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NY Green Eco--anyone familiar?

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  1. bb_gave_me_ocd

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    Posted 9 years ago
    Sun Nov 29 2009 9:38:34
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    Hi everyone. Let me give you the whole story (sorry, this will take a while)...

    Three weeks ago I discovered I had bed bugs. I had just moved into a new condo in Brooklyn two weeks prior, and one week before I brought in a dresser I found on the street. (Nobody had ever told me how dangerous this was.) Then one morning my roommate tells me he found a bed bug and thinks they might have been brought in from the dresser. (I have since reconsidered this theory--I remember seeing stains on my sheets at my old place that I now know resembled bed bug stains, but I never had any itch so I think I might be one of the people who simply have no reaction.) Anyway, we looked at my bed and found bugs, so on the roommate's advice we threw out the dresser, mattress, and wooden platform bed frame.

    Then I started reading online and found out how horrible these things are. I had to join this Google group we have for our building and tell everyone I was the one who put the stuff out. (What a great way to introduce yourself to your new neighbors.) Nobody had any advice on PCOs, not even the management company, so I called a few different ones and went with NY Green Eco, because they could get to me quickly and did not require me to stay out of the apartment for hours (my cats are extremely difficult to move). They found no bed bugs. They sprayed peppermint-rosemary oil, used high-speed vacuums and put down DE. I'm not sure what else they did; I was still bagging clothing while they were here.

    Over the next two-three weeks I washed all clothes in hot water; kept them in plastic bags; washed all the wood furniture in Murphy's oil soap; sprayed light amounts of DE; sprayed "Rest Easy Bed Bug Spray" from Bed Bath and Beyond (active ingredient sodium lauryl sulfate); installed Allergy Luxe covers on mattress, box spring, and pillows (all new after I had thrown my old bed away); ordered a PackTite and baked all my books and papers and dry-clean clothing; caulked every crack I could find; took a steamer to my couch and recliner; checked my bed every day; threw out tons of stuff to reduce clutter, including all the cardboard boxes that were holding half my possessions; asked my roommate every day if he had any bites because apparently he's dealt with these things before and gets horrible reactions (over this time he had one itch that he thought might or might not be a bed bug bite); and had a complete nervous breakdown that almost landed me in a mental hospital. Oh, and I paid for the neighbors on each side of me to have exterminators too (neither of them knew any other exterminator, so I had NY Green Eco come in there too). They found no bugs in the rightside apartment but did find a few in the left (according to my neighbor, although when I talked to NY Green Eco they said they found nothing in either).

    This past Friday I had NY Green Eco in for the routine follow-up. They found one bug and said they'd come back for a third treatment. They used the peppermint-rosemary oil and EcoExempt KO and inspected my dresser and mattress and box spring and both bedrooms and the living room. The next day my cats were sleeping on my bed and I went in to check the bed and found another bug, full of blood. I crushed the little bastard. I had to tell the whole building that, despite the fact that I thought the problem was taken care of and despite the fact that I have worked full-time to kill these things, that the bugs are still here and that they should stay vigilant. I haven't gotten any responses yet.

    My question is, does anybody know anything about NY Green Eco? I did get references from them and called two and talked to one who said they took care of his bed bug problem. Should I get in a more traditional PCO that uses more toxic stuff? Can my neighbors sue me if I fail to cure this problem? All I want to do is get my life back, which is ironic because I wasn't that happy with my life even before this happened. I keep reading the damned horror stories and it seems like nobody ever is able to solve this problem. Does anybody ever win, or is my life over?

  2. cilecto

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    Posted 9 years ago
    Mon Nov 30 2009 22:56:00
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    That's quite a story.

    With BB, it's not always what you apply, but how, where, when. The process you describe sounds like mixed bag. Vacuuming is a good idea. The "oils" they sprayed (basically detergents) kill bed bugs that are hit directly (as do lots of household substances), but have no residual value (once dry, BB walking over it are unharmed). Chemicals applied in the wrong places gives BB a free pass. Most treatments do not kill (all) BB eggs, so follow-up at 2 weeks is typical. DE, while not "toxic" can damage lungs if not applied correctly.

    Also, note, that although your treatment *might* have succeeded, you might have gotten re-infested from outside or from an adjoining unit (up, down, left, right, etc.).

    I would recommend that you get legal advice about your rights and obligations as a condo association member. You probably need to take this up with your board. Best of luck.

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

    (Not an pro)
  3. bb_gave_me_ocd

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    Posted 9 years ago
    Tue Dec 1 2009 0:09:07
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    Thanks, I appreciate the response. I did have a lawyer I used when I bought the place; I guess I will call him. I haven't even been here long enough for them to have a board meeting...I think they are held in someone's unit so maybe I shouldn't even go to it for fear of spreading them.

