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A3 Superior just heated the house...

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  1. Bugbitten Meg

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    Posted 10 years ago
    Sat Sep 5 2009 3:59:27
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    ...well, actually, our house got done Wednesday, and my mother-in-law is over tonight because her house is still too hot to sleep in.

    Thanks to the several members willing to discuss or recommend a good NJ PCO, I ended up looking hardest at Cooper and A3 (AAA) Superior... I believe both companies have an IPM and a whole-house thermal treatment option. Telephoning around, I found that while both would quote me prices for an inspection, only A3 was willing to discuss (estimated) eventual costs over the telephone. (as of late August '09, they were saying: $1-2 per square foot for an IPM treatment with 2 visits, scheduled 2 weeks apart, or about twice that amount for whole-house thermal [one visit expected, but with a 60 day warranty]. ) Our infestation isn't very large; everyone in both houses is sensitive to bites, so we didn't take long to notice that we had bugs. However, our house has been under construction for some time-- there are fully exposed central beams and framing in several areas, plus the accumulated chaos of having moved stuff around to accommodate ongoing work several times already. It looked to me like thermal was likely the better (tho' more expensive) option for us, and that was one of the things I thought needed to be discussed when an inspection happened. Mom-in-law had meanwhile arrived home from vacation to find hungry bugs awaiting her, too, so her house was added to the proposed inspection.

    Jeff Klein did the inspection (with dog) and I noticed that since we have a cat he checked, among other things, whether it might be fleas. (I knew it wasn't, alas, both because the cat's on Frontline and because I've had flea bites before and they're a bit different--for me, at least. But it's nice to know that if you don't really need a bedbug treatment, he will try not to sell you one.) We discussed options and went with thermal ('mom' too-- in her case, probably because she's still not fully unpacked from moving into town a year or so ago from the larger family house

  2. Bugbitten Meg

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    Posted 10 years ago
    Sat Sep 5 2009 14:25:20
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    They've been doing these for long enough now that their methods appear to have shifted slightly from the available online fact sheets. The dog search sheet indicated that I should move everything away from the wall so the dog could sniff around the perimeter of the rooms more easily, but when I asked a question about it, I found I didn't have to. Likewise, the thermal fact sheet said to wash/dry (extra dry... the usual egg-killing drill) and bag or to hang up everything... they may still want this, but I'm not sure, since the hung-up stuff all ended up being taken down to be treated anyway. (it's likely still necessary. But if you have a question, definitely call and ask.) However, if you are worried about your clothes being thrown on the floor in the course of treatment, deal with them yourself, either by washing or drycleaning.

    Our crew leader was there promptly a 8am and walked through the house pulling out stuff which shouldn't be heated. (we'd gotten much of it, but there's always more, it seems...) He also double-checked that the cat was out of the house (I'd put him out, but the door was open for awhile there, and we wanted to be sure he hadn't sneaked back in.) The house was heating by 9 am, and the heat was off by 7 pm and the crew gone by 8 pm. (this seemed to be on the early side, tho' not unheard of... but the team was gleeful about the relatively early evening.)

    Note that, if your neighbours are reasonably nosy and you are not admitting publicly to bedbugs, you need to figure out how to explain 3 large black machines loudly blowing air into your house for 12+ hours. These guys are as low-profile as possible (they do not show up in any cars/trucks marked 'pest control' or the like, and they won't tell the neighbours your business themselves) but they're not exactly invisible. Personally, we just told everybody we were getting rid of bedbugs... but I am aware that all situations are not alike.

  3. Nobugsonme

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    Posted 10 years ago
    Sun Sep 6 2009 1:16:57
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    Thanks for the report, Meg. Keep us posted, but we hope you and your mother are home free! As for prevention going forward, any idea where they may have been picked up?

    I started and run the site but am "not an expert."
  4. Bugbitten Meg

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    Posted 10 years ago
    Mon Sep 7 2009 12:35:26
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    Nobugsonme - 1 day ago  » 
    any idea where they may have been picked up?

    Well, that is the question... July was a hectic month for us, complete with weekend in RI for a funeral, and then guests descending for my sister's wedding, but we've also got the stuff which has been in storage (and will now all be re-bagged and pest-stripped before being pulled out of there, you betcha!) as a sterling example of our non-low-risk lifestyle in general... if it were just us, I would think it was the odds catching up with us rather than a recent guest, but more people actually slept at her house...

  5. Bugbitten Meg

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    Posted 10 years ago
    Sat Sep 19 2009 10:07:31
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    Still twitchy, still assimilating stuff from bags... and doing other post-heating stuff. Anybody planning for heating, remember: (it's not an emergency, but I just figured I'd mention it...)

    -all the leather in the house wants to be conditioned again, afterwards. Polish your shoes, lexol your jacket and belts, etc., because they'll all be thirsty.
    -if you live in an old house with woodwork with multiple layers of paint, re-inspect for bubbling/cracking. We ended up taking 6 interior doors out to the professional paint stripper... they had all been on the 'to do sometime' list anyway, because they weren't going to look really good until we got them done, but the heating put them over the edge into 'do it now.'

