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has anyone had any experience w this PCO ("Brandon") in nyc/brooklyn?

(8 posts)
  1. kenzbugs

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    Posted 6 years ago
    Tue Dec 4 2012 15:02:53
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    found a bb last friday for the first time. it was a male. the next day we found a dead one of indeterminate sex in the same room. landlord is being good about it and said they would have the house treated asap. they live here too.

    ive had a few scares over the last 6 years or so (fortunately never any bugs) and have been trying to learn about bb's the whole time as well. also had a few friends w more extensive and unfortunate first hand experience. and of course ive been trying to educate myself big time since we actually found a bug. so i looked on here to find PCO's to recommend.

    the landlord wouldnt go with a highly reco'd PCO i got from bedbugger here. instead went with someone the landord's brother reco'd. which disturbed me quite a bit b/c the PCO's plan seems kind of incomplete after hearing about it from him. not TOTALLY off base but just a little bit enough to make me concerned.

    the guy's name is Brandon. retirement-age african american guy, about 5'10". not that it is a judgement, but for identification i noticed he had some missing teeth in front. he got really defensive when i asked - he wouldnt give me his last name and wouldnt tell me the name of the companies he works for. he said he works for a few different companies. i said "can you give me the name of ONE of those companies?" and he did. my wife googled it and it returned NO RESULTS. not one…
    he also wouldnt give us a business card.

    the house here is a detached 3 family with a basement where people stay on visits sometimes. this is in brooklyn. his initial plan was to only treat our individual apartment. i asked him what he thought about the bb's travelling to another apartment after treatment to survive. he said "naww they dont do that."

    oh really?

    i asked him if he thought they could be hanging out behind the wall switch plates. "nah i dont think so."
    ugh

    while im typing this, the landlord just called and said he will in fact treat the whole house, i think because i made a fuss about it. ok, better…

    also, he said he's going to do treatments 3 days in a row. so, start tomorrow. then come back the next day, and one more time.

    nothing about vacuuming or laundry. said we should put our clothes in plastic bags and tie them up. and then, "if there are any bugs in there i'll put the heat in the bag."

    does ANYONE know this guy or have any experience with him at all?
    im not at all comforted by his attitude or approach. im definitely hoping for the best!! he's supposed to have a lifetime of experience and supposedly specializes in bedbugs. the landlord also said "look if it doenst take care of the problem we will get someone else and have them do it again."

    i mentioned that seems kind of crazy to waste money like that, why not just go with someone who can present a better or more complete plan right from the start? theyre not listening to that logic (if my interpretation of logic is correct) right now. i dont think i have much choice but to go along with it. maybe someone here can offer any info…..?

    sorry to write so much, this is all happening right now and in definitely feeling stressed out and overwhelmed about it all.

  2. P Bello

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    Posted 6 years ago
    Tue Dec 4 2012 19:39:45
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    Dear kenz,

    Sounds like you've done some research and know better than what you're hearing from this person.

    Now, if it walks like a duck, swims like a duck and squawks like a duck, generally speaking, it's a duck !

    Assuming you've fully and accurately described what this person is going to do at this building then it is reasonable to expect that "optimal bed bug control" may not occur as a result of his actions.

    However, also consider:

    > To apply pesticides in residences other than your own, for hire, in New York State, which by the way I'm about 99.99999999999999999999999999999999999% certain includes Brooklyn, the applicator MUST BE suitably licensed and insured. Please note the MUST BE deal.

    > Additionally, the applicator MUST provide you with a copy of the pesticide label and MSDS prior to the application taking place. You are well within your rights to ask for this documentation prior to anyone applying pesticides withion your residence.

    > For further information, since I do not have ALL the NYS DEC regulations memorized, you may wish to refer to the current structural pest control regulations the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation website.

    > You might also wish to mention to your LL that any pest control application services conducted for hire by him and consequences thereof may fall under his own responsibilities.

    Hope this helps & good luck ! paul b.

