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Moved. Bed bugs back. Landlord only so much help. Questions!

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  1. Ijustwanttosleep

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    Posted 4 years ago
    Sun Jun 21 2015 15:44:28
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    Hi.
    I'm new here...but I have been using this website as a resource for nearly a year and so I don't FEEL new Sorry I didn't speak before. I suppose I was afraid of getting bad news back like "oh yeah, you're screwed!" lol, because my situation was HORRIBLE and seemed hopeless, and I doubted that any one would have pleasant news for me :/
    Obviously, I know no one here would make me feel bad or anything, that was silly of me but I guess I'm just over sensitive because this issue has really, really wreaked havoc on my emotional status and mental health. I am even seeing a therapist to deal.

    Any way,
    Rewind 13 months ago, my husband and I moved into what we assumed was our dream apartment. It was beautiful, spacious, affordable, and we THOUGHT, the landlords were great. Wrong.

    No one told us that there had been bed bug issues in the building, but apparently, as I found out later, that building (which was 4 apartments in a Victorian style house) has had bed bug issues for THREE WHOLE YEARS which were never properly treated.
    And YES. I did ask the landlord if there were pest issues in their records for the building when we looked at it, and they flat out said "No, never" so yeah, they lied.
    We have contacted a lawyer in our area who deals specifically with bed bugs and landlord negligence so we shall see. But any way,
    The lady above and to the side of us were extreme hoarders and trash collectors.

    YES, I am also well aware that bed bugs can infest the cleanest of clean homes, immaculate homes and five star hotels...but seriously? These two? They made the TV show hoarders look like a JOKE. Our city, I guess, has a major bed bug issue, so that's even worse that they, WEEKLY, go treasure hunting outside together for trash items. So even when I FINALLY convinced my landlord to look at their units, the PCO said their spraying would probably do jack because these ladies absolutely REFUSED to de clutter or stop getting trash. EVEN to the point of leaving boxes of known-to-be infested things stacked TO THE CEILING of the common area hallways. I didn't notice at first because their halls, though very connected to mine, are on opposite ends and their doors are around a bend but I took a look one day and WOW.
    I asked them if the stuff they were piling up was infested and they actually said, and I quote, "Yeah, so? At least the stuffs not in my bedroom any more!"
    Gross.
    I called the landlord and asked if they would send notices to comply because the PCO wanted the tenants to prep for treatment. Landlord told me it's "not their problem" what tenants do with their stuff. The lady above had 2 kids who would drag their bed stuff through the halls for fun. No, really. Teddy bears and pillows and blankets...they'd play hide and seek in the halls with INFESTED BED THINGS. It was so maddening.

    The other lady behind me put her WOODEN HEAD BOARD in the hallway leaning against the wall outside her door because she said she was sick of it on her bed. What the heck is wrong with people??!

    Any way, after we had two treatments, which first we de cluttered, threw out 12 trash bags full of stuff we didn't have the energy or time to treat, made our apartment look as clean and minimalist as a damn magazine ad, encased our mattress and box spring after it was treated, used climb ups, and cleaned like mad, we were bed bug free. FINALLY.
    How ever, the lady upstairs and behind me were still getting bitten. Badly. They both had welts all over, I'd see it when they'd pass me in the driveway or halls. One lady had like 12 welts across her neck like a sad necklace.

    I told the landlord, who then said "If they don't seem to be bothered by it, let them do what ever they want, it's not your problem if they want to keep having bugs" and I said "BUT IT IS, THOUGH. I WILL GET RE-INFESTED, JUST YOU WATCH!" and sadly....I was right.
    Even though I caulked and sealed like mad, and even insulated around electrical outlets and sealed everything tightly, and kept up with dusting every couple months and cleaning and living in a minimalist way, and avoiding the halls and only using my private, back porch as entry and exit, I got reinfested 6 months later. I am SHOCKED it took that long.

    I only know because I react, BADLY, to bites. Half dollar sized swollen circular RED red welts that eventually turn purple and fade into raised bruise looking things.
    By then, my lease was almost up, and I'd about had it with that awful landlord.
    The laws here say a landlord has 3 days to inspect adjoining units once one has complained (and 24 hours to inspect the first who complained). They took SIXTEEN DAYS.
    They were the worst.

    Finally, when we got re infested, they let us get the PCO back in, who treated twice, 2 weeks apart, and we did our part as well. We moved 3 days after treatment #2, hadn't had bites since the day after treatment 1. I KNEW moving was a risk. BUT. The PCO urged me to. I mean, we wanted to any way, but he told us "I've known this landlord a long time....they are bad landlords. This will just keep happening, over and over and over and over again....I'd find a new place, inspect and treat all your stuff, and move. Carefully. Now."

