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Bat Bugs II

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  1. buggeroff

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    Posted 12 years ago
    Thu Aug 2 2007 9:27:13
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    Second PCO came by this morning with some completely different ideas from PCO #1.*

    PCO #2 wants to treat bat bugs the same way he would treat bed bugs. That is, without doing anything to the attic, including moving out the bat(s). His plan is to use residual sprays, crack/crevice treatment and dust in the enclosed spaces, like wall voids. He is proposing to treat only the upstairs in depth and maybe some residual spray downstairs.

    PCO #2 says the bat(s) cannot be evicted from the attic until September 1. I'm not sure whether that date is set by the state or the feds, but apparently it is not legal to disturb bats in the summer - maybe because they are raising their babies. If it is not legal to evict a bat until Sept. 1, I can't see how the attic can be fogged, sprayed or anything else before then - which leaves me wondering about PCO #1's plan.

    PCO #2 will come back to inspect within 3 to 5 days after the first treatment and re-treat if he see any more BBs. If not, the 30-day guarantee starts from that day.

    PCO #2 was a local company until quite recently. When I called Orkin yesterday, they told me they'd just bought PCO #2. They also told me their service manager had an infestation of bat bugs in his own house this year!

    PCO #2 said his company does a fair amount of bed bug work for hotels and (get this!) aircraft, and had been seeing a lot more residential BB problems recently. He had bed bug information in his file and instructions on what the homeowner (me) needs to do to get the house ready for treatment. Nothing there that you all don't already know.

    At my insistence, PCO #2 agreed to discuss with his company's entomologist and see whether attic treatment might not be a good idea.

    *PCO #1, also a locally-owned company, wants to fog entire house, including attic, downstairs and basement, with BP100. That would be the only chemical treatment. PCO #1 also found a bat and agreed to close up attic access.

  2. (deleted)

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    Posted 12 years ago
    Thu Aug 2 2007 10:47:17
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    Hi buggeroff,

    I don't know anything about bats, other than they are protected, but PCO #2 sounds more experienced. If you hired them, would they themselves handle the attic on September 1? That is not too far off. If they control the bugs inside the house and get rid of the bats at the first legal opportunity, it sounds like a good shot.

    I also don't like PCO #1 because of the fogging. Again, I don't know anything about bat bugs, but can they be that different from bed bugs? We are told that fogging is a definite no-no for bed bugs.

  3. buggeroff

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    Posted 12 years ago
    Thu Aug 2 2007 13:02:06
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    Fogging is definitely the wrong thing for apartments, but I live in a single-family detached house and PCO #1 wanted to do the whole house. I thought it could make sense except that I wasn't sure about the residual effect of BP100 (whatever THAT is!)

    If I could get PCO #2 to agree to deal with the attic and bat(s) in September, I would hire him, mainly because he didn't seem as convinced as PCO #1 that bat bugs could be handled in one treatment. PCO #1 really didn't sound like he expected to have to come back a second or third time.

    On the other hand, PCO #2 never even looked in the attic - didn't seem the slightest bit interested in it. He did at least seem interested in my email from Richard Pollack saying the attic and the bats ought to be addressed.

  4. (deleted)

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    Posted 12 years ago
    Thu Aug 2 2007 13:40:17
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    Hi buggeroff,

    While this university fact sheet suggests that a total release aerosol may be used, it says it should not be the only insecticide.

    Everywhere we have been told that crack and crevice treatments are necessary to control bed bugs (and therefore, one surmises, bat bugs). I would suggest that you continue to research this issue because it seems to me that fogging is inadvisable not only in multi-unit dwellings, for the reason that it may cause bugs to spread, but in most cases for the additional reason that the fog or aerosol or bomb will not reach all harborage areas. See pg. 29 on Stephen L. Doggett's Code of Practice.

    If excluding the bats is not the specialty of any PCO in your area, perhaps you can contact your state's health or wildlife protection agencies for suggestions and referrals.

    Here is a university site that discusses bat removal.

    Again, I'm not any kind of expert, just a poor sufferer and sinner...

