What Can I Do About A Recurring Bed Bug Problem At My Apartment? What Are My Rights?


3 Answers

Anonymous Profile
Anonymous answered
I'm an exterminator. Bed bugs are becoming a serious and annoying problem. I HATE treating for bed bugs, pretty much because the tenants I do the work for NEVER prepare.

Bed bugs WILL NOT be gotten rid of the next day by ANYONE, ever! It takes 1-2 months on average to Manage the bed bug infestation. I say "Manage" because no educated professional can ever tell you that your home is bed bug free. They can live up to 18 months on a single bloodmeal. They will hide in any crack and crevice possible. I've found hundreds of eggs behind those little quarter inch circular pads on picture frames, in clocks, televisions, outlets, dressers... Everywhere.

What to do :

A Teamwork effort is required to best manage bed bugs. No company can do it by themselves. It's impossible.

Do not throw your bed away! It's too costly , and it will cause more problems than it saves. Besides., they would just get into your new bed.

Every cloth material you have, place in the dryer on high for 5-10 minutes FIRST. Then wash your clothes and dry them again. The heat will kill any bed bugs and eggs that are there. After the clothes are washed, bag them. Keep all your cloth materials in bags for about a month. It's a pain, but the best way.

Second, it's been reported that Protect-a-bed Mattress covers are the only bed bug proof covers there are. They're hypoallergenic as well. I strongly urge any client to purchase them and to cover all beds and box springs in this cover. Any bed bugs trapped inside will not die and can not come out.  They are costly, but cheaper than buying new mattresses. It should cost between 250 to 300 dollars to cover each and every bed. Any bed bugs that get onto the mattress cover after wards, can not nest in the mattress. I end up telling customers that we probably won't solve the problem unless these covers are purchased.

Mouse glue boards. The paper ones. Place a pad under every leg of as many pieces of furniture as you can. Bed frames, couches, chairs, desks , dressers, etc. This way, you can start pinpointing where infestations can be. It's not a lock that if you see no bed bugs, they aren't there. Remember, they can lie dormant for a year and a half, but if they're coming from pieces of furniture, you'll see bed bugs stuck on the glue closest to the legs of the furniture. If not, you'll see them stuck on the outside. The more dead bed bugs you get , the better.

As far as TV's go, you can set them or anything else outside, so long as the temperature will be under freezing for a few days.

There are no home products that will control bed bugs. Don't believe them. The industrial chemicals that we use only kill phases of bed bugs. Eggs and nymphs are nearly impossible to kill with a chemical treatment. Anything will kill an adult.

If an exterminator is treating your place, please help prepare for him or her as best as possible. Take down all of your pictures. All of your clothing drawers should be empty to this point, so please take out the drawers and lay them out for the exterminator to treat. Take the newly covered mattress and box spring off of the bed frame. Take down curtain hangers and mirrors you might have hanging as well. An exterminator should be arriving no later than every two weeks to treat for at least three treatments.

If you want to do it yourself, here are the products I recommend , and please, follow the labels. You can purchase what we use online, you just can't get them from a chemical supplier. The chemicals we use are much safer than what you can buy at the store, unless you take the concentrate and overdose. Please.. Please don't do that, no matter what. "Using a little more" Than the label says will not make things better. It will probably make things worse.

If you do it yourself, you can spray everything! Where you spray is up to you. We as exterminators are limited by the EPA and the department of agriculture of our state. We can't go spraying walls and tops of beds or anything, but I've done it to my own bed, in case I brought any home..

Products to use
BASF makes Phantom
Zoecon makes Gentrol IGR concentrate

mix only these two in your spray tank. Four tip fulls of Phantom and one ounce of gentrol to one gallon of water. Mix well, and spray everything. Remember to prepare your home as if an exterminator were coming. Phantom is a passive chemical. It blocks the interpretation of food to energy for insects, and this dysfunction is spread from insect to insect as they touch each other. If they cross where you have sprayed, they;ll be infected. If one is infected and it touches another bed bug, that one will die too, but slowly, so they can infect each other. Gentrol is a Growth regulator. It reportedly freezes the stage of the bed bugs that are infected. They should not be able to reproduce, and should not be able to grow into adults. Eggs infected should not be able to hatch. There is speculation between entomologists worldwide about whether this is effective or not, but it should not interfere with phantom. If it does work, Great! If not, that's fine. Better safe than sorry.

If you do it yourself, you can spray everything twice a week for two weeks with this mix.

