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Apartment woes - What to do next? Need advice.

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  1. HelpinDC

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    Posted 8 years ago
    Mon Jan 10 2011 10:46:47
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    In addition to nearing the end of my sanity, we are soon nearing the end of our lease agreement with our apartment and I'm debating about what to do next. I know that moving is risky and that we will have to go to much effort to avoid bringing bed bus with us. But, I worry that the issue in my apartment buildling may never be adequately addressed and that we will be stuck living like this for another entire year (which I cannot do!). I would love advice and thoughts!

    We've had our individual apartment unit treated 3 times with pesticides and our couch steam-cleaned, after which I continued to get bites. Last Monday, our individual apartment unit was treated with heat (140 degrees). The surrounding apartments were treated with d. earth to kill any escaping bed bugs. My bites have all occured when I've fallen asleep or laid on the couch. There has never been any sign of bed bugs in our bedroom. I've asked numerous times if we should get rid of the couch, but both PCO companies assured me that this was not necessary. As such, I've been hesitant to lay on the couch, although the PCO that did the heat treatment assured me that the treatment would be effective for the couch. (During the heat treatment, they finally found a source of bed bugs on the couch, under the couch legs when they were unscrewed. All of these bugs were killed by the heat. Prior to that, we hadn't found any, although I knew they were there.) (See my post about heat treatment for more about my couch, including a photo, if interested.)

    Since I'm the only one in my household that reacts to bites, I knew that the only way to know for sure if we had bugs was for me to "sacrifice" myself by laying on the couch. I tried to tell myself that I was being irrational for being afraid, since the heat treatment should have killed everything. I finally braved laying on the couch last night for a few hours, and this morning I have 4 red rashes on my left arm. They are not typical of the reaction that I get to bed bug bites yet, but I am watching them closely. (I always react in very itchy large red welts). They are not itchy and are warm to the touch. But, what else could they be?

    I left my apartment this morning and noticed that the PCO is back with the heat treatment equipment for one of the apartments below me (in my building). Other apartments in my buildling have been treated with the insecticide, but their treatment dates did not sync up with mine. I'm happy that the mgt. is finally taking me seriously and making an effort to treat the whole building, but I worry that they're not doing it right (and are in effect just pushing the bugs from one apt. to another).

    We have to make a decision in the next couple of weeks about whether or not to move. What should we do? Obviously if we move, we would get rid of the couch. We already have protectors on our mattresses and box springs (which never had any signs of bugs). Much of our clothes are still in sealed bags (after having been washed and dried) in our storage unit. (The storage unit has a pest strip in it too.) If we did move, I would get a Packtite and treat everything either in the packtite before packing or pack with a nuvan pest strip.

    Thoughts and advice? I really like our apartment and don't want to move. But, I also want to be rid of bed bugs!

  2. HelpinDC

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    Posted 8 years ago
    Mon Jan 10 2011 15:05:11
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    Update for anyone intersted: I don't think that the four rashes on my arm this morning are bites or bb reactions. The rash has both decreased in intensity and spread farther up and down my arm. I'm beginning to think it's a reaction to a new allergy nasal spray I recently started using (two nights ago).

    I talked our apartment's maintenance manager today and he made me feel a bit better about our situation. I think I'm going to stick it out and renew our apartment for another year. (although this could change next week!)

    Please cross your fingers for me that our bbs are gone! Thanks to all of you that read my post, even if you didn't reply. It's so wonderful having this forum to turn to during this isolating, nerve-wracking, horrible time!

  3. HelpinDC

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    Posted 8 years ago
    Tue Jan 11 2011 20:18:52
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    And another update: I found a live bed bug on the wall behind the couch this evening. So, this is not over. I still have no idea what to do.

  4. 543wishell

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    Posted 8 years ago
    Wed Jan 12 2011 14:45:25
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    HelpinDC - 2 days ago  » 
    In addition to nearing the end of my sanity, we are soon nearing the end of our lease agreement with our apartment and I'm debating about what to do next. I know that moving is risky and that we will have to go to much effort to avoid bringing bed bus with us. But, I worry that the issue in my apartment buildling may never be adequately addressed and that we will be stuck living like this for another entire year (which I cannot do!). I would love advice and thoughts!
    !

    Dear HelpinDC,

    You can file a complaint against your landlord in housing court for partial rent reduction based on the bed bug infestation in your apartment. Apparently your building is completely infested, since most of your neighbors also have bed bugs in your apartment. It is the landlord's legal responsibility to provide all tenants with apartment units free of bed bugs. The landlord will have to give you a substantial rent reduction until he completely get rid of the bed bugs in your apartment.

    Also, your landlord is 100% responsible for the cost of exterminators.

    If you decide to me, check out http://www.bedbugregistry.com first. You can check whether there has been any bed bug complaint in many addresses on this website.

  5. HelpinDC

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    Posted 8 years ago
    Wed Jan 12 2011 14:55:05
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    We have already received 1.5 months of free rent, after I wrote a complaint letter to top management and threatened to call the health department. The maintenance supervisor that I'm working with now is truly very committed to getting rid of this infestation- I do believe this. He also admitted to me, though, that our apartment is a bit of an experiment. I've seen complaints on apartment review websites about our bed bugs in our apartment complex dating back at least two years, but our apartment community changed management a few months ago and I think that our case is the first that this maintenance manager has worked on. I know that there are others in the community battling bed bugs now, but I think that I'm the most educated about bed bugs and the most persistent in dealing with management, so am emerging as the priority. (It seems that others are fine living with bed bugs? This I will never understand!)

    I still have a dilemma, though. Should I stay put for another year in this infested apartment, with a maintenance manager who is very committed to getting rid of the bugs and is trying with all that he can? Or, do I risk moving and bringing the bugs with me, and potentially risk encountering new management that is not so responsive? Don't know what to do!

  6. toledo

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    Posted 8 years ago
    Wed Jan 12 2011 15:59:00
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    Can you stay on a month-to-month basis until you are sure the problem is gone? I think they should be a little lenient, under the circumstances. Just a word of warning; I don't think Packtites are made to be used to do entire apartments. If you decide to move, you may want to use a moving truck and Vikane gas. That would be the most effective use of time and money.

  7. HelpinDC

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    Posted 8 years ago
    Wed Jan 12 2011 16:05:41
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    That's a great idea, Toledo - thanks! Perhaps they would let us do month-to-month at our same rate until this is resolved - I will definitely ask about that.

    I didn't mean to imply that I would use the Packtite for the whole apartment, but thanks! We would definitely look into Vikane treatment if we decide to move - there is a place in the area that does that.

  8. HelpinDC

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    Posted 8 years ago
    Wed Jan 12 2011 16:50:27
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    I would like to thank you again, Toledo, for this great suggestion. I asked the head manager of our apartment complex if we could renew our lease on a month-to-month basis (for the regular monthly rate that we would have paid if we renewed for another year, instead of the usual month-to-month rate) and she agreed! It is such a relief to have this worry off my shoulders for now.

    I highly recommend this to others in the same scenario!

    Thanks again to all of you! It is so nice to have knowledgable, understanding, and caring people to turn to in this awful situation.


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