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Bed bugs to bat bugs since Nov 2013 -still have them!

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  1. bedbugsgonewrong

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    Posted 5 years ago
    Sat May 24 2014 20:30:30
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    Hello all,

    I'm new here & am looking for some advice. You all seem so knowledgeable & willing to listen so I would appreciate any comments or suggestions....so here goes the short version.

    First off, I live in NC, & in Oct 2013 hubby & I started seeing strange brown bugs in the master bath, only a couple every few days. But always in the evenings when our son took a bath there. So, we're already on an every other month schedule with Orkin, for the past 7 or 8 years (so long, I forget). Anyway, we mentioned to our tech on his routine visit (in Oct 2013) & he says kill it, but bag it, so he could identify. Meantime I'm all over the internet & was afraid it was bed bugs. I combed through every inch of all beds & bedrooms with a flashlight & magnifying glass @ all hours of the night! Paranoid! Yet, I came up with nothing ..in or around beds, dressers, carpets etc. Within a few days I caught one by the exhaust fan in the bathroom (where we always saw them) & called our tech. He came out & diagnosed bed bugs. Did a cursory inspection of all beds & bedrooms & saw nothing. No signs at all. I said "hey, I think they might be bat bugs bc they're always on the ceiling in the bathroom by the exhaust fan...can u check the attic?" He pulled down the attic ladder & looked around with a flashlight....saw nothing. He said he was sure it was bed bugs & assured us that they wouldn't be in the bathroom unless the bedroom was infested. He gave us treatment options & we chose to heat treat the whole house.

    We bagged & encased & washed & dried & threw away & lost sleep & took off work & spent tons of $ on totes & zippered bags etc. Anybody that's had to prepare for a heat feels my pain. Our house was heat treated Nov 2013 the week before Thanksgiving. We (kinda) breathed a sigh of relief until we saw a bug a week later, in the doorway to our sons room! The very puzzled Orkin heat treatment guy came bk out & treated the upstairs with an inecticide (the one derived from the flower...the crysanthemum).

    Ok, let me wrap it up, I'm getting long-winded. We were still seeing bugs. I said...it's gotta be bat bugs, even the tech's & management were confused! But kept saying it's definitely bed bugs. So, we did ANOTHER heat treatment upstairs only, 3 diff Orkin ppl were @ our house to inspect. We had our house sprayed again, & again. we gave them samples & Finally (oh, after my husband had to call THEM), we were told we had bat bugs.....in MARCH 2014! They refunded us 1/2 the cost of the heat treatment & sent a bat bug specialist to our house. He found evidence of bat activity (guano - & yes, a tech had inspected the attic before!), but no bats & did not see any entryway (we got a new roof summer 2013 so thinking bats had gone & now can't get back in?) So the bat bug dude treated targeted areas. I asked, what about treating the WHOLE attic & what about the wall voids? Was told that treating where the activity was should work. Also, we duck taped our attic pull down.

    Guess what, we still saw some stray bugs! Again, confirmed as bat bugs. He came back & treated the whole attic & did a crack & crevice treatment (bc I'm livid & paranoid & OCD about these things getting out of the attic & into our living areas!) Weeks go by, still seeing strays, oh & I got bit! Found one on my comforter & went berzerk!

    So here we are @ the end of May 2014 caught 2 downstairs in the kitchen! How'd that happen? Found 3 small ones that looked "full" in master bath. Found 1 just this evening! & also 2 adults (on different days, but this is within 2 weeks!). Orkin now has said we need the insulation removed, the attic treated & insulation replaced with an insecticide already in it. But get this, Orkin wants to charge us for it!! Am I crazy, or is that a slap in the face? Now they're giving us the runaround. The price has changed since the initial quote....& my husband told them we're not giving them a dime. Meanwhile, 7 months of this horror & my son won't sleep in his room. I'm on Ativan & Ambien (not taken together) to be able to sleep. & i'm totally OCD & paranoid about these bat bugs. Does anyone have any suggestions on what we should do next??? I"ve had it! Thanks for listening.

