If they weren’t so gross, they would be cool. Their ability to hide in books, behind pictures, in cracks and crevices and around your bed has assured their survival. If you have not guessed by now, we're speaking of bed bugs.
Over the years, we have seen our share of bed bug cases, but nothing like this one. We were called to inspect someone’s apartment that claimed to have bed bugs. After our examination, we confirmed bed bugs were present and set up a day for treatment. As we continued our follow-up visits, we were finding bed bugs in the strangest places. Three months later, we were still finding them in the bathroom.
At this point, we asked the landlord to allow us to inspect the units around it to determine if they also had a problem. The units above, to the right and to the left were bug free. However, the resident of the unit below would not allow me access (he believed we were working with the landlord to get him evicted). This went on for six months. We then had to get two government agencies involved (Department of the Aged and the Health Department) as well as the resident’s attorney.
After two attempts we were finally allowed access, along with both agencies’ representatives. The minute the elderly gentlemen opened his door, we knew where the unit above was getting the bed bugs. This was the worst case we had ever seen in over thirty-five years in pest management. Bed bugs were all around his door jam and as we walked into the unit they were visible everywhere. He had them in places you would never think to look, such as his kitchen appliances, kitchen cabinets and file cabinets.
As we walked into the living room, there was a silhouette (made of excreta from bed bugs) on a section of the couch, indicating his favorite spot. Bed bugs were also inside his remote control, TV and telephone receiver. When we finally entered his bedroom, we could not imagine how he could sleep as bed bugs were present on every square inch of the room. At that point, the representative from the Department of the Aged was so disgusted, she wanted to run out of the apartment.
We stressed that she needed to witness the condition of the property in order to assist in setting up treatment. When we finally started the treatment, every item had to be bagged and removed from the apartment. Towards the end, we had to remove the hardwood floor, baseboards, the entire kitchen with appliances as well as sections of walls in the living room. It took two years before this unit was ready for human habitation.
The photographs that we had taken and given to the landlord were lost. The record of “the worst” case we’ve ever dealt with was gone, but we can assure you that those images will forever be burned into the minds of those present.
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