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I was told nothing further could be done!?

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  1. angie

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    Posted 10 years ago
    Wed Nov 28 2007 13:18:57
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    I have been living with bb's since june 2007. They inhabited the apartment that my family moved into and soon found we were tasty! I called the exterminator that does the monthly routine, and was set up an appointment to get sprayed. There is soooo much work to get ready for that it is very stressful. We have been sprayed 3 times and to this day we are still getting bites and sightings. I talked to the company again and was informed that unfortunately the bb's around here are not responding to the toxins that they are using.(the city not only my place!)We talked alot about the bugs and I totally understand what they were saying but then again I don't understand. They are only a bug and why can't they get rid of them? I do know that I will not finish out my lease at this place because I can't have my kids subjected to this anymore. Bedbugs are for nursery rhymes not nurseries!! The company used several chemical cocktails for growth inhibitors to flushing agents. I really don't blame them at all! Unfortunatly, we are not the only apartment that has this problem in my complex so its only going to get worse. Any words of wisdom are greatly welcomed!!

  2. itchyincharmcity

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    Posted 10 years ago
    Wed Nov 28 2007 13:23:28
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    I think that is unacceptable. They told you "too bad, you have to live with it?" That's outrageous. If the bugs don't respond to the treatment, then use a different treatment! Time to bring in a new PCO.

  3. currentinsomniac

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    Posted 10 years ago
    Wed Nov 28 2007 13:36:46
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    I don't know what city you are in or anything, but check this site (and other sites or local health dept if needed) to find out what your housing laws are like. In some cities the landlord is responsible to rid your place of them even if yours is the only one. In others, more apartments than yours has to have the problem in order for the owner of the apts. to be responsible. What I'm saying is that if your apartment is not the only one affected, you may have some help. Perhaps it will have to come down to fumigating the whole building (with vikane). And that seems to work on everything. If, however, you hit dead ends, and end up just wanting out of your lease, there are also "habitability" laws. That's all that my state has written up...that the owner has to provide you with a habitable place of residence. So there may be loopholes for you there. (But be forewarned...I think someone else here used that and the owner basically said "fine, get out right now".) I'm just concerned that if you move you may take these resistant bugs with you...and that wouldn't do anything for you.
    I don't have time to find you the other forum threads that have a similar topic (my son wants "fishy crackers right now!") but I know other situations like yours has come up. If you can find them, they could provide you with some additional help and info.

  4. currentinsomniac

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    Posted 10 years ago
    Wed Nov 28 2007 13:39:55
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    I guess another question is....they are using lots of different chemicals...but are they coming often enough? Are they treating all the other adjacent apartments at the same time?

  5. bugobsessed

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    Posted 10 years ago
    Wed Nov 28 2007 13:44:51
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    Hi Angie,

    I'm so sorry to hear about your situation. I've read much about bugs being resistant to pesticides, etc., but I think there is a fundamental flaw in treatment here-- timeframe. You've been dealing with these pests since June but have only been sprayed 3 times! That's only once every two months. This gives the eggs time to hatch and then feed, grow, and reproduce again, starting a whole new infestation-- meanwhile any residual pesticides have worn of by then, too. Look around on the site some more and you'll see that the suggested treatment includes having follow up treatments at least every two weeks. This way any eggs that hatch or remaining bugs will have a greater chance of exposure, limiting the growth cycle. BB's are tough to get rid of and need to be battled more aggressively.

    Also, if you are in a multi-unit building, you should seal up any avenues the bugs use to get into (or out of) your apartment. This way they can't run from another unit into yours or from yours into another during treatment, thereby avoiding the poison or starting a new infestation elsewhere, simply to return and re-infest you. Seal up any cracks around the molding, window and door frames, in the walls, around electrical outlets, in closets, light fixtures, ceiling fans, pipes and HVAC units. It's a lot of work, but it's worth it!

    Good luck!

  6. angie

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    Posted 10 years ago
    Wed Nov 28 2007 13:51:18
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    Our sprays were spaced when I called to complain and no they are not treating the other apartments. The others said "No bugs here" and even refused to let them spray just one time. So in fact, I feel that I am fighting a losing battle. And when I move, I know enough about these bugs that I will try my best to try and not take any with me. My state also has those safe habitation laws and that is what I am going to base my fight on. I am researching every aspect so there are no loop holes for us to fall through. I really appreciate all your help...everyone!

  7. bugobsessed

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    Posted 10 years ago
    Wed Nov 28 2007 14:00:10
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    The 'no bugs here' attitude is really frustrating. (My upstairs neighbor is like that.) However, your landlord owns the property and should be able to require that the other tenants at least have an inspection to determine if there are bb's. I was lucky, my landlord did just that. And if there are bb's, it's the landlord's property. He/she should be able to treat as part of the property maintenance. There have been several discussions about this very issue on the board, and it makes me furious that people can be so ignorant. And of course, landlords can be complacent too, because it's easier and less expensive than dealing with the problem properly.

    Angie, my fear for you is that when you move you will take the bugs with you, if your situation is as serious as it sounds and it's not handled properly.

  8. cosbear

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    Posted 10 years ago
    Wed Nov 28 2007 14:16:11
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    Howdy angie:

    So sorry you are going through this. I can't imagine how bad it would be to have kids to take care of who were being bitten. The worry, the guilty feelings and the helplessness must be terrible. The worry about bites and pesticides. When I was younger and helping my former partner raise her two children we got infested with fleas one summer. The whole town got overrun with them that year. Our little girl got bit the worst for some reason. I had to send them to her mom's house and spray the entire house with malathion every day for over a week to finally get rid of them and could let them come back. It just broke me up to see that poor little girl all bit up like that. Fleas may be easier to get rid of but they can be horrors as well. I truly can sympathize.

