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New home purchase - infested

(18 posts)
  1. JackD

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    Posted 2 years ago
    Sat Oct 14 2017 23:29:03
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    I closed on a 'new to me' home last Friday. The home was purchased on the condition that it would be treated for bedbugs that we saw during the showing. I've talked to a family member who owns her own Pest Control Company, and a friend who works for one of the big national chains. Both agreed that it wasn't the end of the world, and that these pests can most definitely be eradicated. With the house being everything we needed for the family, all big ticket items being new within the past 3-5 years, (eg. Roof, hot water tank, windows, furnace, AC) and being so far under budget, we decided to place an offer on the house. Fast forward a couple months, and we own the home.

    One room in particularly was heavily infested - crawling on a sleeping bag, a bed, a crib, and all over the walls and ceiling.

    The whole home was heat treated, and as of today, has been followed up with 5 chemical treatments, each one on separate days. Before this last treatment, which took place today, I removed the carpet and the padding. The house is a blank slate, including the unfinished basement.

    However, when I was prepping the bathroom for primer / paint with some blue painters tape, I saw 2 very much alive bedbugs crawling near the finish trim that surrounds the bathroom door.

    I need this house to be bug free ASAP so I can move my family in.

    Any recommendations?

  2. loubugs

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    Posted 2 years ago
    Sun Oct 15 2017 1:42:05
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    What is your contract regarding the past bed bug infestation? Seems like wasn't done correctly. Still old carpeting and padding in the home? Why hadn't all things like that been removed prior to treatment?

    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.
  3. JackD

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    Posted 2 years ago
    Sun Oct 15 2017 9:15:38
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    Old carpet wasn't removed before treatment because we didn't own the home yet; we were still in contract. The idea was that the pests would be gone before we took possession.

    As far as the contract, they treated the house and guarantee the removal of pests for 90 days.

  4. bugged-cdn

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    Posted 2 years ago
    Sun Oct 15 2017 9:27:37
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    Heat treatment and 5 chemical treatments? Time to get a new PCO I would think.

    How long apart were each of the 5 chemical treatments?

  5. JackD

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    Posted 2 years ago
    Sun Oct 15 2017 9:34:04
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    bugged-cdn - 2 minutes ago  » 
    Heat treatment and 5 chemical treatments? Time to get a new PCO I would think.
    How long apart were each of the 5 chemical treatments?

    Don't know exactly how far apart. And getting a new PCO isn't going to happen because money is an object. This company (Elrich) was payed $1900 to do a job. Your advise is that I pay close to 2 grand to hire someone new?

  6. loubugs

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    Posted 2 years ago
    Sun Oct 15 2017 21:05:50
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    JackD - 11 hours ago  » 
    Old carpet wasn't removed before treatment because we didn't own the home yet; we were still in contract. The idea was that the pests would be gone before we took possession.
    As far as the contract, they treated the house and guarantee the removal of pests for 90 days.

    I wonder why seller or PCO didn't remove the carpeting prior to treatment. Call them up to review the infestation that is still present before the 90 days is up. You might want to get a reputable dog team to review the entire house. You'd have to check with the canine team regarding any insecticides used and time that has lapsed.

  7. JackD

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    Posted 2 years ago
    Sun Oct 15 2017 21:07:19
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    loubugs - 1 minute ago  » 

    JackD - 11 hours ago  » 
    Old carpet wasn't removed before treatment because we didn't own the home yet; we were still in contract. The idea was that the pests would be gone before we took possession.
    As far as the contract, they treated the house and guarantee the removal of pests for 90 days.

    I wonder why seller or PCO didn't remove the carpeting prior to treatment. Call them up to review the infestation that is still present before the 90 days is up. You might want to get a reputable dog team to review the entire house. You'd have to check with the canine team regarding any insecticides used and time that has lapsed.

    Wonder how much that runs.

  8. Livingagain

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    Posted 2 years ago
    Mon Oct 16 2017 8:49:04
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    It's a tricky, controversial topic, but there have been conversations on this website about treating using Nuvan strips in unoccupied homes. Look for threads that discuss this that have comments by P. Bello in them. It would require the home to stay unoccupied for another 2 weeks I believe. But if I was dealing with an unoccupied infested home, I definitely would consider using this method.

  9. JackD

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    Posted 2 years ago
    Mon Oct 16 2017 9:00:34
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    Livingagain - 11 minutes ago  » 
    It's a tricky, controversial topic, but there have been conversations on this website about treating using Nuvan strips in unoccupied homes. Look for threads that discuss this that have comments by P. Bello in them. It would require the home to stay unoccupied for another 2 weeks I believe. But if I was dealing with an unoccupied infested home, I definitely would consider using this method.

