Duped by a Bed Bug Exterminator

by Lathy
(Levittown, PA)

I think I was scammed. I was told I had bed bugs because they saw eggs using a blue light They saw nothing else just eggs on the bed frame. They treated and now I know I didn't have them to begin with. Went to Dr and confirmed not bites. I'm still breaking out. Other people in my house never got one bite. No signs just my rash is this. Blue light 100% accurate?


I wsnt my money back. Not getting the other two follow up treatments what recourse do I have?

Editor Response

Dear Kathy,

Sorry to hear about your problem with a local bed bug exterminator.

A blue light is used to detect human or animal proteins. Some exterminators might spray a room with luminol, the same type of spray used at crime scenes, and then use a blue light to see if any blood shows up. While I do not think this approach is common, it is possible that if a bed bug or bed bug fecal droppings was treated with luminol, then the blue light should pick it up.

In terms of the bites, it is an allergic skin reaction. Some people are not allergic and show no reaction, so this is not a reliable indicator of a bed bug problem.

That said, the problem with this approach is that a flea infestation will cause the same reaction, as will human blood or even if a pet left some remains on the carpet.

In your case, it does sound suspicious, because it is easier to detect bed bugs by inspecting the seams of a mattress or by finding an actual bed bug. In fact, we recommend that all infestations be confirmed with an actual bed bug before committing to extermination.

First I would suggest filing a complaint with your State's agency that regulates exterminators since they area all licensed professionals. In this case it is the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture, which can be reached at (717) 787-4737. You can also try the State Attorney General's office, since they might intervene on your behalf. This will also create a record against the exterminator.

As a last resort you can contact a local attorney, although this is probably not worth the expense or the local Better Business Bureau.

For this reason I suggest that homeowners contact an exterminator that is part of a national network such as Service Magic. Networks are responsible for screening members of the network and provide a place to complain if problems arise.

Best of luck,

Jeff

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