  3. kenzbugs

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    Posted 6 years ago
    Wed Dec 5 2012 10:45:44
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    thank you for writing that paul b!!! very helpful info

    given the circumstances, i think i dont have much choice but to allow him to do the treatment hes going to do (im thinking/hoping it is going to be a mixture of heat and sprays, then powder). whatever points he doesnt get to, we'll have to direct him to it to make sure they get done (which is a shame since we are certainly not professionals).

    and whatever's left, we'll do on our own. things like caulking in the cracks, taking care of the clothes, bb monitors, interceptors, etc

    my 3 year old son hasnt had a bite since we took the first bug from his room 5 or 6 days ago. this morning he did wake up with a little pimple looking thing, im hoping it's just a pimple. im hoping it was really just two hitchhikers that have since died. even though that may be unlikely no one's finding evidence of any further infestation anywhere. the treatment in that light seems like cleanup and insurance just in case there's any more BB's lurking. and if it's more than that, hopefully it'll work then too!

    they did say they'll pay for another PCO to come in and do another round if this doesnt work. im trying to approach it as a huge bother and not give in to the madness that we all feel about it.

    which is really interesting isnt it? how EVERYONE gets the exact same set of anxieties?? and largely to the same degree. all the info on bedbugs (well, almost all of it) says that they dont carry disease - it's almost like they carry a psychic disease that very few people are resistant to.

    but on the original point, i guess no one's had any experience with the guy i was originally enquiring about?

  4. cilecto

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    Posted 6 years ago
    Wed Dec 5 2012 11:12:17
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    Besides the PCO's being licensed and competent, there's concern if he's using chemicals that are legal (and safe) to use indoors and in a manner that's safe. There have been stories of unlicensed operators applying products that are illegal in homes, requiring cleanup. I'd check with the Metropolitan Council on Housing regarding your rights and get written documentation in which to make your case. FWIW, here's NY's list of licensed PCOs, if you can get the PCO's full name, it could help http://www.dec.ny.gov/docs/materials_minerals_pdf/appweb.pdf

    Thou shalt not be afraid for the terror by night...
    - Psalms 91:5-7

    (Not an pro)
  5. Nobugsonme

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    Posted 6 years ago
    Wed Dec 5 2012 11:19:51
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    The guy sounds like he is not himself licensed pesticide applicator. That might seem harmless to some (like your landlord) but he's assuming you don't know the laws about pesticide application.

    In NY my understanding is its illegal to treat someone else's home if you are not a licensed pesticide applicator. So the guy can apply chemicals in his own house but if he's in yours, he needs a current NY state license. You have a right to see the guy's license, to ask for his name and license number. (Which would be listed on the DEC page Ci linked to.). You also have a right once work is done to see the list of chemicals and amounts and where they're applied.

    If in NYC, you can call Met Council's hotline -- link in the landlords/tenants section of our resources page-- and ask for tips on how to deal with this.

    But if time is tight, simply telling the landlord a licensed PCO is required by law and you need licensing info on this guy may be helpful.

    I started and run the site but am "not an expert."
  6. loubugs

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    Posted 6 years ago
    Wed Dec 5 2012 14:47:11
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    This is a good place to start to learn about NYS pesticide applicators & licenses.
    http://www.dec.ny.gov/permits/45618.html

    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.
  7. kenzbugs

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    Posted 6 years ago
    Mon Feb 11 2013 23:40:52
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    thank you to those that replied since i last visited this page! i subscribed to the topic but didnt get the notifications for some reason.

    things actually went pretty badly once the PCO (this guy Brandon) came to treat the place. this was about a month ago now. he was not able to find any evidence of BB's. no fecal stains, eggs etc.
    he didnt dispute that we had encountered them but didnt look very hard for them either. we found another dead one while he was here, which he crumbled in his fingers, saying "that's not a bed bug." WTF?!?!