    Awesome. Thanks.

  10. mp7ski

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    Posted 2 years ago
    Mon Oct 16 2017 10:25:22
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    What a crappy situation... it sounds like that house was pretty heavily infested if you're seeing them that easily, especially in the bathroom. If they only charged 1900 for a heat treatment and that many chemical treatments, I can almost guarantee they didn't heat up the whole house, probably just bedrooms and the livingroom. I'm betting it'd take a prolonged heat treatment to be effective in your situation. I know of one situation where the house had to be heat treated for over 30 hours. That was to eradicate a 4 year old infestation that was unsuccessfully treated throughout those 4 years but it just goes to show that every situation is different and these cookie cutter heat treatments arent going to be effective in every situation.

    So who paid the pest control company to treat the home, was it you? Or was it whoever sold you the house? Is there any language in your contract with the seller regarding the bed bug situation? If I was in your situation, I'd get legal council to look into it and see what your options are. I wouldn't move my family or my stuff into that house period.

    I also wouldn't trust the nuvan strip idea either.

    I am not an expert, any advice I give should be considered as amateur advice and not taken as fact. I mean well with all my posts and try to give back. If you plan on using any of my advice, I suggest doing research into said advice to make sure it is in your best interest.
    Study on Thermal Death Points(pages 18-29 of pdf) : http://www.propanecouncil.org/uploadedFiles/Council/Research_and_Development/REP_12221%20Efficacy%20of%20Heat%20on%20Bed%20Bugs.pdf
    Study on Cimexa: http://www.pctonline.com/article/pct0814-silica-gel-research-bed-bugs/
  11. JackD

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    Posted 2 years ago
    Mon Oct 16 2017 10:41:28
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    Interesting thoughts, MP.

    The seller paid for the treatments as a condition of purchase.

    Also, I found a canine company in Ohio that only charges $200. She said the house cannot be treated within 30 days of the dogs arriving. My thought process here is that I remove all door and baseboard trim and continue treating until I don't see any myself while I'm working on the house (every evening). Then, for peice of mind, I use the canine service.

    Thoughts?

  12. mp7ski

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    Posted 2 years ago
    Mon Oct 16 2017 14:10:21
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    Well, if you're going to continue to get treated, it be a good idea to do that. But keep in mind, chemical resistance in bed bugs is a reality and in most situations, is not enough to kill them all. That's why heat treatments, steam, and desiccant dusts are used with chemical treatments as part of an IPM approach. Having no one sleeping in the household also complicates matters as there is nothing luring the bugs out to cross the residual chemicals.

    K9s are also not 100 percent reliable. They are a useful tool as long as any hits are followed by a visual inspection from the handler but honestly, I wouldn't trust them to 100 percent clear a property. My mother's friend had one of the most reputable k9s in our state come through her house, it passed right over her couch and didn't hit anywhere, but upon visual inspection, the couch was, in her words "loaded." That's not to say your k9 won't be accurate or reliable but keep that in mind.

    Seeing as the seller paid for treatment, I think you may have some options legally either to back out of the sale, or get better treatment, maybe a more thorough heat treatment, from a different company. I would seriously consider getting some legal advice regarding such. I would also catch and document any bugs you see to help if there is any future legal situations.

    After dealing with bed bugs for so long and quite possibly still having them after moving using the fumigation of a moving truck approach and spending almost $7000 altogether... I'd never in my life move my family into a house with a history of bed bugs.

    That's just me though. My experience has been rough and has turned my life upside down so no way in hell that house would be occupied by me and my family, ever.

  13. Bedbugmom41

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    Posted 2 years ago
    Mon Oct 16 2017 14:25:50
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    Hello JackD

    I'm sorry that you are going through this hell.
    I have one question for you : if the house in unoccupied, do you have active monitors ?
    I am wondering if the issue has more to do with the fact that there is no bait (human) to force them out of hiding to cross the poison.... ?

    ***I am not an expert***

  14. JackD

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    Posted 2 years ago
    Mon Oct 16 2017 14:39:07
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    In regards to both of your statements about there being no human 'bait' to lure them across residual chemicals, the canine handler recommended setting traps, homemade or otherwise, that will resemble the heat and carbon dioxide of a host.

    As far as documentation goes, I capture live bugs as well as take video of the spry bastards.