  5. (deleted)

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    Posted 12 years ago
    Thu Aug 2 2007 13:42:51
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    Also, just because I came across it while looking for the above, here is a PCT magazine article from 2005 on bat bugs.

    You may have already seen it.

    Good luck!

  6. buggeroff

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    Posted 12 years ago
    Thu Aug 2 2007 14:09:34
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    Hopeless, yes, I am a little doubtful about fogging only, which is why I did not hire PCO #1 on Monday. If bed/bat bugs could be driven into the wall voids and trapped there by an effective crack-n-crevice treatment, I might be able to live with that. But fogging only seems like a half-measure.

    I had not seen that article, thank you for linking to it! It made me wonder a bit why bat bugs would be happy in an attic where summertime temperatures can get very high. They seem adapted to extended periods of cold and famine, though. You would almost expect them to come a-hunting in the warm house in winter, but I never noticed it. Maybe this winter will be different (please, lord, I hope not!)

  7. Bugalina

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    Posted 12 years ago
    Thu Aug 2 2007 14:09:56
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    buggeroff and hopelessnomo...I just read the article from PCT and it kind of left me feeling that, as the author says, "more research is needed on host-switching" habits. He says that "in fact we do know that bat bugs bite people probably when their primary hosts are unavailable or the bat bugs severely outnumber their host population"...Please note that he uses the word "probably"...so its really just speculation on his part. Buggeroff, I would not contact the States Wildlife and I'll tell you why....If you get them involved it could lead to liabilities you don't want to have to deal with. In my neighborhood when people call the DEC, it can mean thousands of dollars in fines...Sorry hopelessnomo..I always agree with you but I felt I had to at least bring this to your attention. Who knows, they could make big trouble for buggeroff....DEC has fined some of my neighbors thousands of dollars for very minor infractions. Anyways, buggeroff I personally would hire the PCO who can get the job done...get rid of the bats and the bugs...I couldn't stand to live in a place where I knew bats and bugs were breeding not far from my bed....I hope you can get this resolved...

  8. (deleted)

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    Posted 12 years ago
    Thu Aug 2 2007 22:09:36
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    Hi Bugalina, fines never crossed my mind (uh-huh, I am not a homeowner). That's not very nice of the government!

    Buggeroff, that university-affiliated wildlife damage management site linked above has some great stuff. I just skimmed the Purdue "Controlling Bats" PDF linked on this page, as well as the Americus, GA news story. You might get some ideas from these? That Georgia town had a specialist bat control company. Could there be something similar in your state? And the PDF tells you a lot of specific information about how (one-way exits) and when (not earlier than mid-August) the exclusion should be done. And a great deal about bats! They like it hot!

    I don't know, you obviously need to find someone to do this for you. I understand what Bugalina just said, but couldn't you call the relevant state agencies anonymously to simply obtain information without disclosing your location?

  9. buggeroff

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    Posted 12 years ago
    Fri Aug 3 2007 9:25:41
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    I am hunting around today for the right person to call at the VA DEQ, but I am mindful that Bugalina's concern can definitely be an issue. If the information looks like it isn't hazardous to homeowners, I will call and ask for help.

    Spoke to PCO #3 today. Their plan of attack is basically the same as POC #1's - push out bat(s), fog house, nothing else. PCO #3 also mentioned one-way exits. They're coming Monday for a look around.

    So far, no new bites. Although I am still sleeping with lights on, I am at least sleeping.

  10. buggeroff

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    Posted 12 years ago
    Fri Aug 3 2007 21:15:47
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    It appears that I am once again the victim of the Tri-State Syndrome. In MARYLAND, you cannot evict a bat from your attic before September 1. In VIRGINIA, you can evict them at any time, you just can't kill one (ever).

    I spoke to two bat exclusion "experts" today. They don't deal with bugs, just bats. One is coming Tuesday to give me an estimate and one on Wednesday. I will have to then add on the price of Orkin (who didn't want to treat the attic) to address the bug problem. I'm starting to like PCO #1 more and more.

    No one around here except PCO # 2 seems to think bat bugs are going to be a serious problemn once the bats are kicked out. It's entirely possible that the reason PCO #2 thinks they'll be an issue is that he doesn't plan to treat the attic.

