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I'm a landlord, and my tenants' bed bugs won't go away

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  1. sleepyjuju

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    Posted 5 months ago
    Thu Jan 4 2018 19:45:26
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    Hello,

    I'm a landlord, and my property is a multifamily house (3 floors) in Massachusetts.

    My 2nd-floor tenants had bed bug issues in the summer of 2016. We hired a pest control company to use chemicals to get rid of it, and it had been fine.

    Then in the summer of 2017, my 1st-floor and 3rd-floor tenants had bed bug issues. They visited each other, so I wasn't surprised they had problems together. We hired another pest control company, and they used chemical treatments.

    Everything had been fine until the October of 2017. The 3rd-floor tenants found one bed bug and killed it. The 1st-floor tenants moved out in October for a different reason. I informed the bed bug company, and they said it's rare to have bed bugs come back after 3 months, and it must have been the tenants bring in new bed bugs. The company wanted us to monitor. If there's still more bed bug in the next few weeks, they would come back.

    Everything had been fine till now (January of 2018). The 3rd-floor tenants just got several bites and killed one bed bug.

    I have two questions:

      Is it possible that the treatment didn't kill all the bed bugs and they come back a few months later? Did my tenants bring in new bed bugs?

      What should I do as a landlord? Every treatment is over $1000, and I can't afford to have situations like this.

    Thanks.

  2. Bedbugmom41

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    Posted 5 months ago
    Thu Jan 4 2018 20:45:15
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    I am not an expert.
    But I have one question :
    Does the company treat every floor each time?

  3. bitethebullet

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    Posted 5 months ago
    Thu Jan 4 2018 21:39:02
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    Are you treating the apartments connected to the infested ones? If not, they can move between apartments/walls to escape the poison. From what I learned, you need to treat all apartments surrounding the one in question to ensure the above doesn’t happen.

    We only treated our apartment (but it was with with heat—we knew we were the source and that no one else in the complex had them) and paid out of pocket.. We also caught it 3-4 weeks after getting home, so ours wasn’t very large. As of right now, it’s day 24 with no signs. The manager of our complex wouldn’t even return calls, so at least you’re being proactive.

    Hopefully one of the boards PCOs can chime in, I’m not a professional either.

    “I’ve got edge!”

    “You’re about as edgy as a satsuma.”
  4. thirdusername

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    Posted 5 months ago
    Fri Jan 5 2018 1:50:28
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    As a tenant I can say it sucks to be a landlord.
    It sucks to be a tenant and not have control.
    BBs suck for everyone involved.
    I don't know how much treatment costs but I hope $1000 is for all 3 floors.
    A tenant could have brought them in but there are many ways they could get them.
    Unfortunately for landlords AFAIK they are still responsible for the treatment regardless of how they think the tenant got them.

    I am NOT an expert.
    My opinions are just opinions, they may NOT apply to yours or any situation.
    My advice is to always do a LOT of research.
    A lot of what I read contradicts other stuff on the Interweb.
  5. loubugs

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    Posted 5 months ago
    Fri Jan 5 2018 16:27:05
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    sleepyjuju - 20 hours ago  » 

    I have two questions:

      Is it possible that the treatment didn't kill all the bed bugs and they come back a few months later? Did my tenants bring in new bed bugs?

      What should I do as a landlord? Every treatment is over $1000, and I can't afford to have situations like this.

    Thanks.

    Depends on chemicals and treatment regime. Treat whole apartment or only room with bed bugs located? Instruction provided by PCO/PMP for tenants to follow? Did they examine the building, common areas (laundry, all floors, apts) or only treat the problem apartment? Behavior of tenants, friends (knowingly, unknowingly) have bed bugs, new introductions, visitors, etc. all play a part.

    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.
  6. sleepyjuju

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    Posted 5 months ago
    Fri Jan 5 2018 17:20:45
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    Bedbugmom41 - 20 hours ago  » 
    I am not an expert.
    But I have one question :
    Does the company treat every floor each time?

    Hi Bedbugmom41, no, the company only treated the floor that had problems.

