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Need Help Picking a PCO

(11 posts)
  1. knockedownhard

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    Posted 5 years ago
    Tue May 20 2014 19:28:54
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    I am as educated as I can possibly be at this moment, and trying to move forward as quickly as possible. My partner and I who live together just ended our relationship, but we are stuck together until the bbs are gone.

    Basically, I asked as many questions as I could. Company 1 was very transparent and friendly, Company 2 not so much. Company 2 seems to have a better handle on treatment, spray only, but the man I spoke to was so sketchy! I'm torn.

    Company 1: Bug Masters ( Central Arkansas)
    Experience: do mostly commercial work
    Recommended treatment: heat and "dusting" the sockets and baseboards (heat because of how much stuff we have)
    First inspection: Free! They came out to talk to me and look around
    Follow Up/ Warranty: 30 day monitor with active monitors/90 day warranty
    Support: Offered to remove our crowded collectibles (LPs mostly) in order to gas chamber treat them at their facilities AND to treat our cars with chemicals (because of possible re-infestation) for no extra cost
    Cost: $1100 (plus tax , wild guess $200
    General: very willing to answer questions, polite and kind(of all the people I talked to, he had the most patience); still believes in the "heat draws them in before they can get away" thing

    Company #2: The Bug Man
    experience/reputation: not sure--good enough to get a recommendation from P Bello!
    recommended treatment: spray only (why? because heat causes possible damage that they don't want to be liable for)
    first inspection: $75 (he basically said that they charge because otherwise it is a waste of time)
    follow up/warranty: he said that they usually get all the bugs in the first go, when I pushed him in it, he said that yes, there was a 30 day guarantee
    Support/Prep: basically told be that he couldn't really tell me anything about their protocol until someone came out and took a look at my place
    cost: first quoted me $600 per room (I have at least 4 rooms that need treatment, which would be $2400), then said a one bedroom apt. usually runs about $1200 (was he trying to scare me away?)
    General: over the phone he listened to me explain my situation, but seemed annoyed and generally unwilling to answer questions about their protocol without seeing my space with his own eyes; when it came to heat vs. spraying chemicals, he was the only company who didn't recommend heat-- not because of my unique situation-- but because the company doesn't want to be liable for damage-----

    I'm a softy who wants to work with Company 1, because of their sincerity, and I do have a LOT of STUFF that heat can treat so easily. But Company 2 doesn't recommend heat treatment, which was what I was originally looking for. Part of me feels like they charge for inspection because they know their time is valuable-- or is it because they don't want to do BB jobs and are trying to scare folks away?

    I realize it's up to me to decide, but any advice is greatly appreciated.

  2. Daylight

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    Posted 5 years ago
    Tue May 20 2014 19:46:39
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    Think it over, maybe ask Paul B. about it--hopefully he'll see your new thread and respond.

    Most companies do heat, dust all the outlets, and put down a residual. They have warranties--most 30 days around here. I've seen some on here who report 60-90 days, and I think, Wow!

    A few just do chemical for various reasons--but they usually dust too.

    About Company 2: I don't like their tone of assuming one treatment will be sufficient nor their policy of charging for the inspection "so it's not a waste of time."

    Are there any more companies you can consider? It is important to be able to work with a PCO and trust them to look out for you and not leave you to fend for yourself when they're done.

  3. theyareoutthere

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    Posted 5 years ago
    Tue May 20 2014 19:48:49
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    ARe you both going to move? (Sorry I forgot)

    You are in LIttle Rock, right? I don't know much about that area. In my area, there are some companies that will use....shoot, I forgot the name....it's the same stuff used for termites. So, they will treat the truck of stuff as you move.

    Would that make more sense?

    I thought most professionals didn't say one and done since there may be eggs remaining.

    Let's see what the pros think.

    It does sound like your collectibles would be heat sensitive.

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  4. knockedownhard

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    Posted 5 years ago
    Tue May 20 2014 20:28:45
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    Thanks Daylight and theyareoutthere.

    We are both going to move out.

    What I like about Company A is that they have a 90 day warranty AND they are willing to go the extra mile. I really don't think they will leave us to fend for ourselves.

    I still have to tell my neighbors.

  5. theyareoutthere

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    Posted 5 years ago
    Tue May 20 2014 20:57:44
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    I think KQ and some other very reputable professionals charge $50-$100 for a site visit, and a very thorough inspection.

    Let's see what the experts say. I'm wondering if you should just treat your stuff as you move (but we need expert opinion). Not to scare you or be a glass half empty person, but isn't it important to have your stuff "clean" when you move? If you are dealing with stragglers from a nearby apartment, this may be tough. Moving trucks can sometimes also be an issue.

    P.S. Bugman looks expensive to me. Did I get that right $600/room? How many SF (square feet) are we talking about?

  6. knockedownhard

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    Posted 5 years ago
    Tue May 20 2014 22:51:23
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    but isn't it important to have your stuff "clean" when you move? If you are dealing with stragglers from a nearby apartment, this may be tough.

    well, i was thinking that if we waited out the 90 day warranty, we would be so sure that there were no more bbs, that it would be ok to move....I don't know if we can handle three months of living together, but I want to try if it means that we can make sure the bbs are gone....
    When we move, we use pickup trucks to get out stuff around...

