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PCO recommendation for Montreal

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  1. lcmontreal

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    Posted 10 years ago
    Thu Jul 30 2009 9:29:20
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    Hello,

    I am looking for a recommendation for a good PCO in Montreal. I found what looks suspiciously like BB feces, though there wasn't anything else - no marks on sheets, no bites on me or my visitor. Usually no one sleeps in that room, actually, so I don't know why I'd find stuff there and not be having problems in my own room. I was hoping to find someone who could perhaps inspect first...I'm a bit bedbug-phobic (New York friends have had them and told me all the horror stories) so god knows maybe these are just black marks that mean nothing.

    I'm a student and freaking out a bit because I have little money, and because it seems there aren't a lot of reviews for good PCOs here. I talked to someone who advertises as "Debbie Expert" who sounds pretty knowledgeable and experienced, although she says she only treats once and that anyone who has to treat twice isn't doing it right...whereas everything I read here suggests two treatments are the minimum. But she has a one-year guarantee and really seems to care about her clients and in keeping up with all the info on BBs.

    Please, any advice??? Has anyone worked with her before? Or other PCOs that are effective but not crazy expensive?
    Thank you!!

  2. Nobugsonme

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    Posted 10 years ago
    Thu Jul 30 2009 10:01:14
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    You may find some leads here: http://bedbugger.com/forum/tags/montreal

    However, let's talk about your Debbie Expert. I do not know of her, though there are are some PCOs (even on our forums) who claim to provide extensive initial inspections and targeted treatments, and who claim to generally rid most infestations in one treatment. I believe they are a rarity, but they do indeed exist.

    I would ask how she does it. If she tells you she inspects for hours, finds harborages, treats carefully, again taking a long time, then I would probably not hesitate to hire her. And believe me, I am skeptical by nature.

    In my experience, a certain degree of cockiness is a good trait in PCOs (as it is in surgeons)-- if their explanation of why they're so good sounds convincing. Though you might want it in writing, the one-year guarantee suggests she means it.

    It's also important that your PCO is not so cocky as to think they are always 100% right, or that if something goes wrong, it's necessarily your fault.

    If you are in a multi-unit dwelling, talk to her also about this. Some good PCOs will help with applying dust to walls or cracks and caulking these. If neighbors are infested, they can keep coming.

    My only worry with people who claim one-shot treatments are their norm is about how they react when bed bugs persist. Will the assumption be that she missed a few stragglers and eggs? Or that it's a reintroduction? Both are possible, but you don't want someone automatically blaming you, which happens. The guarantee sounds good but ask a few questions about how it works.

    You may just have found a good one...

    I started and run the site but am "not an expert."
  3. lcmontreal

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    Posted 10 years ago
    Thu Jul 30 2009 12:04:32
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    Hi NoBugs,

    Thanks for the response! I called another company and they gave a similar price and treatment plan: one treatment with a 3-month residual (4th-gen pyrethrin-type) for a mild/initial case, and 2-3 for bad cases.

    In both cases, it seems the preparation instructions are to reduce clutter somewhat, bag up all fabric items & clothes, empty drawers, and vacuum floors (throwing away the bag). Then, after treatment, clothes and other possessions can go back in drawers (which will have been treated), on sheets of liner paper, and life can resume, except no washing the floors for 3 months; only vacuuming. We didn't get into what to do about books, or shelved items in the bedroom, however. ..

    This sounds less extreme that a lot of what I've read, such as baking possessions in the oven or in a packtite, constant laundering, etc., but are these really necessary in all cases?

    Meanwhile, their recommendation for me, since I'm not even sure what I have (he said many bugs have similar poop) is to put tape sticky-side-up all around the baseboards of the room where the bed in question is, and on & around the bed itself, and then sleep there for a few nights to see if anything appears on the tape. They did not suggest sending a technician to inspect because "a 10-15 minute inspection, even an hour, may find nothing, and meanwhile you could have a problem developing." Which to me sounds reasonable.