    Reinfestation does seem like a possibility but...all the neighbors claim they had no bedbugs before I showed up. But it could be that they just don't get reactions or just didn't notice. I posted a ton of information to our group about the signs of BBs and how often some people just don't react. I'm somewhat reassured that none of them have contacted me yet to complain of infestation (except the one right next to me, who claimed she had BBs even though the PCO told me they didn't find anything) and that the place does seem to be built pretty solidly and that there are different heating/cooling units for each bedroom (doesn't seem like a system that has any common radiator access). I know these things are not guarantees that bed bugs can't spread but it seems like they might at least hinder their progress.

    I know the DE is not inherently "safe"--I've even written papers on silicosis for school. But frankly my health has not been my first priority lately.

    I did email the PCO to ask if the oil had any residual effect, and it seems they've stopped responding to my emails. They do give a three-month guarantee and will be coming back, but I'm rapidly losing any faith I might have had in them. I have also been using the Sprayway Good Night spray that I've seen mentioned on this board--I believe it was determined to have the same ingredients as Bedlam, which is purported to have some residual effect, I think. http://bedbugger.com/forum/topic/sprayway-good-night-product

  4. cilecto

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    Posted 9 years ago
    Tue Dec 1 2009 6:59:47
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    > I think they are held in someone's unit so maybe I shouldn't even go to it

    If you shower and change into fresh clothing, you'll be fine not spreading anything you might have to that unit (though it doesn't hurt to have other people worry about this, he, he). Be sure to swap clothes on the way in, too, as you don't know what's in the meeting unit...

    > that the place does seem to be built pretty solidly...

    BB need only a tiny gap to crawl through. You have common electric and plumbing, no doubt.

    > all the neighbors claim they had no bedbugs before I showed up.

    Maybe, or just "shoot the messenger" meets "denial".

    Bedlam/GoodNight/Pronto is effective "as part of an integrated pest management program", i.e. if applied right and/or in conjunction with other products. It's not a "silver bullet". In BB, there does not appear to be one.

  5. cilecto

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    Posted 9 years ago
    Tue Dec 1 2009 7:00:41
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    ...

  6. bb_gave_me_ocd

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    Posted 9 years ago
    Tue Dec 1 2009 9:41:36
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    Yeah, I have gotten the message that there's no silver bullet, so I'm trying everything I can...and still failing.

    I'm getting the feeling that, given their lack of thoroughness and response and the lack of responses to this thread, that NY Green Eco may just be a fly-by-night operation...think I might have thrown away my money with them.

  7. cilecto

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    Posted 9 years ago
    Tue Dec 1 2009 10:36:59
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    This company shows up in the google ads on this site (something not under control of the moderator, so it's not an endorsement). Their web site seems pretty comprehensive and has named contacts (or so it seems). Of course a company can fail to live up to its marketing and a good company can have some bad techs.

  8. bb_gave_me_ocd

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    Posted 9 years ago
    Tue Dec 1 2009 12:37:49
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    They finally responded this morning and said they'll be back; I asked them to come on Thursday. They promised to be more comprehensive this time. I finally asked if they're licensed and they said they are (which I'll try to check)...I should have done more research before hiring anyone but I liked that they gave a three-month guarantee, seemed friendly over the phone, and didn't require me to get the cats out (believe me, it's a nightmare).

    Maybe I'm just being impatient, since I know even with the best PCOs and the hardcore toxic stuff it can take several visits over a month and a half or so, and I only started all this about 3.5 weeks ago. I feel like I've worked really really hard on my own though. At least my roommate is still not feeling any bites. It almost makes me MORE paranoid that I apparently have no reaction to these things, since I feel like I'll never really know if they're gone or not. They're definitely not, though...I smashed another vampire this morning. I ordered Steri-Fab, which I know is just another contact killer. Are there any residual treatments I can get myself, besides Bedlam/GoodNight/Pronto?

    Maybe the encasements I used aren't good enough...damn Bed Bath and Beyond.

