Follow Up To BC Bed Bug Story

On August 26th, Heat-N-Go posted a blog about a major infestation in Nanaimo, BC. The details for our blog post were taken entirely from an article found on Canada.com. Since then, we’ve had an opportunity to speak personally with Sherayna Mattson to get a better idea of just how bad the experience was. It is our hope, and Sherayna’s, that this story will educate our readers on just how serious an infestation can be, while offering solutions where there sometimes seem to be none.

Sherayna’s story

Sherayna and her 4 children lived in an apartment in Nanaimo, BC. When she first discovered bed bugs in her unit she called her landlord to let her know. The landlord was quite upset and actually accused her of bringing the bugs into the building, but Sherayna knew that there were bugs in other nearby units. She had heard about infestations in two adjacent units, as well as one in the unit above her.

After Sherayna contacted her landlord, she was told they were going to do a “precautionary spray.” On the day of the treatment, Sherayna says the bugs were “exploding out of the walls.” The infestation was very serious.

Although she had no idea where they had originally come from, she knew they were in her mattresses. So the first thing Sherayna did was to get rid of them all. “I would assume that they came through the walls,” she says, “Because if they’d been carried in on a mattress or anything like that, it would have been gone because I got rid of my mattresses months before. As soon as I found any signs of it, they were out.”

Not 3 years earlier, Sherayna had lost all of her furniture in a fire. She was scared to buy new furniture, thinking the infestation would return, meaning that she’d have to replace her furniture yet again. “My kids and I, we slept on the floor for about 7 months, because I couldn’t get mattresses, thinking I would get them again.”

At one point, her young son was staying at a friend’s for a sleepover. He brought with him his SpongeBob toy. Unbeknownst to Sherayna or her son, the toy was riddled with bed bugs and the bugs got into the friend’s couch. “We had to get rid of the couch, but he also owns a steam clean company so he steamed them. But yeah, it really, really bothered me thinking that I had brought it back.”

Sherayna did everything she could to rid her home of the bugs. “It’s definitely frustrating because I cleaned everything down to the bones, did all the laundry that was supposed to be done, only to see the nasty note that said my place wasn’t clean enough according to the test control person, even though I had tons of pictures where I’d scrubbed and cleaned the place.” The problem left Sherayna feeling helpless, to blame and frustrated. What Sherayna (and those advising her) didn’t realize at the time was, clean or not, the problem would have subsisted. Bed bugs don’t care if your home is pristine. If there are people there, they’re happy.

Sherayna’s apartment received 9 treatments in total, each at a cost of $500. The worst part is that none of them worked. She eventually moved to a new building, but not until she’d thrown almost everything out. She tells me, of the 400 books she owned, some antiques and collectibles, she kept 2. The rest went into the garbage. All furniture was removed and thrown out. The only other things she kept were her dishes, since she could clearly see whether or not they were infested.

What this story makes obvious is a lack of understanding and a need for education – not on Sherayna’s part, though. Sherayna is practically an expert now.

So why are we so confused about bed bugs? What’s with all the misunderstandings? Maybe because the very name “bed bug” implies that the bug only exists in beds. Remember the old nursery rhyme?

Good night, sleep tight
Don’t let the bedbugs bite
If they do, hit them with a shoe
Then they will not bother you

The rhyme teaches us that in order to get rid of bed bugs we simply have to hit them with a shoe. Sherayna can attest to the fact that this is not the case.

When asked if she would consider a heat treatment in future, Sherayna said yes. “Obviously spraying doesn’t work because they sprayed my place like 9 times and it didn’t work,” she said. “I went back into the place after the last… they went and sprayed two weeks apart, three times, during the last six weeks. And then I went back in there and they were still alive – crawling on my carpet.” She and her kids still have scars from the bites.

A Heat-n-Go technician will be conducting an inspection of Sherayna’s new apartment. She wants to make sure the problem is gone for good. She has agreed to speak with us again after the inspection has been completed. Look for a follow-up story here soon.

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