    They only give a 6 month guarantee, however. Does that mean much, vs. someone who gives a year?

  4. Nobugsonme

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    Posted 10 years ago
    Thu Jul 30 2009 13:50:20
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    Hmm. If the PCO's answer to why you only need one treatment is that they use a 3-month residual, then I am not confident. Many products are labeled as such, but PCOs tell us follow-up should occur much sooner if needed.

    PCOs who CAN get it done in one treatment, from what I gather (and I am not a PCO), do so because of their meticulousness in inspection and application --NOT because they use a certain spray. Good bed bug treatment is about knowing what to do much more than having a certain spray.

    I'd like to hear more about Debbie at this point! Does she inspect? What can she tell you about her procedures?

    Also FYI -- bagging everything is questionable. Bagging washed/dried clothing is one thing, but the other stuff may contain bed bugs. Simply bagging it and releasing after treatment is dodgy. We have a FAQ in the dealing with clothing and stuff section that goes into why, but the basic idea is you may have bagged some bed bugs and/or eggs, and these will be released. Bed bugs may or may not cross the residual, hatched nymphs likewise.

  5. Nobugsonme

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    Posted 10 years ago
    Thu Jul 30 2009 13:54:34
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    BTW I am not saying the second PCO can't get it done, and I don't know enough about Debbie to say she's better. I'd like to know more.

    But the protocol you describe -- no inspection, not targeting harborages -- does not sound like the kind of treatment that solves most problems in one go.

    All things being equal, I would choose the longer guarantee.

    All things not being equal -- one person does detailed inspections and tries to target treatment, really knows their stuff -- I'd go for a shorter or guarantee with a rock star. If you find one and they are legit.

    If they're really a legit rock star, they may offer no guarantee, but it's a crap shoot if you do not have reliable recommendations. I know this is difficult.

    Remember also, some places who offer guarantees will simply come once a month and treat, and then say -- "Oh well, your guarantee is up." It's sad, but stories of places treated at long intervals for too many months do come up here and in the press. Not saying guy #2 is that kind, but it happens.

  6. lcmontreal

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    Posted 10 years ago
    Thu Jul 30 2009 20:09:11
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    Hmmm...I don't know if the first one planned to inspect carefully...I didn't specifically ask that, although it sounded like her main message was she'd "spray everything." I specifically asked the second one about inspecting more carefully for harborages and he laughed and said "no - that's what costs so much!. We give you a prep sheet, and we spray everything." He asserted that the prep sheet is what makes his service a legit and effective one.

    *sigh* It kinda sounds like neither one do the in-depth kind of treatment that is described on this site. I really wish there were some customer reviews available, but the only info I've found so far on here re: Montreal seems to lean towards negative PCO experiences.

    However, the first PCO I talked to was interviewed a couple years ago in a local paper, and apparently killing bedbugs is her passion - she advertises as a bed bug specialist. So you'd think she wouldn't sound so confident in the interview (and on the phone with me) if she was getting a lot of calls from unsatisfied customers...right?

    I'll keep looking for any reviews, I guess.......where are all the Montreal success stories???

  7. Badwolf

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    Posted 10 years ago
    Thu Jul 30 2009 21:35:29
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    Here's an article on Debbie in Montreal:

    http://www.montrealmirror.com/2008/080708/people.html

  8. Nobugsonme

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    Posted 10 years ago
    Thu Jul 30 2009 23:15:30
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    lc,

    There are not a lot of Montreal success stories. I mean, I am sure they are out there, just not in here. Not a lot of reviews of PCOs either. I hope you will keep following up and let us know how it goes.

    Cockiness and passion are promising in a PCO. So's a one-year guarantee.

    WIll she say any more about what she uses? Sprays only? Dusts? Steam?

