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Helping a Family with 8 Children Cope with Bed Bugs

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  1. bedbugfinders

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    Posted 10 years ago
    Wed Aug 27 2008 22:53:33
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    Two days ago at 6:00 in the evening I was called to perform a Bed Bug Dog Search in a house on the Space Coast of Florida. When I heard the circumstances I was more than willing to make a house call after hours. When I arrived at the house I started to realize the situation. I was greeted outside by the lady of the house, her husband was not home yet and we began to talk. She and her Husband have 8 children with ages ranging from Infant to Middle School age. I was told of a story a six month nightmare. Her children ,Husband and herself were suffering from what the doctor called an unknown rash, they were all treated with cortisone and told to see if that helps. It Didn’t. The next Doctor’s opinion was Scabies, so they were all treated with scabies medication. Nothing helped and the children were itching like crazy. When the Mother of the children found an insect, she contacted me. I brought in “Trace” our Bed Bug Dog, and he alerted everywhere, and he was very very correct. There were Bed Bugs in all four bedrooms. Moving the beds slightly to examine the areas the Bed Bugs ran up the walls out from the bunk beds and everywhere in between. This family had never heard of Bed Bugs. They tried to get doctors advice to no avail, and until I arrived had no idea what to do. This family lives in a house of about 1200 square feet that they are slowly remodeling when money will allow. The Father works an honest job and the Mother is a stay at home mom because of having 8 kids. So it goes without saying that they do not have an excess of money to take on such a problem of this magnitude. We have determined that the infestation came in the form of a free Master Bed and Box Spring. This was a welcomed gift because with eight children, Hand me Down items were always a blessing. It is hard enough to feed, clothe, and provide a home for so many, but they do it with joy, and they count their blessings. The Mattress had a hole in it where we found live Bed Bugs and it was the latest addition to the home’s furniture. Who would suspect that a well needed gift would cause so much grief?
    As I looked at the children, they had bites and scarring from foreheads to elbows, chest to feet, and even on their backs. I felt so bad that these children were enduring such a painful aggravation. At this time the grandmother came to pick up the children and take them to her house while we searched the house. I instructed the children to take a shower and wear minimal clothing after being dried on high heat. I also had them pack their clothes for school for the next few days in plastic bags, and instructed Grandma to put all of their clothes into the dryer at her house as to not spread the bugs, and away they went. They will be staying at Grandma and Grandpa’s house until we arrive at some resolution.
    The treatment of this house will be very intense and will take time get a true handle on the situation. With holes in the mattresses and box springs, they will have to be covered
    with mattress covers while we start to eliminate the infestation, and when we feel confident that the infestation is starting to become under control, we will discard the beds. As ingrained as these insects are, we will have to remove baseboards, outlet covers, switch plates, curtains, etc. literally tear the house apart. I will provide the best possible treatment for this family, because it tears my heart out to see the bites on these children.
    I am using my Bed Bug Dog to aid in my search to show every harborage, and I will be treating this home for as long as it takes at no charge to the Family. Honest hard working people should not have to endure the immense cost that can go along with this type of treatment. Not to mention having to replace Mattresses and Box Springs for 8 children and the Parent’s bed. This is such a crazy situation for anyone to have to endure.
    Next week I am planning a Bed Bug Benefit and Fundraiser in our community to help this family cover some of the cost of replacing beds and mattresses and any other furniture that is beyond salvage. I personally want to see this family get back to some state of normalcy, and I feel that our local community can help. We have already secured many volunteers and sworn donations. This entire ordeal will be posted on my website.
    As a Pest Control Operator I get to see many things, but this one touched my heart in the most profound way, and I am willing to help this family any way that I can. There are so many cases like this across the country, where a doctor misdiagnoses Bed Bug bites and it prolongs the treatment until the infestation is out of hand. I still stand firm on my belief that if I don’t help people that need help, it will come around.
    Together with this family we will show others that it is not always about money. Sometimes it’s about being kind to others and helping those that need it. After all, when it comes to Bed Bugs, it is a problem for us all to solve. It could be any of us!
    Sincerely
    bedbugfinders

  2. Adele

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    Posted 10 years ago
    Thu Aug 28 2008 0:33:14
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    BedBugfinders

    it's really good to hear and see a PCO with a caring heart - I've encountered far to manyof htem that really could not care less about the suffering and only care about what they are paid - most likely to do the most minimal and shoddy job. in general - with a few exceptions - I don't think that much of the entire Pest conrol profession and the integrity and work ethic with which they operate. I applaud you

