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Anyone Use AAA Superior Pest Control?

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  1. BBsBlow

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    Posted 12 years ago
    Mon Jun 18 2007 10:47:15
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    I didn't want to post this message on the Bedbugger Yahoo list since the owner of this company, Richard Cortes, always posts there. He speaks of how excellent his company is and whatnot, so I am wondering if anyone here has used him? Good results? Bad?

    I had the BB specialist from Cooper over to my place late last week, and she could find no evidence of BBs. My sheets and blankets are all white, and I've had double sided carpet tape in my bedroom for nearly 3 weeks. I got mad yesterday and even took the cover off my mattress in case it was an "inside job," but there were no signs. The tape caught a masked hunter a couple weeks ago, which eats BBs AND other bugs, but I also have carpet beetles, so it could have been eating them. I just put the tape in my living room over the weekend. My bedroom tape did catch some unknown bug just inches from my bed last night, but no idea what it is other than it's not a BB. Long story short, Cooper will not exterminate without proof. They did offer to spray a general spray, which would flush whatever it is I also have out of the woodwork, so to speak. Their prices are just a little steep.

    So now I am looking into other people who claim to be BB experts. I don't want to be taken for a ride here just because someone claims to be an expert. Meanwhile, I still itch with the same bumps I've always had. They're never 3 in a row, and they disappear quickly. (I had BBs at my old place until I moved at the end of Feb.) I'm just frustrated that no one can tell me what I have, so it's status quo right now... I feel like I am under siege from bugs no matter how much I clean. Yuck!

    -Blow

  2. (deleted)

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    Posted 12 years ago
    Mon Jun 18 2007 10:54:28
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    I think that guy is a word I cannot write here. That said, however, he could be good. I kinda doubt it, but does he even work in NJ?

    Have you tried DE, Blow? And, did you call any other companies?

  3. BBsBlow

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    Posted 12 years ago
    Mon Jun 18 2007 11:00:57
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    Hi Hopeless,
    Not a fan of his, huh? He does seem to think a lot about himself and his talents. What are you basing your opinion on? He does work in NJ according to his web site, and they do do free estimates.
    I do own DE, but have never applied it. Haven't called anyone other than Cooper so far. I realize that the vast majority of companies are not BB experts, so I don't want to waste time, and my LL's $. He told me to call whomever I want since I know what I am talking about.

    -Blow

  4. (deleted)

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    Posted 12 years ago
    Mon Jun 18 2007 11:09:46
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    His personality, and bedside manner, leave a lot to be desired, but I suppose that alone is not enough to doubt his abilities. I think someone called him on an error, a big one, something to do with what the meaning of broad spectrum is in the context of pesticides. There was one person on that group who recommended him and a few others who interviewed him and came away with a positive impression. Bad manners... you know, some doctors are pretty nasty and they're still good. This guy, however, is no doctor! A good PCO will be thorough. Half the job is knowing where to apply the chemicals. He may be a jerk but have good instincts! But you would have to find out on your own. You would be breaking new ground with him; like I said, one person recommended him. You can email her and check him out. I think her name was Moira? Search for her name and you will see the whole conversation that I'm talking about.

    There have to be other NJ companies that are good. Cooper cannot possibly be the only game in town.

  5. nyjammin

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    Posted 12 years ago
    Mon Jun 18 2007 11:11:04
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    Blow, I just pm'd you.

  6. BBsBlow

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    Posted 12 years ago
    Mon Jun 18 2007 11:42:34
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    Hi Hopeless,
    Yeah, he often comes off sounding a bit...rough. I just wanted to see if someone here can back up any of his claims of erradication. Someone let me know how much they were quoted for a treatment and it's nuts. Four figures. Makes Cooper look REALLY cheap. Still, the estimate is free. I was going to try Stern Environmental, which Dawn kept talking about. I wrote her here on the boards if she liked them, but never heard back.

    -Blow

  7. (deleted)

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    Posted 12 years ago
    Mon Jun 18 2007 11:48:16
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    I hate to speak for Dawn, but just reading her posts on her treatments gives you a clear picture of how kind, and thorough, they were in her case. I'd call them. They are also not cheap. Someone at apartmenttherapy also used them it seems. I am suspicious of all recommendations actually, but I would definitely call Stern.

    Did you email Moira?