  6. Nobugsonme

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    Posted 10 years ago
    Sun Sep 20 2009 17:24:28
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    Good advice!

  7. debgub

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    Posted 9 years ago
    Wed Sep 23 2009 3:48:03
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    Meg,
    I have been getting bitten, every so often, but I cannot find any signs of bed bugs anywhere. I had an exterminator come twice and he checked my mattress and box spring and the only thing he found was a carpet beetle larvae that he brought back to his office and confirmed for sure that it was a carpet beetle. In your case, you actually saw bed bugs? Did Jeff Klein find bed bugs with his dog? I am thinking of using him/his company to assess my situation, but I wanted to know if he had to find the bed bugs in order to treat. I'm at a loss as to what to do and I feel like I am going insane. Would you recommend him?
    Any thoughts would be greatly appreciated.
    Thanks
    P.S. I am the only one getting bitten and everyone thinks I am crazy, which doesn't help!

  8. ihatebugs22

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    Posted 9 years ago
    Wed Sep 23 2009 12:15:22
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    Meg
    any sign of bugs? It has been about 2 weeks since your thermal right? we have A3 coming on friday to do thermal on our home.
    Jessica

  9. petlady

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    Posted 9 years ago
    Wed Oct 14 2009 19:19:13
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    3A quate me 4 $2400 for small studio! Why so much? Anyone knows other companies in ny or nj area?

  10. soscared

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    Posted 9 years ago
    Wed Oct 14 2009 20:55:34
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    I know someone here used A&C Exterminating on LI successfully.

  11. NewBlood

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    Posted 9 years ago
    Wed Oct 14 2009 21:00:03
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    That's odd Petlady,

    I had called AAA superior two weeks ago when I was hunting for a Pest Control Operator in the area and asked what the average cost was for a 2 bedroom, 1 bathroom home. At that time (two weeks ago about) they estimated it was roughly $1,000 on average. Now mind - that was over the phone and was not done in person (might be more expensive then - depending on how large the rooms are). I am not sure if that was the cost of a thermal treatment though - it may have been just their chemical version.

    I'm curious as to how expensive they are now (if their prices jumped) as I've been considering using them if I move into a house in the upcoming months and I bring the bugs with me (I am having a different company treat them in my apartment at the moment and the company I am using seems really knowledgable and awesome at it - but they don't do thermal treatment and I am considering that route next time (hopefully no next) as the amount of work involved on my part is considerably less. I have also heard that AAA Superior offers up to a year (!) warranty on their efforts and was curious if anyone can verify that as well - as this seems (to me) a great way to ensure that the bugs may be kept away.

  12. Nobugsonme

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    Posted 9 years ago
    Wed Oct 14 2009 22:58:46
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    soscared - 2 hours ago  » 
    I know someone here used A&C Exterminating on LI successfully.

    HI soscared,

    I know you're trying to help, but do you know who it was? Can you link to their review?

    Otherwise, secondhand endorsements probably are not that helpful in the end.

  13. soscared

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    Posted 9 years ago
    Wed Oct 14 2009 23:10:14
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    Sorry, it was in a PM. I don't really want to speak for her. I will PM her and ask if it's ok, or if she'll write a review.

  14. Bugbitten Meg

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    Posted 9 years ago
    Thu Oct 15 2009 11:17:02
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    Oop, sorry, all--I see I'm behind in my mail...

    debgub - 3 weeks ago  » 
    Meg,
    In your case, you actually saw bed bugs? Did Jeff Klein find bed bugs with his dog? I am thinking of using him/his company to assess my situation, but I wanted to know if he had to find the bed bugs in order to treat. I'm at a loss as to what to do and I feel like I am going insane. Would you recommend him?

    Thanks
    P.S. I am the only one getting bitten and everyone thinks I am crazy, which doesn't help!

    Jeff did a search with his dog, but did not do a visual confirmation. If this is important to you, I believe there is an independent dog team in the NY/NJ area which only does inspections, and looks very hard for visual evidence as well-- I can see if I can find it in the forum again. (it's in there, somewhere...)

    I'm at a month with no bites, so I'm definitely good with his treatment... the team boss on my heating was fairly detail-oriented, which is always good for this kind of job. (he had a construction background, not an entomology one, but for the actual heating job that's doubtless more pertinent experience.)
    However, if you feel that you must see a bug before you are secure in spending that much money, you may want to get that independent investigation, or request (ahead of time!) that Jeff actually do a physical search at the site also.

    As far as I know, the warranty period is NOT a full year-- I believe it's 60 days for thermal. By all means ask them, though. Bear in mind that their risk is that if daycare, work, or friends & family's house are the original source, you may be re-infected even if they did a perfect job. (my husband the engineer looked at the heaters he was using, and time they were on, and calculated that if A3 had to do anything like a total re-heat for us, they'd likely lose money on materials expenses like fuel, before they even hit labor costs.)

