What Smart Buyers do about Bed Bugs BEFORE Closing Escrow

When it comes to buying a home, what you do not know about bed bugs can cost you thousands of dollars. Should MANDATORY BED BUG DISCLOSURE be part of real estate transactions? YES – unequivocally YES!

Here is why…

The pinnacle and joy of buying a home is the day the moving van pulls up and starts unloading your belongings. After lengthy negotiations and the signing of stacks of papers, you turn and look at your family and smile. You cannot wait to get the house organized and you imagine all the fun times you will have.

After a long and tedious week of setting up utilities, arranging furniture, unpacking boxes, hanging pictures, filling the refrigerator, getting the kids off to their new school, you decide to do laundry. You glance down and notice little blood spots on your daughters sheets that you are placing into the washer. Thinking your daughter must have scratched herself, you continue to finish the laundry and make up the beds.

Two days later as you are sitting at the breakfast table your daughter is gouging and scratching at her arms feverishly. You lean over and lift her sleeve, which reveals twenty or so flamed red bleeding marks. Your heart sinks as your mind goes over all kinds of possibilities of what it could be. You continue to check her body and find more on her legs and torso. This explains the blood smears on her sheets you think to yourself.

Your mind races through possibilities – mosquitoes, fleas, chicken pox, measles, an allergy, hives, or a heat rash. You make the decision to take your daughter to the doctor. The doctor is not quite sure but “suspects” it could be an allergic reaction of some kind, gives you a prescription, and sends you on your way.

The following morning the same type of scratching and gouging is going on with your son. He too has red marks up and down his arms and the side of his neck. It seemed strange that both children would have the same allergy you think to yourself and turn into their rooms to see what is going on.

You notice your son’s sheets are splattered with bloodstains just as your daughters were. You strip the sheets and head to the laundry, then off to the doctor’s office with your son. The doctor still blames the mysterious red marks on a possible allergy.

This type of scenario is becoming a common occurrence for many people and it is only after weeks and in some cases months when they “figure it out” and make the discovery that they have moved into a home that came complete with bed bugs. By then, the infestation has grown far beyond what it used to be.

After spending the good portion of my weeks over the past four years calling and interviewing law groups of State Real Estate Commissioners and Real Estate Inspectors, I am still surprised to learn that bed bug inspections are not included on disclosure sheets. This leaves it up to the buyer to be educated enough to ask for an inspection for bed bugs before they close escrow.

The problem is when real estate is being prepared for placement on the market for sale; they often do quick fixes by cleaning, painting, replacing carpet, and minor repairs to make the dwelling more desirable to the buyer. Unfortunately, this removes signs of bed bugs and drives them deep into temporary hiding. Because of this, visual inspections miss signs of bed bugs and because bed bugs are not on the inspection form, they are not looking for them.

The IBBRA has been working with Real Estate investors and Realtors for the past five years teaching them the importance of such an inspection and has developed strategies to help them. Knowing the importance of this inspection and helping them understand “how and exactly when” to have their inventory inspected for bed bugs helps keep lawsuits from occurring.

Because bed bugs are so great at hiding, human detection alone is not very accurate and bed bugs can go undiscovered when well hidden under and behind areas where humans cannot see. As a solution to this problem is the use of Professionally Trained Bed Bug Scent Detection Dogs that can inspect a dwelling and find these “hidden bed bug problems” before the close of escrow.

Finding these qualified dogs is not always easy. The IBBRA commits to finding the best in the industry by doing an extensive interview, complete background check, including an ethic and credential review, and once accepted, are listed on the ibbra.org map.

Before you purchase a home or any property whether for business or investment, always do a pre-check inspection for any bed bug possibilities before you sign on the dotted line!

We are always here to help! www.ibbra.org 888-9-NOBEDBUGS or 888-966-2332

Denise Donovan

Founder/Director/Author

International Bed Bug Resource Authority Inc. 501 (c) 3

Bed Bug Sticky Notes

Having bed bugs certainly isn’t fun. It can turn a person’s life upside down in a matter of weeks. Bed bugs create obsessive compulsive behaviors in some people that just can’t be avoided.

A call came in a few weeks ago that literally torn at my heart. Not so much that bed bugs were active in the equation; but because this young lady was obsessed every moment of the day about them.

Her every breathing moment was dedicated to where she went, where she sat, if there were bed bugs where she was going; and especially if she had picked one up on her clothing or personal belongings in her daily travels to and from.

She explained to me that she stood a distance from everyone she encountered in the elevator going up to the tenth floor where she worked. She stood a reasonable distance from leaning on the back of the elevator (just in case) and if someone entered she would quickly back away from them as if they had a contaminating disease. God forbid if someone brushed up against her while waiting for their floor to get off; if that happened she would immediately begin frantically brushing herself off in fear had a bed bug crawled on to her clothing. She would never ever consider shaking someone’s hand or remotely touching anyone for all that matters.