  2. Nobugsonme

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    Posted 5 years ago
    Sun May 25 2014 0:59:46
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    "He came out & diagnosed bed bugs. Did a cursory inspection of all beds & bedrooms & saw nothing. No signs at all. I said "hey, I think they might be bat bugs bc they're always on the ceiling in the bathroom by the exhaust fan...can u check the attic?" He pulled down the attic ladder & looked around with a flashlight....saw nothing. He said he was sure it was bed bugs & assured us that they wouldn't be in the bathroom unless the bedroom was infested. He gave us treatment options & we chose to heat treat the whole house."

    Wow, that bolded part in particular totally makes no sense. I mean, he couldn't find any evidence in the bedroom but insisted it must be infested if they're in the bathroom.

    I understand many pest techs don't have bat bug experience but it's a shame when an educated consumer like yourself is not listened to. It's a shame they also did not refund the entire heat treatment charge, since they misdiagnosed the problem despite your pointing them to bat bugs as the likelier possibility.

    I am not a pro so can't comment on the what to do next part. However, have you talked to management and if needed, taken things a step higher?

    There's something very wrong with this scenario and I hope that if you talk to the right people they'll be able to see this too.

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

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    Posted 5 years ago
    Sun May 25 2014 7:06:22
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    I too was told I had bed bugs when I actually had bat bugs. You first have to get rid of the bats. I called a wildlife company who came out and checked where the bats were entering and exiting. This company installed a one-way door for the bats to exit and sealed all entrances and caulked the perimeter of the house. All this was very expensive as well as the treatments for the bed bugs that I didn't have. After the bats were gone, I never saw any more bugs.

  4. loubugs

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    Posted 5 years ago
    Sun May 25 2014 11:22:24
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    The lesson your pest management company should learn is the correct identification is important. Treatment would have to include ridding yourself of the bats as noted in message above. The bugs should have been correctly IDd in the beginning. Did the PMP ever think that it's possible that bats are around? The tech really didn't know one species from another.
    For their mistake, they gave you only half back and now want to charge you for additional treatment that if properly done in the first place would have corrected the problem. For good customer service, it should all be free because they screwed up in the first place.
    I've seen this sort of thing occur in k9 detection when the dog alerts, the handler says there are bed bugs without even looking to see if there really are bed bugs around. Not seeing reality, just blindly going forward.

    Professional entomologist/arachnologist. I consult on all matters dealing with insects and arachnids, including those of natural history and biology to pest management and forensic entomology investigations.
  5. bedbugsgonewrong

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    Posted 5 years ago
    Sun May 25 2014 19:27:18
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    Thanks for your comments Nobugsonme, loubugs & tessie. The bats are no longer there according to the Orkin bat bug guy they sent over. He inspected the attic & also came to our house in the evening with binoculors & saw nothing. We've had our roof re-inspected & there were no weak spots or anything. We have been dealing with the service manager & branch manager for their retail service. My husband is calling the branch manager back tomorrow. If we don't get resolution tomorrow, well, hopefully we get resolution tomorrow...& by that I mean they need to be setting up a time to come & do the insulation @ no charge!

    Another question, does anyone know if bat bugs take a blood meal from each other? The 2 babies I found in my master bath were "full" & when squished with tissue, the tissue had a red spot. Does that indicate a fairly recent feeding? I'm 99.99% sure they didn't bite me or my son (who won't sleep in his room now!). Bc when the one bit me it left a welt & my son's skin is even more sensitive than mine. So....wondering.....& still paranoid.

  6. bed-bugscouk

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    Posted 5 years ago
    Tue May 27 2014 15:57:22
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    Hi,

    Setting the issues of bat and bed aside (I will only get annoyed and frustrated at the lack of professionalism).

    The answer to the feeding is generally no but that is not to say that they have fed on your or any other human for that matter. Although it is less common for bed bugs to seek a secondary (non human) host that is not really the same for bat and martin bugs, after all they have already done that in moving off the primary source.

