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PCO help needed - 1 live BB 11 mo after treatment!

(7 posts)
  1. evergreen

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    Posted 7 years ago
    Mon Feb 27 2012 12:07:09
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    I need some professional feedback on my situation.

    Starting in the end of January of 2011, we received 8 treatments (2 weeks apart) for BB. Since then, we had not seen any BBs until 2 nights ago. I was up on the third floor (where none of the family sleep, and we hardly spend any time) to use the printer, and I saw a live BB crawling on the floor in the hallway. I caught in in clear tape and have it in a ziploc bag. It is an adult - no fresh blood in the belly.

    I called a different PCO (from the one that treated our home the first time) today, and the rep who answered my called told me that since we live in a row house in Philadelphia, they cannot offer any kind of guarantee on treatment, since BB can be coming from neighboring structures.

    We already spent quite a bit of money last round for treating our entire house (chemicals only). The PCO had requested that we pack our belongings in clear contractor bags (unsealed at the top) to facilitate treatment. All our clothes are still in ziploc bags. I place laundry in black trash bags. Cleaned and dried clothes (20 minutes on med/hi after all dry) go back into ziploc bags. Only about 3 months
    ago, I started to unpack the belongings on the first floor into cabinets and bookshelves. I packtited those belongings before putting them into cabinets and bookshelves. All of the things on the third floor (when I caught the BB) are still in bags but not packtited.

    Whenever anyone returns from an overnight stay, we packtite the luggage.

    We and the kids sleep in two bedrooms on the second floor. We have BB Alert passive monitors on three beds (none on the crib). And right now, there are no fecal stains on them. No-one has gotten any bites. I have not seen any BBs on the first or second floors.

    We cannot be living constantly in bags, can we? Does this mean that we will need to go through the expense and stress of treatment every year?

    I could talk to my neighbors, but I'm doubtful they would agree to treatment. And given that we are a long block of row houses, the prospect of being able to successfully tackle this seems dim to me. And then, does that mean that every time one house gets infested, we will all have to go through the same things again? Re-infestation is a reality in the city - when you go to the restaurants, library, doctor's office, public transportation, etc.

    Any PCO's out there who have dealt with row homes? Can you please advise us what we should do now? Are there ways in which we can do "maintenance" or "preventive" treatments? What can people who live in row homes do realistically?

    Thanks for reading my long post, and for answering my questions. Just as we were hoping to going back to some kind of "normal" living, I spotted the BB. So I would really appreciate some professional advice. Thanks so much!

  2. bed-bugscouk

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    Posted 7 years ago
    Mon Feb 27 2012 13:02:57
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    Hi,

    What you call a row house we call terraced and they make up about 80% of the housing stock in London so yeah we have a fair amount of experience in treating them.

    The first stage is to chat with all adjoining neighbors to make sure they are not the source of the issue there are FAQ's and newsletters here to help with that or specific communication sheets linked below:

    http://www.bedbugbeware.com/spreadtheword.html

    Given the length of time is it highly unlikely to be the same infestation and neighbours are not the first source of suspicion as again the period of time with no activity is too great. It may however indicate that something that you come into irregular contact with or something that has recently change or restarted is the source.

    Once you know the status of the neighbours you need to sit down as a family and work out if there is a logical source and how to avoid that as the next step.

    Hope that helps.

    David Cain
    Bed Bugs Limited

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    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.
  3. evergreen

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    Posted 7 years ago
    Mon Feb 27 2012 17:45:47
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    Bed-bugscouk, thanks for your thoughts.

    I recounted, and the timing is more like 10 months since our last treatment. But perhaps you might still think that it is too long a period of no BB for it to be from the neighbors?

    I'm not quite clear from your reply, so please bear with me. So do you mean that with your experience with row homes, that a PCO can be fairly confident it being able to completely eradicate an infestation? Then why is it that a local PCO could not give any kind of guarantee for treatment?

    Also, I forgot to ask in my first post. Although no one in our family sleeps on the third floor, we do have furniture there. (There was also a sofa bed there that we threw out before treatment last time.) We did see live BB on the third floor before and during treatment. Could it be possible that the BB I caught was hiding somewhere (in a crack or in some piece of furniture) and is now venturing out? Could a BB survive 10 months in hiding? Thanks.

  4. bed-bugscouk

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    Posted 7 years ago
    Mon Feb 27 2012 18:32:49
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    Hi,

    The pattern of activity means its unlikely to be coming from the adjoining neighbour.

    We certainly deal with a lot of terraced / row houses, the reason why some firms do not warranty is that you can get an issue coming in from the neighbour and sometimes they don't want to deal with it at the same time or in the same way. It is therefore difficult to warranty work when you find out later it is coming in from the neighbour who keeps bombing and fogging and driving them into you. In our case we have mechanisms to deal with that put in place from years of dealing with that exact issue so yes its technically possible but at the same time I know and understand why some don't want to take it on.

    I doubt a bedbug would hang out on the top floor of an occupied property for 10 months, heat rises and thus signals that you are at home do.

    I am extremely confident that this is an introduction but correct procedure is check with neighbours and then look at other sources, the neighbours are the easiest ones to rule out first.

    David

  5. omgbbs

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    Posted 7 years ago
    Mon Feb 27 2012 22:12:47
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    Just wanted to say that I am starting to get depressed at the increase of Philadelphia rowhome posts on this forum! From a fellow rowhomer, just want to extend my empathy to you! The city is NOT educated and no one is talking about the problem.

  6. evergreen

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    Posted 7 years ago
    Wed Feb 29 2012 15:30:49
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    Thanks, Mr. Cain.

    I will try to speak with my neighbors in the next few days.

  7. evergreen

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    Posted 7 years ago
    Wed Feb 29 2012 15:35:13
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    omgbbs,

    Thanks. Yeah, it's not fun.
    It would be great if the Health Dept. would do some work
    to educate folks. I didn't know anything about bedbugs
    until we started getting them.


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