We sat down with Eric Boam, one of PURCOR Pest Solutions’ veteran pest control technicians, to ask him about his experiences working in the field. During this interview, he told us about the worst call he’s ever had to take: an overwhelming bedbug infestation that had taken over an entire apartment. Read on to learn about Eric’s grueling experience, how it happened, and what you can do to prevent a bedbug infestation.
Can you describe the worst infestation you’ve ever seen?
The most out-of-control pest infestation Eric Boam has ever encountered was in a small apartment. After receiving the call, he drove over, knocked on the door, and entered to find a grim sight: bedbugs crawling across the ceiling above his head. “Bedbugs are looking to hide wherever they can,” Eric explained. “They don’t want to be seen.” The fact that the bedbugs in this apartment were so hungry that they were moving around in plain sight is a testament to just how severe the infestation was.
As with most bedbug infestations, the bedroom was ground zero. The room was cramped and cluttered, but its main fixtures were a mattress and box spring against the wall and a desk that held a large CD stereo system. Upon closer inspection, Eric discovered that the entire stereo system and all of the CDs were crawling with bedbugs. Every piece of furniture, every object, and every corner of the room had become real estate for these hungry pests.
What causes a bedbug infestation?
“With bedbugs, it’s always hitchhikers,” according to Eric. “They don’t travel outdoors; they hitch a ride on the tenant and get introduced to their home.” Once bedbugs are in your home, they begin to multiply quickly. The problem is, you may not know it’s happening. “When they’re first introduced, the bites are very minimal,” Eric explained. “Because they’re caused by an allergic reaction, some people don’t even show bite marks.”
How did it get so bad?
In this case, the clutter was the problem. Bedbugs love clutter because it gives them plenty of places to hide during the day. Then at night, they come out to feast on their primary food source: blood. When given plenty of hiding places and left uncontrolled for a long period of time, bedbugs will keep reproducing until they’ve all but taken over.
How do you stop a bedbug infestation like that?
Treating a bedbug infestation so severe is a long, meticulous process, and it can be very expensive. The service technician has to eliminate all possible hiding spots, moving everything to one side of the room to properly treat every nook and cranny—not just once, but usually over the course of multiple visits. One bedroom alone can take multiple hours, and if the bedbugs have spread to other areas in the home, it only gets more difficult and time-consuming. And if even one or two bedbugs remain at the end of the treatment, the problem may come back.
What can people do to prevent a bedbug infestation?
The most important part of preventing a bedbug infestation is making sure they never enter your home. A common culprit of introducing bedbugs into your home is hotel rooms: With so many people traveling through and staying for a night or two, you never know who slept in the bed the night before. “When I travel, I put all of my luggage in the bathtub of my hotel room. It’s impossible for bedbugs to climb inside,” says Eric. “When I get home, I put everything in the dryer for 20 to 30 minutes, just in case there are any stragglers.”
It’s also important to keep an eye out for signs of bedbugs wherever you spend the night. Staining around the edges of your mattress, shed skin by the baseboards, and waking up with reddish-brown bite marks on your skin are all potential signs of bedbugs.
Stop Bedbugs in Their Tracks With PURCOR Pest Solutions
If you fear you may have introduced bedbugs into your home or you’d just like some peace of mind knowing your home is bedbug-free, contact PURCUR Pest Solutions. Our pest control technicians are well trained and ready to protect you and your family from bedbugs, rodents, and pests of all kinds. Call us today for a free quote!
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