    Lord knows this battle has been a financial burden to me as it has to many people. But there is always something left to help those in need. if you post your website I would like to make a donation to that porr family. My Dermatologist also told me that I did not have bed bugs - which annoyed me becasue I like her and I know that I did - so I can relate

    please post the URL at your earliest convenience

  3. bedbugfinders

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    Posted 10 years ago
    Thu Aug 28 2008 7:26:42
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    Adele,
    Thank you for your kind words, I would like to say that the reason for my post was not to solicit donations from anyone on bedbugger. The main reason for the story is because I have read so many posts that have shed such a negative light on the Pest Control Persons and it just makes me feel bad. There are quite a few good ones out there. The other reasons may not be so obvious. This Family is part of my community and need help. To me that is more than enough. I am well versed in Bed Bugs, Nine years of research, trial and error, and nineteen years of being in the Pest Control Business. In my area of Florida am the best person to help them, and help them I will. Looking back on my Post I do not want to seem as if I am asking for money, because I will do my best to round up donations from within our local community. Your generosity Is very kind, since you yourself have had to deal with the burden of Bed Bugs. To access our website simply add a .com to my bedbugger member name. We will be posting pictures and the entire story aboout this family early next week along with details about when we are having the Bed Bug Benefit. Thank you so much for caring!
    bedbugfinders

  4. busy with my kids

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    Posted 10 years ago
    Thu Aug 28 2008 8:52:45
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    I'm crying now after reading this. There are so many heartbreaking stories like this out there.

    I'm scared that pretty soon there is going to be an underclass that doesn't get schooling or even social services because of this problem.

    We need to contact our representatives in govt. about increasing research dollars, offering aid to low income people, at some point we'll probably need satellite schools for kids to get educated while not spreading the condition. What a disaster and no one even seems aware of it.

    Thanks for doing what you can bedbugfinders, I'll be sending my check.

  5. bedbugfinders

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    Posted 10 years ago
    Thu Aug 28 2008 15:31:02
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    We Started treatment today and spent about 3 hours in the house. I spoke to the mother and she is such a good sport. She told me that there is something GOOD to come out of her bed bug story. While visiting the doctor with her children for thier rashlike symptoms, aka "misdiagnosed bed bug bites" the doctor detected a heart murmur in her 8 year old son that had gone undetected since birth. After taking him to a specialist it turns out that he has a hole in his heart that has yet to close and it has enlarged one half of his heart. Now they can keep a watchful eye on his heart and have routine check-ups. They would have never known of his condition if it weren't for Bed Bugs!!! Talk about your Silver Lining!

  6. sleepingstandingup

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    Posted 10 years ago
    Thu Aug 28 2008 16:58:20
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    Bless your heart! I cannot imagine this poor mother's aching heart! Her babies being eaten up and not even knowing what it was! How did she know to call you? How was this referred?

    I m so glad to read that you are getting help from the community. Hopefully this family will receive many blessings from this nightmare! Maybe new beds and mattresses for everybody! If the community really gets in to it, maybe even new school clothes! I can't imagine the avalanche of work involved! In our house it was just my husband and me and I would break down and cry once in awhile from the anxiety. May you be richly blessed for helping this family!!!

  7. cb

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    Posted 10 years ago
    Thu Aug 28 2008 20:32:31
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    maybe someone should contact Extreme Makeover Home Edition!? i'm serious!!! bed bugs are an extreme epidemic in NYC and after reading this site i'm shocked at how profuse it is throughout the country. it's terrifying!!! if a home is infested that bad, and there are 8 young kids involved and the place is only 1200 sq. feet then maybe EMHE would help? help get the word out.

    bedbugfinders, you are a good man!!! and now you're able to educate an entire community by volunteer help. it's one step closer to governmental help! good for you and your community!!!

  8. bedbugfinders

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    Posted 10 years ago
    Sat Aug 30 2008 23:09:14
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    sleepingstandingup, The mother of this family was in the process of searching for her own answers online after finding some of the insects. I was called in identify and explain options for treatment, and it all started from that point. I really feel that more public awareness is the key. It makes me wonder as newbite stated, if Extreme Makeover Home Edition would actually even be willing to consider such a thing, but I think as a community, we are responsible to take action. The more that people are willing to get involed, the better informed they will be. People that submit their story to this site and are dealing with Bed Bugs can surely appreciate this. This family is more than willing to tell their story, and my hat is off to them. The parents stated to me that if they can prevent a single child from having to go through the bites, or if by their story, they could help a single doctor become more informed and prevent this from happening to others than it would be worth it. They truly understand what getting the word out can really mean for others. I'll post more as we progress. Thanks to all.

  9. DougSummersMS

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    Posted 10 years ago
    Mon Sep 1 2008 23:12:15
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    When is the fund raising event scheduled?