  9. lcmontreal

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    Posted 10 years ago
    Wed Aug 5 2009 18:46:37
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    She didn't go into detail, though I didn't really ask. The more I think about it, the more I'd like to see references from happy customers before hiring a PCO who uses a 1-treatment protocol, since those are generally not recommended.

    Meanwhile, the second PCO I spoke with said that the black marks I saw could be something else - that other insects can leave black traces and it can be hard even for a professional to identify. As these marks are the only evidence thus far, his recommendation was to put sticky traps and carpet tape around the room and the bed, and then sleep there as bait for a while to see if I get bitten or if anything gets caught in the sticky stuff.

    Does this seem reasonable? I feel it's fair to wait till I have more evidence before having a PCO come in, especially as I can't afford treatment on my own and would have to ask for help from my family.

    I've put traps & tape around that room, and traps with handwarmers in my own bedroom and under my desk. My PJs stay in the bed, and I wear slippers when in that room and don't bring anything in or out other than my water glass and cell phone. I'll take precautions when visiting friends and going to work. I'm decluttering (been wanting to do that for a long time, anyway), carefully inspecting items first and trying not to move anything around too much except what gets put in sealed garbage bags. Even if there are no BBs it would be nice to have less crap.

    My boyfriend thinks I'm over-reacting just a little bit. Perhaps he's right - do sane people spend hours googling pictures of bug poop?

  10. apm

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    Posted 10 years ago
    Wed Sep 16 2009 16:09:25
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    lcmontreal: have you ended up using any PCOs here? Any advice, recommendations, or to-be-avoided info?

  11. byebugs

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    Posted 10 years ago
    Fri Oct 2 2009 12:37:37
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    I might be jumping to conclusions, but I'm hopeful that I might be a Montreal success story. I haven't had any bites in a month, and I haven't seen any bugs. I'm still planning on keeping everything sealed for another month or so.

    My story:

    I spent 2 nights at a hostel in Toronto at the end of August. I had heard bad stories about bed bugs so I actually took a few precautions (although not enough in retrospect!): I put my backpack up on the desk in the room, hung my clothes on a back of a chair, etc. About a week after I returned home I had bites starting to appear on my body- within a day or so, I had about 20 or so red, itchy bites. After a bit of googling and reading I realized that they looked like textbook bed bug bites. I decided that I must have had a delayed reaction to being bit in Toronto. I was worried I might have accidentally brought back bugs or eggs with me, so I decided to take all of the necessary steps.

    I had an exterminator (Extermination Centrale) come to spray (tempo) about a week later (took a few days to get an appointment). Before they came, I followed their instruction sheet and cleaned everything- sealed all clothes/linens/fabric in bags (was later laundered and re-sealed in new bags), vacuumed everywhere, etc. I bought a mattress cover (the one recommended on this site- Allerzip Protect-A-Bed) and started laundering my clothes/bedding weekly.

    Looking back, it might have been the paranoia/craziness that bed bug bites and the internet can cause, but I'm still glad that I acted so quickly and thoroughly. I'd rather prevent an infestation then deal with it later. I live in an old apartment building (used to be a big house) and I was afraid of the bugs spreading to my neighbors.

    I haven't had any bites since that first group. I don't know if that is because I didn't bring any bugs back with me or because of the cleaning/spraying/mattress enclosure.

    My review of Extermination Centrale:
    Overall, I was very pleased with them. I called a few companies looking for price estimates and I found their prices to be comparable ($225 for a 3 1/2). I really liked the fact that they had a very detailed set of instructions for how to prepare for the spraying. The employee who came to spray was very kind and thorough. He sprayed everywhere- futon, chair, mattress, bed frame, floors, etc. However, I was somewhat unprepared for the toxicity of the product he used: I had to leave my apartment for at least 4 hours after the spraying (while the product dried) and I can't be barefoot in my apt for at least 3 months (since it is a residual spray). There is a 6 month guarantee on the treatment- but I'm hoping that it won't be necessary!

