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New, and at a loss! Apts+Bedbugs+lousy inspector+scared me!

(6 posts)
  1. CrazyCatLady

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    Posted 5 years ago
    Wed Jun 25 2014 17:07:08
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    I live in apts with 8 apts per unit (4 down & 4 up which make a box, with 101 and 201 facing S&W, 102 and 202 facing S&E, 103 and 203 facing N&E, and 104 and 204 facing N&W)
    Just wanted to give you the layout. I'm in 202.

    So, Monday I got a note on my door telling me they were going to do a bedbug inspection on our building (only our building). It came with instructions from the pest control company. Here's a list of some of the instructions, which had to be carried out before they showed up (TO ONLY INSPECT) the next day (Tuesday) between 8 am and 7 pm...

    ALL pets, pet food, pet toys, pet beds and pet supplies must be removed from the premises for inspection.
    ALL human food must be in either fridge or microwave.
    ENTIRE area must be deep cleaned, bedding washed, floors vacuumed, shampooed and mopped.
    TEMPERATURE must be below 75 degrees. (Our apts are in a hot climate where most of us keep our temp above 80 indoors)

    The note said they were bringing in a K-9 unit to do the inspection, but when the guy showed up, he said the dogs were out of town this week, and he was doing the inspection alone.
    He walked into 1 room, my office, took a flashlight and looked at 2 ft of floorboard, said we were bug-free and walked out.

    He was called in because two of my neighbors (103 & 203) noticed the bugs and called the office. He confirmed they had bugs, but barely inspected the rest of us. I just found out they are only 'heat treating' the two confirmed apts. They were supposed to do the heat treatment (where they raise the temp in the whole apt) at noon today, but I've been watching and waiting, and they haven't shown up yet, 3 hours later...

    NOW FOR MY QUESTIONS...

    1. Is it common for them to only treat the infected apts in a unit?
    2. Won't the bedbugs feel it heating up and come into my apt?
    3. Is it just me, or was the instructions counter-productive in diagnosing whether I even have them?
    4. Was that even a real inspection, since he didn't even check my bed?
    5. Will the heat from my neighbors apt seep in through the walls and come into my apt?

    I really need help from you guys. I've never had bedbugs in my life, and now I can't sleep because my skin is crawling. I have medical problems, and there are always hives on my skin, so I can't tell if there are any bites or not! I have 2 cats, and a husband to worry about!

  2. cilecto

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    Posted 5 years ago
    Wed Jun 25 2014 21:59:39
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    Hi, CCL:

    I'm not en expert or industry pro, but here's my understanding based on what I've read and heard from experts on this forum:

    1. Is it common for them to only treat the infected apts in a unit?
    2. Won't the bedbugs feel it heating up and come into my apt?

    Yes. If done right, hot air is circulated and the rise in temperature controlled so that the bugs end up heading toward the heat source rather than away. Done wrong, heat can cause bugs to scatter and can damage homes and belongings. Doing it right takes equipment and expertise. There are unfortunately lots of people running around with heaters who think they know what they're doing, but don't. AFAIK, heat treatment is an all-day event, not something you start in the afternoon.

    3. Is it just me, or was the instructions counter-productive in diagnosing whether I even have them?
    4. Was that even a real inspection, since he didn't even check my bed?

    With canine inspections, the handlers may want you getting rid of things that could distract the dog. Manually inspections should at the very least focus on the bed, frame, box spring, headboard and surrounding area. Cleaning can sometimes destroy evidence that a good pro would find useful. I'm also annoyed that you had to spend time and money to meet the manager's requirements...and they didn't keep up their end of the bargain.

    5. Will the heat from my neighbors apt seep in through the walls and come into my apt?

    I don't know, but considering how shady this outfit has acted, nothing is beyond the realm of possibility. In the best of situations, I'd get everything away from the shared wall. Keep careful records of your goods, your expenses, your interactions with managers and pros and any events. You may need these if things go bad and you need to get compensated. If your neighbor is being treated and you have something you are concerned about, get it to a safe place (but keep it sealed if taking to a friend, in case there is an undiscovered problem in your unit.

    Thou shalt not be afraid for the terror by night...
    - Psalms 91:5-7

    (Not an pro)
  3. Nobugsonme

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    Posted 5 years ago
    Wed Jun 25 2014 22:04:05
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    If heat treatments are done properly, then I understand it is possible (and typical) treat just infested units and the bed bugs should not spread.

    He walked into 1 room, my office, took a flashlight and looked at 2 ft of floorboard, said we were bug-free and walked out.

    That is not a sufficient visual inspection for bed bugs, as you guessed. Beds and seating areas should be checked, and they should look at each room, not just the office. A good visual inspection takes time.

