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Help!! Going crazy, have bed bugs, landlord sucks

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  1. gotbedbugs

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    Posted 10 years ago
    Sat Jan 24 2009 23:52:49
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    Hi. I found out that I had bed bugs about a month ago. At first, my landlord was pretty nice about it - her husband is an exterminator, and he was willing to come in and address the problem right away. I was obviously very appreciative, but the more research I did about the bugs, the less I felt confident that his plan to combat the bed bugs was really going to work. For one thing, his first treatment was what he called a "preliminary treatment," whatever that means, and from what I hear, "preliminary" treatments are totally useless when combatting bed bugs. Secondly, he told me that he was going to use deltamethrin, which I've read in numerous places many NYC bugs are resistant to.

    Anyway, in spite of the above, we agreed that he would do a preliminary treatment, I would bag all of my stuff, and then he'd come in and do the first "real" treatment. He wanted me to keep sleeping there all along, but i just couldn't do it, so we agreed that I could stay out until the first treatment had been administered. I also wanted to tell my neighbors about the problem immediately, because I felt that at the very least, he should make sure that they didn't have the bugs, too. He responded that it needed to be "our little secret." The more time passed, however, the more uncomfortable I felt about this. I finally ended up asking him to tell them again, and at that point, he got really pissed at me, and promptly stopped being helpful. I was told that I didn't *have* to keep the information about the bed bugs to myself, but that if I told anyone about them and he and his wife started getting "hysterical" phone calls about "non existent bugs," they would "gladly send [me] the bill." UGGGGH!

    So, I have three specific questions pertaining to the above:

    1.) Does anyone know what NYC law regarding disclosure of bed bug infestations actually is? Is my landlord legally required to tell the neighbors, or can she do whatever she wants?

    2.) She also refused to pay for the cost of my dry cleaning/laundry/bags/airtight boxes, etc. Does anyone know whether she is legally required to shoulder ALL the costs relating to bed bugs, or just those pertaining to the actual treatment of my apartment (which she IS paying for)?

    3.) I haven't slept in my apartment since I found out I had the bed bugs. Yes, I know this is bad. But I can't even imagine going back there knowing bugs are eating me every night. I initially found out I had the bugs right after taking a long trip, so upon returning, I promptly laundered everything I had with me on that trip, and started staying at a friend's apt (we have checked a LOT since I got there, and so far, he has no bugs). I then started bagging everything in my apt (which my PC0 told me to do). Finally, I built an oven, using a heat gun, plywood, weather stripping, two digital thermometers, sealant, a latch, and weather stripping (to seal the lid). I have been steadily heating everything I own in this box, for 7 - 8 hours at a time, waiting until the temp has been level at around 160F for several hours. Afterwards, I have put those things back into clean bags/airtight boxes. So, here's my question: I think I am going to move. I feel like jerk for doing this, because I know that I am basically leaving my landlord with an infested apartment that will be a lot harder to treat with no one in it (he wants me to sleep in there and be his bed bug bait, which I know is the "right" thing to do in this situation). BUT, I just don't want to deal with this. I want to heat all of my things, throw out my furniture, bed, and move on. This has destroyed my life for the last month, and I don't want to have anything else to do with it. Plus, my PCO isn't even using a pesticide that will be likely to kill the stupid bed bugs, and since he's now upset with me, he certainly won't listen to me if I ask him to try to use a combination of different things, like many of the articles I've read about treating bed bugs have recommended. What do all of you fellow bug victims think about this? Am I being a total idiot? Will I take them with me in spite of all the precautions I'm taking?

    UGGGH, sorry for the long post, but I just don't know what to do. Any suggestions would be SO, SO, SO appreciated. I'm a total mess. I found and applied for a great apartment, but I'm getting cold feet now, since I'm worried I might bring them with me! AAAAH!

    Thanks in advance for any suggestions.