  9. cilecto

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    Posted 9 years ago
    Tue Dec 1 2009 22:51:48
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    BBGMOCD: Most of us are not up to the "CSI" level of being able to say where and when exactly we got BB. It could have been the dresser, or you had them prior, or some were in the moving truck or some were on the gear of the people who built and finished your building (drop clothes, transfer from house to house, hello?). Or it was in the cardboard of the new TV you bought, picked up from the boat from the factory overseas, or they walked in from your neighbors who are not reacting, are lying or, worse, set off a "fogger"...It's pointless to lose too much sleep over this. which is why I counsel people to clam up when asked by the LL or PCO to reveal whereabouts and habits, that may erroneously be used to shame you out of getting a fair deal. Please do your research and learning here (the forum, the Resources and FAQ tabs) and at other good sites (like BedBugCentral or NewYorkvsBedBugs. I missed your note about it being only 5 weeks (and it's brand new). If so, your infestation is hopefully young and you have a lead on it. Re the encasements. If your mattress & box spring are infested, they'll keep the bug "in". If you want to keep the mattress from being infested, they'll keep the bugs out of your mattress and box spring but they won't keep your house from getting infested. So don't beat yourself up about the encasements. If you're in doubt about them, please apply some "seam-sealer" (from an outdoors outfitter) on the seams and "duck-tape" (beige is less jarring) over the zippers. And do protect them from tearing (if you got the $5-10 vinyl kind, please put a fabric one over them. The vinyls are brittle & tear easily). But most importantly, of you're working with a pro (the one you have or a different one), discuss what you're doing and applying to insure that you're not counteracting what they're doing. (BTW, most of the "over the counter" products are some variety of "Pyrethrin". And there's "DE". Steri-Fab is alcohol+Pyrethrin. And many cleaners have contact-kill value.) Please learn about ingredients, methods and the all-important "label" before you invest and use. Best of luck.

  10. bb_gave_me_ocd

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    Posted 9 years ago
    Wed Dec 2 2009 12:30:38
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    Thanks very much Cilecto. You're right, there's no way to know for sure how I got them. Unfortunately, I panicked and told the neighbors right away about the dresser, basically proclaiming my "guilt." I've got a major anxiety problem even under "normal" circumstances.

    I'm trying to work with my PCO, and showed them the over-the-counter stuff, which they said I could go ahead and use...but the exterminator told me "they all have the same stuff in them, just in different amounts" which is definitely not true, so I made him read the label to see. And I told him that I'd seen a dark excrement stain on a pillowcase; he told me the stain would look like blood. So I don't know how knowledgeable they really are. It was the same guy (with two helpers) that came both times...he told me he'd been working as an exterminator for about five years and doing bed bugs a year.

    I will try to pick up some seam-sealer...I already have duct tape around the ends of the zippers, but maybe I should tape the entirety of the zipper. Another thing to do tonight after I get home from work and school at 9PM. They're definitely fabric, not vinyl. But they're the Allergy-Luxe brand, and I haven't found any evidence of them being entomologist-tested like the Protect-a-Bed.

    I've been reading a lot here and have read the FAQs; been pretty obsessively going over stuff here and at NewYorkVsBedBugs. It's been helpful, I think. I appreciate having reliable, scientifically-based information available rather than relying on whatever one might find on a news report or word-of-mouth folk remedies. Can I ask--are you a current sufferer, or a survivor?

  11. bb_gave_me_ocd

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    Posted 9 years ago
    Tue Dec 8 2009 13:14:50
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    Well, I had them come out for a third treatment. It was like pulling teeth to get them to stay for even an hour. They found 3 bugs on my frame. On Friday night I put each leg of the frame in plastic cups with a half-inch of Murphy's oil in them...but maybe the things had gotten up the frame beforehand...I made them be more thorough and search the musical instrument cases in the room. (They'd said before that they usually leave those things alone because people don't want them messed with...WTF? I don't doubt that, but come on, these people should know that the bugs could be in them so they should be searched, at least.) They didn't find any anywhere else and the guy said he was perplexed that they'd found bugs but never found any "egg clusters" in my place. Since the second treatment I had thrown out a cheap wooden end table and suitcase too big to Packtite...maybe the eggs had been in one of them. But then again, these guys just didn't seem that thorough so I don't know if I can trust that they'd find anything.

    I can't decide whether I should try to wait this out for their three-month guarantee or if I should get another exterminator in immediately. I definitely would not recommend them to anyone else, though.

  12. bb_gave_me_ocd

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    Posted 9 years ago
    Sun Dec 20 2009 12:29:57
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    Another update. A week and a half after the third treatment I found what appeared to be a castoff skin moulting in my bed. (Despite the fact that I'm now using the Climbup Interceptors and the fact that I'd been using them since NY Green Eco went through my bed last time.) This was Thursday--I've been calling and emailing them since then. They don't pick up the phone and won't return my calls. I would have to caution anyone out there considering them against using this company. They advertise as being fast and friendly, which they are, but knowledgeable and thorough? Not so much.

  13. BuggedOutInCT

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    Posted 9 years ago
    Thu Feb 11 2010 19:52:37
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    I have found that duct tape is not effective on some vinyl, and very poor at sealing poly garbage bags or poly sheeting. Scotch Tough Extreme Hold duct tape sticks very well to poly sheeting and bags. I don't know of anything else that will adhere firmly to poly; like iron on vinyl.