    Have all the apartments in your building been inspected? Unless they are and every one of them treated that has bugs it is nearly impossible to get rid of them forever. In my building where I first got them, we had to take harsh steps with the management company to get them to comply. The local Health Department was no help. When I insisted on speaking to the director and camped out in their waiting room vowing I would not leave until I spoke to him, they called security and had me very roughly removed. I was never rude, intimidating, or loud, or disruptive just persistent. We finally got signatures from the tenants saying we would band together in a rent strike putting our rent into an escrow account overseen by our lawyer while we pursued a court order and law suit. Considering that 53% of the tenants signed it they acquiesced. I couldn't even get reporters to discuss what was going on with this whole thing. The only time I was able to get news coverage was when the threw me out of the Health Department and they never even mentioned why I was there. They referred to me and my friend as radicals. We got nearly 100 people to picket the office of the management company including a whole lot of little kids, elderly people and the like. Still we could not get on press member to report on it. I thought of setting myself on fire but they probably would have reported a crazy radical set himself on fire and failed to report where it happened or why. Finally we were driven off by the police after 20 minutes because we had no permit to assamble. We had applied for one but the city refused.

    I would say research what the laws are regarding such things in your area. It can't be legal for them to just give up. I don't care if the chemicals they are using are ineffective or not. If necessary and if you are financially capable I would consider hiring a lawyer. From prior experience I will have to warn you management companies will and do play hardball. As soon as I found another place to move to and moved out of my last apartment complex because they considered me an instigator for fighting for my rights they got a restraining order against me being anywhere on their property. I can't even visit friends who live there without risking going to jail.

    Moving may be your only recourse if you can't get them to do anything. I would too if I had children to worry about. Make sure and read everything you can find on how to move safely on this site and others though, so you don't take them with you. Good luck and best wishes. Later... cos

  9. angie

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    Posted 10 years ago
    Wed Nov 28 2007 14:48:13
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    I was told that the chemical cocktail that was used had at least a 30 day life and that the bugs would have to cross the barrier to get to us and then die. Evidently, that wasn't true! As far as the other tenents, the lease states that we must allow for the monthly roach sprays. If they refuse, the tenents can be be kicked out for breach of lease. The landlord or their business manager has told me that she doesn't have a bb problem. I don't know how cuz the apartment above her is badly infested and they are the ones who refused treatment. I am considering an attorney and I will have to find one that gets paid when we win kinda thing cuz we are considered poverty level income. I am unfortunately 1 month behind on rent and that scares me cuz if I follow through I can be evicted for that even though others are farther behind. I also want compensation for all my trashed furniture. I threw EVERYTHING away!! I just really want out so my family can get back to normal. My kids need that!

  10. lieutenantdan

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    Posted 10 years ago
    Wed Nov 28 2007 14:49:29
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    angie,
    Do you mind telling us what state you live in? When I started my war in September 2006 New York City was considered ground zero for bbs. In the past year I have watched as this epidemic spread throughout USA, even a family in a small town in Maine has been hit.

  11. angie

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    Posted 10 years ago
    Wed Nov 28 2007 15:00:55
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    Nebraska. It has actually been getting hit pretty hard lately with the bug war!

  12. cosbear

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    Posted 10 years ago
    Wed Nov 28 2007 15:29:13
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    Hi angie: From what I've been able to ascertain they are in every state now. My sister who's husband is loaded brought them home from a five star hotel in NYC. In their small town north of Chicago she said that none of the local exterminators even mentioned BBs in their ads. They had a hard time finding anyone who would even do it. They finally paid extra to get some company from Chicago to come in, that she said was very competent. Anyone can get them and it gets worse every year. As far as a lawyer goes maybe your local public defenders office could help you find an attorney who would defer payment unless you won a judgment. The term for that by the way is Pro Bono. Also if you have a local chapter of the ACLU they might help you find an attorney. There is a legal faq on this website that I haven't had a chance to read which my have more info.

    Being behind on your rent really compromises your choices, for sure. I totally understand how that can happen. Getting rid of bedbugs is devastating financially for many families. The last apartment complex I lived in the vast majority of the families were poor working folk. In most families both parents worked. We were lucky to meet a preacher who had a very large church in a nearby burg and they donated bed enclosures and DE and tickets to a laundromat to help us out. It was very hard for me to see so many little kids with bites. One family had a little girl was so afraid to go to sleep that she almost had to be hospitalized from lack of sleep and stress. They sent her to a relatives to stay until the bites stopped. I wonder if she will have nightmares the rest of her life. It's so sad. Good luck and best wishes. Later... cos

  13. lieutenantdan

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    Posted 10 years ago
    Wed Nov 28 2007 16:34:27
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    angie,
    Thanks. Are you in the city or country?

  14. angie

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    Posted 10 years ago
    Thu Nov 29 2007 12:33:55
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    We live in the city and in a multi-unit complex.

  15. Nobugsonme

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    Posted 10 years ago
    Thu Nov 29 2007 19:49:50
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    angie,

    You need to contact local tenants' rights group to find out the laws re: landlords' responsibility for keeping pests out of apartments. If they are required to keep apartments pest-free, I'd personally seek legal advice,

    You said, "Our sprays were spaced when I called to complain and no they are not treating the other apartments.

    This shows a fundamental lack of understanding about how bed bugs operate--the spraying once and waiting a couple of months until you complain before re-treating, and not inspecting and treating adjacent units--this is unacceptable.

    Bed bugs ARE hard to get rid of, but in your situation, they are not even making a genuine, concerted effort.

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

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