  2. BugBoy911

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    Posted 10 years ago
    Sun Jan 25 2009 0:57:44
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    Sorry to hear about your situation gotbedbugs. Also sorry to hear about your landlord situation as most are "EXACTLY," like yours. Most of em end up with a larger more expensive problem in the future cause first they don't have an exterminator that knows what he's doing, and second the cost for the professional is only slightly more yet they choose "their," guy. Deltamethrin can be used very efficiently to combat Bedbugs but this is in with combination of a few Deltamethrin products followed by strong residuals such as aerosol deydrated silica gel pyrethrin dust for long lasting crack and crevice treatment and protection. Just using a product like "Suspend Sc," in a pump metal spray can called a B an G (usually) will not defeat this pest. Even if you made the solution super strong or like 4X the recommended percentage, it still won't defeat this pest. Specialized aerosol pesticides used while wearing chemical respirators and gloves because the technician wouldn't be able to be in the room at the time of application using these products. You must have a license to purchase and use them and when used correctly are the perfect weapons in defeating BedBugs. Don't be nervous about bedbugs being resistant to deltamethrin, if the exterminator used aerosol deltamethrin like he should have I myself have never found a bed bug who can survive it... Now when you use a water suspension in a spray tank of deltamethrin only well then thats a different story as its not nearly as effective nor does it provide quick knockdown and kill. A bed bug sprayed with a spray tank is more aggitated than poisoned and will try to run after being disturbed. This insect should die yet it takes a bit of time sometimes hrs to fully kill a bedbug which has been sprayed with a water suspension of deltamethrin. Send me a pm if you need too...

  3. BugBoy911

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    Posted 10 years ago
    Sun Jan 25 2009 1:06:52
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    Its just unreal how many new clients I see daily who have been threw hell with landlords and exterminators until you finally do some research and hire somebody who can actually do what your asking!! I see your from NYC if ya need any advice send a pm... Hope it works out....

  4. Nobugsonme

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    Posted 10 years ago
    Sun Jan 25 2009 1:11:14
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    I have a few comments right off the bat.

    First, do you know which specific products the PCO is using? Deltamethrin comes in different products and this does matter. If he was combining it with other things, another pesticide, a dust (which is a mechanical killer), it could actually be a workable plan. You should try to find out exactly what is being used and how. (I believe PCOs are supposed to provide a slip with a list of products applied. If he never gave it to you, you can ask to see it.) I also understand that NYC pesticide applicators must be licensed. I believe landlords can't just treat their tenants' units unless they really are PCOs. Are you sure this guy is a licensed professional? I think you have a right to proof of this, if not.

    I am not a PCO, but I think that just because deltamethrin is being used that this will not be a good treatment plan. Need more info. (And then one of the PCOs on the boards can come along and tell us what they think.) I am not saying don't be concerned about this, just that it might not mean the entire plan is bad. You do want to pursue the question.

    I say this because it might be an idea to let the treatment happen and see how it works. I do not know how extensive your bed bug problem is, but they are not always long, intractable battles. Sometimes they do go away in a few treatments -- especially if caught early AND if you are not being reinfested (eg by neighbors).

    Do you have any idea how you got bed bugs? It sounds like you think they may have come from neighbors, and this may well be so. But there's a chance you brought them in. If so, the infestation may be easier / quicker to treat.

    A second warning flag for me was that you were told to bag all your stuff. Did the guy tell you when the stuff would be unbagged, where in the treatment process this would occur?

    Now to your questions:

    1.) Does anyone know what NYC law regarding disclosure of bed bug infestations actually is? Is my landlord legally required to tell the neighbors, or can she do whatever she wants?

    Does the landlord have to tell neighbors? No, I do not think s/he does, not at this point in time. Bed bugs have not been back in large numbers until about 1999. People are just starting to get that bed bugs are different from other pests.

    Now, some tenants in some cities have pursued lawsuits based on being the neighbors who were not warned and later got bed bugs (that's another story. -- check out the Presidential Towers suit mentioned under "Tenants" here.)

    It is not smart for landlords to try and eliminate this problem without having other attached units (above, below, sides) carefully inspected. That the PCO is not encouraging his wife the landlord to do this is a bad sign -- it suggests he does not know that much about bed bugs and how they work.

    (Many PCOs do ask landlords to inspect adjacent units, but are told no. You'd think a landlord would listen to the husband if the husband really knows bed bugs. But now I am in the realm of psychology -- also not my profession.)


    2.) She also refused to pay for the cost of my dry cleaning/laundry/bags/airtight boxes, etc. Does anyone know whether she is legally required to shoulder ALL the costs relating to bed bugs, or just those pertaining to the actual treatment of my apartment (which she IS paying for)?

    No, not at all.

    Some people may have tried to take them to court (would small claims be the right court for this?) but I am not a lawyer and can't advise. I am not sure it is worth the effort, I don't think we've heard of anyone doing this and getting the money.

