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Sandwich Isle Pest Solutions/K9 Scent Detection Hawaii

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  1. sleeplessinhonolulu

    Joined: Oct '12
    Posts: 15


    Posted 6 years ago
    Sun Dec 2 2012 14:33:34

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    We recently received k9 and thermal services from Sandwich Isle and K9 Scent Detection Hawaii (k9 branch of the same company). Apologies for the length of the post; I want to be thorough for anyone considering bedbug services on Oahu, especially since this is the only company, to my knowledge, that offers k9 here (I think the company might also do k9 inspections on neighbor islands, but you'd have to call and ask to be sure). If you don't want to read the whole thing, here's the upshot: The company as a whole gets 3.5/5 stars. Lani gets 5 out of 5 stars. Seriously. OK, on to the long version:

    If you're on Oahu and suspect you have a bedbug problem, I strongly suggest you get in touch with Lani, who is a k9 handler for the company. She is very professional and sweet (personality counts for a lot in business here!), and patiently answered all our questions. Once she confirmed our bedbug problem (we had trapped some, but our landlords wanted professional confirmation), she stayed with us every step of the way, which we felt was going above and beyond since she could have just passed us off to whoever was handling the treatment.

    When I called the general office to ask about heat treatment, some random guy answered the phone and gave me some conflicting information--and did some considerable hemming and hawing about whether there was any sort of guarantee on their treatments. I got off the phone with him ready to head to another company. Luckily, Lani emailed me to follow up. When I told her what had happened on the phone, she 1, assured me that there was a guarantee (if the heat failed, they would do chemical treatment at no cost to us); 2, said she would speak to the owner to make sure unknowledgeable people wouldn't be answering the phone any more; and 3, gave me her cell number so that I could reach her directly at any time. She also said that she could add on a complimentary follow-up k9 two weeks after treatment to give us peace of mind. The difference between whoever answered that phone the first time and her was incredible.

    Sandwich Isle is also the only provider that does heat treatment, at least as far as I could find. The point person for us was Kale, and he was great as well. He seemed to really know his stuff (he said that most of their projects are heat treatments for individual hotel rooms, so our 1-bedroom apartment was almost exactly the same). A few days before our scheduled treatment, he came over to inspect our place and make sure nothing would be damaged (I was worried about our cabinetry), and told us what needed to be done to prep. It was pretty minimal--taking everything off the walls, taking down the plastic vertical blinds, emptying the drawers near to the bed into a hamper, and (obviously) removing any combustibles or candles. When he and his team came on treatment day, they went through everything in the treatment area anyway to make sure it was all safe (he said a homeowner had once left bullets in the kitchen drawers!?). Anything that couldn't be safely treated with heat was put aside in the bathroom, where it was sprayed with chemicals instead. After they finished with the heat, they ran the fans for a while and cooled it down for us while they did their best to put stuff back in order. They also dusted along baseboards and inside electrical outlets. My husband appeared to have new bites the first night after treatment, but we had already been warned that there can be a delay between actual bites and the skin reaction. After that, no new bites for him (to this day!).

    The night before Lani was scheduled to come out for our follow-up k9, I found a live bug crawling on my sleeve as I sat on the couch and tossed it in a jar of alcohol for ID. When she arrived in the morning, she confirmed it was a fed nymph (must have bitten me as I sat there--I don't react to bites). She did an inspection with the dog, but got no alerts. She then got out her flashlight and did a thorough visual inspection. She found a very crispy bug that must have gotten missed in the vacuuming near the bed and fecal traces on the underside of the couch, but that was no surprise since we knew we had had bugs in the couch before treatment. She said that it was possible it was really just that one--the bathroom and lanai get sealed off so bugs can't escape there from the heat, but occasionally one will make it through--but took all precautions anyway. She got some ClimbUps from her car and helped us dust and place them, saying she'd come back later in the week to check them and bring a second dog for confirmation.

    In the meantime, my husband got some bites on his neck. Looking back now, a little more sane, they were clearly very different from the skin reactions he'd gotten with bedbug bites. But we were pretty much in panic mode. My husband and I spent a long while examining an "egg" from our headboard that turned out to be a lump of wood glue. I caught another bug and saved it for ID--when Lani came back, she very nicely said that it wasn't a bedbug because it (clearly, but she wasn't so blunt about it) had wings. When she checked the ClimbUps, she found no bedbugs but some other little ant-looking bugs that she said could have bitten him. She recommended that since we have a steamer, we steam around the bed, headboard, and window screens (which admittedly have a few little rips and holes) to kill any other kinds of bugs that might be biting. She ended up not running the second dog through the apartment because they'd just come from a very difficult appointment (uncooperative family, pets in the house, etc.) and she thought the dog was too distracted to be accurate. But she left the ClimbUps and and kept in touch by email.

    When I found a cast skin (even with no signs of live bugs and no bites, so it could have easily been explained away as pre-treatment), she mailed us a cover for our box springs and some traps to put under the mattress.

    We've had no additional signs, and she still recently checked in by email just to make sure everything is looking good. If there is better customer service than that, I've never heard of it! So in conclusion, you may not have the best experience if you just roll the dice and call the office. Be prepared to be very clear and a little demanding on your contract and guarantee, as the company may try to tell you that they guarantee their treatments, they just can't guarantee that you haven't re-infested your house in the meantime. But I can say that if you work with Lani and Kale, you'll be well taken care of. I have no doubt that if we have another bedbug problem, whether it's two weeks from now or two years from now, I could call up Lani and she would give me the best possible advice based on what would help us get rid of it, not what would make her company maximum profit.

  2. Nobugsonme

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    Joined: Mar '07
    Posts: 22,262


    Posted 6 years ago
    Mon Dec 3 2012 2:02:11

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    I am sure this will be helpful. Thanks for posting!

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

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