Some Pest Control Companies Charging To Kill Nonexistent Bugs?
By David Goldstein
LOS ANGELES (CBS) — Los Angeles is tenth in the nation in reported cases of bedbugs. The blood-sucking parasites are spreading coast-to-coast. But are pest control companies taking advantage of the epidemic?
Mattie is a specially trained to sniff out bedbugs.
“Good girl, Mattie!”
With all the reported castes in LA, her nose has been working overtime.
“Five years ago, they did 34 rooms. This year…31,000 rooms.”
We had her and her handler check out every corner of this apartment in Santa Clarita.
“It all looks clear,” he told me.
Looking for any signs of bedbugs.
“At this time, there’s no sign of bedbugs or odor.”
After the canine gave the apartment the all clear, we set up hidden cameras all around the house. Then called in a number of companies advertising bedbug detection to see what they would say.
“Hi, come on in.”
First we called Alan from Bedbugs Doc.
“I just want the place checked out.”
As we watched in a backroom, our undercover producer said she was a new renter who just wanted an inspection. Alan said it was the right thing to do.
“It’s just an epidemic right now with these bugs.”
He checked out the apartment.
“I’m not seeing any sign of bedbugs.”
And said it was bedbug free.
“Glad you’re here. The bedbug man.”
Isaac from Eagle Shield did his inspection and agreed.
“Everything looks immaculate so far.”
So did Fernando from LA Bedbug Removal.
“Do I have bedbugs?”
“No,” he replied, “you don’t have bedbugs.”
But that wasn’t always the case.
Teddy, who advertised bedbug removal on the Internet, said he would tell us the truth.
“I’ll give you my honest on it.”
He proceeded to walk through the living room and said he found a problem.
“I’m walking through right now and I can feel something in these carpets.”
He claims he felts something there, and sure enough…after spending time in the corner of the back bedroom, he found something.
“Ewww. Is that one?”
“It could possibly be,” he answered.
First he said it was a possible bedbug. Then he confirms it by smearing what he claims is blood on the baseboard.
“That’s the blood of a bedbug”?
“Ya,” he replies.
“And you just found that there now?”
He threw whatever it was off the balcony and told her the price to get rid of her bedbug infestation.
“David Goldstein with CBS 2 News.”
We came out to get answers.
He adds, “We had this house examined by a special canine…”
“There were no bedbugs in this house.”
“Are you serious?”
He showed us a red mark that he claims came from a bedbug. Teddy admitted he is not licensed to do pet control and couldn’t explain his findings.”
“It looked like a bedbug to me.”
“Now,” says Goldstein, “it looked like a bedbug. But you told her it was a bloody bedbug?”
Alan with Bugging Out Pest Control also said he found something.
“I found one right over here.”
He said he discovered several dead bedbugs — and egg casings that could lead to a problem.
“You go to bed at night and they come out and suck your blood.”
He wanted $75 to get rid of them. But we saved the evidence and called back our expert.
“He said these were dead bedbugs and egg casings.”
Mike Masterson put them under the microscope and found they’re not from the bug family.
“What I think you have here,” said Masterson, “is…something from the Ralph’s family or Von’s family. This is definitely food particles.”
But Alan maintained he found bugs.
“We had them examined by an expert under a microscope and he said it was granola and rice. Not dead bedbugs,” I told the exterminator
“I found a dead bedbug,” he replied.
Experts say if you want a bedbug inspection, get a second opinion. And always use a licensed pet control company.
So you won’t be suckered by the s0-called bed bug experts.
“Once you go to bed, that’s when they’ll get you.”
- To find out if your pest control company is licensed, visit the California Structural Pest Control Board’s Website.
- To check if a hotel or building anywhere in the nation has reported bed bugs, visit The Bedbug Registry.