WEST TEXAS – A mother and son had just arrived to Odessa from New Mexico to get some sleep and save some money, they decided to stay at a bargain motel. That’s when they claim they found bed bugs and all their troubles started.
“She was like do you see anything, do you see anything, and I looked and there was nothing,” Joseph Lopez said.
“A little while later, I got up and down and up and down and looked in the mirror and I was getting bites all in my shoulders,” Sandra Swann said.
Soon the welts spread everywhere but the Ector County Health Department said the Sahara Motel checked out clean.
“Yeah, I wanna let them sleep in that bed for a night and tell us there’s no bugs in that room,” Lopez said.
Then we received surveillance videos of their arrival, in which you can see the bed of their truck had an exposed mattress. Also in it, Lopez is seen lightly scratching his head and hands. But the two are sure they didn’t bring the bugs in.
“I didn’t have anywhere near a scratch when I got there than I did as I left,” Lopez said.
But “The Buginator,” Trey Buesher says that it’s not unlikely if they had brought them in.
“They’re hitch hiking insects,” Buesher said.
He said bed bug cases have been reported in 48 of the 50 states. And in Texas, there’s not a city without the infestation. Plus, the little bugs can get anywhere. They might be small, but they move fast, reproduce quickly and pack a big punch or bite.
“You’ll scratch till you bleed,” Lopez said.
“You have to take the wall plugs off because they’ll penetrate through the wall and go from room to room that way,” Buesher said.
But more than anything, Buesher said it’s the paranoia that accompanies the bites, that has people itching.
“They’ve heard their stories all their life. Don’t let the bed bugs bite,” he said.
“I got the “heeby jeebies” or the “creepy crawlies” and everything you feel, you’re just paranoid. Paranoid,” Swann said.
He also said that four years ago his company used to get five to six calls a year to kill those vermin, now it’s five to six a week. Cleanliness is not associated with them, while places with high turnover, like hotels are.
“One of the smartest things you can do when you travel is to put your luggage and everything in black plastic bags, wrap them up tight and do not unpack, do not put them in the drawers, in the dressers that are in the motel rooms,” Buesher said.
If that fails companies like Bushwhackers are experts at killing them off with heat and other nifty tools, like slippery disks that serve as, “a pitfall type trap that they’ll fall into,” Buescher said.
“The Buginator” says heat is the best remedy for bed bugs. If you think you have them, just take off your clothes, sheets, and anything else and stick them in the drier on high heat for 30 minutes. Anything above 120 degrees Fahrenheit will kill them, although you need higher temperatures for the eggs.