  8. BBsBlow

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    Posted 12 years ago
    Mon Jun 18 2007 12:03:45
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    Thanks, Hopeless. Haven't e-mailed Moira. Trying to find her. Stern seemed to be reassuring, but from what I remembered, I didn't see they had a free estimate, though I have to go back to check. I don't need to pay someone to tell me what I don't have. LOL

    True, we never do know the real root of a recommendation, but I can't be cynical all the time. Maybe only 90%. Wait...it's coming back to me. Did this Moira person randomly appear and talk about how good Richard was...and then everyone attacked her? Was that her?

    -Blow

  9. (deleted)

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    Posted 12 years ago
    Mon Jun 18 2007 12:06:55
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    Just put "Moira" in the search box and you'll see. No, I don't think people attacked her (there were other things going on there). I think her recommendation was legit.

  10. Nobugsonme

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    Posted 12 years ago
    Mon Jun 18 2007 14:24:16
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    I don't always agree with Nomo, but sometimes it feels that way. I agree that personality can be something annoying that you can put up with, though in some cases it can be a deal-breaker. (I think that's up to you.)

    Moira had posted before that brouhaha, so I also think it was legit. I also think WMSB talked to him--you might PM her for her impressions.

    I am skeptical of recommendations. People tend to recommend the biggest companies, which get the most press. Some of these get bigger and bigger, and have to hire so many new techs, so fast, that quality can suffer.

    Others stay small and so they don't get recommended as much.

    Use the FAQ on choosing a PCO. As I told someone yesterday, I think there are many good PCOs that will work IF you follow prep and work hard. What WE do is such a bit part of treatment.

    That said, if they give you no prep, spray for 1/2 hour, say they'll come back in 3 weeks and only if you see something-- well, you can learn about all this before you hire them.

    I have heard complaints about many PCOs people rave about. Sometimes this is because they get a bad tech. Sometimes it's because the customer does not prep. Sometimes the person may not even have bed bugs -- so the problem will of course persist until the real cause is found. But in most cases, if people ask the right questions and do what they should, treatment will be successful. (Infested untreated neighbors are another story.)

    Finally, some PCOs charge $75 for inspection. If you're concerned the next one may charge you and not find any, maybe it would be better to hire the dog. It would be more money, but you could get some backup on having bed bugs. I'd ask the dog tech in advance if they had any PCOs who knew their work--someone who would take their word on you having bed bugs and where. And I'd follow up on that PCO too.

    I started and run the site but am "not an expert."
  11. BBsBlow

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    Posted 12 years ago
    Mon Jun 18 2007 15:48:54
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    Thanks for the insight, NoBugs. I did read the FAQ on choosing a PCO before I called Cooper last week, so I feel that I have knowledge there. It's just actually hiring them that's the hard part- ha, ha. While the dog sounds nice, I'm not totally sold on them, especially not for hundreds of dollars. My LL is fine with a PCO, but I know he won't go for a dog, and I can't afford it myself. Sure, it could give me peace of mind, but could it also give me a false positive or negative? Really at the end of the day, it's all about the technician, and not so much about the company as a whole. Just wrote Stern Environmental so they'll call me. They call themselves BB experts, so we'll see. But I as the customer sure would be prepared, let me tell you.

  12. Nobugsonme

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    Posted 12 years ago
    Mon Jun 18 2007 23:20:30
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    My only concern Blow was that you haven't found definite evidence this time around--is that right? So there's always a small worry that it's something else like bird mites that are much smaller, and require completely different treatment, or a skin problem brought on by bites in the past. That's why I was thinking the dog might be good. I understand the expense is a genuine concern.

  13. BBsBlow

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    Posted 12 years ago
    Tue Jun 19 2007 17:17:14
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    Right, that's correct, NoBugs. But given my past, I automatically assume that BBs are what I have again. Oh, I don't disagree about the dog in general. I'm sure they're a great help if they're well-trained. But right now I'm broke, and my LL isn't going to go for a dog. Back at square one. <Groan> (Though I have to call back AAA tomorrow morning as they called me this AM when I was out.)

