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PCO Treating My Apartment, but Downstairs Neighbors Refused?

(15 posts)
  1. GothAngst

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    Posted 1 year ago
    Sat Apr 21 2018 13:58:44
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    I posted before with no response and am feeling desperate. Luckily, after essentially blaming us for the infestation, our new landlord got us a PCO to our two-story home(we rent the top floor). Treatment begins next week. For what its worth, PCO investigated all our things and upturned the bed, getting down and dirty with a flash light and saw NOTHING. No bugs, no eggs, no fecal stains. Traps have caught nothing along baseboards, bed, etc. All we have are two episodes of bites spaced a month apart, a single positively IDd bedbug specimen found on my arm while I was in bed Wednesday, and a bite I got in the livingroom the next day. PCO says if I have one bug I may as well have a thousand, and we agreed it'd be more than worth it to treat us.

    Long story short, whatever is going on in the less than two months we've been here ain't bad, and seemingly knowledgable PCO is coming to begin first round of treatment protocol next week. We put a mattress cover on our bed and have done our first round of laundry/bagging.

    Here's what gets me: we live in a two story home. Us on top, neighbors on bottom. Neighbors initially refused entry to PCO saying they "didn't have a problem". After confirming my bug, PCO went to try again and I didn't quite see what happened... PCO seemed cavalier about my concerns regarding spreading since we don't live in an apartment building, but said the bugs were likely from last tenants since the carpet wasn't changed and our belongings are clear while admitting as is true that our one bug with no signs could have come from anywhere.

    Landlord made it sound like only our apartment would be treated. Should I be very concerned regarding my downstairs neighbors? How do I bring this up since the stigma came to full focus the moment I called my landlord? I don't care where the bugs came from as long as they're treated effectively. Is it true that spraying in the wall and down sockets etc will carry down to them? I just feel a bit suspicious since PCO found jack all up here and the neighbors refused-- if I heard my neighbors had BBs I would welcome an inspection, but I do understand that people feel like BBs are for dirty folk... Ugh!

  2. micachica

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    Posted 1 year ago
    Sat Apr 21 2018 14:44:49
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    As someone who has had bed bugs for a year because Orkin never properly treated the upstairs apartment (I live downstairs in a duplex) which was the source of my bugs I would be extremely insistent on the PCO treating both apartments. I even went the 60 days with no bugs in my traps from Dec to Feb only to have a bunch of bugs reappear when the weather started warming up. My issue was compounded by the upstairs apartment being vacant after the tenants were evicted for not paying rent and the fact that 3 months into my treatment and still seeing bugs Orkin decided fogging was a good solution even after I begged them not to for fear they would just disperse the bugs for a while only to have them return again which is exactly what happened.

    At the very least the PCO should definitely thoroughly inspect both apartments.

  3. GothAngst

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    Posted 1 year ago
    Mon Apr 23 2018 20:51:06
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    Here's where it gets fun. Actually, worse. So much worse. I finally inquire as to whether or not downstairs neighbors let in PCO and if the whole house was being treated. I got "yes and yes" as an answer. Fine. We just hoped they still weren't blaming us...

    This morning: visible from a distance BB feces covered mattress protector in our shared garbage area. No bag. Nothing. Just thrown in the can. So much for "no bug problems". A few hours later? Two heavily encrusted mattresses appear in the garbage area, about 30 feet from our home. Again no bags or warnings, you just have to know what bb feces are. We took photos and contacted our landlord.

    I have a feeling we are in for a wild ride. Neighbors frequently have family over for long periods, so I'm guessing the buck does not stop at neighbors alone and given their careless disposal of the mattress pre PCO appt and against advice, we are at very high risk of chronic reinfection.

    My questions are now these: PCO visited us first and found nothing except my dead bug. Inspected bed with fine tooth comb, thanked me for not moving clutter before the visit. Said I could get an encasement but since nothing was seen aside from my dead trophy, all I had to bag was clothes and remove clutter before treatment. I imagine my neighbors' very heavy infestation changes that? Should I bag or not bag? Ive already bagged clothes and very precious items as I am inheriting a Pack Tite tomorrow, but am nervous and PCO comes Thursday while I'm out of town. Which brings me to my last fear...

