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Early this morning my phone rang and I answered, “Bed Bug Hotline, how can I help you?”  A panicked voice responded, “How do I get rid of bed bugs? I can’t take it anymore, bed bugs are everywhere!”

For 6 years, we have been listening to people’s cries “after” bed bugs have taken over a person’s home. You can hear it in their voices like a 911 emergency as they suffer from paranoia and stress related symptoms never imagining how they could have fallen victim to bed bugs.

They tell me “I am clean; I don’t understand why it is me that got them” or “I don’t travel or stay in hotels”. Unfortunately, many still think they are immune to bed bugs and they are only found in hotels.

Sometimes, if they can afford it, we can get them professional help that immediately eliminates the problem, but it leaves emotional scars that can last a lifetime. Then there are those who already spent a good portion of their paycheck on over the counter pesticides and dusts which has now spread them throughout their home or apartments.

What I started to realize is that most of these situations are completely preventable and prevention is really the key for us to making the maximum impact.

This caller had started getting bites back in late November of 2014. She immediately thought it was a reaction to a new soap and fabric softener. She discontinued the use of it but the bites continued. Before long, she remembered seeing a small red bug crawling while she was changing her sheets. She squished it and gave it no more thought.

Close to Christmas, she was preparing for a party and had her daughter-in-law and the children come for the weekend to bake cookies. The following morning her granddaughter woke with little bites all over her neck and torso similar to what she was experiencing. At this point, she realized she must have some sort of bugs.

She went to her local hardware store, spoke to the man in the garden department, and explained what was going on in her home. He replied, “You must have bed bugs” and took her to the shelf where bug sprays were. He reached for a Bed Bug Bomb and told her to follow directions.

After her daughter-in-law and children left, she set up the bomb for the next morning when she left for work. She came home, made dinner and went to bed. She woke up with NO BITES! She was elated.

Six days later, she started to experience bites again, this time not as many. In her mind, she thought the bomb fogger must have gotten the majority of them but not all. Therefore, she went back to the store and purchased more of the bombs.

She continued this pattern for several months. She also added Hotshot and other bug sprays for the “in-between” bed bug bomb days. What she didn’t understand is that she had been forcing the bugs deeper into the walls and hidden crevices only to lays eggs and continue to come out when they were hungry.

Seven months had passed since the first bite, she now was dealing with exponential growth patterns of bed bugs, and she hadn’t a clue. She is now facing $2,800.00 for treatment of the whole house.

Was this preventable? Absolutely!

People need to realize that anyone who has blood can get bed bugs and if you are being bitten, you need to find out what it is that is biting you. In this particular case had she called in a Bed Bug Detection Dog Team, they would have found the evidence of bed bugs in plenty of time to eliminate the problem before it had time to grow.

Finding bed bugs in early introduction stages is far less expensive to care for than if you wait or attempt self-treatments that fail.

We are here to help! MassBedBugBusters has been serving all of New England for several years giving peace of mind and relief to our clients suspecting bed bugs. Let us help you before a serious and costly infestation builds in your home!