She told me that she has “sticky notes” on everything she owned from her laptop to inside her purse, on her front door and in her car and at her work station, on her mirrors, in her kitchen and on her couch. Constant reminders of bed bugs and the possibility of them controlled her life. She was consumed with bed bugs entering her space and couldn’t relax for one moment.

When she approached her desk at work there was a sticky note on the desk top reminding her to check for bed bugs. She would spend a good ten minutes with a flash light checking every nook and cranny under her desk and chair, opened up all her drawers and check areas around her before she would cover her seat with a fresh clean white blanket she brought from home in a sealed plastic bag to sit on.

She placed her purse and shoes in a sealed plastic bag and placed it under her desk inside of a sealed plastic tote. She had a pair of house slippers in a sealed bag inside the tote that she slipped into for the day with a sticky note that reminder her to check for bed bugs first.

When she left work she carefully checked her clothing, brushed it off with a clothing brush that she carried in a plastic bag in her purse with a sticky note reminding her to make sure it was sealed all the way before she entered her car.

When she arrived home she told me she had a sticky note on the front of her door reminding her to check for bed bugs before she entered. She removes her shoes and places them in a sealed bag that is at her front door with a sticky note on it telling her to leave them in the tote before she walked through the front door, locked it behind her and removed her clothing and put them in a bag that she left strategically at the front door for that purpose.

Immediately she put her clothing into her dryer. She then changed into clean clothing and took out her vacuum and cleaned the area where she entered her home and disposed the vacuum bag into another bag along with the bag she used to move her clothing to the dryer and walked it to the trash outside.

After dinner she took her shower and got ready for bed. On her bathroom mirror was a sticky note reminding her to put clean sheets on her bed. Using her flashlight she first examined her bed piping and surrounding areas before she made up her bed.

Many times during the night she would wake thinking she was getting bit or had a dream that there were bed bugs in her bed feeding on her which then set her in cleaning mode which in many cases took her well into the morning hours.

She called me in desperation. She was completely and utterly exhausted and was considering suicide. After listening to her with patience and kindness I asked her how long had it been since she had bed bugs.

She said “I’ve never had them, but I don’t ever what to”.

Yes, silence came over me for a moment as I gathered my thoughts before we continued our conversation. We are now down to 3 sticky notes and slowly but strategically working on the others.

This poor woman had the life scared out of her and was told that you can never get rid of bed bugs and they literally eat you alive.

Be careful what you say to people about bed bugs and please take time to learn the facts.

We are here to help! www.ibbra.org 888-9-NOBEDBUGS 888-966-2332

 

 

Founding Member – Finalist in Bayer Environmental Science Tales of Transformation Contest!

As humans we’ve only got a few choices in life: You can give it up, give in, or give it all you’ve got. And that is exactly what IBBRA Founding Member, Joseph Wilson does for each of his clients – he gives it all he’s got and more!

I am always so proud of the calls I receive from consumers telling me how their problem has been solved by one of our members. It does my heart good knowing that their endless dedication and contributions help to transform living conditions of those they serve. After all, that is the heartbeat and life force of the IBBRA; people helping people.

You will often find Joseph dedicating his time unselfishly serving someone struggling with a problem that needs a fast solution to protect and enhance the quality of their family’s lives. The caliber of his work is exceptional, he enjoys what he does and his customers are well-served by his extra efforts and his delivering on promises he makes.

Most people want, need and deserve to know that their work made a difference in someone’s life. Last October, Bayer Environmental Science launched “Tales of Transformation Contest” at Pest World, to celebrate valuable pest management professionals (PMPs), asking professionals to share how they have made a difference in their customers lives for serious pest problems. http://www.bayertalesoftransformation.com/?v=joseph-wilson

They have chosen five finalists which we are proud to say that one of our members, All Pro Pest in California, owned and operated by Joseph Wilson is one of them! Joseph describes himself as a “Pest Control Geek and is already known for his outstanding services and willingness to go above and beyond for his clients; and from what we feel deserves to win this prestigious award.

Joseph humbly just shared with me his own personal battle outside of battling bugs for his clients; his real life battle exceeds the damage any insect can do. He has a two year old son who has a congenital heart defect called Cardiomyopathy and is currently working with UCLA to get him listed for a heart transplant.

Winning this award would be a blessing for both Joseph and his family to give them back; if only a little bit of what they so eagerly give to others. Our love, blessings and prayers for this family goes without saying.

So take a moment, reach out and congratulate Joseph and most of all; don’t forget to vote for him when the polls open in August.

Once the voting period opens in August, professionals will have the chance to vote for the winning submission, which will be announced in October prior to PestWorld2014. The winner will receive complimentary Bayer products to be used for a community service initiative of his choice.  In addition, he will be awarded with an all-expenses-paid trip. Industry-wide communications regarding the voting period will be announced later this summer.

Here’s a great video of Joseph’s newest tool in the battle with bed bugs! http://youtu.be/Qnb7d8Hzc6c

Contact All Pro Pest and Joseph at 661 645 0540 or visit www.callpropest.com