In the business of bed bug removal, there isn’t really ever a dull day. There are constantly new places where they are popping up and new people that need to be helped but sometimes we get there after the problem has been going on for a while and there are some horrifying things that bed bugs are capable of doing if we let them run amuck. Check out an interview with a bed bug exterminator from Brooklyn and a few of his horror stories from working the job for many years.
In the past few years, have you gotten more calls about bed bugs or fewer calls? More. But the one thing I do see is that people are starting to raise their level of acceptance with these bugs. I’m finding them all over.
What does that mean, “raise their level of acceptance?” Well, when these were first starting, it was like alarms were going off. People were, “AAGH, I’ve got bed bugs!” Now it’s like, “Eh, I’ve got a couple of bed bugs.” It seems like they’re becoming a little more nonchalant, like an occasional roach or something.
So what’s the difference, in terms of threat level, between the occasional roach and a couple of bed bugs? Well, the occasional roach would be in your kitchen by a water source, eating your food and things like that. The few bed bugs would be eating YOU. They’re parasites. They feed off human blood.
How concerned should people be? If you just have a few, is it worth paying an exterminator hundreds of dollars? Why can’t you kill them yourself? When people try to self-exterminate, they’re not taught how to find cracks and crevices. It’s very small details you’ve gotta pay attention to when you spray. You tend to make them spread.
How is that? Because once a pesticide is close to a bug, they will cross it, and they’ll scatter away from it. If they leave you and they can’t go back there, they end up going for your outlets or a hole in your ceiling where a light fixture is or something, and they’ll spread to other apartments. Or if you had them in the master bedroom, they’ll end up spreading to one of the smaller bedrooms.
What’s the worst job you’ve gone on? Ok, for me, I’ve come across a lot of different ones, but probably the one that was most shocking to me was when I was going to a single-room-occupancy to do a general treatment, for roaches and things like that. When I walked in, the gentleman was sitting on his couch, and his wall looked like it was covered in spots. And I’m staring at it, because it looked unusual to me, and I’m wondering why these spots looked like they were moving.
And when I got a little bit closer, there were hundreds and hundreds of bedbugs covering his wall behind his couch. I looked at the guy; he was chewed up, there wasn’t a spot on his face that didn’t have a bite on it. I said, “Sir. Look behind you.” He said, “They’re cockroaches.” I said, “They’re not cockroaches, they’re bedbugs, and they’re eating you.”