What to do next?(5 posts)
Last week my apartment building brought in a K9 bed bug sniffer. I came in that evening and saw no sign of the inspection and thought I was in the clear. I was at the time more nervous about the dog since I'm allergic. I haven't had any bites or seen any live/dead bed bugs in this apartment, unless I'm one of those non-reactive types. The next morning I had word that I had bed bugs and I'd have to be treated. Needless to say I've been freaking out since. I'm pretty much an emotional wreck, hence the choice of screen names.
The twist of this situation was the human inspector team came in on Monday to look at the apartment. They weren't briefed on where the bugs/eggs/etc had been detected, nor did I know, because I wasn't present. So they looked in the obvious places, bed and sofas primarily. They didn't find anything. I don't know what to think right now. The PCO of course swears by the dog and says they're 98% accurate versus the human 50-60%.
Right now, I'm in limbo, because I haven't heard word one from management on whether they're still doing the treatment or not and they've scheduled me for the 19th of this month, which is not a lot of time for this apartment. It took me two weeks to pack up everything in boxes when they redid the carpets over a year ago. Would the PCO people here recommend one way or other? Do you trust human or dog?
Now I live in a small one bedroom apartment with a ton of stuff. I willingly admit I'm in the overly cluttered category. My manager said I would have to get rid of the bed/boxspring and the two sofas. She also suggested that some of the books would have to go. Strangely I'm more comfortable getting rid of my bed or even clothes than I am my books. I'm rather attached to most of my collection. And from reading this board, I'm looking at potentially boxing/bagging up all my stuff for 18 months maybe?
I'm honestly a wreck. I've broke down crying several times with the weight of what needs doing and I'm not eating or sleeping right. I live alone and don't have a lot of people that come and help. Financially I can't afford either storage or vacating the apartment for long term.
Suggestions? This is Northern Virginia area, if it helps.
I would suggest, before you start destroying your apartment, Is to do all you can to find out EXACTLY what is going on. Contact management and the PCO. Once you are able to get some information you can start there. If your appointment is the 19th you certainly need to find out what kind of treatments they plan on doing. Prep work will vary depending on the style of treatment.
I've got nothing for ya on the dogs v. humans. I have never used a dog during inspections. Sorry
I wish you the best in your fight against BB's.
On a side note: What i like to do for my customers, to at least give them some sort of peace of mind, is I will set monitors for them around beds/frames/furniture, at no cost of course. It's a simple way to just watch for any type of activity. My "monitors" are cheap little glue boards you can get from your local hardware store. Tomcat makes the best style for this use specifically. It's a small, white, cardboard type of material, thats not much thicker than construction paper, that has a nice layer of glue on it. I put them around the feet of bed frames and furniture. I've caught TONS of BB's this way. Now it's NOT a super effective way to control populations. I mainly use them just to watch for activity. So it can give you an idea of your problem.
I finally have some answers from the apartment managers about the situation. The treatment has been delayed to give me time to prepare the apartment, including bagging all my books and clothes. Everything has to be moved to the center of the rooms away from the walls so they can get the carpet up. I'm nearly wall to wall furniture, so I don't even know how all this is going to work, let along fit. This apartment *is* quite cluttered, but I don't know what all I'm allowed/should do. I'd like to declutter the apartment while I have the chance. Am I better off waiting? My first impulse was to donate clothes especially to Goodwill but they won't be treated yet. It seems a waste to completely toss everything.
Are there packing services available for the DC area? I know I can't do this alone.
If I read your post right, a dog detected bugs, but no physical evidence was found. Ideally, physical evidence should be located to confirm the dog inspection. Apparently, your PCO will go ahead and treat without such evidence. I don't understand why the human inspectors didn't get any report about where the dog registered a positive.
As far as throwing things out, it should be the PCO who advises you on that, not your apartment manager. Most PCOs don't order people to get rid of books, beds and boxsprings, especially when you haven't even seen any bugs. Unfortunately, that first bagging before a treatment tends to be a very hurried affair. If you don't have any ziplock bags yet, you will have to just get all you can into well-sealed garbage bags. It took me all the 5 nights I had before the first treatment, and I just barely made it, but it can be done. I moved all furniture 2 feet from the wall, but i don't have wall to wall carpeting so that was less complicated. The early days of bed bug treatment entail much loss of sleep.
I am sorry this is happening to you, and I hope the dog was wrong. Best of luck to you.
Is it worth asking the apartment building for an outside second opinion (with or without dogs)? I haven't seen any sign of bugs at all, so I feel like I'm being jerked around, especially with the conflicting findings. Next time: I will be there when the dog comes through.
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