    Costs: Check your square footage against the quotes in the top post; if it's nowhere close, by all means ask!

  15. petlady

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    Posted 9 years ago
    Sat Oct 17 2009 6:36:34
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    They said it's $3-4 per sq.ft and it must be minimum $2400, when I asked them why is it so expensive they said they have to first come and measure the house. Still I don't think spending that much money on rented app make sense:/

  16. Bugbitten Meg

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    Posted 9 years ago
    Sat Oct 17 2009 14:28:17
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    petlady - 7 hours ago  » 
    They said it's $3-4 per sq.ft and it must be minimum $2400, when I asked them why is it so expensive they said they have to first come and measure the house. Still I don't think spending that much money on rented app make sense:/

    That's the rate they quoted me for the thermal treatment; IPM runs about half of that (but generally takes far more prep time.)

    If you're a tenant, you may be able to get the landlord to pay part of the fee for your preferred PCO. Theoretically, you may --depending on the laws in your state-- be able to get the landlord to pay 'the full amount of treatment'-- but in practice, if you don't want to have to accept a pco that your landlord picks by calling down the list in the yellow pages and hiring the guy with the lowest quote, you are likely to retain better control over treatment options by offering to pay half of a particular provider up front (first, know whether you do have the right to ask for the full amount -- and use the information as a negotiation point.)

    Check out the FAQ about it, if you're not sure:
    http://bedbugger.com/faqs/legalissues/

    Be aware that (at least in NJ,) two- and three-family houses which the owner also lives in generally have different rules.

  17. Nobugsonme

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    Posted 9 years ago
    Sat Oct 17 2009 16:14:20
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    soscared - 2 days ago  » 
    Sorry, it was in a PM. I don't really want to speak for her. I will PM her and ask if it's ok, or if she'll write a review.

    Ahhh! I understand now. Thanks -- that would be great if she's willing to write her own post on the company.

  18. Bugbitten Meg

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    Posted 9 years ago
    Sat Oct 17 2009 19:53:32
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    petlady - 3 days ago  » 
    Anyone knows other companies in ny or nj area?

    oops, I should have said earlier:
    Click on the NJ PCOs tag way up at the top right of this post for 'everything NJ.'

  19. Bugbitten Meg

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    Posted 9 years ago
    Sat Nov 7 2009 16:18:16
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    60 days... 'mom' had a trailing-off experience with just a few 'new' bites for a week (or maybe a bit more) -- she was afraid that the sofa maybe still had a bug or two active in it, mainly because the bites were not showing up in the midmorning (her 'mostly-typical' time)-- but after the week, she's had no more bites, so is now pretty sure that it was just delayed reactions to preexisting bites.

    Some of her kitchen cabinets' laminate surfaces came unstuck from the base chipboard; probably glue-and-clampable, but One More D**n Thing. A few of her older pieces of furniture had damage to the finish-- both probably at least 80 years old, and likely a century or older, so if you don't have heirlooms, don't panic, and if you do, consider DDVPing 'em.

    However, no further bites either place, which is the Good News.

  20. BugBoy911

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    Posted 9 years ago
    Sun Nov 8 2009 15:42:07
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    $2400 for a studio, walks in and she see's a bedbug run across the bed.... god I feel for you people, there is no excuse for that and in no way shape or form is their a 1% chance that if they worked for 12hrs using thermal that there would be anything in that apartment but scorched walls. They didn't and do not know what they are doing professionally and are not bedbug specialists. Why is this whole Thermal thing so high on the list for they way you people wana go? What if bedbugs are brought back into the home, there is no prevention with thermal and the price tag is huge. People stick with quality PCO's who really understand the bedbug and really practice battling bedbugs often or daily. Every single job I have ever done for a client who used somebody else before, could not believe the difference in technique and my overall holistic approach of understanding the bedbug to defeating the bedbug. I feel for you people, bedbugs do not have to be such a huge expensive, horrifying ordeal. One Luv

  21. Bugbitten Meg

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    Posted 9 years ago
    Mon Nov 9 2009 21:55:26
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    Maybe you're thinking of another thread on the board? I've got a 3 story house (well, 4, with the basement, and yes, they started there and went up.) So, naturally, it took a while.

    No scorched walls, tho'... and I have cheerfully nitpicked every heat-related failure in two houses, so believe me, if it happened, you would've heard about it. My current feeling is that the urge to throw away everything would've lost me more stuff than heat-related damage did, if I had to Packtite everything myself after a treatment. YMMV.

    In fact, at least two of the three firms offering thermal in NJ *do* offer IPM as well -- and I believe both did IPM well before they set up for thermal. (The two I know for sure are AAA Superior-- of course-- and Cooper. I don't know as much about Van Helsing, but for all I know they offer IPM as well...)

    Honestly, verifying that we're paying for a PCO who knows what they are doing probably *is* the hardest part for most of us. We may luck into a good PCO and have no problems. We may not. That's why we share our experiences on the board.


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