On March 11, 2014 inspectors from the Inspectional Services Department, Public Health Commission, and Environmental Health Services, Inc. will lead the way with outreach and extermination of bed bug infestation in a Mattapan home. In February 2014 inspectors received a frantic call from Deanna Bogues the owner of a one family dwelling whose home is infested with bed bugs. The owner a disabled veteran and retired Major (living off a fixed income) attempted to exterminate the bedbugs by purchasing over the counter pesticides and self treating to no avail.
Deanna informed the inspection team that she started to experience this problem after receiving overnight guests from out of town. She did some on-line research and found that the bugs were in fact bedbugs. She then tried to exterminate them by purchasing an "all natural" spray on-line which of course did not work but exasperated her asthma symptoms. To this date Deanna's second floor rooms are infested with bed bugs due to the rising bedbug population. Her bed, clothing, curtains, furniture, and surrounding areas are stained with the bedbug fecal matter (blood expulsion), cast skins, eggs, live and dead insects.
Upon receiving notification of this issue a team of inspectors from Inspectional Services Department (ISD) & Boston Public Health Commission (BPHC) conducted a walk-through of the house and noted an infestation of bedbugs throughout, consisting of bed bug evidence including live activity from un-hatched eggs, nymphal stage, and adults. Due to the extenuating circumstances of this case and physical limitations of the homeowner inspectors reached out to a leading bed bug pest management firm named Environmental Health Services, Inc. (EHS Pest) and they partnered with a treatment preparation company named House Works. These firms graciously agreed to donate their services pro-bono.
EHS will be responsible for administering the thermal remediation (heat treatment) technique. This technique is an innovative, clean and 100% organic method for completely eradicating the infestation in one day. Industry pest control experts have proven that temperatures above 122◦ F will kill bedbugs in all stages including eggs. Heat can penetrate cracks and crevices to kill bed bug adults, nymphs, and eggs. As a additional benefit the heat process will also kill dust mites, mold spores, allergens, and other pests that may be present.
House Works will be responsible for complete bed bug preparation services and cleaning that will greatly improve treatment efficacy. The will be offering a pre and post treatment service plan that will reduce process stress and allow the homeowner to get “back to normal” after the treatment.
Although, bed bugs do not carry germs nor spread disease they adversely affect our quality of life. Those who have found themselves a victim of bed bug infestations have complained of stress, anxiety, lack of sleep, welt marks (from the bites) and extreme discomfort. The entire infestation process may result in psychological distress and extreme agitation.
Reactions from bites vary on the individual and there may be a 2-9 day latency period for reaction with as much as 60% of the general public not showing any reaction at all. Their bites can result in itchy skin reactions and scratching which can lead to secondary skin infections. During this past year the Inspectional Services Department has responded to over 300 bed bug complaints.