personally go for getting the whole place treated. We have heard a number of cases here where kitchens or bathrooms were infested--and I have a hunch this is often because those are areas with pipe chasings the bed bugs can follow from one apartment to another. They would not normally be the types of rooms infested.
We've also heard of PCOs rejecting outright the idea of infested living rooms / sofas, and we all know how absurd that reaction is.
Thanks for the advice. The PCO (Dial a Bug) came yesterday and did a very thorough search - actually looking in the box springs. He did not see any evidence anywhere other than in the au pair bedroom. He thinks it is a very recent infestation, like maybe see brought them in her suitcase on Thanksgiving. He feels optomistic since we are catching it early...??? We still sprayed and powered all three bedrooms and sprayed the edges of all the rooms. We did not look for evidence in the nannies room since all the biting is going on in there. But we did see some live bugs in her so called 'clean clothes' bag. He said she has to rewash everything. She is also throwing out her suitcases. I'm not sure what see should do with her shoes and coats and little odds and ends that were in the suitcase but I feel I should be pretty strict about the clean up. I'm also not sure if she brought them in. We never heard of any bites before sne moved in and the room was empty for three weeks, so you would have thought they would have migrated to the next bedroom. But can someone reall open up 3 large suitcases that have been closed for a couple of monthes and then 48 hours later be covered by dozens of bites? I guess it is not important to answer this question butI feel that if she brought them it will probably be easier to get rid of them. The PCO feels that if they were here for a long time, he would have found more evidence. Anyway, he comes back Dec. 14 and we will live out of plastic bags until he gives us a green light. If anyone who is experienced has any comment, it would be much appreciated.
Best Wishes to All.
Welcome. If the bbs came in the nannies luggage after being closed up for months, yes I can believe that all the bugs inside would be very hungry. They seek out carbon dioxide which we breath out and if she was sleeping in the room with the suitcases and all that was in them I think every hungry bug would head for her as soon as she got into bed. Seems as though if there were all that many bugs she would have noticed them when unpacking. Another thing would be the fact that it is not so simple as one bite = one bug. If given the time and not disturbed the bugs would likely bite more than once. Typically three times each. The reason so I've read is that their needle like fangs are not very long, and only really tap into small surface vessels. They can drain these quickly and move a little way down seeking a new source. Also every time the host moves it may scare the bugs away briefly, but if hungry they will be right back when the host quiets down to bite again. From what you have told us I think it is fairly likely that the bugs came with the nanny, and must admit I wounder if she has told you everything. Not that I'm blaming her, she is just a victim of the little demons as the rest of us. She does have a vested interest however, or think she does in not telling all. If she is the source nothing can be done about that now anyway. As long as you are treating and doing what needs to be done to get rid of them. and she is a good nanny and a fit in your family, then bbs would not be a good reason to make any changes. Finding a good fit in a nanny is probably not that easy. Holding it against her would do no one any good. In her defense as well at least she warned you right away and found a bug to show the PCO, rather than waiting to cover her tracks so to speak. There is also a chance if her luggage has been stored for a period of time that maybe bugs got in her bags there. I know someone who got them from a storage locker. Good luck and cheers to a successful resolution. Later... cos
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