Author Topic: Bed bugs - rental property  (Read 719 times)

Papa bear

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Bed bugs - rental property
« on: September 18, 2018, 08:37:21 AM »
I'm trying to gather information about anyone who has successfully DIY removed bed bugs from a property.

I have already had an exterminator come out for a heat treatment and residual spray, but the bugs "may" have come back in an isolated area.  Everything is based on what tenants have been telling me.

Has anyone had any luck with chemicals on their own?  Has anyone done a localized heat treatment? What did you use for heat or chemicals? 

I'm still in the warranty window for the professional, but they have already given some pushback, but haven't given a hard no. I want to be prepared if I'm going to battle this on my own as well.


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Jon Bon

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Re: Bed bugs - rental property
« Reply #1 on: September 18, 2018, 09:04:08 AM »
I've always had 2 sometimes 3 treatments. The way it was explained to me is the treatment kills everything alive. AND is somewhat effective on the eggs that hatch up to 2 weeks after the initial treatment but is not 100% effective.

So a second treatment sometimes is enough to get 100% of the infestation in theroy their are less adults and eggs the second time around.

Also the homework is hugely important. Bed bugs are notorious for hiding in hard to reach places during treatments. So beds needs to be flipped, outlet covers removed, and clothes separated. Basically anywhere that is 'tight' needs to be loosened enough to get spray/heat in.

Definitely posting to follow about DIY. It cant be that hard right? Just need to get your hands on the right chemicals.

Did you watch the exterminators process?

Papa bear

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Re: Bed bugs - rental property
« Reply #2 on: September 18, 2018, 11:47:02 AM »
For the heat treatment, the company basically had an exterior diesel furnace and used flexible 18" duct lines to blow hot air into the building through windows. They had thermometers at different parts of the house to make sure temps were in range.  I believe they went to 130 degrees for 4 hours.

The company is coming back out with a different chemical spray to treat again - hopefully this works.

But I still need to know how to DIY this!


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BicycleB

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Re: Bed bugs - rental property
« Reply #3 on: September 18, 2018, 12:04:47 PM »
I researched and tried several DIY solutions. None worked perfectly.

The really good heat treatment, which covers the whole house, is expensive because the equipment is expensive and not efficient to rent - in other words, I couldn't find a way to DIY it.

Strong support for the comment that all the little details ("homework") matter, though. We didn't succeed permanently until doing the big expensive not-DIY heat treatment. Sadly, a cost of doing business.

I heard from a friend that he and Dad were successful in using localized heat treatment (a steamer) in his grandma's house. But only her couch was known to be infested. They treated the couch, plus all carpeting and baseboards in that room (the living room). I guess it depends on how advanced the infestation is. Fwiw, friend and Dad were very good hands-on people who took care to do their steaming at just the right pace to catch and kill the little buggers.

Papa bear

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Re: Bed bugs - rental property
« Reply #4 on: September 18, 2018, 06:33:33 PM »
I researched and tried several DIY solutions. None worked perfectly.

The really good heat treatment, which covers the whole house, is expensive because the equipment is expensive and not efficient to rent - in other words, I couldn't find a way to DIY it.

Strong support for the comment that all the little details ("homework") matter, though. We didn't succeed permanently until doing the big expensive not-DIY heat treatment. Sadly, a cost of doing business.

I heard from a friend that he and Dad were successful in using localized heat treatment (a steamer) in his grandma's house. But only her couch was known to be infested. They treated the couch, plus all carpeting and baseboards in that room (the living room). I guess it depends on how advanced the infestation is. Fwiw, friend and Dad were very good hands-on people who took care to do their steaming at just the right pace to catch and kill the little buggers.


What products do you think were most effective?


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BicycleB

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Re: Bed bugs - rental property
« Reply #5 on: September 19, 2018, 09:38:28 AM »
For us (I say us because a roommate brought them into my own home) "products" didn't work - there's not an effective spray or poison AFAIK. Lots of common bug sprays kill them on direct contact, but that helps little because of the hidden ones and their hidden babies/larvae. Heat works, but if you're providing/imposing solutions on tenants in a separate dwelling, I think that even more than I did, you'll find that structurewide non-DIY heat is the only sure thing.

I am aware of 3 ways of applying heat that work locally, meaning in a particular spot or object, but victory in the local battle didn't win the war.
-bagging up items and heating the sealed bags. Plastic garbage bags in the Texas sun work fine. 130 degrees Fahrenheit for 4 hours is plenty.
-hot water in washing machine and properly tuned hot cycle of dryer for clothes
-steam machine. Must be applied at a rate that kills them without blowing them around; not too fast, not too slow. Maybe a half a linear inch per second. Make sure to cover all baseboards and floor seams.

Several attempts by roommates panicked about cost were performed with manual methods, meaning picking them by hand out of bed corners, drapes, and furniture corners and then killing them with bug spray in a collection bowl before disposing in a trash bag. Said roommates were sure these methods worked, but they didn't stop the cycle. Finally I put my foot down, insisted on full compliance with exterminator instructions, and paid the pros a four-figure sum. I wish I'd done it sooner.
« Last Edit: September 19, 2018, 09:45:45 AM by BicycleB »

marion10

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Re: Bed bugs - rental property
« Reply #6 on: September 19, 2018, 10:06:07 AM »
You might try bedbugger.com. Lots of information there. Killing bedbugs you see is easy- the problem is the eggs are very pesticide resistant and the bugs you miss can go a long time without food. We had to heat treat our house to get rid of them. I handled a small outbreak later myself with Diatomaceous Earth and a steamer. I think it would be very hard to do in a rental because you do not have control over the tenants. Also, misuse of toxins can have bad consequences.

Adam Zapple

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Re: Bed bugs - rental property
« Reply #7 on: September 29, 2018, 06:42:22 PM »
Trying to DIY bedbug removal working around tenants is difficult.  The whole house heat treatment with a chemical spray backup is the way to go.  Have you provided the tenants with the climb-up interceptors for under the legs of the bed?  These will tell you if there is still an infestation or if eggs hatch in the future.  Mattress encasements are also important because they show staining easily and encapsulate any eggs that may be left on the mattresses. 

I didn't DIY it but I had the whole house heat treatment and they used a chemical as well.  I encased all mattresses and put interceptors under each leg of the bed.  One and done.  I've been trying to remember the name of the chemical but I can't remember.  It was for professionals only but was able to find it online from a store that would ship it to me... I never needed it.  I would throw a fit with the exterminator and demand another heat treatment if it is confirmed that the bugs are back.  After the second treatment, I would tell the tenants they are on their own...if they come back again the tenants are bringing them into the home (unless it is a multi-unit property).