Don’t Let the Bedbugs Bite
Human and canine exterminators fight nationwide wave of pests
The unmarked white building on Candelaria holds one bed and two dressers but no personal belongings suggesting a home. It's eerily devoid of picture frames, stuffed animals and clothes. A cooler sits on the beige tile floor, and Patriot Pest Control's newest employee bounds into the room to check it out. Captain Dale, the bedbug-detection dog, has one thing on his mind.
Author Amy Stewart on the lifestyles of the gross and deadly
You’re strolling barefoot down the beach when—what the?—you step on a furry mass that sends lightening bolts of pain shooting through your body. You look down to discover the culprit: a roiling blob of fuzzy caterpillars. That doesn’t seem so bad, and after the pain subsides, you decide not to visit a doctor. You return home, but huge bruises begin to appear on your body. Instead of getting smaller, they get bigger. By the time you get to a hospital and doctors realize you’ve been stung by a certain type of poisonous Brazilian caterpillar―and order the special antivenin from South America―your kidneys shut down and your blood won’t clot. Later that day, you die.
The X-terminator Files
Bedbugs hide in crevices and cracks until they venture out for a snack. Detection and eradication can be tricky because these little critters are hard to locate. David Erik Swanson from Patriot Pest Control just got a bedbug detection dog to ease the process (see “Don’t Let the Bedbugs Bite”), but he says some infestations have been so bad he didn't need help finding them.