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Misidentification and Prevention?

(4 posts)
  1. buggyblue

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    Posted 5 years ago
    Tue Sep 16 2014 20:50:59
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    A couple weeks ago, I posted a few photos of insects that were determined NOT to be bedbugs by the pros here. Turns out, I found several carpet beetle larva and booklice.

    I had a big scare because I moved out of my old apartment on July 31, and a week or so later, that landlord called to tell me the cleaning crew found bedbugs, and that a PCO was sent over, who confirmed bedbugs and treated for it. My landlord took $500 out of my deposit to cover the expenses.

    Even though I had never seen any evidence of bb, I was scared, so I called a PCO here in my new city to come check out my new apartment. This new PCO looked at 2 casings that I found on my mattress, and concurred with the previous PCO that I had bedbugs. So, I started the prepping procedure- laundering, placing things in totes, etc. A couple days before my scheduled bb treatment, I posted photos of the casings, in addition to the live insects I had found, and pros told me the casing also did not look to be from a bedbug. Additionally, I never (to this day) have had bites, seen live bed bugs or casings, or seen fecal spotting anywhere in my home. PCO said my tempurpedic mattress would not harbor bb well, so they might be hiding in my baseboards or nightstands, etc. Nevertheless, I followed advice from pros here, trusting that I should not treat for bb if I did not have clear evidence of them.

    I cancelled the PCO bedbug treatment, effectively saving $500. I cleaned my apartment, top to bottom, and followed all advice on here and in links provided about ridding my home of carpet beetles. My laundered items are still sealed in bags, and other items are now in the totes which I placed No-Pest strips in, following instructions provided in this forum by a pro. All other remaining items were wiped down with alcohol before being placed back in their original places.

    Between the alleged infestation and now, I was out of town for a total of two weeks, so I took extra precautions just in case the bb were in my home but were just deep in hiding from my absence.

    Now, I haven't seen any carpet beetle larva or booklice since the Big Clean. Good news! Also, just to be safe, I have installed monitors on the wall near where I lay my head at night (my bed does not have a headboard). I bought a bed frame to raise my mattress and box spring off the floor, and placed interceptors under all the feet. I placed mattress and box spring in encasements, and pulled my bed away from the wall. I applied DE along all baseboards. Inspections of mattresses and furniture continue to come up clear. Monitors and interceptors are all clear.

    1. Is it pretty safe to say that I never had bb, and that 2 PCO's in a row simply misidentified the CB larva and/or booklice casings?

    2. Considering I live in a row house in a densely populated city, have I taken good preventative steps to ensure I catch an infestation early, should I ever get one from neighbors/travel?

    Sorry so long, I appreciate all the input from members, FAQ's, photos, etc that have educated me here at BedBugger.

  2. bed-bugscouk

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    Posted 5 years ago
    Wed Sep 17 2014 6:03:58
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    Hi,

    Firstly sorry that you have met 2 unprofessional PCO's in this ordeal, I would like to say its rare but heck they have only had since 2007 and get up to speed about bedbugs and some still seem to find it a challenge.

    The best advice for self preservation in densely populate areas is education and spreading the good advice about avoidance and early detection. As such I would suggest you use the educational material provided her to educate all neighbors within 3 - 4 units either side of you to create a safe bubble of awareness.

    If you take the steps to avoid and have informed neighbors who also take the steps then it dramatically reduces your risks of bedbugs. You can also help your neighbors to avoid being scalped by a rogue if they are able to perform simple resolution protocols such as Treatment by Passive Monitor Replacement (TbyPMR).

    I would also advise that you ask the previous landlord to show proof of the infestation if they expect you to pay for the service on the property.

    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
  3. P Bello

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    Joined: Nov '11
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    Posted 5 years ago
    Wed Sep 17 2014 7:34:22
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    Dear buggy,

    Unfortunately, the pmp company may only be as good as the technician they send to do the work.

    In your case the following possibilities and/or actions should be considered:

    > There were never bed bugs in the first place.

    > Some other insect, perhaps a carpet beetle larvae, was misidentified as bed bugs in your former apartment.

    > Your former LL likely took advantage of you in charging you for whatever they did.

    > You may have to assert your rights to reclaim whatever funds were taken from you under dubious circumstances.

    > Viable courses of action might be:
    * Send a registered mail letter stating your position and request for refund.
    * Contact the local code enforcement which regulates apartments there.
    * Contact the local health department.
    * Contact your local tenants rights association if there is one.

    Sorry this happened to you, good luck ! pjb

  4. buggyblue

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    Posted 5 years ago
    Wed Sep 17 2014 21:31:46
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    Thanks to you both. I'm peeved about losing my deposit money with the old landlord, but am forever grateful that what I learned here saved me from dropping another $500 on an unnecessary treatment.

    I think that with the surge in bed bugs right now that a lot of people jump the gun. It all started when the cleaning lady said she found "evidence of bed bugs" which we later pried out of the landlord meant that she noticed some white powder on the carpet which she interpreted to be DE. It was only carpet refreshing powder that I use when vacuuming to keep my home from smelling like cat. Sigh. When I called that first PCO, he was immediately combative to me for asking about specifics, repeatedly claiming he found evidence. I finally pried it out of him that he never found live bugs. I asked how he could possibly confirm bb without seeing live bugs or fecal spots? He hung up on me. I suspect he was also only going off of the carpet powder, like the cleaning lady.

    I'm going to look into getting that deposit back but won't hold my breath. And I like the idea of passing along GOOD information to neighbors and community members. There's clearly a lot of misinformation and hype out there. I'm also going to contact my former neighbors to explain what happened so that they may hopefully avoid the same situation.

    I hope others here in the forum will read this and learn from my situation and your advice as well.


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