    Thus if you have an issue with a pest such as mice or other loft dweller they could have fed that way. Therefore a check for any pest issues would be advisable to make sure there is not an alternative secondary food source.

    There is also the possibility of feeding from a human source but no skin reaction occurring.

    However with that opened as a can of worms and closed quickly I do have some sound advice.

    I would suggest that you run the bedbug beacon in the loft space sooner rather than later and ideally between any areas that show bat activity and the bathroom that you first saw the sample in. The principle of this is to provide a false CO2 source for any samples to follow and get trapped by.

    If its placed between you and the primary site (which they tend to return to) then it stands the best chance of catching them before ingress. As the capture rate goes up between day 3 - 5 you may want to run two off set by 3 days to ensure you are kept optimal.

    Also please consider capturing any samples as intact as possible. I will happily document them for you on the microscope if you send them to me.

    My final advice with regards the service to date is to consider speaking to a consumer rights lawyer who will most likley be more than happy to consider your case because if they have provided you with documentation of the "wrong species." There is a very solid reason why we list three confirming signs with bedbugs:

    • Live samples
    • Cast skins
    • Faecal traces

    Because only the last two apply to bed bugs in homes, cast skins will rarely be outside of the primary site with bat and bird and faecal traces are more likley to indicate the exit route with them as well.

    The lack of faecal and cast skins around a bed should alert ANYONE who can claim to use the word professional and mean it, that the probability is that this is either a rogue bedbug, which is likley to be the one you have caught, or that the case is not a bed bug but a close relative. While field technicians may not initially know to check the sample, the lack of other signs should prompt them to check and if trained enough to use the term professional they should know how to tell bat / bird from bed.

    Hope that helps.

    David Cain
    Bed Bugs Limited

    I am happy to answer questions in public but will not reply to message sent directly or via my company / social media. I am here to help everyone and not just one case at a time.

    In accordance with the AUP and FTC I openly disclose my vested interest in Passive Monitors as the inventor and patent holder. Since 2009 they have become an integral part in how we resolve bed bug infestations. I also have a professional relationship with PackTite in that they distribute my product under their own branding. I do not however receive any financial remuneration for any comments I make about pro
  7. bedbugsgonewrong

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    Posted 5 years ago
    Tue Jun 3 2014 20:55:44
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    Thank you so much bed-bugscouk. I am so glad I found this site. It's been a nightmare. Thanks for your suggestions & expertise everyone. So, I have an update. My husband called the Rollins headquarters in Atlanta & we sent them a very unpleasant letter (email). My husband received a call that very day from someone @ Rollins & assured him that the attic insulation service would be done at no charge WITH the guarantee & thanked him for being a loyal customer, etc., etc. They are coming tomorrow morning. I will be buying those passive monitors as well! I will update after the service & let all know how it goes.

  8. bedbugsgonewrong

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    Posted 5 years ago
    Tue Jun 3 2014 20:56:57
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    The bugs are a nightmare, not this site! Lol (sleep deprived)

  9. Nobugsonme

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    Posted 5 years ago
    Wed Jun 4 2014 2:20:23
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    So glad headquarters sorted you out, which is as it should be.

  10. Bedbugmiserable

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    Posted 5 years ago
    Tue Jun 10 2014 17:59:53
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    I have been going through something like this since June 2013. We were told that we had bed bugs until September 2013 when we were finally diagnosed as having bat bugs. Unfortunately, we had already spent $3500 on a whole house heat treatment which was not successful because we still had bats. I saw the last bat bug at the end of September 2013 until a few weeks ago when I started finding them again. I have found 3 over the last few weeks. They are in the same location as last time, the bonus room over the garage. They rechecked for bats and aren't seeing any bats or entry points where they could be getting in. Currently they ate monitoring for rodents to see if there could be a secondary food source for them. We have been getting chemical treatments ever since last June. I'm worried sick about them being harmful to my family. I feel like this is never going to end. Even worse, I thought it was over and then they returned. I wouldn't wish this on anybody.


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