    3.) {Re: moving.} What do all of you fellow bug victims think about this? Am I being a total idiot? Will I take them with me in spite of all the precautions I'm taking?

    Will your baking technique be totally successful? Will a stray bed bug or egg get into your stuff somehow? We can't say.

    Since people have apparently encountered infested moving trucks and even moved into a second infested apt., you can never be sure _even if you do have them once you move_. Tricky stuff.

    If money allows, done properly, a vikane gas treatment of the moving truck holding your stuff en route to new digs _should_ work. Done properly, being the key words. Mistakes happen.

    I would advise moving if you were sure the situation would not be solved at the original apt. And you might want to try to get more info on the treatment plan, before deciding it is hopeless.

    I hope this helps.

    I started and run the site but am "not an expert."
  5. gotbedbugs

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    Posted 10 years ago
    Sun Jan 25 2009 16:59:24
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    Thank you so much for your responses! I have read each of them thoroughly and already feel more educated than I did before posting. It has been so frustrating to have these stupid bugs in my life, because I feel like I can't talk to most people about them without them immediately assuming they'll get bed bugs from me, and that has really made it difficult to get information. This forum is so helpful!

    I do have a specific question, nobugsonme, regarding the vikane gas treatment you mentioned: do you know of any reputable companies who perform this service in nyc? I would love to find one who has good reviews, since it appears to be a rather dangerous/involved process. If you don't know any specifics, any suggestions you might have as to how to find a PCO who performs this service would be much appreciated, as I've had a hard time even finding one!

  6. Adele

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    Posted 10 years ago
    Thu Apr 9 2009 17:36:50
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    Infois - are you referring to a PCO named Jesus?

    religion may provide some comfort during times of stress but what this person needs is a competent PCO not a website and repeating a few lines of words

  7. Infofreak

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    Posted 10 years ago
    Thu Apr 9 2009 18:39:22
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    infois - 2 hours ago  » 
    Your life do not have to suck
    just say out loud now Jesus
    I believe and I receive you in
    my heart please help me I also
    know a good website leroyjenkins.com

    Is leroy jenkins a good PCO

  8. BugBoy911

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    Posted 10 years ago
    Thu Apr 9 2009 19:17:07
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    Just research on this board and you will find a few good PCO's that can and will help you effectivly. If you liked what you've read or got a better understanding, thats great. Make sure you ask some specific questions to your PCO of choice, if he can answer the basics and explain the specifics use him... Most of the clients I"ve seen so far have had past exterminators and just can't believe the difference in quality and ability... I had a client today who has a company charge $825 for a bedbug treatment and just fan sprayed the walls and bed... PATHETIC AND A SCAM! They spend not even 30 mins at her place. THey had a dog come in that alerted to a brand new couch, I was very suspicious. I went threw that couch for a hr and didn't find the slightest evidence of bedbugs.. In other words it was a scam. You can do what you want, but there are only a few that can help you I just hope you listen.

  9. Itchy-Scratchy

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    Posted 10 years ago
    Thu Apr 9 2009 19:21:16
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    Adele - 1 hour ago  » 
    Infois - are you referring to a PCO named Jesus?
    religion may provide some comfort during times of stress but what this person needs is a competent PCO not a website and repeating a few lines of words

    Adele, you always make me a laugh!!
    Kate

  10. Adele

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    Posted 10 years ago
    Thu Apr 9 2009 20:32:44
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    Kate - I am here to amuse you!!! I thought maybe it was a PCO named Jesus that we should belive and receive into our hearts (and apartments/houses)!

    anyway kate - good to hear from you

  11. cfacekillah

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    Posted 10 years ago
    Fri Apr 10 2009 11:36:02
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    BugBoy911 was at my apt Thursday and was incredible. My long story short is, I had a dog alert on the 25th og March to my bedroom (which is small and access is limited) in addition to my couch, unfortunately this triggered hysterics and ended dog inspection. The company - nybedbugdogs.com was prepared to treat this day, however I wanted my landlord to handle. Landlord has been amazing but their company was not moving fast enough so I had nybedbugdogs.com return the next day and begin treatment. They have since come back for a 2nd treatment last Friday. Treatment has involved only the use of a spray fan and they have not disclosed the checmical they use. Within hours of each treatment, I would be eaten alive - This obviously did not sit well with me.

