Earlier today two workers from the County Department of Public Health came knocking on my door. I opened the door not knowing who they were (I have an ear infection and could not hear them when they identified themselves). They said they had received reports that our home has fleas and asked if they could do a "wellness/welfare check." They told me that I didn't have to let them in but if I didn't they would return later. I was caught off guard and agreed to let them come in
. I told them that yes we have been experiencing a problem with fleas for the last several months. We have two large dogs and they seem to have gotten them. I explained that we have been treating the dogs with flea baths and also using a topical treatment once a month on them. We also try to vacuum on a regular basis and keep the floors swept and mopped up as best we can which I explained to them and also told them that we had just treated the dogs again a week ago at the most. But the dogs also like to go in and out of the kids room, and lay on or near their beds, so the fleas have gotten on to the kids' stuff. We've been contacted by the school once in September because our son had fleas in his hair (he has not since had a problem), and then earlier this week because our daughter had fleas in her hair. None of the kids have bites on them or anything like that. So I am assuming either the kids' preschool teacher (they are in the same class) called or the school nurse called because both times I received a phone call from her.
The workers glanced around the living room which was fairly clean except for a couple loads of clean laundry that was sitting on the loveseat waiting to be folded, then they asked if they could see the kids' rooms. I agreed and showed them the boys' room. I have two boys ages 5 and 1.5 who share a room. They each have their own beds, their room was fairly clean (which the worker commented on). The 5 year old's bed didn't have any bedding on it because he had an accident, and there was a load of dirty laundry in the closet that I hadn't gotten around to taking downstairs to be washed yet. Then they checked out my 3 year old daughter's room which her bed had bedding on it, but was a little messy because the kids dumped out some of their toys. Then they asked if they could see our room, which was a bit messy, the bed wasn't made or anything.
They asked if we had a problem with other bugs and I told them that we have a bedbug problem. We rent this house and shortly after we moved in I was finding bites on me. But since it was the middle of summer I assumed it was just mosquitoes. Then one night discovered a bedbug on our bed. I reported it to the property management and they basically told us that the house didn't have bedbugs when we moved in and that we must have brought them in. We never had a problem with them until we moved into this house. They said it was our responsibility to treat for them and that if we tried to hold them responsible for the treatment they would take us to court and we would wind up paying to treat the house plus all of the court costs, because they claimed other tenants have tried taking them to court and wound up losing. So we were intimidated into not reporting them or trying to take them to court, because we're on a month to month lease and didn't want to risk being evicted and we really can't afford to move into another house plus pay to replace our infested furniture (beds and a couple dressers). So we figured we'd just wait until we got our tax return then just pay for the treatment itself and replace the infested furniture then. I explained all this to the workers and they told us it was the landlord's responsibility to treat for them and said they would contact the property management for us and help us get them to treat it, which is great but I'm still worried about them retaliating against us. They took a couple pictures of our bedroom where they noticed a few bedbugs and that was it.
Anyway after that they checked our kitchen which was pretty clean except for some dishes soaking in the sink and appeared to be testing the floor for soft or weak spots (which there are none), and then they were done. They didn't check our cupboards for food or anything like that and we do have running water, electricity,and heat.
I'm also worried that since we've been turned in to the County Public Health Department, that CPS is going to become involved in this or that they already are. There were two workers both dressed in the same work uniform, and it was one male and one female. The male gave me his business card which identified him as being a supervisor with the health department and I didn't receive a card from the female.
They already had my husband's name, asked for mine, asked for our phone number and then said they would be in touch and left. So now I'm worried out of my mind as to what's going to happen next. I've never dealt with this before and I've never heard of the County Public Health Department coming out to inspect people's homes before and I have no idea how closely they are tied with CPS or if because of this CPS is going to be involved or is already involved. Immediately after they left I folded and put away all the laundry and got all of the dirty stuff down into the basement and started washing and drying it. So at least if they come back to reinspect the stuff will be in the basement. Honestly my house is usually in better shape but I just got done working an extra 15 hours and I'm sick so the laundry has gotten away from me a bit, but it's not like the house is a disaster and I know we have a problem with pests and bugs but we've been trying to deal with it and handle it the best we can on an extremely limited budget. My DH wasn't home when all this happened but I spoke to him about it. I have to work for the next 3 days so I just told him to try and keep the house as clean as possible in case they come back out or if CPS comes out, other than that I have no idea what else to do and I'm worried about what's going to come next. Does anyone have any experience or advice dealing with this? (My apologies for the rambling novel).
Edited by wrigley1985 - 11/23/13 at 3:45am