For most people, a bout with bed bugs in a motel means dealing with bed bug bites, and the prospect of taking bugs home with them.
But what if that motel is your temporary home? And what if you just have enough money for your impending move? Under such circumstances, an encounter with bed bugs can be devastating.
This story on the spread of bed bugs in Alaska starts out, in some ways, fairly typically: an update on the pest’s progress locally, and a story of a local family afflicted with the pest.
But this story of bed bugs from KTVA in Anchorage is especially harrowing.
The Edwards family — six people, three generations — were staying in a motel room temporarily pending a move from Anchorage to Homer.
The motel room was infested.
“We spent all the apartment money (for Homer) on all the different protocols, cleaning and two different treatments,” said Nicole Edwards, Octavian’s grandmother.
Out of money and out of a place to stay, they spent the night “in the hospital parking lot in a borrowed car,” Nicole said.
“We don’t have anywhere to go,” said Nicole of her family’s plans to move to Homer. “We don’t have any way to get there.”
The Edwards family is now homeless.
This is heartbreaking.
That’s the toll bedbugs can take on a family with limited resources: bed bugs can ruin your plans for moving, and make you homeless.
The economy being what it is, this is a very bad time to be saddled with an inconvenience that costs hundreds of dollars to deal with even if you don’t have to pay for treatment of a structure. Removing bed bugs from exposed items can break the bank.
The article also reminds us that if you’re in Alaska, the Department of Environmental Conservation is responsible for investigating bed bug problems in public places (such as hotels and motels). If you suspect a bed bug problem in public, call 269-7501.