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Bed Bugs: Getting Too Close for Comfort

We all know that small talk with friends and family about each other’s professional lives can often be mundane and dull. Well, that is certainly NOT the case for me!  Working in the pest control business, I field a variety of questions about the different kinds of critters we deal with on a daily basis. However, there is one pest in particular that REALLY peaks people’s interest… bed bugs!

Having seen plenty of live bed bugs at work, I can easily describe what they look like and how they behave. The only thing I’ve been unable to adequately describe is the wave and range of emotions a person can feel when they think they have bed bugs in their house. That is, until just a couple of weeks ago when a friend of mine (I’ll call him “Dave”) had a close encounter with the bugs and called me.

I received a late-night, panicked phone call from Dave telling me he thought someone brought bed bugs into to his two-bedroom apartment. Knowing where I worked, he called me right away. I could tell by his voice that he was very uneasy and nervous about the situation. It didn’t take long for my bed bug training to kick in and I started to run down a checklist of advice.

  • Do not start sleeping in different parts of the house or remove items from your residence; you will only spread the bugs and the will migrate to wherever you are sleeping.
  • Do try to remember that while bed bugs are a nuisance, they don’t pose any real health threats with their bites
  • Do call a pest management professional – bed bugs are NOT a do-it-yourself pest problem

To help calm his fears, I went over to Dave’s apartment and checked every inch of his bed — frame and all. To his relief, I found no evidence of bed bugs… whew! But I knew we weren’t in the clear yet. There were still several places where the bugs would likely be hiding out and I knew the best way to find out if they were there! I contacted one of the expertly-trained bed bug canine teams at Batzner and scheduled an inspection.

Canine Handler, Bill, and his trusty beagle sidekick, Simon, arrived on the scene the very next day. Having already seen a bed bug dog at work, I knew exactly what to expect. My friend, however, was in complete awe that a dog could detect the tiny and often unseen bed bugs just by sniffing – and to do it so thoroughly nonetheless! Simon and Bill worked their way through the entire unit, giving a very thorough inspection… and more importantly, peace of mind for my friend.

Fortunately for Dave, this story had a happy ending as Bill and Simon’s inspection came out negative for bed bugs. Through my friend’s brief bed bug scare, I got a close look at how it feels to have the looming possibility of bed bugs and Dave got a first-hand look into how a professional goes about handling a bed bug situation. It was gratifying knowing that I was able to help my friend with his potential problem and to help give him relief from bed bug stress.