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Advice needed on treatment plan options

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  1. ina_bb_state_of_mind

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    Posted 3 years ago
    Sun May 8 2016 10:04:27
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    Hi - first off I'm grateful to be able to use this site as a resource.

    Background:
    I live in the top floor of a 2 story apartment building in NYC. Exactly 1 yr and a half ago I was treated for bed bugs after a roommate found a live bug on him (ID was confirmed by PCO). Only our apartment was treated (landlord didn't inspect unit below) and we've had no issues since.

    Fast forward to this past week. I woke up to 3 bites on a Monday, searched bed for signs with no luck and woke up again on Friday with 3 more bites, this time able to find small signs of fecal matter and one bed bug casing near boxspring encasement zipper. Hired a PCO with a trained dog to perform an inspection with approval from landlord who found bed bug activity in my bed, which has encasements on mattress and boxspring from previous issue, and a couch and chair in the apartment living room.

    Questions:

    - My roommates want to toss the furniture where bed bugs were found. I don't mind as we're due for new furniture anyway but what is the safest way to do this? I don't want to cause the bed bugs to spread. Should this be done before or after treatment?

    - What is the likelihood of bed bugs moving from the unit below? Or the likelihood of them retreating and returning after treatment? I've asked my landlord to inspect the apartment below in order to more throughly solve this problem. He was not open to contacting the tenants below to have the dog search their unit as well.

    - Currently the only treatment option my landlord is offering is a PCO that uses a combination of heat and pesticides as opposed to a more expensive company I found that uses Co2 freezing/heat treatment and no pesticides. The less expensive company still has a positive reputation. Is there a big difference in the effectiveness of either treatment?

    - Lastly, will the amount of time one spends sleeping in their bed before and after treatment significantly effect how effective the treatment is? While I am in the apartment most, I travel home almost every other weekend, and my roommates split time between the apartment and their girlfriends. I've warned them of the precautions that need to be taken to avoid spreading.

    Sorry for the long post and thank you in advance for your informed advice. This helps tremendously with the anxiety this situation causes me.

  2. Nobugsonme

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    Posted 3 years ago
    Sun May 8 2016 10:52:24
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    Tossing out furniture is not usually recommended. Someone else will likely take it in and get the problem. Moreover, with what sounds like a small problem in your unit can probably be solved without throwing furniture out.

    And if bed bugs are coming from the downstairs neighbor, throwing out furniture won't make that stop.

    They either came from the neighbors or someone brought them in directly. Coming from neighbors is extremely common. Since the landlord won't talk to them, it would be good if you could. They may think they'll get in trouble for reporting the issue and it may help to know they could get treatment, like your unit is. (Hopefully the landlord won't retaliate against them at this point if they did not report them promptly.)

    By "heat and pesticides" or "Cryonite and heat" are you referring to steam heat? (I think so. Structural heat treatment, where the whole home is brought up to 140F for 4+ hours, is much more expensive and not usually paired with Cryonite, and it would be very stupid IMO to do structural heat treatment with an uninspected attached unit.)

    Steam and residual pesticides would be my choice. It's very common. Dry vapor steam is used as a very effective contact kill (usually on furniture also) and then pesticides keep killing. More than one treatment is commonly needed, but the pesticides keep working in between.

    Cryonite and steam heat are both contact killers. With no residual pesticides, you're relying on the tech to directly hit every bed bug and egg. It could happen, but doesn't always, and then they're potentially breeding and multiplying until the next treatment. I would not expect fewer treatments with this method than the other. KillerQueen has referred to this product as "Cry-all-night". It doesn't have a great reputation outside of companies that use it.

    I started and run the site but am "not an expert."
  3. ina_bb_state_of_mind

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    Posted 3 years ago
    Sun May 8 2016 11:38:57
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    Thank you for the quick reply. You're right I was referring to steam heat. Steam and residual pesticides are what was used last time and it was effective. I will also try to reach out to my neighbors directly.

    Last question to put me at ease before I am able to schedule treatment,

    I mentioned my mattress and boxspring already have encasements. The fact that the dog found activity on my bed is making it difficult for me to sleep knowing they are somehow still on/in there even though I cannot see them. There are 2 small holes the size of a pencil eraser in my box spring encasement. Should I tape them up? Is there anything I can do to help treat my bed before the PCO comes?

  4. jim danca

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    Posted 3 years ago
    Sun May 8 2016 14:17:04
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    You could use duct tape for the holes. Did you check the front and back side of the head board?

    PCO and inventor of a bio active bedbug trap
  5. ina_bb_state_of_mind

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    Posted 3 years ago
    Sun May 8 2016 16:39:33
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    Thanks Jim. I did check the front and back of my head board with a bright light with no luck. Unfortunately it's upholstered. The back of the headboard has a black case similar to what is normally underneath a box spring. I checked all the seams but did not take it off.

  6. jim danca

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    Posted 3 years ago
    Sun May 8 2016 18:31:12
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    Is there a velcro attachment? Be sure to check any seams on the upholstered part.

  7. ina_bb_state_of_mind

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    Posted 3 years ago
    Wed May 11 2016 19:17:54
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    Hi I have question about the treatment process that I just went through...

    I previously had a set of 2 bites and a set of 3 bites Monday and Thursday of last week. Found a casing and some small fecal. My apartment just completed the first treatment yesterday. Prior to to the treatment, a hired dog searched and identified bed bugs in a couch and sofa chair in my living room, and my box spring in my bedroom. Turns out I had a small hole in the encasement. The encasement was removed and boxspring searched along with all the other furniture. The PCO was not able to visually ID any bugs or other signs of activity. All items were steam and treated with a residual pesticide.

    My question is: Is this normal? I was surprised that the dog found multiple pieces of furniture with bed bug activity, but the separate PCO company when treating did not find any signs while inspecting. To note: the handler also did not visually ID anything except for the casing I found after the dog had finished inspecting. I'm hoping this may mean that the infestation is light but very curious to get your opinion.

  8. ina_bb_state_of_mind

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    Posted 3 years ago
    Wed May 11 2016 19:20:58
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    Also Jim to answer your question. There wasn't any velcro, nor anything found on the headboard. I have been wanting to toss the headboard anyway and after it was treated I diligently wrapped in some industrial sized wrap and plan to throw out.


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