They’re Here! Now Go Away!

The reoccurrence of bed bugs is rampant around the United States, but especially bad in New York City and the surrounding area.  Some people wonder if bed bugs are thriving because of the outlawing of certain chemicals, such as DDT, that were widely used to get rid of many pests.  Those tiny blood sucking creatures have become an outright epidemic.  Much to people’s surprise, they can be found in the finest hotels, apartment buildings, homes, and neighborhoods.

Bed bugs are wingless insects.  They are night time feeders (nocturnal) and feast on human blood at our most restful time….our sleep…yikes!  Bedbugs typically feed for five to ten minutes at time.  Once they devour your blood, they turn light brown or rust colored….ick!

Bed bugs are rarely seen in action.  They strike at night with a fast and furious frenzy.  Usually, victims will notice the red itchy bites the next day.  They are generally painless, but annoying none-the-less.  They begin as welts like a flea bite and then fade to red marks.  The aftermath will disappear after a few days, if you are lucky enough to not take them home with you.  They are hitchhikers that will travel by whatever means necessary.  Even giving a hug can transfer the pests.  If you do take them home with you, be prepared for the fight of your life.  These creatures multiply quickly and can go an entire year without eating….you!

For permanent and safe removal of bedbugs, click here for more information.

Bed Bugs, New York and Selling Houses

In my last post, I discussed the laws for selling a co-op or a condo in New York. Let’s take a look at the laws for selling a home in New York.

Sellers are obligated to fill out a disclosure statement and provide it to the buyer. The disclosure statement asks if the house has ever had a pest infestation. Some homeowners that had a bed bug infestation simply avoid the issue and do not offer the form to the buyer.

Does the city toss them in jail or insist on community service work? No they just fine them $500. Some owners will gladly pay the fine to avoid informing the buyer of the dreaded bed bug infestation and avoid the loss of the sale. Morals and real estate don’t always go together.

The buyer needs to be aware of the obligatory disclosure statement. Don’t sign the contract without it. If the seller says his ferret ate it, be suspicious.

Since a seller could lie on the form or maybe not even be aware of an early stage bed bug infestation, perhaps bringing a bed bug sniffing beagle with you or a professional bed bug exterminator would be appropriate while touring homes for sale. 

The Squirrel That Came For Tea Part III Of III

Here’s the conclusion to my squirrel encounter.

The worst damage done by the squirrel was to the beautiful large hand-crafted bay window.  Apparently the squirrel thought he could dig and chew his way out of the house.  That expensive window was ruined.  I imagine in only a very short time that he would likely have been able to dig his way to freedom through that window encasement.   Destruction was everywhere not to mention the amazing amount of droppings and urine that coated the upstairs.

The officer asked if we had been bitten or scratched by the squirrel. We had not.  He then told me that there was nothing that he or Animal Control could do for me unless we were injured by the squirrel

He told me to contact a professional squirrel removal company.  So I did.  Within a very short period of time, traps were in place and the squirrel was caught.  The moral of the story….leave the squirrel trapping up to the professionals.  Bites and scratches from squirrels can be dangerous and will certainly require an emergency room visit and painful Rabies shots.  It is amazing how quick and easy the trapping was.  I sure wish I had made that call before all of the destruction occurred.  For a quick and reliable humane squirrel removal specialist click here for more information.

Bed Bugs and New York Real Estate Rules

According to one expert if your selling a co-op or a condo that had a bed bug problem you don’t have to mention it to prospective buyers since a Property Condition Disclosure Act is not required to be filled out for these types of properties.

Apartment owners get to hide behind the “Doctrine of caveat emptor” which essentially says, let the buyer beware. But it gets silly. If a potential buyer were to ask  specifically if the apartment had been infested with bed bugs the owner is obligated to give an honest answer. So perhaps sellers should pass out martinis to prospective buyers in order to cause them to forget about asking the dreaded bed bug question. 

Buyers of New York City condos and co-ops should walk into the residence and after a firm handshake say “hello,  have you ever had bed bugs?” Of course a sly property owner could tell the judge “I said no because I thought he asked about red slugs.”

If the real estate broker knows there is a bed bug problem he is obliged to tell potential buyers. However, the owner does not have to tell the broker and thus can avoid having the truth come out.  

For bed bug control call a professional. 

New Jersey, Pest Control and Destroying an Apartment

The next time you get involved in a do-it-yourself-pest control project make sure you don’t destroy your residence. A man living in the Eatontown New Jersey area caused an explosion which created a fire that ruined 80% of his apartment.

Was he using grenades to get rid of the pests? No. Perhaps land mines – know he was not.  According to the man, by the way he was not hurt, he was using a bug spray when the explosion occurred that blew out his windows.

The next time you see someone with a can a bug spray you don’t have to yell “run for your lives!” or wrestle him to the ground and wait for the police to show up. Just make sure there are no lit matches, cigarettes, lit pilot lights, active gas stoves or any type of flame anywhere near the spray.  

The danger is much higher when using a fogger that sprays the chemical all over the room. If he was trying to destroy bed bugs the pest control sprays and foggers simply don’t work on them. They actually just scare the bed bugs out of their hiding places and they move to other parts of your home and become more difficult for bed bug control professionals to remove. Be safe with pest sprays and foggers.