Bedbugs in Los Angeles in a (really great, otherwise) rental - Landlord's had it "treated" once, and it hasnt worked. Could use some advice on next steps, before I completely lose my mind. Long-ish sob story inside...
posted by anonymous to home & garden (5 answers total)
Moved to a (expensive for me) rental in August, from San Diego, where I've never heard of any bedbugs. I was relocated here by my company for work. Within a week, we started getting bites. Did not see any evidence of bugs, including bedbugs, when I did an initial check. Reported it to on site property managers, did everything I was supposed to do. They said the exterminator comes every other week and will look into it.
Nothing really happened for a few weeks (still getting bit), and I was ratcheting up the complaints when I found a bedbug crawling out of my light switch in the bedroom. I dont think I've ever been so happy to see a bug, because I had PROOF! Showed it to the property management guys, who eventually (took about a week and a half) had the exterminator come out. He said we have a "light" infestation, and I'd tend to agree...We dont get bit every night, and it is mainly just on our arms.
About a week later, I was told last minute that the exterminator was coming in that day to do treatment. According to the paperwork left behind that is hard to read, they treated with Imidacloprid, diatomaceous earth and pyrethrin along "cracks and crevices" as well as inspected and "treated" our couch and mattress. We were also instructed to do the whole "run every piece of clothing, bedding, towels, etc through the dryer" thing that same day, which we were unable to do because we work and that took forever... Compromise with exterminator was that all untreated items went into xxl ziploc bags, until treated, then could be put back. We did that in two nights. Started getting bites again immediately, and was told that it would take two weeks for treatment to fully play out and if it doesnt work, they do it again.
Two weeks is this Tuesday. Admittedly, we are getting less bites, but still some. Last night, I was able to capture another bedbug on the same wall. Seemed stunned/half dead, so I do believe things are working a little bit. But, I'm starting to lose my mind - even if it is a "light" infestation. Also, I've kept a timeline of all our interactions, documenting when I talked to each person, and what went on. Note: I do not believe they are treating the rest of the building.
I'm not sure how to proceed. I feel like they need to take a stronger plan of attack, as I'm not sure how many of these "treat/put everything through the dryer/wait" sessions I can do. Thing is, I have no idea what to ask for - information on the internet often seems like you just need to move and nuke the site from orbit. Part of me wants to do just that.
Special snowflake details: My wedding is less than two months away. I just started my dream job, and people there are commenting on the bites. This is a high stress time without the bedbug situation making it worse. It upsets me a lot to know that I cant keep my wedding dress here, and it is also super inconvenient. It also super stresses me out to think of bites all over my arms in all my wedding pictures. Then there's the social stress...Logically I know that it doesnt have anything to do with my personal habits, but I cant have people over and I worry about spreading bugs to my friends and co-workers.
So, enough sobbing and on to the questions - best way to let the property managers know that I need them to ratchet up their treatment? Should I get my own exterminator for a second opinion? I dont know how on earth I'd afford that...Am I legally allowed to break my lease at this point? I dont know how I could possibly deal with new job/wedding stress and then add moving to it, but I cant deal with this forever. Can I threaten this to them? Withhold rent? We wanted this rental so bad, and the only way they'd let us rent it is if we'd give them double deposit (because my fiance didnt have a job when we relocated), so we do have quite a bit of $$ sunk into this place that we cant just lose. Would we get that $$ back? The owner of the building seems like a major hardass, and all my interaction goes through the property managers - nice, compassionate guys, but I can tell they dont have all the power in the world.