    So, we did. 3 weeks ago. Rented a Uhaul, which I spent 4 hours steaming cab and back on every inch to make sure there were no bugs from a previous renter.
    We steamed all our furniture (besides couch and bed....the PCO told us absolutely not to because we would vaporize the chemicals, temprid, that they left, and that is apparently dangerous)
    wiped everything we own down, vacummed, inspected, moved our bedroom at the END in its own load so it wouldn't be with other rooms just in case, etc.
    We saw not one bed bug, fecal stain, spot, nothing, and everything went okay.
    We bought our own Temprid and sprayed again on moving morning, too (letting it dry before moving it).
    Our new landlord pre treated the new apartment with Mikron because we told him we were worried we'd bring some and he said no problem I'll spray the empty unit with Mikron, SO, we steamed the apartment and scrubbed everything, then the landlord came and sprayed Mikron everywhere, he did a good job, we watched him, then the next day we moved.

    Through all this, we somehow brought them with us.

    Idk if the encasements we had tore in the move, or we picked some up from the hallway moving (we HAD to use the hallway, furniture didn't fit through back door, but we NEVER let it touch the ground or rest it in the hall while taking it out and we checked our shoes and socks after each trip)

    UGH.

    So we called the new landlord after we moved in and told him we had brought some much to our (and his) dismay.

    I'm thinking encasements tore a bit. He came, he sprayed our mattress sides and boxspring with mikron, and re encased it (I asked if he'd just help remove the old one first and let me steam and vacumm the mattress and box spring before re encasing it, but he said no, he wouldnt let us, said it was too risky to remove fully) so now its double encased.

    I don't love that its double encased, and he said if it rips again, we can triple it. I don't like that. At all. But okay.

    We isolated the bed, washed everything on hot and dried on high heat, even pillows on high heat, and installed climb ups again.

    There is nothing under the bed either, and as I said, it's isolated.

    STILL BITES.

    So he came back and gave us a Nightwatch system. Told us to sleep on the couch for a few nights and let this run on our bed. He put it on our bed on top of a flat piece of cardboard.

    3 days it caught nothing but on night 4 it caught ONE bed bug. Not a nymph...looked like an adult...but a small adult? Later stage nymph? Idk.

    That was this morning we found one in there. No bites since sleeping on couch. I re treated couch with Mikron and Alpine dust any way, but no bites in 4 nights there. QUESTION #1 1 bed bug in 4 days...how bad is it, really? Is it a mild infestation? Easy to tackle at this stage?

    If they're not in the climb ups...the bed is NEWLY encased last week with a reputable brand bed bug tested encasement (both mattress and box spring), everything is washed and dried on HIGH, and the sides have been SPRAYED and dusted in between....HOW are there bed bugs in the bed still??!

    We told the landlord and he said "I'll come back and spray in a month or two"

    WHAT?

    He said "Mikron has such a good residual it's a waste of time, and product, to come back any sooner"

    I don't believe that. I think that's BS.

    Any way, I have temprid in a can, the "ready spray" and I asked him if he cared then, if I self treated, as long as I was safe and cautious about it, and he said "Yeah just don't damage the place and you can do what ever you want"

    So what do I do?

    Also....just found out the neighbors have them too. Not the ones touching us, thankfully, but like, 3 units to the left. I think.

    I wondered if I can alternate products (Mikron, Temprid, Bedlam) every 7-14 days because Temprid seemed to work before and Mikron doesn't seem to do ANYTHING against this current infestation. I read on do my own pest control that you can use Temprid and Bedlam together, kinda, though not on the same surface but like it said you could alternate every 7 days between the two. I want to Temprid every crack and crevice where he put Mikron 3 weeks ago too because I don't see the results with Mikron that I always did with Temprid. Is this okay? And keep using Alpine Dust? I keep doing it ALMOST invisibly. Like, SO light. But every video I watch shows it more visible. Not PILES of course but at least visible, but I'm nervous to make mine any visible. Thoughts?

    Also, can I mop the middle of the floors all I want so long as I don't mop the perimeter where the sprays are? Even the PCO seemed confused there. It was a two man team, one said yes, one said no. I just want to mop :/

    Any advice is VERY appreciated.

    Thanks!

  2. BuggedOutInLV

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    Posted 4 years ago
    Sun Jun 21 2015 19:17:45
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    Oh wow! What a nightmare situation! I wish I could offer you some help but I'm still a newbite myself... I can however offer you support and sympathy. I really hope someone comes along with some advice for you. You seem to have gone above and beyond in your struggle, with the persistence and diligence you have I'm confident you will beat this! Sending exterminating thoughts your way!