    I read up and educated myself through this site and reached out to BugBoy911 seeking advice. He has been incredibly helpful and provided some questions I should be asking nybedbugdogs.com which resulted in a better second treatment than the first. Believe me, nybedbugdogs.com would have been in and out in my apt in 15 mins had I not been armed with Boy's list of requirements.

    For piece of mind, I asked Boy to inspect my apartment to regain some sanity and security and he was here yesterday for 3 hours and frankly that far exceeds the combined time my treatment service spent during the first and second treatment.

    He went through the entire bedroom, inspecting top to bottom, same with the couch in the living room and everything surrounding it.

    He did not locate any bedbugs or evidence but something is biting me. Therefore, he went to work.

    He placed traps and implemented a treatment after careful explanation of his intent and purpose of each chemical he was using.

    For the first time since this ordeal began I feel like I am one step ahead of the the bugs....whatever they might be.

    I would highly recomend him and have zero to gain from doing so. Just wanted to let everyone know that there is help in the NYC/LI/NJ area.

    He is intensly focused and more importantly he really cares. He has taken my paniced calls at varying hours of the day and was willing to come out to Manahattan after a busy normal work day in Brooklyn.

  12. Infofreak

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    Posted 10 years ago
    Fri Apr 10 2009 12:51:27
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    cfacekillah how much did he charge , And what kind of chemicals does he use ,

    Infofreak

  13. BugBoy911

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    Posted 10 years ago
    Fri Apr 10 2009 14:02:09
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    Thanks for the complement. I may come off strongly about my views about the pest control industry but what I say I do mean and will back up. I performed a detailed inspection followed by precise crack and crevice treatments to limit pesticide use and limit a bebugs ability to set up a harborage point within your living room and bedroom. By placing monitors in the cloths closet will in the long term help me identify if activity is indeed somewhere within the closet. With regualr preventative treatments using green products/growth regulators/inspection with flushing/monitors I'm positive I will keep you residence BedBug Free. If in case in the future you have a problem come back we will be able to attack it quickly and effectively to ensure a BedBug Free home. Great job on sealing up the apartment and thanks again for the chance to help!!

  14. BugBoy911

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    Posted 10 years ago
    Fri Apr 10 2009 14:08:22
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    I still can't believe the dog alerted to that couch!? It was clean as a whistle and a very easy couch to throughly inspect and treat being that it was a one piece with only the bottom cushions able to be removed. I"m really shocked that the dog alerted, I couldn't find even the slightedst bit of evidence, I"m interested in what we might find using those monitors suspended within the couch. Also being 2 weeks old and a nice couch by the way makes me skeptical of K-9 inspections and wether they are really as acturate as they say in minor bedbug infestations.

  15. Nobugsonme

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    Posted 10 years ago
    Fri Apr 10 2009 14:46:00
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    Bugboy911, two days ago, you received an important private message from me. The first line directed you to email me if you cannot read it. Please read this AND your email.

  16. cfacekillah

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    Posted 10 years ago
    Sun Apr 12 2009 6:13:43
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    Hey, apologies for the delay in response. Wanted to let you know I am really happy with BugBoy911. I have not gotten biten since he steped foot in my apt on Thursday and I cannot say the same for the company (nybedbugdogs.com) that charged me $1200 to fan spray and stayed all of 30 mins each visit!

    Basically Boy came in and spent about an hour or two doing a thorough inspection then began treatment. The biggest difference in the chemicals he used verses the original contracted company being he used residual killing agents while the original company used spray and pray methods.

    He used HPX in the cracks and crevices of the couch - basically any area on the couch that could be a potential harborage area for the bedbugs. In the bedroom (where I received the most bites, and bedbugs were determined to be in the bedframe based on dog alerting. Long story but have since removed the bedframe as it limited access to the room), he used Eco Pro Wettable Powder and Gentrol mix - fan spray along the baseboards and within the closets and a light general application on the walls, baseboard, and floor. Lastly, he also put in monitors after the spray to inspect upon next visit which is scheduled for two weeks out.

    Really great dude, I had to leave the apt for 4-6 hours but he called that evening to check in on how the apt smelled, whether I was feeling light headed and checks in regularly regarding whether or not I am being biten.

    I am definitely going to have him come over every 6 weeks - 8 weeks for the remainder of the year to perform an inspection.

    Take care and good luck!


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