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Exterminators, Theft and Pet Safety


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We asked Carmen, an exterminator who was recommended by a good friend to come and treat our house for cockroaches and small ants. We also asked her if the treatment was safe for our 3 cats and she said that it was. I asked her this again when she and her assistant came to our house, and she said that it was. He liberally sprayed outside and all around in the house. We paid them 700 pesos for the spraying and another 200 for 4 Liquid Ant Baits.

After they left I noticed that my rings (2 gold with gemstones) were not where I usually put them when I am cleaning, or washing dishes, which I was doing when they came. I called her immediately, they came back, and said that they did not have my rings. Well, they had opportunity, and after searching our entire house for over a month, even sifting through the garbage and all the waste baskets, and not finding them, it is still a very good possibility that they did indeed take my rings. The rings are special custom-made, and very dear to me. I wore them every day.

In addition to that, 2 days later all 3 of our cats were vomiting. One was seriously ill and we took her to a veterinarian. They examined her, did blood work and gave her 2 shots, one was an anti-toxin. Fortunately, the cat was better later the next day. The cost for the treatment was 550 pesos. The vet also said that in spite of the fact that the exterminators claim their chemicals are not harmful to the animals, people commonly bring their pets in 2 days after the extermination, all with varying states of poisoning. This should not be happening.

I gave Carmen written notice to put my rings in our mail box and reimburse us the 550 pesos for the vet bill. It is now 2 months later and she has not done either, nor has she even apologized for making our cats sick. If she lied about the safety of the chemicals for the cats, she could have also lied about my missing rings.

Please be aware that if you hire her, or any other exterminator, do not let them out or your site, and if you have animals, beware of the toxic chemicals that they might be exposed to.

I do not know Carmen’s last name, if she has a business name, or her address. All I know is her cel phone number with the last 4 digits 3737.

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Whenever you have service people in your home, it is important that they be supervised. I close all bedroom doors except the one with access to the outside, and I follow them as they go through my home. Same for workers. I always put away (in a difficult to reach location) anything of value and I am "omnipresent." They have a job, and that supervision is my job. I pay a fair wage, provide a nice lunch for workers I know well, and I tell them upfront that I am always "around." If that is a problem for them, then we are not meant to work together, The same thing is true of my housekeeper and my painter and the electrician, etc.

I am sorry for your loss, as I can only imagine how painful it is to lose sentimental items. I have had Carmen and her helper in my home numerous times, but they have never been out of my sight. Here in Mexico, and in several other countries in which I have lived, vigilance is the key.

 

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Sorry your rings disappeared. I have always been careful about hiding valuables when workers were in my house. I had a business regularly cleaning my house. I noticed I seemed to have less cutlery after awhile. So I did a complete inventory and redid the inventory after the workers were in my house. Sure enough after each visit a few items were missing.  

In my over 9 years having a house here I have never had it fumigated because I don't believe the fumigators when they say their chemicals are harmless to pets (or to people). I used to have a pesticide applicators license so I watched closely when applicators have come to spray plants outside for various problems. Most were unbelievably sloppy and careless. I hosed outside patios off after they left as I suspected harmful chemicals were left behind which my dogs would have to walk over. The industry has no regulation. I suspect the applicators suffer in later life.

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Obviously the chemicals used for fumigation are toxic, otherwise they wouldn't work. I would ask the fumigators for the names of the chemicals they use and look them up myself before I let anyone spray anything around my house. And I'd leave, with my pets, for a couple of days after the spraying. They will all tell you their chemicals are safe. 

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18 hours ago, cstone said:

Whenever you have service people in your home, it is important that they be supervised. I close all bedroom doors except the one with access to the outside, and I follow them as they go through my home. Same for workers. I always put away (in a difficult to reach location) anything of value and I am "omnipresent." They have a job, and that supervision is my job. I pay a fair wage, provide a nice lunch for workers I know well, and I tell them upfront that I am always "around." If that is a problem for them, then we are not meant to work together, The same thing is true of my housekeeper and my painter and the electrician, etc.

I am sorry for your loss, as I can only imagine how painful it is to lose sentimental items. I have had Carmen and her helper in my home numerous times, but they have never been out of my sight. Here in Mexico, and in several other countries in which I have lived, vigilance is the key.

 

Thanks for your reply. Yes, I was careless in not supervising them closely. We don't have a maid anymore because we had a couple that we couldn't trust. I am hoping that if you have pets beware of the chemicals the exterminators use.

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15 hours ago, cedros said:

Sorry your rings disappeared. I have always been careful about hiding valuables when workers were in my house. I had a business regularly cleaning my house. I noticed I seemed to have less cutlery after awhile. So I did a complete inventory and redid the inventory after the workers were in my house. Sure enough after each visit a few items were missing.  

In my over 9 years having a house here I have never had it fumigated because I don't believe the fumigators when they say their chemicals are harmless to pets (or to people). I used to have a pesticide applicators license so I watched closely when applicators have come to spray plants outside for various problems. Most were unbelievably sloppy and careless. I hosed outside patios off after they left as I suspected harmful chemicals were left behind which my dogs would have to walk over. The industry has no regulation. I suspect the applicators suffer in later life.

Thanks for your reply and suggestions. We will not have them again.  

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I won't say it's the same person (cough, cough), but many years ago, we signed a contract with "X" and it was around $1000k US. Absolutely worst job ever. The treatment wasn't nearly strong enough for the job, deep enough, etc, etc. We had "X" come back over 6 times and it was still worthless. I brought a local friend with me and "X" told her, in front of me in Spanish, that the gringos just don't understand the contract. Unfortunately, not only did I understand her contract, but I understood her and immediately pointed it out. Serious tap dancing ensued. Since then, we only use FuMiGa because Renee and his crew actually know what they're doing. They're expensive, but they get the job done and I've never had a problem with any of my 4 dogs getting sick (or us).