  10. parentsof8

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    Posted 10 years ago
    Tue Sep 2 2008 8:09:08
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    Thanks to bedbugfinder and all his help with our family. Can say it hasn't been fun thus far. As of this date I have 5 of our children sleeping in the one room that was bug free (thus far), myself and my husband are in the living room with the three youngest boys. We also have all our clothes in containers and bags in the kitchen and living room area. We've thrown out a lot of stuff thus far to try and clutter free our home...guess a family of 8 has a lot of clutter. We are a family of routine and these unwanted guests have thrown it all out of whack. I'd have to say the kids have been dealing with it wonderfully. Hopefully in another week we can settle back into some sort of normal routine.

  11. bedbugfinders

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    Posted 10 years ago
    Tue Sep 2 2008 23:28:33
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    The Akins Family Bed Bug Story is now on our website bedbugfinders.com with bite pictures and Insect pictures observed at the location. Just click on the Akins Family Link at the top of our home page and it will take you right to it. Because of the upcoming Hurricanes we are forced to postpone the actual benefit until the storms pass, so for right now we will count on mail in donations until we can have a community gathering. I have also placed a link on my website pointing to this forum for all to see what a caring community that bedbugger really is. Thank you all for helping these children have a Bed Bug Free bed in which to sleep.
    sincerely,
    BedBugFinders

  12. Mommy Hates Bugs

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    Posted 10 years ago
    Mon Dec 1 2008 16:51:39
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    Found this thread and was hoping to get an update from bedbugfinders! Saw the pictures of the kids on the website and I am so happy you are out there helping them! Thank you for sharing this story.

  13. BakedBedBugs

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    Posted 10 years ago
    Tue Dec 2 2008 11:40:33
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    I think there are more PCO's who are doing this sort of thing than we know about.

    I just did a treatment for a chronic alcholic couple who were living in squalor, literally their own waste. No one deserves to live with a serious mental illness, an addiction and hundres and hundreds of bed bugs. These people were getting bit hundreds of times a night. So, I personaly donned my respirator and protective coverall and removed close to a dozen garbage bags of filth from the apartment. Not only was it the only way we could be comfortable we eradicated the bed bugs, but these people were unable to take care of themselves.

    I spoke at length with the president of Thermapure about this issue yesterday and I know that they have done several free treatments for homeless people, childrens homes etc. We provide deep discounts for certain clients who are working with people getting off the street or victims of exploitation. We spoke about the "social responsibility" we have as providers of this technology. There is a demographic who will suffer greatly from bed bugs and yet do not have the means to pay for treatment. There needs to be more education and public awareness and PCO's, both traditional and non traditional, need to ensure we recognize the responsibility we have to help those who cannot help themselves.

    Thanks for bumping this post, it stirs my heart and strengthens my resolve.
    Tony Canevaro

  14. bitten123

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    Posted 10 years ago
    Tue Dec 2 2008 12:28:42
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    Tony, what you did was so very kind. I really can't put into words how kind it is. I do believe you are very correct that there are many kind PCO and others involved in effective bed bug elimination who are going way above and beyond to help certain individuals in need. I know that David UK has done the same, helping an injured military person regain his life when he was drowning in bed bugs.

    I simply applaud those of you who give your time to others to help them, when so many would shake their heads and walk away. I also thank you for taking the time to answer questions on here, your time is appreciated. It is heartwarming to know there are caring people around

  15. BakedBedBugs

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    Posted 10 years ago
    Tue Dec 2 2008 14:20:42
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    Just to clarify, I pointed this out to try and bring light to what we, as service providers, need to consider when looking at our "community" involvement, not to aggrandize anything we have done.

    The problem of bed bugs (as most here know) is so much deeper and more complex than the general public understands.

    Tony Canevaro

  16. bitten123

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    Posted 10 years ago
    Tue Dec 2 2008 15:26:53
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    Tony, I did not think in any way you were patting yourself on the back. It seems that often the service providers and the PCO can get slammed because there are alot of ineffective individuals out there, but it helps us all to know that there are kind and caring people out there who are out to fight the bugs for us
    I for one, am very glad there are caring folks who are working the front lines in the battle. Thanks!

  17. bedbugfinders

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    Posted 10 years ago
    Wed Dec 3 2008 23:41:55
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    We have been Treating and eliminated most of the insects from the house and have narrowed the remaining Bugs to one room in the house that was seperate from the main part of the house. We are doing well with the elimination process, The Community Fundraiser was a success and we have purchased and delivered all new beds to the children and parents, Things are looking up for the Akings Family and my hat is off to them for being such good sports about the entire process. Thank you to everyone who has posted about this topic....sincerely Bedbugfinders

  18. Nobugsonme

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    Posted 10 years ago
    Thu Dec 4 2008 0:34:43
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    I think it is wonderful to hear about PCOs and other bed bug pros doing pro bono work.

    Unfortunately we also need to work for change so that all the people who need help can get it.

    I started and run the site but am "not an expert."

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