    I find it astonishing that someone who normally searches with dogs would turn up without them and do such a cursory visual inspection.

    I'd talk to the management of the building about your convents.

    You might consider having your own inspection done, though you might want the landlord's agreement before doing it. I can't imagine them
    objecting-- you'd assume they want to do this right.

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

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    Posted 5 years ago
    Thu Jun 26 2014 14:58:50
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    Wow what an incredible crock.
    I have been through EXACTLY this.
    First, the notice of inspection seems to be put together wrong, like it was taken from many documents and put together to make one, because, if your inspecting you should not wash all your stuff, that just makes it harder to confirm.
    Your supposed to wash all your stuff in prep for a TREATMENT not an inspection.

    Your inspection was done wrong, and badly. He should have used a flashlight to check all seams on all beds, and also headboards and under chairs ( at the very least)

    1)common , yes, correct? no.
    According to the Alberta Health Department inspector all units beside, above and below an infested unit should be spray treated FIRST and the infested unit LAST. This is because the bugs literally run from poison.Through walls and along pipes.
    2)Yes. Thermo treatment bakes the eggs, and kills any slow moving or stuck/trapped bugs but also makes the rest RUN. Its more like HERDING THEM and since they are just as active inside the walls, and the apartment gets heated up, they go further into the walls and come out later. They can live 6 months without feeding. Longer if its cold and they kind of hibernate in the walls.
    After thermo treatment they ALSO SPRAY, but they dont tell ya that unless you ask, cause they represent thermo treatment as a MAGIC non poison solution. The poison they are using in Alberta only lasts 20 days.
    3) the heat will heat you up but not enough to cause things t o melt or anything its typically about 150' F.

    I had this happen. They treated an apartment next to me, and because they did it wrong, everybody got them. After all.. management accused the people who GOT it ( after) as being the CAUSE.
    Call the health inspector, make sure your complaints go on record. Take pictures of everything.
    * sigh* Your best defense is actually baby powder. they wont cross it and they get gummed up in it like quick sand.
    They JUST proved that DE DUST DIatomaceaus Earth DOES NOT kill them unless they are literally drowned in it.
    University of Kentucky did lots of tests. DE DUST does NOT work. But baby powder does.
    You can sprinkle it all around your edges of your sheets. Just wash your bedding every week and keep vigil eye.

    Good luck.

  5. cilecto

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    Posted 5 years ago
    Thu Jun 26 2014 21:25:05
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    JMAC:

    I'm aware of the U of KY study. It does not say that DE does not work at all, just that if applied alone using non pro tools and methods, it does not work as well as people might expect. Here's Bed Bug Central's Jeff White with some perspective.

    [+] Embed the videoGet the Flash Video

    As far as we know, talc does not harm bed bugs. In fact, it's used in interceptors to make the bowls slippery, while not giving the bugs any reason to get distressed and squirt alarm pheromones (which scares off their buddies). Please cite an authoritative source for talc working and that the OP should "just" apply some per your directions?

  6. jmac

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    Posted 5 years ago
    Mon Jun 30 2014 14:52:59
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    I have a solid perimeter around my apartment. (I have no bedbugs) and DE earth will NOT stop cement bugs or ants. They still make it into my sticky traps. Further, ideally we want them killed fast, not a slow death of a couple days which gives them more opportunity to BREED.
    Bed bugs are now a repeated problem in St john's Provincial Courthouse, Vancouver court house, and its been reported this year that Revenue Canada has problems in its main office. WTH is the government going to do something?

    Quotes from the Kentucky Experiment PROVE DE earth does not work unless pretty much submerged in it for an extended !! amount of time.
    BABY POWDER on the other hand DOES gum them up (like quick sand) and stop them JUST like if you have ever seen a BEE covered in POLLEN.
    What ELSE could you possibly put around a baby's mattress to protect them that is not chemical ???

    The average percent change in population was unaffected by the DE treatment (1 percent increase). Because populations might be expected to continue to expand in the absence of effective management measures, DE may have slowed that increase. In five of the six units, post-treatment assessment had to be curtailed because of tenant dissatisfaction and inadequacy of the treatment.
    So why did it perform poorly in our field trial?
    The weak performance of DE was unexpected — especially considering how thoroughly the dust was applied to bugs and their harborages.
    More recent laboratory observations suggested that the effects of DE are greatly reduced by abbreviated exposure to treated surfaces. [u]No mortality occurred, for example, when bed bugs traversed a 1-inch-wide strip of DE-dusted filter paper and were then held for several days in an untreated container.
    [b]
    Pests prone to water loss (crickets, slugs, etc.) tend to be more vulnerable to desiccant dusts. Bed bugs are at the opposite end of the dehydration spectrum.
    http://www.pctonline.com/pct1213-Diatomaceous-earth-study.aspx


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