    CLICK HERE for a recent comparison by a noted researcher. I also read a positive-results study on Cedarcide as a contact killer, but I cannot recall where. I understand it's also a repellent. Steam is a guaranteed killer if you treat cracks and upholstry, but won't kill bugs in the padding. I'm going to borrow a floor steamer as my hardwood floors are loaded with gaps a bug can hide in.

    I see you have climbup Interceptors; a lot less messy than a "moat" and let's you ID what bugs are trying to reach you. Mine are in the mail, even though I'll have to craft some wooden lifts to get my bed into them.

    I have had difficulty finding hard data about which pesticides are most effective, based on empirical research and testing; at least in the US. The UK and Australia have done some, but US bugs will likely react differently than those found overseas. If you find any besides the comparison above, PM me. Also, since you seem concerned about using pesticides (an assumption based on your choice to go Green with a PCO), domyownpestcontrol.com posts the label and the MSDS (Material Safety data Sheet, looks like a Fed govt or fed compliance document). Reading those will give you a good idea how toxic the stuff is. If one pesticide states "wear hazmat when applying" and another says "wear mask and long sleeves/pants", you get an idea how toxic it is.

    Good luck!

  14. bb_gave_me_ocd

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    Posted 9 years ago
    Fri Feb 12 2010 14:08:05
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    Thanks, BOiCT. I wasn't really against pesticides, just ignorant about what was necessary and reluctant to try to get the cats out of the house. That seems like aeons ago though. The cats are at my mother's now (thus eliminating the last remaining reason to smile when I enter my apartment), and I've had a full chemical treatment and all sorts of other crap done, as well as get new encasements. All I can do right now is hope.

  15. Nobugsonme

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    Posted 9 years ago
    Sat Feb 13 2010 2:12:54
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    BuggedOutInCT - 1 day ago  » 
    I also read a positive-results study on Cedarcide as a contact killer, but I cannot recall where.

    Possibly here?

    http://bedbugger.com/forum/topic/a-review-of-%E2%80%9Cbest-yet%E2%80%9D-cedar-oil-product-manufactured-by-cedarcide-industries

    I started and run the site but am "not an expert."
  16. mgnyc

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    Posted 8 years ago
    Tue Sep 20 2011 23:08:26
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    Don't let these people into your home. Not only didn't they get rid of our bedbug problem, they took almost two weeks to return, the tech showed up 3.5 hours late, didn't do much of anything when he did show up, but tried to charge us $100 for a "follow up." After telling him that was outrageous, he started insulting my wife and me ... and spat in my face, saying "what'ya gonna do about it homo?" I repeat, do not let these people into your home.

  17. Nobugsonme

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    Posted 8 years ago
    Tue Sep 20 2011 23:53:34
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    mgnyc - 43 minutes ago  » 
    Don't let these people into your home. Not only didn't they get rid of our bedbug problem, they took almost two weeks to return, the tech showed up 3.5 hours late, didn't do much of anything when he did show up, but tried to charge us $100 for a "follow up." After telling him that was outrageous, he started insulting my wife and me ... and spat in my face, saying "what'ya gonna do about it homo?" I repeat, do not let these people into your home.

    Mgnyc,

    Returning for follow-up treatments in two weeks and charging for follow-ups may be legitimate company policies, I don't know this firm or what agreement you had in place.

    As for what you say the tech said, that's a pretty serious situation you're describing if it's true.

    Did you happen to call the company and speak to a manager about the service you received? That should really be your first move in such a situation. The techs who work for PCOs are employees and if you get bad service, you need to complain to management.

    Complaining "anonymously" on the internet isn't really fair. You need to give the company a chance to respond to such a situation.

  18. AshamedandScratching

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    Posted 8 years ago
    Wed Sep 21 2011 9:47:07
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    Spiutting in someone's face may be counted as an assault in NYC/S, especially when combined with a slur. That may be the better avenue to pursue.

  19. shiry7

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    Posted 8 years ago
    Wed Sep 21 2011 10:38:32
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    oh my god, I'm practically positive my neighbors are using this company. they mentioned eco-friendly pest control and spraying with natural oils. I was immediately suspicious. my neighbors seem extremely happy go lucky and optimistic about the whole thing. they had an infestation at the level where you could see bugs running around in broad daylight. the infestation started in the room diagonally across the hall from me but had spread to the bedroom that shares a wall with mine. they are getting their second treatment tomorrow, but I don't believe they are having the bedroom next to mine treated. please please please keep us updated on your experiences with this company.

  20. Nobugsonme

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    Posted 8 years ago
    Wed Sep 21 2011 22:28:16
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    AshamedandScratching - 12 hours ago  » 
    Spiutting in someone's face may be counted as an assault in NYC/S, especially when combined with a slur. That may be the better avenue to pursue.

    That is a good point.


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