    Me working in one room of the house long enough is what seems to bring them out, or so I'm guessing.

    I'll dig up the contract for more details.

  15. HifromChi

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    Posted 2 years ago
    Mon Oct 16 2017 16:26:16
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    I'm with MP above, everything in that post is good advice, especially that last bit, I wouldn't move into that home if someone paid me to do so. They can be so hard to get rid of once they've gotten into your things. Look at the fight they are giving without anything to get into but the structure itself, now X's that by 1000 with clothing, furniture, books, knickknacks and electronics.

    I'd definitely look into what kind of options your contract leaves you and if one of them is walking away from that home to find one that's not full of bed bugs, I'd consider it if it were me. It can become very costly otherwise, MP has shelled out over $7K already, that's insane.

    I'd be careful lurking around in that house while you're do remodeling too, they are excellent hitchhikers within clothing, you could bring one back to wherever you're staying in the meantime and the problem gets a jump on you.

    Best of luck to you, at least you knew the enemy before it knew you.

  16. StopTheSpread

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    Posted 2 years ago
    Mon Oct 16 2017 22:51:38
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    This is the first time I have posted on this site. We were in a very similar situation and I just wanted to let you know what worked for us. The biggest difference is that we were the sellers of the house which had the bedbug infestation. First, I would really review your contract. I would think it has something in there that states what happens if the bugs are still present after 90 days. It should guarantee removal. I would also review the contract with the real estate broker, if a broker was used. She or he should have made sure that all agreements between parties were disclosed and documented. I would get the records of what treatments were done and if there is any warranty. As someone stated above, I would be suspect of chemical and heat treatment being done for $1900. Ours was 8 years ago and cost more than that for an 1100 sqft. house.

    One big thing that you have in your favor is that you own the home. I am going to assume it is a free-standing home. Chemical treatment did not solve the problem for us. I think they failed because no one was there on a regular basis (this was a rental property). We tried so many times then decided to look into structural heat treatment. We removed a lot of baseboards and trim. We put holes in walls where it seemed that the temperature would have a hard time reaching what it needed to be. The house was completely empty. I removed all of the wallpaper and we removed a linoleum floor. There wasn't any carpet. After the first heat treatment, I got a canine inspection and he alerted to bedbugs in a few areas. We then repeated the heat treatment less than two weeks later. They said they got it close to 150 degrees and held it there for much longer than the first treatment. When I could enter the house, the paint on many surfaces had bubbled up! We got an inspection from the pest control guy and he couldn't find anything. We had him document that. We got a canine inspection and the dog did not alert. We got the documentation from that. We got a second canine inspection which was also negative and got documentation from them. Just for the record, I am not an expert in any way and all treatment was done by licensed pest control companies. The one who did the chemical treatments did not do heat. The heat treatment was done by a separate company. Both dogs and trainers were independent from each other and from each PCO that we used.

    We sold the house, fully disclosed, under market value with a $10,000 escrow good for 365 days for any subsequent bed bug treatment if needed. We never had to use it. I know the house is worth more now than what we sold it for. Hopefully for you, it will be the same. I would utilize canine detection if you can and not move in until you have cleared inspections. If it were me, I would also have a chemical treatment done right before you move in, and maybe a follow-up one. See what an expert says about that. I'm just giving you this information in case the contract can be renegotiated if 90 days pass and the bed bugs are still there.
    Keep your head up! You will get through this. For the nightmare our situation was, there was actually a silver lining or two in the end.

  17. Tim m

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    Posted 2 years ago
    Tue Oct 17 2017 18:29:49
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    Elrich also did my heat treatment two months ago and I'm still getting bit but no signs of bed bugs. They also did a 90 day residual spray on every baseboard.

    They have stopped over twice and gave me the clear each time. The guy that inspected had no idea what he was talking about. He told me male BBs only bite at night and females during the day and they always bite in lines of threes, even I know that's bs.

    And to top it off they did my town house and my neighbor in 5 hours with two people and trust me these are huge town houses no way they did a proper job in 5 hours with two people. Long story short find a new pco I didn't get to pick mine the owner did.

  18. bugged-cdn

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    Posted 2 years ago
    Sat Oct 21 2017 13:00:40
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    And getting a new PCO isn't going to happen because money is an object. This company (Elrich) was payed $1900 to do a job. Your advise is that I pay close to 2 grand to hire someone new?

    I'm not saying you should spent any amount of money. I'm saying after a heat treatment and 5 chemical treatments, you should be bed bug free.


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