Hell's Bitchen

The bed bug aftermath

By Kelly Kreth  |
March 28, 2013 - 10:28AM

When we last left off, I had just had my apartment treated for the first time for bed bugs. Two weeks later my PCO returned to once again apply a fairly environmentally-friendly spray to kill the unwanted intruders. 

In the meantime, like a total mental patient, I’d been scanning the room several times a day looking for something. Since the first and only sighting of the bug on my bed, thankfully while I was not in it, I had not seen a trace of them and neither did my PCO. 

On his third visit he scanned everywhere and told me the coast was clear but to let the (pesticide) dust settle for a few weeks and he’d bring his dog, Bruno, back to ascertain the situation. 

Again, I went over every corner of the room, particularly the only small area the dog ever noted bugs. Still saw no dead ones or any skin casings. 

I knew that the moving firm who had taken my furniture to be fumigated and stored, Moving Right Along, wanted to return my stuff within thirty days. I texted the landlord to see when she had instructed my PCO to inspect the apartment adjacent to mine.

I worried that the bugs could be in another apartment and even though they had left mine, could resurface when the coast was clear. Initially she had said she would pay him to do so but as the time got closer, she said she talked to the flanking units and they said they didn’t have bugs so she wasn’t going to allow the dog to do his job.

This worried me. Even if I got the go-ahead from my PCO to reintroduce my furniture to my apartment, I feared the neighbors may not realize they had bugs. I texted my landlord that they are usually not confirmed by sight, even by a skilled PCO, and that only a dog could really alert you of their presence unless you have a serious infestation. 

When she ignored me, I sent her a link to the official NYC website that seems to suggest landlords need to “…inspect all units adjacent to, above and below apartments found to have bed bugs.” Within minutes she said the PCO would be inspecting all units connected to mine.

The time came for the PCO -- Bobby from K9 Bed Bug Detectors -- to return, and this time Bruno the dog noticed nothing after a careful scan of all rooms, especially the bedroom. The PCO said all was clear and I could safely put things away and have my furniture returned from its storage place after its Vikane fumigation. 

Bobby said all other apartments were clear. 

Whew! I was so relieved and so excited to have my room be neat and organized, have all my clothes back and have my books returned to their shelves.

I scheduled a return of my fully fumigated stuff and requested the same guys as last time because they were truly amazing. Luckily most of them returned and knew I had been having unrelated medical issues and really handled everything from A to Z. Not only did they put things back, they unpacked and cleaned up after. They kept me calm and chatted. 

Afterward it took me a few hours with a friend’s help to re-fold things in my drawers and organize my books for alphabetical order (yep, I'm that compulsive), but all in all this whole bed bug situation—while extremely stressful—was really handled in the best way possible. 

So excited to finally lay in my bed with comforters and tons of pillows and not be afraid of creepy crawlies. However in the back of my overactive and neurotic mind I keep worrying that they will come back. I hope there is no part three to this. 

See all Hell's Bitchen

More posts by Kelly Kreth:

My worst nightmare becomes reality: The arrival of (real) bed bugs

15 things I've learned from 'Million Dollar Listing NY' so far

The 20 deadly sins NYC rental agents should never commit (but do)

Escape from the UES: Goodbye douchebaggery, hello Hell's Kitchen

Dear Neighbor: I am your worst nightmare

Living next to a bridge & tunnel club: KY Jelly wrestling, all-night noise, no regrets



Kelly Kreth

Contributing writer

Contributing writer Kelly Kreth has been a freelance journalist, essayist, and columnist for more than two decades. Her real estate articles have appeared in The Real Deal, Luxury Listings, Our Town, and amNewYork. A long-time New York City renter who loves a good deal, Kreth currently lives in a coveted rent-stabilized apartment in a luxury building on the Upper East Side.

Brick Underground articles occasionally include the expertise of, or information about, advertising partners when relevant to the story. We will never promote an advertiser's product without making the relationship clear to our readers.