A note Joe wrote detailing exactly the sequence of events that we endured during the bed bug fiasco.read more
It starts with Joe and his Dad arriving at the Exchange on April 29th-ish. They didn't have our one bedroom ready, so they sent us to 1306, a studio with no A/C for a few nights until it was ready. The couch in 1306 was infested with bed bugs. We didn't know they were bed bugs; Joe’s dad thought they were baby cockroaches.
They move Joe and his dad to 1601 a few days later, and they very likely track the bed bugs there. At first, Joe was getting bites, his dad did not get bites. Joe found and killed a few and the bites stopped. Joe asked his dad again on May 12th, but his dad assured him that what they saw in 1306 were not bed bugs (proof in date-stamped texts).
Tara arrives on June 1st. One night Tara and Joe (we) get a lot of bites and find two more live bugs, and tell the Exchange on June 26th that they think we have bed bugs. Danny, the person at the front desk said "I highly doubt you have bed bugs.” He tells us that the manager, Richard, will have to handle it when he gets in the next day. When we talk to the Richard, he said he doubts we have bed bugs but they'll do an inspection.
A guy comes in later in that week (probably June 30th or July 1st). We ask him what he found, and he said he's not allowed to tell us; that we have to talk to The Exchange. When we ask, Richard tells us that they didn't find any bed bugs, just a carcus, but that they'll treat the room as if we have bed bugs. It’s rather obvious at this point that they're all very skeptical that we have bed bugs or are not being honest about the situation.
A week goes by, and they do the first treatment (July 6th). A few hours before the treatment, we come back into the room and discover that our personal rug, pillows, towels, and some of Tara's shirts are completely missing. Without warning, they had come into our room and laundered some of our personal items, assuming they were theirs, ruining some as they were not supposed to be washed (the colors ran, tinting all our items). Tara is very upset at the damage, as some were precious to her. We had to text Richard to find out that they had taken these items. He apologized and seemed to realize they were really messing up.
A few hours after the treatment, Richard calls us to leave a voicemail that says that they think that we might have brought the bed bugs in and that we need to discuss us paying them for the treatment. We called back and had an intense discussion, with a lot of yelling on my side. He remained calm. He stopped claiming that we would have to pay for the treatment and started claiming that the reason for the call was because he needed to know how many people were living in the room, because he was not aware there were three and he needed to know for emergency purposes. It was then that they connected the fact that the room they had put us in originally, 1306, was infested and we had tracked them into this new room. Richard also mentioned that the reason for this resurgence of bed bugs was because we stopped using DDT in the 60's. I told him that was because it was killing people. This neglect for public safety made us concerned in his judgement when treating our room. I mentioned that we wanted them to cover the month's rent for all of this trouble, and he said we were not having that conversation because we did not tell him that we had bed bugs immediately.
We have all our clothes washed and dried and religiously follow the contract, to ensure we are not liable. This contract included, for us: "everything off the floor", "all clothing around the affected area bagged". We bagged all clothes and decided to wash and dry all clothing in the room, to be safe. We continue finding live bed bugs and continue getting bitten at the same frequency. We continue complaining to The Exchange and on July 10th, 4 days after the treatment, Richard says (1) that it might have been because we didn't wash things before the treatment, but afterward and (2) that we should keep as many clothes in their bags in possible. Neither was in the contract nor were they communicated it to us in any way. This meant they had deniability and that we would have to rewash and dry all of our clothes.
We tell Start Co. that it's affecting our work and that we can't continue like this; it’s been affecting our work.
Richard confirms by text on July 12th that company A will be coming on July 13th. We wash and dry all of our clothes again and bag them. July 13th comes and at 6pm we text Richard asking if they came; it appears as though they didn’t. We have to rewash the items we needed for the night. Richard lets us know that they'll come the next day, July 14th.
On July 14th, Richard starts to care. They bring in a second company to do an evaluation and tell us that now we can make the decision of who to go with.
Richard says that the first company came in to treat bed bugs in 1306, and it took 6 weeks of treatment to get rid of the bed bugs. He says he thinks they might be resistant to the treatment or something. He says that only last Friday did he connect our room's infestation with 1306, even though I told him and sent him photos of the room the previous Wednesday. Despite this, he goes ahead and let’s that same company treat our room again, which in turn bars the other company for treating for another week. He again mentions DDT, which concerns both Tara and me.
Company 2 also says that the steam method is not necessarily effective, because if they miss so much as a square foot, that means there could be bed bugs left.
We are at the end of our ability to handle this.