Who let the dogs in? We did. If there is anything good about having bed bugs or going through the process of extermination is finding out there are dogs trained to inspect and smell them (at least it’s different and kind of entertaining). When the pest control company mentioned they were going to send “the dogs” I pictured a group of fearless workers ready to take on a disgusting task, but in reality, he was being literal. A bug sniffing dog was required to see where our infestation was.
To back track: We are buying a property and reading through the disclosures there were multiple mentions of bed bugs and termites. Termites are an every property issue, bed bugs on the other hand are not common, and not music to anyone's ears. Our only experience with bed bugs came from backpacking SouthEast Asia, checking every hostel mattress slept in, and still getting bit on one occasion. But nonetheless we love the property and don’t want it to deter us.
How to deal with bed bugs
We contacted the always professional, LLoyd Pest Control, who already service our 5 units in North Park. Since we are doing a full remodel the discussion was; how bad are the bed bugs and were we planning on fumigating for termites as well. How bad? I’d say one within a square mile is terrible. But knowing how bad the infestation could be is key to treatment. Unfortunately, this problem started 6 years ago and was never treated, so it was about as bad as it could be.
The solution: As said above, this started with a K9 team. I truly love seeing service dogs in action and admire their training and abilities. This is a fairly affordable service and lets the pest control company know if extra gas is needed in the fumigation. If you did not need the extra gas the cost for the K9 is minimal compared to the extra charge for bed bugs.
Usually a termite fumigation would wait until the end of a project in order to protect new wood, beams, and finishing work but with a bad bed bug infestation it is recommended prior. This allows all of your workers a safe place to be and prevents further spread. It also gives a big piece of mind. We’ll be renovating, planning, designing, and without this I would never feel comfortable. The fumigation cost is about $2.80 a square foot, which I find completely reasonable for 10x the gas required over a regular termite fumigation…and peace of mind.
As a side note we were given a few tips for avoiding bed bugs while inspecting or looking at a new home (we tend to buy fixers). Bed bugs are slow and don’t jump. The K9 team said they won’t attach to dogs and that as long as you don’t sit or lean on anything you can walk through an infested house without a problem. He mentioned personal space, think of a hula hoop, or one arm's distance from wood or furniture. Hopefully bed bugs won’t scare you off in the future, or better yet hopefully you never encounter them, and this article helps if you happen to.