  3. Ijustwanttosleep

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    Posted 4 years ago
    Sun Jun 21 2015 23:10:07
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    Thanks Buggedout! I appreciate that. Honestly, it's been a nightmare. I would never ever minimize or downplay any one else's experience but the thing that made mine so bad (and certainly not worse than things I've read here, but I think worse than your typical small infestation without such roadblocks) wasn't even necessarily the bugs, well...yeah, it was.....but it was the neighbors, and the all out refusal of the landlord to enforce ANYTHING, hence DEFINITE, REPEATED re-infestation, and being broke and trapped in a lease and not being able to do anything at all.

    How do you know you have bed bugs then PUT YOUR HEAD BOARD IN THE HALLWAY>??>!
    Jeez. What is wrong with people??

    We lived in a nice neighborhood with what we thought were decent, diligent landlords (a realty group actually) WRONG. So wrong.

    If I owned apartments I'd be sending out notices to prep and fact sheets and finally sending eviction warnings to those who refused to comply after being told to. Because it's a public health issue and that's not right.

    The PCO himself was disgusted and outraged by the landlord but he couldn't do anything, he was only grateful I was complying.

    And GET THIS.

    The third floor people....a nice young couple who just found out their pregnant....HAD NO IDEA THESE WHOLE 3 YEARS. They said bye to me in the halls and I was moving and it came up in convo and they looked at me like I had 2 heads. They said "Oh my God....the landlord never told us there were bed bugs in any ones apartment. Ever. We heard pest control has come but we assumed fleas or something that was just in the other unit(s). And now the landlord is trying to get us to take the lady below us apartment cause she's moving too." OMG.

    I mean I'm sure maybe they got some, too, if we all did....but maybe didn't react or something. But come on.....you want to move this newly pregnant couple into PATIENT ZEROS apartment which has a HEAVY bed bug infestation you aren't treating??!?! What is wrong with them?

    The lawyer I spoke with said not to call the board of health until I get my security deposit back and that was fine, I want to NOW, but he said it won't look bad legally because it's rational that tenants would wait for fear of retaliation. I want that money back so I can finally call. Ugh. I just don't want this to happen to any one else.

  4. robinsmom

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    Posted 4 years ago
    Mon Jun 22 2015 0:03:53
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    Sorry to hear this. I'm wondering--hate to say this--but if a unit 3 units down has bed bugs, I gotta wonder if it's possible the new place already had issues, and that it wasn't bb you brought with you.

    I'm not an expert just a dumb struggling bed bugger like every body else.
  5. Ijustwanttosleep

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    Posted 4 years ago
    Mon Jun 22 2015 0:56:13
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    robinsmom - 46 minutes ago  » 
    Sorry to hear this. I'm wondering--hate to say this--but if a unit 3 units down has bed bugs, I gotta wonder if it's possible the new place already had issues, and that it wasn't bb you brought with you.

    Possible, but prior to moving in, I steamed EVERYTHING in the empty apartment, like, used the crevice tool to get deep deep down into every crevice, and then had the landlord do a "preventative treatment" where he sprayed every where with Mikron (several hours after I swept, mopped, then steamed). Threw the broom and mop out too, just in case, heh. After the Mikron dried I dusted with DE everywhere.

    Then, 24 hours later, we moved in.

    So I bet if there were any, I killed most of them. I checked my encasements and when we got the bed in the new place I DID notice some small holes. Before setting up the bed I vacuumed the frame really, really well, re-sprayed it with temprid all over, and when Temprid was dry, dusted the frame, then put the bed on it. Sprayed the sides and such with Temprid. Washed and dried bed linens and pillows. Bam.

    That was day 1 living here. Got bit that night. Idk. I find that odd.

    The ODDEST thing is, we have a "bed bug action counsel" in our city. It has a lot of landlords and pest control people that "sit" on it. They have meetings and make community bed bug reduction plans, etc etc. The top rated non-chain PCO in the state is on it. This is good. How ever...

    Our current landlord/property management company is ON this counsel.

    THAT is a big reason we went with them for a rental company.

    I was so confident if any one would take future bed bug issues seriously, it'd be them.

    And now they tell me "We spray once every month or two"

    ..? Ugh :/

  6. Ijustwanttosleep

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    Posted 4 years ago
    Mon Jun 22 2015 1:00:21
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    ^rather, how I mean that is, "We spray once every month or so" as in, not for everyone of course, just those who have active infestations.

    I don't think with "once a month or two" and with ONLY spray, can too much be accomplished.