    I spoke to the company this morning and they said they treat individual units all the time, and there's no need to treat the entire building. Is it true? Or should I insist to treat the whole building? It's an over 100-year-old house in Massachusetts.

  7. Bedbugmom41

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    Posted 5 months ago
    Fri Jan 5 2018 18:16:37
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    sleepyjuju - 49 minutes ago  » 

    Bedbugmom41 - 20 hours ago  » 
    I am not an expert.
    But I have one question :
    Does the company treat every floor each time?

    Hi Bedbugmom41, no, the company only treated the floor that had problems.
    I spoke to the company this morning and they said they treat individual units all the time, and there's no need to treat the entire building. Is it true? Or should I insist to treat the whole building? It's an over 100-year-old house in Massachusetts.

    In my case, it was a 4 months infestation located only in 1 bedroom. The PCO treated the 2 bedrooms and living room regardless. He also did preventative treatments in the apartments above, below and on each side of mine (cross patern). We do not have any common areas. My infestation took only 2 treatments to resolve. But I followed protocol to a T. I am now 6 months bedbug free. But I am monitoring like crazy and take precautions not to bring them in. Still have no idea where they came from.
    In your case, either bedbugs flee to untreated units or someone keeps on bringing them in.

  8. FayeState

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    Posted 5 months ago
    Fri Jan 5 2018 18:40:45
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    Bedbugmom41 - 23 minutes ago  » 

    sleepyjuju - 49 minutes ago  » 

    Bedbugmom41 - 20 hours ago  » 
    I am not an expert.
    But I have one question :
    Does the company treat every floor each time?

    Hi Bedbugmom41, no, the company only treated the floor that had problems.
    I spoke to the company this morning and they said they treat individual units all the time, and there's no need to treat the entire building. Is it true? Or should I insist to treat the whole building? It's an over 100-year-old house in Massachusetts.

    In my case, it was a 4 months infestation located only in 1 bedroom. The PCO treated the 2 bedrooms and living room regardless. He also did preventative treatments in the apartments above, below and on each side of mine (cross patern). We do not have any common areas. My infestation took only 2 treatments to resolve. But I followed protocol to a T. I am now 6 months bedbug free. But I am monitoring like crazy and take precautions not to bring them in. Still have no idea where they came from.
    In your case, either bedbugs flee to untreated units or someone keeps on bringing them in.

    How do you know it was a 4 month infestation if you don't know how you brought them in?

  9. loubugs

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    Posted 5 months ago
    Fri Jan 5 2018 20:39:17
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    sleepyjuju - 3 hours ago  » 

    Bedbugmom41 - 20 hours ago  » 
    I am not an expert.
    But I have one question :
    Does the company treat every floor each time?

    Hi Bedbugmom41, no, the company only treated the floor that had problems.
    I spoke to the company this morning and they said they treat individual units all the time, and there's no need to treat the entire building. Is it true? Or should I insist to treat the whole building? It's an over 100-year-old house in Massachusetts.

    They didn't examine the rest of the building apartments? Suggest monitors?

  10. Bedbugmom41

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    Posted 5 months ago
    Fri Jan 5 2018 21:09:45
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    How do you know it was a 4 month infestation if you don't know how you brought them in?

    The PCO told me Faye. Based on castings, the amount of fecal traces and multiple generations (the 3 samples I provided were different stages).

  11. loubugs

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    Posted 5 months ago
    Sat Jan 6 2018 9:30:52
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    Bedbugmom41 - 12 hours ago  » 
    How do you know it was a 4 month infestation if you don't know how you brought them in?
    The PCO told me Faye. Based on castings, the amount of fecal traces and multiple generations (the 3 samples I provided were different stages).

    You can have different life stages from one generation. Depending on number of bed bugs, you can have different number of shed skins and fecal traces, too. There's no way to say that the infestation only began with one bed bug.