  8. kenzbugs

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    Posted 6 years ago
    Mon Feb 11 2013 23:46:20
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    around the time of the original post of this thread, in response to me telling our 80 year old LL's that the 75 year old PCO probably wasnt for real, she told me "ok if he doesnt work out i will get someone else." they insist that he is licensed but was just working as a freelancer and for some reason he felt he didnt need to show his credentials to little ol me. uh, ok fine. she was paying the bill, after all.

    so he comes to treat and acted really unprofessionally thru the entire process. he got extremely defensive every time i asked him a question about how we should proceed after he's done, or anything about what he is doing or plans to do, or anything about him as a PCO.

    i asked him if he's going to spray our kid's mattress and he got mad. we asked him if we need to air out the room and he got mad. we asked him how long we should keep the clothes in the plastic bags and he got mad. it went on and on….

    at one point during the original treatment, while he was spraying, my wife asked if he wanted us to move a bookshelf from the wall so he could spray back there. we had found a dead BB in that spot that morning. he didnt respond and got so angry that he actually packed up his stuff in the middle of the treatment and decided to leave. after an hour of watching this guy bungle around our apartment, i admit we were no longer being nice to him - but he was also there being a total con artist, just absolutely stealing these people's money by saying he was treating the place, but he was barely doing anything at all. he did spray with real spray, i briefly researched what he used afterwards. commendable, that. not being sarcastic.

    but the main bulk of his "treatment" consisted of "steam." he brought a small hairdryer that he used to "steam" our stuff. he didnt know the difference between warm air and STEAM. he would run the hair dryer over the cracks in the dresser, for instance. but he was doing it at such a speed that he couldnt have possibly killed ANYTHING. like just slightly slower than a cursory wave of his magic dryer. he couldnt have even warmed up some butter like that, let alone melt it, or more appropriately, killed any BB's. ive seen plenty of videos of BB's dying under heat, i know what it takes. he pointed the hair dryer into a garbage bag FULL of clothes, waved it around the top of the bag for a little while, then plopped the bag down in the kitchen.

    i actually heard him talking to the LL from the hallway, lol - he angrily referred to me as "mr smarty pants" and was saying some crap about "these damn white people…" or some other stupid racist crap like that. (he and the LL's are also african american, we're white). UGH! what f'ing year is this?!?!?!

    after he ditched we managed to convince the LL to get him back in there, at least to finish whatever half assed job he started. partially because of the promise that they would get someone else in there if he failed. i didnt want them to be able to say we refused treatment. so he came back for the treatment that he was being paid for.

    whether it was luck or maybe Brandon even did something good, my son wasnt bit for 3 weeks before i found a hungry bug on his bed. so last week the PCO came back for the last of his visits, waved his hair dryer around, left some folded over glue boards around the apartment, sprayed something here and there, and off he went.

    i caught another BB 2 nights ago on my son's bed, it was full of blood and he's now got 5 red welts going up his side. so obviously we still have bugs.

    the good part is, now Brandon's definitely out of the picture. THANKFULLY! we've now been at this about 2 months. and im kinda feeling like we're worse off than when we started. there's gotta be some eggs in here somewhere, and he definitely didnt do much to stop them from hatching.

    the next morning (yesterday) i called the landlord to tell them there are still bugs, my kid's getting bitten etc.

    except, now im faced with them going back on their word and telling me that theyre going to do do the next treatment THEMSELVES. these are decent folks, really very sweet people in all other circumstances ive seen them in. but truth be told, the husband cant walk up the stairs (we're on the second floor), and the wife can barely stand up straight. my experience shows, and i hate to say it, that theyre both gullible and slightly senile. and not aware that they legally have to hire a professional to do the work. they dont seem to care about the legality of it, and i cant say i blame them. unless ive misunderstood, the law doesnt appear to have much teeth, just lots of fancy wording. taking a case to court (ive researched it) takes about 6 months.. by the time any actual enforcement happens this place would be crawling with 10000000 BB's.

    good news is, the LL's got a "bed bug inspector" coming tomorrow to have a look, maybe all my emphatic discussions with them were of some use. maybe it's a sign theyll be more amenable to having a decent PCO come in to finish this place off (to their credit, they did think they were doing the right thing w Brandon, but lacked the insight to realize he was full of *** )

    im posting this in case it helps someone in the future, somehow????

    and this leads me to a question about moving that i will pose in a separate, less wordy thread..


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