    Saddest thing, is that if indeed my new landlord were ever negligent, which I am not saying they are, but if they ever were....that same counsel is who I'd report it to. Which.....clearly.......wouldn't help. Gah. :/

  7. loubugs

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    Posted 4 years ago
    Mon Jun 22 2015 4:19:39
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    The ODDEST thing is, we have a "bed bug action counsel" in our city. It has a lot of landlords and pest control people that "sit" on it. They have meetings and make community bed bug reduction plans, etc etc. The top rated non-chain PCO in the state is on it. This is good. How ever...
    Our current landlord/property management company is ON this counsel.
    That's a problem. When you get your deposit back it would be nice to make the whole thing public.

    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.
  8. Ijustwanttosleep

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    Posted 4 years ago
    Mon Jun 22 2015 16:54:26
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    loubugs - 12 hours ago  » 

    The ODDEST thing is, we have a "bed bug action counsel" in our city. It has a lot of landlords and pest control people that "sit" on it. They have meetings and make community bed bug reduction plans, etc etc. The top rated non-chain PCO in the state is on it. This is good. How ever...
    Our current landlord/property management company is ON this counsel.
    That's a problem. When you get your deposit back it would be nice to make the whole thing public.

    Oh, my OLD landlord wasn't on that counsel, the NEW one is. I know, my post was so long and hard to read too so I know it must have gotten confusing. So having just signed a lease....I'd have to wait a year for that. Eh.

    I just find it so bizarre that a landlord who sits on a "bed bug action counsel" is not very knowledgeable when it comes to bed bugs. Their PCO isn't really a PCO at all, he's just a maintenance guy that they trained to also spray Mikron.

    They came again today and told me that "bed bugs only ever live within 5 feet of a bed" ...wrong.

    They also said that with Mikron you NEVER need to respray until the residual wears off which apparently according to them is several months (I don't know) unless you're basically walking ankle deep in the things.

    They seem to be putting a lotttt of stock into this Mikron. No doubt it's a decent product but no re sprays though? Not even a follow up spot treatment at 2 weeks at least?

    Silly. And I'm stuck here.

    I DID how ever get permission to treat myself if I wanted, since they won't re spray. So he said I could use Temprid and Dust since I'm comfortable with those products.

    So my next post will be more straight forward, less wordy lol and straight to some questions I have. So I don't screw up self treating.

    Though, to be fair, when *I* am the one educating and correcting the pest guy and the landlord about chemicals and bed bug facts and habits, I think it's safe to say I probably couldn't screw it up any worse than they could.

  9. Ijustwanttosleep

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    Posted 4 years ago
    Mon Jun 22 2015 16:59:59
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    Oh and about going public, and the old landlord, I am suing. Have an attorney already. I might not win, and I don't really care for money (though, covering the costs that this has taken from me would be nice...I did end up in the hospital for bites and then again for a near death reaction to the steroids they prescribed to deal with the inflammation of the bites) I told the lawyer it's not financially motivated though feel free to fight for your cut or what ever, I just want to make a statement and show landlords here that they can't DO this...they can't allow people to suffer like this and not DO something. So who knows, maybe my case will go through and win but if not maybe it'll at least make local news and get more talks going with the community. Or not. Which ever, I have to try.
    I am also sure the new landlord would notice, and when he did perhaps hopefully he'd step up his game too but then again that's wishful thinking.

  10. loubugs

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    Posted 4 years ago
    Mon Jun 22 2015 17:52:44
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    Oh, my OLD landlord wasn't on that counsel, the NEW one is. I know, my post was so long and hard to read too so I know it must have gotten confusing. So having just signed a lease....I'd have to wait a year for that. Eh.

    I just find it so bizarre that a landlord who sits on a "bed bug action counsel" is not very knowledgeable when it comes to bed bugs. Their PCO isn't really a PCO at all, he's just a maintenance guy that they trained to also spray Mikron.

    Thanks very much for clearing that up. Still, the 2nd one isn't good, either. The maintenance guy isn't licensed to apply pesticides, either, I'm sure.
    Mikron Transport I believe has a 3 month residual and is not labeled for application to mattresses or other fabrics to be used on the bed. Box spring, cracks and crevices in floors, walls, bed frame, empty dresser among other places, yes.
    Mikron Transport
    EPA Reg. No. 8033-109-279 EPA Est. No. 279-NY-1
    Active Ingredient: By Wt.
    Acetamiprid ........................................................ 5.00 %, a neonicotinoid
    Bifenthrin* .......................................................... 6.00 %, a pyrethroid
    Inert Ingredients: .............................................. 89.00 %
    100.00%
    *Cis isomers 97% minimum, trans isomers 3% maximum.


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