Bayer makes Tempo Dust.
You're going to need to purchase a bulbous duster. The container it comes in is not good enough. This stuff WILL make you sneeze, and give you a runny nose. It's a very very dry and fine powder. I highly suggest wearing a dust mask. Don't get it in your eyes. Fill the bulbous duster half way with tempo dust, and puff any crack or crevice you see with it. Around your dishwasher, stove, pipe openings, etc. Do not hold it upside down so you can blast the stuff. If you don't see it come out, that's fine. You shouldn't. As I said, it's a VERY fine powder, and will be able to reach voids you never thought possible. If you just blast it in so it lays a s a pile, it won't work. One spec of dust will kill any insect that walks across it. The more subtle, the better. If you don't believe me, hold a light to the end of the duster, and do a slight puff, you should see a cloud that you wouldn't see otherwise. Dust behind light switches, outlets, gaps in bed frames, and anywhere that you think a spray is not reaching behind. Dusting behind baseboards and trim is highly effective. (this stuff kicks butt on roaches too. Dust the gaps behind and between your cabinets if you have an issue!)

MGK makes an aerosol called BEDLAM.
Syngenta makes Demand CS concentrate
FMC makes a Wettable powder insecticide called Transport.

My boss, an entomologist from Purdue, loves this stuff. I don't really use it, but if you like using Canned insecticides, you can use bedlam on everything. After the two week program with phantom and gentrol, you can treat every corner of every piece of furniture with bedlam. If eggs are present, bedlam will foam up in reaction to them. It's a good adulticide as well.
Also, start mixing Demand CS and Transport in your tank. Again, follow the label, except for transport. FMC claims that the single serving bags are water soluble. I've had my tank clog up because the bags were not dissolving. Cut the bag open, poor into the tank, and shake constantly. The formulation dries as a powder, which increases it's staying power. Demand CS has an Encapsulation formulation. Meaning the active ingredient is encapsulated in these little "Bubble shields" That pop and infect the insect when the insect steps on it. Pretty cool, huh?
Use this measure for two weeks. You can mix gentrol if you please. That wouldn't hurt.

Good luck with your endeavor. What I told you is expensive, you should only need 2 cans of bedlam. One pint of phantom. The very smallest container of demand you can find, a pint of gentrol, and the smallest container transport you can find, and a 1 pound canister of transport is fine. You'll have a lot left over, but you can kill your own bugs! No more raid!
Due to the cost of this, I would expect an exterminator to arrive. See if you can have him follow this guide. He'll be successful. If he likes to do even more, let him do it! I know Orkin techs tend to use this pretty handy steamer. We don't use it because it costs over 350 bucks.

If you want, you can ask him to mix the chemicals in your sight. This way, he can't get blamed for "Spraying water" either. So it covers his or her butt, too. We get accused of that constantly.

Also, each attached apartment to you must be treated, regardless of whether they like it or not. And each attached apartment to other infected apartments must be treated.

If this is not being done, Call the health department. Until recently, the health department did not recognize bed bugs as a health risk. There is very little evidence that they do, but due to the rampant spreading of these things, the health department is starting to turn their heads in the right direction. You will get the best results from the Health Department if you don't whine and don't speak aggressively. These men and women are greatly underpaid, and have an immense amount of complaints to address. It's like being a teacher with 10 times more work. They appreciate courtesy, respect, and kindness. They'll help. It's just not easy. They work for the government, anyway, so their service probably will not be instant. If you notice that your attached apartments are not letting the exterminators in or letting them do their job, you can call the health department. Don't get too nosy. Be general. The exterminator and the landlord should be dealing with the health department primarily, but you can throw that flag first if you wish.

I hope this was of help. If you need more information, feel free to email me

as far as your rights, you can't really do anything unless the landlord is not cooperating, and if you move, the problem will move with you. It is best to stick with it there, until the issue seems to be alleviated, then, you can move on.
thanked the writer.
Anonymous commented

the university of kentucky has done some good work on the subject. So has Purdue
Lynn Perie Profile
Lynn Perie answered
What are you refering to as "bedbugs"? fleas? lice? both have a specific way of exterminating. Lice? - wash everything including the carpet and in between mattresses. fleas - Use a flea killer power to dust everything then vaccumn. I hope I answered you question. If one of those two aren't your "bedbug" please ask again with specifics.
thanked the writer.
Lisa Schaefer
Lisa Schaefer commented
I tried a flea powder for carpeting for my flea problem and it did nothing. And I just bought spray that cost $11 but it states it's harmful to pets and humans so I was afraid to use it today.
Jon Sam Profile
Jon Sam , Bed bugs, answered

I would alert the property manager if bed bugs are discovered.  A robust bed bug control effort using a professional pest control company is the only solution that will guarantee success, and if your landlord is t fault he should fork out, not you!

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