  12. FayeState

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    Posted 5 months ago
    Sat Jan 6 2018 21:59:28
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    loubugs - 12 hours ago  » 

    Bedbugmom41 - 12 hours ago  » 
    How do you know it was a 4 month infestation if you don't know how you brought them in?
    The PCO told me Faye. Based on castings, the amount of fecal traces and multiple generations (the 3 samples I provided were different stages).

    You can have different life stages from one generation. Depending on number of bed bugs, you can have different number of shed skins and fecal traces, too. There's no way to say that the infestation only began with one bed bug.

    Bedbugmom41, thanks for your response.

    Lou, then does that mean Bedbugmom41 may have had an infestation that was less than 4 months?

  13. loubugs

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    Posted 5 months ago
    Sun Jan 7 2018 10:54:03
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    FayeState - 12 hours ago  » 

    loubugs - 12 hours ago  » 

    Bedbugmom41 - 12 hours ago  » 
    How do you know it was a 4 month infestation if you don't know how you brought them in?
    The PCO told me Faye. Based on castings, the amount of fecal traces and multiple generations (the 3 samples I provided were different stages).

    You can have different life stages from one generation. Depending on number of bed bugs, you can have different number of shed skins and fecal traces, too. There's no way to say that the infestation only began with one bed bug.

    Bedbugmom41, thanks for your response.
    Lou, then does that mean Bedbugmom41 may have had an infestation that was less than 4 months?

    Sometimes the introduction is not one bug. You can have different life stages from one introduction. I said generation above. An introduction is not only one fecund female bed bug. It's possible that the bugs from one generation also are not synchronized in feeding so there can be different aged individuals from one generation present at the same time. If the new introductions are from adjoining apts then bed bugs could have been kept from feeding and could have been different life stages. And do the tenants know how they are re-introducing new bed bugs into the building?

  14. goingcrazy88

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    Posted 3 months ago
    Tue Feb 27 2018 0:56:14
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    I am no professional. But I have been battling bed bugs 4 months now. Noticed the first one end of September and got our first treatment in october. I can say that with my experience, use a professional who uses different kinds of treatments instead of only chemical, as some bed bugs have developed immunity to chemical treatments. And make sure it's a good pest control company. Preferrably a money back gaurantee. And yes, definitely have pest control inspect the neighboring units. The pest control company(2nd one) inspected my neighbors apartments and sure enough, they have bed bugs. We are not sure if I gave them to the neighbors or vice versa but either way it's definitely a possibility. I do know that the person who brought them to me, visited their place to because theyre relatives. Make sure tenants follow protocol. Vacuuming 1-2 times a day every day and dump into a trashbag and take out to dumpster immediately. They'll need encasements on beds and 90%(or above that) running alcohol to spray the bug if they see one because it kills them on contact. Take all laundry and run in dryer on high heat for atleast an hour, even before washing them. It's a battle and I can't imagine being the landlord going through all this. Maybe find another pest control company and talk to them about how they treat and places they treat, preventative treatments...etc.

  15. goingcrazy88

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    Posted 3 months ago
    Tue Feb 27 2018 0:56:23
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    I am no professional. But I have been battling bed bugs 4 months now. Noticed the first one end of September and got our first treatment in october. I can say that with my experience, use a professional who uses different kinds of treatments instead of only chemical, as some bed bugs have developed immunity to chemical treatments. And make sure it's a good pest control company. Preferrably a money back gaurantee. And yes, definitely have pest control inspect the neighboring units. The pest control company(2nd one) inspected my neighbors apartments and sure enough, they have bed bugs. We are not sure if I gave them to the neighbors or vice versa but either way it's definitely a possibility. I do know that the person who brought them to me, visited their place to because theyre relatives. Make sure tenants follow protocol. Vacuuming 1-2 times a day every day and dump into a trashbag and take out to dumpster immediately. They'll need encasements on beds and 90%(or above that) running alcohol to spray the bug if they see one because it kills them on contact. Take all laundry and run in dryer on high heat for atleast an hour, even before washing them. It's a battle and I can't imagine being the landlord going through all this. Maybe find another pest control company and talk to them about how they treat and places they treat, preventative treatments...etc.


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