  14. (deleted)

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    Posted 12 years ago
    Wed Jun 20 2007 16:10:32
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    Hi Blow, in the interest of having you explore everything, I have to ask whether you have read the Nancy Hinkle article on DP? It's here (PDF). No, I'm not saying you have DP! I actually suspect it's bedbugs and am glad you're hiring a professional. However, I'm not sure that you sound very convinced yourself, which I understand completely. The article in question... it's a bit smug, but I know you have already proven yourself unwilling to be deterred by mere attitude, but it does list lots of conditions (and medications) that can cause itching and biting sensations. At any rate, it's more learnin' -- you might find something useful or worth exploring further. (For me it was the little glossary of terms that is useful when you are searching for info; for example, one can google paresthesia + your favorite insecticide and figure out pretty quickly whether or not a particular skin reaction can occur, which is certainly the case with pyrethroids.)

    Best...

  15. BBsBlow

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    Posted 12 years ago
    Wed Jun 20 2007 19:39:04
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    Hi Hopeless,
    Thanks for that article. I have to print it out since my screen is small, but I read a little of it. I did notice that it talks about obsessive cleaning and laundering. I kind of do that, BUT I did it as a result of itching. My sister (a psychology major who now does nothing related to that) thinks it's all in my head and says I'm crazy. It's kind of annoying. I wouldn't be like this if there was no cause! I hadn't started taking any medications when this all started anew. However, the water supply is different from what I've always used, so I kind of wonder about that. I've always been allergic to soap! (I've got allergies up the wazoo.) I just wish I knew one way or the other. That's all I want.
    I did talk to Stern today. Don't know if I am impressed with them. $500 for two sprays a WEEK apart, with one more if needed. I keep hearing it's supposed to be 2 weeks later. She also said that people get more and more paranoid reading stuff on the internet and should stay away. She then went on to chuckle that some woman felt like burning down her house after an infestation. I didn't think that was so funny. In fact, some days I could have related! BUT she did say that they'd treat without proof, which Cooper wouldn't do. I still have to call one or two more places. It's intersting to see how these places work.
    Thanks Again!
    -Blow

  16. (deleted)

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    Posted 12 years ago
    Thu Jun 21 2007 9:41:21
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    Hey Blow, I'm sorry about your sister. You're not crazy. I know I'm nobody but anyone who interacts with you has to come to the same conclusion. Sometimes it's hard for people close to us to know how to help. It's a different kind of denial. If it's not bedbugs or some other biting insect, then it might be some sort of prolonged allergic reaction to them.

    The article is not just about medications. There are many things that can be happening. But mostly it's so you can have the same information that everyone else you might be dealing with will have. If you go to a dermatologist or even if you encounter any more people like that unfortunate Stern woman. Mercy! I think I better hold my tongue before I say something, uh, impolite.

  17. bbinbrklyn

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    Posted 12 years ago
    Thu Jun 21 2007 10:06:02
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    Nomo, thanks for posting a link to the article. I fit one too many of the characteristics (older, ahem!). It is helpful to know about these things and to keep them in mind in the next few months. I do wonder when the feeling of bugs crawling on me is going to end...

  18. (deleted)

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    Posted 12 years ago
    Thu Jun 21 2007 10:26:58
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    Hi bb, you won't know whether you're the type of bedbug sufferer who experiences skin reactions (and there's a whole range) post-bedbugs until you are in the "post" part of your bedbug troubles. Because you are moving, this can get complicated. Erring on the side of caution is the best best. Further reading here and here. S ended up eliminating the effect of pesticides. I have not. I think it would be an understatement to say that for a long time I was extremely affected by what happened to me. I'm coming to terms with it. I got burned, but you don't have to. You have us!

    The DP article is in the FAQs too, naturally, it's just on a page that no one who already knows they have bedbugs is likely to read, the what are bedbugs? faq.

  19. (deleted)

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    Posted 12 years ago
    Thu Jun 21 2007 10:39:49
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    Also, just generally, it pays to be very suspicious of long lists of symptoms and identifying characteristics for syndromes that are ill-defined and involve several circularities. People suspected of DP are suspected in part because they refuse to acknowledge the possibility of a psychological cause. Munchausen syndrome by proxy? Remember that one? Now it's being discredited. Parents who were accused of this fit the almost perverse list of characteristics. Not saying DP is not real. Or that Hinkle may have had some bad experiences with DP sufferers who made her lose compassion and come across like a jerk (did you notice how she acknowledged the sufferers "without appreciation" at the end, and how she quantified how much time entomologists waste on such people a year?) But the characteristics are too broad and we already know how PCOs and entomologists are not gods. How many PCOs come for inspections and say " no bedbugs" when in reality they should say "I couldn't find any evidence of bedbugs." Not the same thing at all.