    Did I get that right $600/room? How many SF (square feet) are we talking about?
    yeah, he explained that they tell folks this so that they won't be shocked when the actual quote comes through...i am guessing that my apartment is 400-450 square feet

    Are there any more companies you can consider?

    there are-- I haven't called Orkin yet. One company that I talked to doesn't offer a warranty or any follow up, so they are out of the question. Then, there is at least one other I know of that I need to talk to again....

    I want to find a company that does it all, heat, spray chemicals, dust, AND treat our cars and do off-site decontamination on our heat sensitive valuables

    I feel sick. It's been three months since we brought them in the house, two weeks since we found them. I have yet to tell my landlord or neighbors. I was hoping that we were the only ones with them, but we wont know until I talk to them.

    I was hoping to find a good PCO before I told the LL so that I could have a plan of action.
    It's taking me forever to vet out the PCOs! So many questions and variables.

    Thanks to everyone for the feedback.

  7. Nobugsonme

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    Posted 5 years ago
    Tue May 20 2014 23:10:27
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    Have you checked into the local laws, eg whether it's the landord's duty to hire someone to solve this problem?

    Note that pros here usually tell us they charge for an inspection. It takes time to inspect properly for bed bugs. Consider that someone who does a free inspection won't likely take the time to do it closely.

    For those who don't have obvious cases, keep in mind also that anyone who comes out for free may be under a lot of pressure to sell a job even when it's not needed.

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

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    Posted 5 years ago
    Tue May 20 2014 23:26:07
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    I wouldn't take the blame. We've seen people assume they brought them in and there was a building issue discovered above them with foggers set off.

    Please talk to a tenant rights group, and ask them to review your lease.

  9. FinallyFreeIN

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    Posted 5 years ago
    Wed May 21 2014 20:24:14
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    knockedownhard - do you have Black Diamond near you? I'm not sure if they're exclusive to my area or not, but they were absolutely wonderful to me and I highly recommend checking them out if they're an option!

  10. bed-bugscouk

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    Posted 5 years ago
    Thu May 22 2014 7:35:18
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    Hi,

    I would strongly advise that you seek more than just two quotes or have more than two conversations. You can also learn a lot about a company from its website. For example if it designed to educate and inform with scare tactics and fear inducing stories then they are more likley to be "professional". The key things that consumers can easily spot are:

    • Is the website complete or does it have lots of "coming soon" and "check back laters".
    • Are the images unique or the same ones you see on all the websites - if its the same images are they credited back to the original source.
    • Look for how many links and what they are that the company has - reading around will at least tell you how the company interact with others.
    • Do they make bold claims without showing anything to back it up
    • Does the information and the presentation match - I just looked at one website and code errors meant most of the text was overwritten and it did look very unprofessional

    I personally advocate a modest charge for inspection only, but we do refund that against treatment costs if we go ahead with the work.

    It also helps to ask your friends for a recommendation, you can always say "I have a friend who has a problem with bedbugs and they were looking for recommendations of companies". Its amazing how few people have had bedbugs and yet know a "friend" who has.

    Yes it can be hard to explain what you do in terms of service when what you do is bespoke to the case but most people understand that once its clearly explained.

    However the biggest tip I can give people is to listen to what people are saying, I often get people talking over me or trying to finish my sentences on the phone. From a personal perspective its harder to help someone if they are not taking it on board.

    I would also mirror the advice above about checking with landlords responsibilities.

    Although I am not a fan of people leaving a problem behind for the next occupant Vikane fumigation and the insect inferno heat trailer are options for immediate quick fix and move.

    At the end of the day the website is often the first information you can gather on the company so if it does not appear complete, accurate and efficient it may reflect on their general working practices.

    Hope that helps.

    David Cain
    Bed Bugs Limited

    If you have found this information helpful please consider leaving feedback on social media via google+ or FaceBook or by like/loving the images.

    In accordance with the AUP and FTC (legal requirements) 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 products.
  11. P Bello

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    Posted 5 years ago
    Thu May 22 2014 8:43:40
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    Dear knocked,

    (Sorry for delay in responding, I've been busy.)

    A few comments for your consideration:

    > Yes, you need to check with local authorities to be sure of the requirements of the LL. For starters, check with the local Dept of Health and an entity known as Code Enforcement. Please note that some municipalities may call their "code enforcement" entity by other names. What you're looking for are the folks that regulate landlords. As such, the Dept of Health and Dept of Housing are two good places to start.

    > Websites: While a company website may be a good indicator of the quality of the company you are considering, there is no assurance that the website alone is a valid indicator thereof for many reasons. As such, check out your candidate company websites by all means however, place that nugget of information aside for "future consideration" if need be unless you find anything of significant concern there.

    > I suggested that company for the following reasons:
    * They are a long established company in that area.
    * They are a family run company.
    * They have long term experienced employees.
    * They are well known and respected in their geography.

    > When selecting a pest professional consider the following:
    * Warranty offered?
    * Does what they're telling you they are going to do/provide for you as services make sense?
    * Have they been referred to you by satisfied customers and/or do they offer references?
    * Are they well experienced in bed bug control work?
    * Consumer affairs profile; i.e. do they have complaints registered against them from multiple consumers?
    * Do YOU feel comfortable with this company?

    > Remember that only YOU know if you feel comfortable with the candidate company or not !

    Hope this helps ! pjb


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