    Now that I've had a bed bug experience, I feel like everyone I talk to has had a friend or themselves in a similar situation. I've met multiple people at laundromats dealing with bed bugs, seen mattresses on the street with "punaise" written on them, seen the telltale piles of plastic bags on the street. It definitely seems like bed bugs are everywhere. I know I'll definitely be more careful the next time I travel.

  12. William Lee

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    Posted 10 years ago
    Fri Oct 2 2009 15:05:31
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    Hi
    I'm from Montreal too.

    Had what look like a small bedbug case at the begining of August. I live in a duplex (1st floor) and the bugs came from the neigborhs upstairs after they tried to get rid of the problem by themselves. In Montreal, your landlord have to pay for the PCO. So mine called Extermination Mont-Royal. The guy came, got into our bed room, inspected the bed and found feeces spot on our wood bed frame. He said it was not a big case but will have to treat both appartment twice to be sure no nymphs survive.
    We had to clean all bedroom fabric and seal in plastic bags. Vaccum all floor matress, bedframe and lazy-boy chair in the living room. It took us four days as we did a big inspection by ourselves in all the apartment. No sound of vacuuming came from upstair before the treatment.

    First treatment : He put boric acid powder under bed and drawers+pyrethrin or permethrin where floors and walls meet in the appartment. For 20 days after we had to hot dry sheet and blankets every morning and no floor washing or vacuuming. Then one morning i saw a dead adult bedbug in our sheet. Just before the second treatment we startes got bit again and found two nymphs, one in the sheet (3rd stage i think) and one so tiny on the wall, both were fed as they had a brown spot in their yellow belly. I took care of them...personally

    Second treatment: The guy sprayed pyrethrin on the bed (strong smell for a day) then did all floor edges again. Same procedures after the treatment (no floor washing etc).

    Then one week ago i got two bites on my left hand and was a bit desperate as we are very careful to do the rights things with this. My upstair neigborgh called the landlord to say he found a bug...so the pco came back today and putted did a smaller treatment around the walls pyrethrin.

    Now it is early to say if it is a success story, but it's getting better . I think the PCO is OK as he answered honestly to my questions and don't give warranty as he say a big percentage of the treatment come from the way you prepare.
    And that's the main problem in apartment building: do you neigborgh is taking bedbug problem seriously enough ? I my case : NO. No vacuuming noises and we are almost sure they putted things in plastic bags without washing .
    When i understood we had a pest problem, i started reading on the subject and realised it was serious. That's why i decided to caulk crevice in the floor joints and do an every morning bedroom inspection. I'm still looking to learn more as we are moving at the end of the month and i want to be 99% sure i don't have the devil in my boxes.

    One critic i have about Extermination Mont-Royal: They never tried to find the source of the problem. No question about luggage or used furniture .

    Good point : They answered my questions with informations i verified on other sources (as this web site) and it seem they know the enemy.

    I strongly believe we important in the treatment in the way we do preparation. And i think it is good to learn a lot on the subject to do a little more if we can. What is missing in Montreal is a big information campaign on the subject as this problem is everywhere in the city.

  13. bill08

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    Posted 8 years ago
    Thu Dec 16 2010 22:49:21
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    Look man,
    My name is also William Lee and I just googled "William Lee Montreal" and what do I see? This post about bed bugs. I have never had bed bugs. I would like to put this on the record for anyone searching my name. I am looking for an apartment now and anyone doing basic research on me will think I am coming with some bedbugs problem. I sympathise with your ordeal but I wish you had used some username instead. There are a lot of William Lee's in Montreal and now they are all tainted with your posting.

  14. chris williams

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    Posted 8 years ago
    Fri May 20 2011 11:34:56
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    Hi NoBugs,

    Thanks for the response! I called another company and they gave a similar price and treatment plan: one treatment with a 3-month residual (4th-gen pyrethrin-type) for a mild/initial case, and 2-3 for bad cases.