  11. Nobugsonme

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    Posted 12 years ago
    Fri Aug 3 2007 21:33:06
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    Wow.

    I wonder if there isn't a clause about how the bats can be disturbed if they're making you ill? After all, despite what some say, bat bugs DO cause a health problem (allergies, loss of sleep, etc.)

    I mean, what if the bat was sleeping in a kid's room? What if it had rabies as they do here in NYC?

    There must be exceptions!

    I started and run the site but am "not an expert."
  12. buggeroff

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    Posted 12 years ago
    Mon Aug 6 2007 11:43:06
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    PCO # 3 came over this morning. He did not find any bats or any signs of recent bat visitations.

    So, either PCO #1 was lying to me or PCO #3 missed it. Frankly, I trust PCO #3 a little more. He seemed to know what to look for. He spent a lot of time examining the outside of the house, the soil all around the outside, the insulation that covers the attic floor joists. In the end, he seemed stumped and dissatisfied at being stumped. He thinks there is some chance I trapped some bats in the chimney when I had a new cap put on in the spring, but there was no real evidence of bats (dead or alive)in the chimney.

    All he wants to do is spray the baseboards with Suspend.

    Bat specialist (doesn't do bugs) coming Wednesday.

    Nobugs, you are right, bats that may be rabid, spreading bat bugs or otherwise hazardous to human health and bats inside the living space can be evicted. The risk of histoplasmosis, however, doesn't seem to be a good enough reason to disturb them, though, if they're just in the attic.

    P.S. PCO #2 had second thoughts over the weekend and now wants to come back to search for bats. When he was here last week, he sort of blew off the whole idea of treating the attic. I think I have a made him a convert!

  13. willow-the-wisp

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    Posted 12 years ago
    Mon Aug 6 2007 12:01:02
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    while these PCo's are scratching their heads ... the clock is ticking.

  14. Nobugsonme

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    Posted 12 years ago
    Mon Aug 6 2007 13:33:54
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    Buggeroff,
    Didn't you previously have a sample ID'd as a bat bug? Or am I mistaken?

  15. buggeroff

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    Posted 12 years ago
    Mon Aug 6 2007 14:12:02
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    Yes, nobugs. Two samples were ID'd as bat bugs by Richard Pollack. Today PCO #3 and his company's entomologist confirmed that they think two further samples (my last ones!) are bat bugs. PCO #3 acknowledged that he had never tried to eradicate bat bugs and didn't know anything about their biology. He has, however, decided to modify his approach to include treatment of the attic, the chimney and the living room (PCO #3 thinks the bats may have been in the chimney).

    He will be here on Friday morning at 7. 90-day guarantee.

  16. (deleted)

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    Posted 12 years ago
    Tue Aug 7 2007 17:34:01
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    That sounds good, are you still planning on engaging the bat expert or is this PCO #3 going to attempt the eviction? It must suck to have two bills... however, a bat expert will probably proof your home against future invasions too. Expertly. One hopes.

  17. buggeroff

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    Posted 12 years ago
    Wed Aug 8 2007 8:46:39
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    PCO #3 did not find any evidence of bats on Monday. PCO #2 was back this morning because he and his entomologist decided to have another think about bats and bat bugs. He also did not see anything that looked like bats living in my attic, but he only poked around in the attic. PCO #3 did a pretty thorough check around the outside of the house, as well.

    I am now convinced that PCO #1 may have "imagined" his single bat and priced the job accordingly. Both PCO #2 and PCO #3 say they see no place in the attic that looked like a potential bat entry point. PCO #2 now also wants to treat the attic.

    So with PCO #2 and PCO #3 pretty much on the same page about what the situation is and how to treat it, I plan to go ahead and hire PCO #3 without waiting for the bat exclusion "specialist."

    I have not found any more bugs and think I have only mosquito bites lately. To be truthful, I have not searched very hard for bugs in a week. Tonight, if I'm not too wilted, I will sit down with my flashlight and my can of Bedlam and go over the bedframes in the two upstairs bedrooms again. Maybe I'll take up the braided rug in the other bedroom. I'm getting pretty tired of all this.


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