    I had to go on a work trip. I washed and dried everything I could on high. Things that couldn't be washed, or air dryed fabrics? Tumbled in small loads on high in industrial dryer(PS- air drying before heat drying doesn't reduce shrinkage in my experience. My pants and bra hardly fit after heat treatment in this manner. Still worth it). Thrown immediately into sealed plastic bags left on the kitchen floor, the only room in the house there's no carpet aside from the bathroom. Inspected all objecta again thoroughly. Applied rubbing alcohol carefully to things that couldn't be washed such as makeup and phone charger(avoiding electrical output areas). Left laptop and books home. Bought new shoes. Did not touch the heat treated clothes except to transfer to Ziploc xl into my freshly unwrapped travel bags after a shower while nude and dressing only the minutes before leaving. Not a trace of bug seen during this. Am I still at high risk for having spread this horrible plague, or have I done everything I could?

    Again: two bite sessions a month apart. No sign of bugs after PCO inspection. Downstairs neighbor of our two floor house very infested going by the evidence they're tossing suddenly. Have had 2 more biting incidences since inspection but no visible bites. Have taken precautions of heat and contact killers on clothes and bags and personal items and forgoing wearing clothes until last possible moment, brand new shoes, etc. Is it possible that Ive prevented the spread?

    Please say theres an end to this! I can't sleep and the thought of our neighbors re infesting us over and over again guts me.

  4. micachica

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    Posted 1 year ago
    Mon Apr 23 2018 21:42:37
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    I’m so sorry you have to deal with this. As I’m a year in and still just today found a bed bug in front of my fridge, dead thankfully. It sucks to be at the mercy of neighbors who may or may not give a crap about properly prepping and dealing with these creatures. For me it’s always been bag up clothes and linens for the treatment and then unbag after to release any bagged bugs to walk through the poison to die. Our first go around we kept things bagged for months. Looking back it makes sense to me to “live life as normal” so any bugs can be exposed to the chemicals. I think you’re doing everything you can to minimize risk of transporting any bugs. I hope your neighbors listen to the PCO and this is all behind you soon.

  5. HifromChi

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    Posted 1 year ago
    Tue Apr 24 2018 10:10:18
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    So sorry to hear about your current situation. Any PCO worth their salt won't just treat and/or inspect one unit and not the others or you'll just be in a vicious cycle. The bugs will disperse once your unit is treated to other areas not treated and will just return once the dust has settled in your area.

    It sounds like the people below you know they have a problem, but were resisting telling anyone, most people believe they'll be evicted. Which is unlawful. If you are seeing them tossing items and furniture covered in feces, your landlord needs to treat the entire building as a whole, no cutting corners. If he or she won't do that, I'd be looking for a new place to call home because it will be a continual problem with no resolution.

  6. GothAngst

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    Posted 1 year ago
    Tue Apr 24 2018 10:24:14
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    Landlord is treating whole house luckily! My concern is reinfestation. We found out about whole house treatment before neighbor started purging heavily BB encrusted mattresses, likely driving them up into our apartment and everywhere else until PCO comes Thursday. Not that they listened to PCO on top of bejng in denial. BBs arent anyone's fault, but ignoring an obvious problem is... Especially is you're lucky enough to have a landlord as invested in his properties as ours and the infestation is so obviously so far gone.

    My concern going forward is their family visiting constantly. Our neighbors are retired and has grandson etc stay for weeks. I'm guessing you can't stay in a BB infested home for that long and not cultivate your own, so I'm concerned that not everyone will get treatment and keep reinfecting our home! The mattresses and encasements they tossed were literally heavily encrusted with BBs and their feces, so this has been going on for quite some time with no remedy. I hope we don't have a chem resistant super colony, and I'm so allergic to the bites that they swell whatever body part theyre on 3-4x the size. Luckily, otherwise God knows how bad the BBs would have infested us in short time.

  7. Bugsareicky

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    Posted 1 year ago
    Tue Apr 24 2018 20:20:07
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    I'd voice these concerns to your landlord. The ditched items, and the constant visitors. Take pictures of those items if they are still out there. Hiding the situation and then discarding items against the PCOs advice could be grounds for eviction, and possibly small claims court for the cost of the treatments. I'm sure he doesn't want to treat over and over any more than you do. Also that allergy sounds pretty serious. I'd be worried about anaphylactic shock. Is there any way you can stay elsewhere until it's dealt with?