    In both cases, it seems the preparation instructions are to reduce clutter somewhat, bag up all fabric items & clothes, empty drawers, and vacuum floors (throwing away the bag). Then, after treatment, clothes and other possessions can go back in drawers (which will have been treated), on sheets of liner paper, and life can resume, except no washing the floors for 3 months; only vacuuming. We didn't get into what to do about books, or shelved items in the bedroom, however. ..

    This sounds less extreme that a lot of what I've read, such as baking possessions in the oven or in a packtite, constant laundering, etc., but are these really necessary in all cases?

    Meanwhile, their recommendation for me, since I'm not even sure what I have (he said many bugs have similar poop) is to put tape sticky-side-up all around the baseboards of the room where the bed in question is, and on & around the bed itself, and then sleep there for a few nights to see if anything appears on the tape. They did not suggest sending a technician to inspect because "a 10-15 minute inspection, even an hour, may find nothing, and meanwhile you could have a problem developing." Which to me sounds reasonable.

    They only give a 6 month guarantee, however. Does that mean much, vs. someone who gives a year?

  15. ineedtoknowrightnow

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    Posted 7 years ago
    Sun Jan 8 2012 16:05:45
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    http://www.aqgp.ca/trouvez-un-exterminateur

    Consult this site. I'd recommend Maheu Ltée or ABC Extermination.
    They are very known. Just look on cyberpresse.ca

    Hope it helps

  16. New One

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    Posted 7 years ago
    Sat May 5 2012 12:06:18
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    ABC exterminators: They sold me a powder called PRO ant and roach.
    ORKIN: I spoke to Sean at Orkin who looked up the PCP# of that particular powder and told me that, frankly, it would do very little to help with bed bugs. He told me DE powder is really the only powder that would actually kill them. It takes a few weeks, but it WILL work. I've seen it work for me already...dead little nymphs along the baseboards.

    I would recommend Orkin for help in the proper advice for DIY remedies. They will take the time to answer all your questions and educate you.

    Sticky Tape: Does NOT work! the buggers will sometimes crawls underneath it. Not effective at all.

    Good Luck.

  17. endless_nightmare

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    Posted 7 years ago
    Wed May 9 2012 1:47:08
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    Hello I'm in Montreal, you can read my sad story in an introductory post

    Whatever you do stay away from the heat treatment offered in Montreal, I (and several other people in this town) have been ripped off by them. I used two different companies, after two treatments by each they were both blaming the problem on me saying it was something else, even if I was still getting bit, had fecal and blood stains, was finding cast skins, and now a few live ones here and there. So for both those guys $4200 down the drain. I have a lawyer looking at what my options are, the first one gave me half my money back.

    ABC, after 5 treatment, they use an ineffective pyrethrine spray and put a stuff called drione (powder, perhaps that's what New One is talking about)) on the edge on the wall, they spend like 20 minutes each visit, even if they have a warranty, if you still have them after the 3rd or 4th treatment, they blame you.

    I recently used another outfit called Appex, they spray a stuff called Prelude (????) they came twice it doesn't work, another $1000 down the drain

    I've heard good things about Orkin and Extermination Centrale, they are next of my list to try. There is a place in town that uses a different spray that lures out the bugs and you have to leave for at least 24 hours since it's so strong, I'm looking for those guys, if anyone knows who they are please tell me, I'm 7 months into this and I'm heading for a complete total breakdown

    From my experience DE is effective at least for reducing the amount of bites I get, I put a very fine layer of it all around the edges of the baseboard in my room after a few days I seem to get less bites

    I agree with New One about the sticky tape, the thing is the glue on it dries off, becomes dirty afterwhile so they loose their effectiveness pretty fast.

    Any help whatsoever from a success story in MTL will be appreciated

    Andrea
    not a PCO
    Spinal Cord Injury Advocacy/Volunteer

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