Bedbugs have an extremely high “ick factor,” a Boise pest control expert says, and that may be part of why the Treasure Valley’s growing problem with the blood-sucking pests hasn’t been discussed much publicly.
“People don’t want their neighbors to know — they don’t want you to pull up like the cavalry,” said Capitol Pest Management owner Bob Mitchell, who recently acquired a bedbug-sniffing dog to aid him in inspections. “They want you to come quietly. They’re embarrassed. They don’t sleep.”
Three pest control companies in the Treasure Valley that treat bedbugs say calls have spiked this year.
“We’re up 400 to 500 percent this year,” said Rob Voss, Boise account manager for Sprague Pest Solutions.
Mitchell of Capitol Pest estimated the increase in his bedbug business at 30 to 40 percent. An Atlanta-based Orkin spokesman said the company’s Boise branch did three or four bedbug treatments all of last year and is averaging three to five a month this year.
Bedbugs are not known to transmit disease, but their bites can cause mild to severe allergic reactions. Central District Health Department doesn’t track bedbug reports.
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