DIYer seeking PCO (exterminator) advice

Discussion in 'Community Discussion' started by rawdawg, May 12, 2010.

  1. rawdawg macrumors 6502

    Jan 7, 2009
    My usual posts are short, I apologize in advance but need to give the full disclaimer.

    I live in NYC and have always been a staunch DIY'er. Admittedly it is part of my own obsessive behavior and frugality but also curiosity. Time and time again I've been shown DIY does not replace having it done right the first time. DIY can be a giant waste of time aside from any pleasure you gain from it. Still certain instances call forth the DIY nature in myself, particularly when the financial savings is large. This was hardened in me while surviving in NYC throughout my 20's making very little money.

    After 10 years of living in NYC I encountered the need to learn the DIY exterminator trade. I've battled roaches before, but moving to queens I encountered my first bed bug, a gift my downstairs neighbor keeps providing. I live lease free in what is probably an illegal building with very attractive rent (small 1bd apt). Any recourse that could effect my relationship with my landlord is NOT an option. I've done everything I've could to get my downstairs neighbor to understand the problem and he (with my landlord behind him) will not cooperate. I am not looking for any advice on that. Also, there have never been an infestation or colony anywhere in my apartment, even the exterminator confirms they appear to be coming in from outside and there are no signs of them in my place (aside from the ones I find and occasional bites). Also, I don't need advice about "washing my clothes, et al...", I know and do all this, here I am asking about extermination technique.

    My issues began when I moved in 2 years ago at springtime. After reading everything I could and purchasing the available OTC products I was not able to get rid of the problem. I called the exterminator and paid $500 and watched his methods. As I suspected (aside from the chemicals) he didn't do anything I couldn't except he was very very thorough, something I knew I should be more of but funny how I choose not to. What he did was using his special sprayer and experience he was able to treat the entire place in a 1/5 the time I could. He was fast and thorough! Later after kicking myself for not being more thorough in my DIY attempts I learned more about the chemicals he used-- another amateur mistake.

    Having a license he could use controlled chemicals not available to me, he used Gentrol and Suspend. It was a success. After a few weeks (it takes awhile) there was no more signs of the bugs into the summer and for the rest of the year.

    The next year around springtime (they come out when it starts to get warm) I saw my first ones again. The horrifying memories came back and this time I was determined to make DIY work. I bought a strong professional chemical out-of-state, Cyonara 9.7%, same ingredient as in Demand CS only not encapsulated, and Drione powder. I went to war. Ever since (for the past year) I have been battling them with partial success. After spraying I would find dead or dying ones but live ones again a few weeks later. Finally I broke down and yesterday called back the same exterminator.

    Once more I'm battling the DIY two-fold regret. One, that I've wasted so much time, but also that as long as I've chosen DIY why hadn't I approached it like a pro. First off, I've allowed my place to become cluttered and I haven't had time to vacuum. In the end, before the exterminator comes I have to clean everything up and vacuum very well. I'm sure that has a lot to do with it. In addition whenever I applied the chemical I usually did spot treatments and never the full perimeter and along the walls like he did. I also used different chemicals, even though mine is meant for bed bugs as well, but I should have used Gentrol too.

    Well, another $500. I'm thinking about getting a professional sprayer along with Gentrol should they come back, maybe switching to Suspend. The exterminator works wonders but despite all my headaches I can't image the $500 it costs for a one-hour treatment isn't worth another DIY attempt should the problem come back. I can buy a sprayer and enough Suspend and Gentrol for 100 apartment for $200! Being a freelancer myself I know you "pay for the smarts, not the parts" but for an avid DIY'er is it within my realm of ability?

    I haven't had luck seeking advice from PCO's about why I can't do it myself, I'm sure they're protecting their interests. Is there anything else I'm not aware of that makes them more effective?

    thanks for reading.
  2. MultiM macrumors 6502


    May 9, 2006
    TO. I've moved!
    I can't imagine living with a bug problem. you have my sympathy in that respect, but I don't think the issue is with the chemicals you purchase yourself. The issue is your commitment. You said it yourself:

    "First off, I've allowed my place to become cluttered and I haven't had time to vacuum."

    "...whenever I applied the chemical I usually did spot treatments and never the full perimeter and along the walls like he did."

    Doing half a job is NOT going to get it done and shows you are not serious. Hire the thouroughness of an exterminator if you're not prepared to follow through. Sorry if this is harsh, but you asked.
  3. rawdawg thread starter macrumors 6502

    Jan 7, 2009
    No, I did... and that's what I suspected. Was looking for that response. Thought maybe there were some PCO's here that may know for sure.

Share This Page