 

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13 hours ago, Yo1 said:

I spray myself using Cynoff.  I don't use fumigators.

I also used to have a pesticide applicator's license, so know that Cynoff contains cypermethrin, a pyrethroid compound.  All pyrethroid  chemicals are highly toxic to CATS so (1) cats should be removed from the area and (2) should not come back until TOTALLY dry. Otherwise, they could get on their paws, clean their paws, and.......

In  nearly 20 years  here, we have NEVER sprayed anything in the house.  Don't understand people who think they have to damage the environment and themselves with all sorts of chemical interference. Burt if you DO have  bug problems, at least carefully research the ingredients BEFORE you or any  fumigator applies anything.

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On 8/30/2018 at 7:11 PM, Tingting said:

I won't say it's the same person (cough, cough), but many years ago, we signed a contract with "X" and it was around $1000k US. Absolutely worst job ever. The treatment wasn't nearly strong enough for the job, deep enough, etc, etc. We had "X" come back over 6 times and it was still worthless. I brought a local friend with me and "X" told her, in front of me in Spanish, that the gringos just don't understand the contract. Unfortunately, not only did I understand her contract, but I understood her and immediately pointed it out. Serious tap dancing ensued. Since then, we only use FuMiGa because Renee and his crew actually know what they're doing. They're expensive, but they get the job done and I've never had a problem with any of my 4 dogs getting sick (or us).

 

Thanks for your reply. "X" could very well be the same person. I will check out FuMiGa for possible future problems.

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On 8/31/2018 at 10:16 AM, cedros said:

I have used Cynoff but only outside on window and door jams. Inside I use sticky traps-they are just glue-nothing else. 

Thanks. Another person said the Cynoff is very toxic to cats, so I don't think we would do that. Do the sticky traps work for all bugs, or just some, and where do you get them?

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On 8/31/2018 at 9:34 AM, Natasha said:

I also used to have a pesticide applicator's license, so know that Cynoff contains cypermethrin, a pyrethroid compound.  All pyrethroid  chemicals are highly toxic to CATS so (1) cats should be removed from the area and (2) should not come back until TOTALLY dry. Otherwise, they could get on their paws, clean their paws, and.......

In  nearly 20 years  here, we have NEVER sprayed anything in the house.  Don't understand people who think they have to damage the environment and themselves with all sorts of chemical interference. Burt if you DO have  bug problems, at least carefully research the ingredients BEFORE you or any  fumigator applies anything.

Thanks for your input. We will research the chemicals in the future.

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Natasha--Please explain--You've never sprayed anything in the house, because you never had any sign of roaches? Or any other bugs or signs of spider nests?

Quite some time ago I was seeing many cockroaches in the kitchen, the kind you see scurrying on countertops at night when you turn on the lights. I called Carmen and she sent an English-speaking man (possibly her son) along with the guy who did the spraying. They did a very thorough job and the problem was solved. My dog and cat were ok, too.

Very recently I called Carmen again. Now I was seeing many small light brown bugs along with small black bugs everywhere in the kitchen, especially in the drawers. I also saw what seemed to me to be spider nests along the tops of doors and outside clinging to flower pots on the terrace. I'd never seen anything like this. I emptied drawers and cabinets and scrubbed the kitchen. I was afraid to disturb the clusters of spider nests. Then I called Carmen. This time she came herself with a man to do the spraying. (She assured me if the outside was sprayed first and allowed to dry, then the cat and dog could go outside safely while they sprayed inside.) She said the small light brown insects were baby roaches. In the days that followed, there were dozens of dead insects in kitchen and nearby areas, but still plenty of live ones around. In other rooms there were dead adult roaches here and there.  I had Carmen come again for a follow-up. All is better. Cat and dog ok.

This is a long story, I realize, but has anyone ever had an infestation of baby roaches? And spider nests? And, Natasha, how is it you've never had to spray anything in the house ever?

Lexy

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  • 3 weeks later...

I have brought Bayer Maxforce roach killer, in a tube from the US, and is really kill those cucarachas DEAD. Then, I use the Gentrol Discs to impair the reproductive cycle of the juveniles, because the Maxforce will kill young and adult roaches, but not the eggs. When the eggs hatch, the Gentrol gets them. 

You can buy then Maxforce regular for about $160 at the hardware store in San Antonio, but the Maxforce Plus may not be available here. Needs reapplication every 3-4 months depending on the severity of the infestation and the cleanliness of your neighbors with adjoining walls. Great stuff, goes on in small gooey drops, in a place where your cats will not get at it. No spray.

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  • 3 weeks later...
On 8/31/2018 at 9:34 AM, Natasha said:

I also used to have a pesticide applicator's license, so know that Cynoff contains cypermethrin, a pyrethroid compound.  All pyrethroid  chemicals are highly toxic to CATS so (1) cats should be removed from the area and (2) should not come back until TOTALLY dry. Otherwise, they could get on their paws, clean their paws, and.......

In  nearly 20 years  here, we have NEVER sprayed anything in the house.  Don't understand people who think they have to damage the environment and themselves with all sorts of chemical interference. Burt if you DO have  bug problems, at least carefully research the ingredients BEFORE you or any  fumigator applies anything.

Natasha, I too would like to know how you handle scorpions.  We are up on the mountainside and unless we fumigate for scorpions regularly, we are inundated with them.  What do you use to keep scorpions out of the house?  Sticky traps don't work.

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