Getting bed bugs was my worst nightmare. Even since my children were small, they knew to never touch discarded furniture on the sidewalk because it might have bed bugs. When I bought second hand clothes from Value Village, I ALWAYS put everything straight into the dryer for an hour to kill anything that might have hitchhiked in. So, needless to say, I was horrified to figure out that the red marks covering my oldest son was not eczema or a heat rash, but bed bug bites. I had looked at his bed numerous times but never saw anything, until one day, I thought I had found a nest. I almost died.
First I called a company that came up at the top of a Google search, and booked with them, but after reading reviews of them on Homestars I noticed that there was not one about bed bug treatment. Then I called a company that does heat treatments, and booked with them (they actually booked a 3000.00 heat treatment without confirmation that we actually had bedbugs). Then I tried to calm down, and did a more comprehensive search on Homestars. I should mention that this was all on a Saturday afternoon. I found Mohommed (Pest Solution Services) and read about 200 reviews, and decided to call him. He answered his phone on a Saturday night! He agreed to come on Sunday to do an inspection. Now that I know him well, and how hard he works, I have tremendous appreciation for that fact that he came out to us on a Sunday. It was definitely not because he was looking for new business. He has a huge amount of empathy and I think he could hear how hysterical I was (even thought I tried to sound calm).
He spend 2 hours taking our beds apart, and turning the bedroom furniture upside town. I was amazed at how precise and detail oriented he was. I now realize how hard it is to find them if you are not a professional. Mohommed is a scientist, he is an entomologist and clearly understood exactly how bed bugs operate, where they live, and how they behave. For some crazy reason I will never understand (Mohommed thinks it was the beautiful Mennonite wood bed frame) my son's room was literally infested with 100s if not 1000s of bugs, but there were nowhere else in the house. They love wood, so they stayed in and around my son's bed, and they were clearly getting plenty to eat (my poor son!).
He had a cancellation the very next day, and he agreed to come back on the Monday to treat the room. He explained that you do not need to treat the entire house if they are only in one room, and that heating up an entire house will cause them to spread everywhere if they are contained to only one place. Thank God I didn't go with the heat treatment company. Mohommed uses an integrated pest management approach, which is necessary with beg bugs, everything from chemicals, to steam heat, to powders that dessicate the ones that don't die, to interceptors/traps on the legs of all the beds in the house, to encasing all the mattresses, to some type of treatment to drive them out of the walls/baseboards, to educating as to how to avoid getting them again. I learned more about bed bugs from him than I even thought I would care to know. He said that it was predicted a few years ago that North American would not be able to to control its bed bug population within 5 years, and all you can do is protect your own property. He said they are in hospitals, schools, long term care facilities, taxis, the TTC. Ugg/gross. I should also say that my husband, who is a research scientist, was extremely impressed with Mohommed's knowledge.
Mohommed also prepared us to find some bugs after the treatment. We found about six or seven, and every time he told me to send a picture. He probably came back to my house (all post treatment visits are included in the cost of the initial treatment) about 5 times. He never made me feel crazy or like I was overreacting. He just came this past week because my son's back felt itchy and I was worried he had gotten bites again. Mohommed texted me to say he was sure there weren't any more bugs, but he would come to put my mind at rest. He did and he was right, no more bugs! But even thought he knew that there would not be, based on his understanding of their behavior, he took time out of his insanely busy schedule to come out and take my son's (new) bed apart yet again.
Mohommed is my beg bug guru and guardian angel. I hope and pray we never have to deal with this again, but if we do, at least we know who to go to for help.