  20. bbinbrklyn

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    Posted 12 years ago
    Thu Jun 21 2007 10:53:40
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    Nomo, thanks!
    I read the lingering sensations one and thank you for pointing out the experimentation posts. how interesting to read this. My bites are beginning to scab over (gross) and my doctor gave me a prescription strentgh cortisone which has helped a lot. I had bites on my face and neck and those are for the most part gone, thankfully. I have two somethings on my neck this week, they do not itch or welt-up like my bites, but they are two whatevers close together though they do not look like bites. I will take acne any day, though who can say.

    My apartment/building is infested with more than bbs and I think for awhile I am going to feel the effects of this. Between waking up to bugs crawling over my bedroom (and I am not referring to bbs here) and having bug control measures all over my apartment (traps, boric acid, raid in every room, etc.) it has taken its toll on me. I now have the eagle eye to spot a bug across the room and never feel I can relax in my apt.

    Getting out of my apartment/building is the first step to feeling better, hence my desire to "start fresh" and be extra careful these do not come with me. I am moving in with one of my closest friends, he is prepared for whatever comes with me including a high level of anxiety or anything else. All I can do is hope for the best (and of course take every known precaution).

  21. dawnsimonds2

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    Posted 12 years ago
    Tue Jul 24 2007 10:26:02
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    hi everyone,
    sorry i haven't been on in a while and i know i haven't replied about stern. frankly, i have been trying to forget about bed bugs and move on with my life but i owe you guys my thoughts. in all honesty, it's been 70 days since my first treatment with stern environmental and i haven't seen any signs since then. so, i am of the mindset that they were able to rid my apartment of the little critters and i can now move on and live like a normal person again. i am very grateful to stern for their dedication. i will say, if you use them, ask for wilson. he is wonderful and willing to answer any questions you might have. i hit him with a list of about 28 questions, which he answered patiently and completely. i don't have the phone number here but their website is http://www.sternenvironmental.com. good luck to all.

    Dawn

  22. willow-the-wisp

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    Posted 12 years ago
    Tue Jul 24 2007 10:29:37
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    thanks dawn so glad you got rid of them and i ask; can you please take some time to share some of the questions you asked and the answers you got--So long as they are more broad based and could help most of us out? As you know, each PCO company does it's own sort of deal on the bugs.

  23. dawnsimonds2

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    Posted 12 years ago
    Wed Jul 25 2007 13:02:02
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    well, to remind everyone, i had a small infestation so that probably helped. we caught it more than early. first, i was there through the entire service. the first of which consisted of bedlam on bed frame, boxspring and all cracks and crevices (including in furniture and upholstered items), suspend on the entire perimeter of the apartment and delta dust in all outlets. the second service consisted of suspend on the bed frame, boxspring and all cracks and crevices including perimeter and most furniture, aside from my desk, which required the use of d-force instead. d-force was also used on the upholstery the second time around. i don't still have the list of questions i asked but many were related to efficiency of the chemicals and the duration of residual effect. in addition, the suspend (deltametrin) was combined with two gallons of water to bring it up to .12% efficiency rather than the usual .06%. the treatments were 10 days apart. i also asked how soon i could vacuum (which turned out to be immediately with these chemicals) and how often i should vacuum (which turned out to be as often as i preferred). i asked if it was okay to vacuum inside furniture, which was also fine and i asked if i could use any supplemental chemicals of my own. i was told i should not. in addition, i asked how soon i could wipe down my furniture, which turned out to be as long as i could possibly go without doing it so i waited the full two months before i did so. i was told to wipe it down with water only, so as not to disturb the residual of the suspend, which is water based. i also asked when i should remove my clothing from bags and put my items back in their original places. with stern's protocol, at least in my case, i was told i could do so immediately. i imagine this is so anything that MIGHT have been in there would come to get me and contact the chemicals in the process. since i have carpeting, i also asked whether the entire carpet needed to be treated. i was told that the perimeter is most important because they usually stick to the walls when traveling from room to room. regardless, suspend was sprayed on the barriers between rooms just in case. i hope this helps some people. and good luck to everyone.

  24. Nobugsonme

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    Posted 11 years ago
    Fri Jan 11 2008 21:15:09
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    The actual owner of AAA Superior, Jeff Klein, has posted here:
    http://bedbugger.com/forum/topic/correction-and-my-views-as-an-owner-of-aaa-superior-pest-control

    ...apparently in response to this thread.


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