The major issue we experienced with the house was the flea infestation. On our second day at the house, I discovered that our small, white dog was riddled with fleas. She has not had fleas in years and I was baffled as to how this could have happened. I immediately went to Walmart and bought medicine and shampoo for her, and treated and washed her. After that, we spent most of the day outside and she had no more fleas. After we returned to the house, I noticed that the fleas returned. Over the next several days, I noticed that as long as we stayed away from the house, our dog had no fleas, but as soon as we were back inside, the flease returned. Given this (and the other issues I will describe below), it became clear that the house was infested with fleas. That is unconscionable, unsanitary, and frankly exposed us and our small child and dog to deseases and infections!
I realize that I am obligated to inform the management company of the issue, and I did not do that. The reason I did not do that was because by the time I confirmed that the fleas were coming from inside the house, several days elapsed and I anticipated that the company's respone would be to send an exterminator to fumigate the house. My 2 year old son has severe breathing complications that send us to the ER several times a year, and we take a lot of precautions to not expose him to chemicals, especially to lingering ones in areas he would be touching and where he would be sleeping. I am not familiar with Duck or the products exterminators use, and I did not trust that the management company would know or find an exterminator who used safe products. Beyond that, even if the exterminator used safe products, given that we've never dealt with anything like this, I did not know whether even those products would cause my son to stop breathing and leave us scrambling to get to an ER in Duck. (Is there even one in Duck?)
Beyond the flea infestation, the house was covered in pet hair, including on the bedding and the ants were rampant. There were even dead ant carcasses in the fridge. These issues, however, I dealt with on my own by constantly cleaning the floor and keeping food tucked away. Ultimately, the flea issue got so bad that we left a day early.
I explained all this to the management, and was very reasonable in their request to just refund us the portion of our payment that would have covered the cleaning. I was told by the company that because I did not contact them during my stay, I would not be reimbursed for anything, including the cleaning fee I paid, the expense of replacing pet related supplies, the time I spent cleaning and recleaning the property, or leaving one day early. The online reviews of Outer Banks Blue clearly indicate that the company is notorious for turning over unclean houses with all sorts of unsanitary conditions (just Google them). That is despicable and a health hazard. We will never return to this house and will never use this company again. To prevent others from experiencing the same issues, we are also posting about the company on local blogs, travel sites, and filing a complaint with the Health Department.