  8. loubugs

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    Posted 1 year ago
    Wed Apr 25 2018 5:02:38
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    What's being done to the area where the infested items have been deposited? Hope those neighbors didn't self treat in preparation. Your place should be treated first, especially in electric sockets, possibly wall voids, then downstairs. A large population will move about. Should vacuum up as many as possible first. Neighbors didn't throw away other furniture? They only think bed bugs are confined to beds?

    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.
  9. GothAngst

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    Posted 1 year ago
    Wed Apr 25 2018 21:09:27
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    My response appears to have been eaten by the internet.

    Shorter version: nothing is being done in most regards. I see no permanent resolution short of neighbors being evicted. Not for having bed bugs which I wouldn't blame on ANYONE. But for ignoring and concealing them for clearly a very, very long time and not listening to PCO while spreading them everywhere. Due to their ignorance willfull or otherwise and the haunting image of their BB feces crusted stuff crawling with visible BBs, who knows if this will ever end? Who knows how many of their family picked up BBs and if they'll be treated? Too many questions.

    I inherited a Pack Tite. Sadly our recent move ro this house and our purchasing of plastic bags and laundry has taken much of our funds so I can't afford a vacuum... But I'm hopingthat the PT and plastic bins sealed with tape with Nuvan strips as needed will help keep the infestation away. We intend to live out of bags with "indoor" and "outdoor" clothes and shoes. Upon clearance from PCO, I am laying down a perimeter of Cimexa as well. After our lease is up, it looks like we sadly have to leave our otherwise beautiful new home. I just cant see ever feeling comfortable or letting my guard down there again.

    I dont know whay

  10. GothAngst

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    Posted 1 year ago
    Wed Apr 25 2018 21:13:01
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    Pardon typos/random sentence fragment at the end of my post. Typing from my phone and I'm certain the stress isn't helping. Just grateful that PCO and bed interceptors are coming tomorrow!

  11. Bugsareicky

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    Posted 1 year ago
    Wed Apr 25 2018 21:19:53
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    You may want to look into the laws in your area if you are truly uncomfortable in that home. Where I live bed bugs void the lease, if you can prove you didn't bring them in. I'm sure your PCO will back you up on that when he sees the other unit. Unless of course you were wanting to stay until the lease ends, in which case, ignore me. lol

  12. Nobugsonme

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    Posted 1 year ago
    Wed Apr 25 2018 22:28:38
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    If the PCO could find no evidence, you may have just had one. You’re right to be concerned about getting more. If moving is an option, serious steps would need to be taken to avoid moving them.

    I started and run the site but am "not an expert."
  13. loubugs

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    Posted 1 year ago
    Thu Apr 26 2018 3:22:59
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    loubugs - 22 hours ago  » 
    What's being done to the area where the infested items have been deposited? Hope those neighbors didn't self treat in preparation. Your place should be treated first, especially in electric sockets, possibly wall voids, then downstairs. A large population will move about. Should vacuum up as many as possible first. Neighbors didn't throw away other furniture? They only think bed bugs are confined to beds?

    Reference to vacuuming is for PCO in the neighbor's apartment to pick up a large number before treatment.

  14. GothAngst

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    Posted 1 year ago
    Thu Apr 26 2018 8:51:53
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    Nobugsonme, Loubugs--

    If we have to move is Pack Tite, Nuvan, and taped plastic bins enough prevention to keep from spreading to new house? Id keep my mattress(proclaimed BB free by PCO and then encased in protector) but not the wooden frame. We don't own a couch. The rest is Ikea smooth surfaces that can be treated with a steamer to kill bugs in dowel holes or places they may not be visible. I also have Cimexa but was only planning on using that on apartment perimeter upon clearance from PCO.

    We're expecting Interceptor cups for our bed today as well, to lay down after PCO comes. Bed already removed from wall. We are doing our darndest!

  15. Nobugsonme

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    Posted 1 year ago
    Sun Apr 29 2018 19:31:59
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    That sounds pretty good. You can heat treat and then seal items in an airtight fashion. Some things can be treated sealed in with Nuvan strips. Solid surfaces can be steamed. Useful Tools is a helpful resource for some of these methods. We have FAQ on killing bed bugs with steam also.


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