Westbrook woman says she’s battling bed bugs

WESTBROOK, Conn. (WTNH) — A couch sits on the front lawn of a Westbrook home. The family says it has had to throw out bedding and other items as well as put the living room couch outside because of the bed bug problem.

westbrook bed bugs 1 Westbrook woman says shes battling bed bugs“They’re so tiny you don’t even see them until they die off and they get full blown and they’re black and I did research,” said the Westbrook woman through tears.

She did not want her face shown on TV but she had her stepdaughter take video of what they say are bed bugs throughout their house.

“It’s a complete hell, I can’t go to school,” said her stepdaughter who didn’t want her name used. “I haven’t been in school in about two weeks.”

The two have been scratching a lot and used an organic pesticide, which they say didn’t help. News 8 went to the Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station in New Haven to talk to a bed bug expert.westbrook bed bugs 3 Westbrook woman says shes battling bed bugs

We showed entomologist Dr. Gale Ridge video taken inside the Westbrook home.

“They don’t sit out like this,” said Dr. Ridge as she looked at the video. She also showed News 8 a carpet beetle which is often mistaken for a bed bug.

She says there are 3 species of bed bugs, but only one feeds on people.

“The first step is to get an identification done by an expert,” said Dr. Ridge.

westbrook bed bugs 2 Westbrook woman says shes battling bed bugsShe says the Westbrook family should bring or send a sample of the bugs to the Ag Experimental Station so they know for sure what they’re dealing with. If it’s bed bugs the best defense is their vacuum. Bed bugs hide in cracks and crevices.

“Don’t go across a floor don’t knock yourself out,” said Dr. Ridge. “Just go with a crevice tool along the crack and you can suck up 80 percent of bed bugs and debris and material by doing that.”

Then call in a professional to complete the job. They’re listed right on the Agricultural Experiment Station’s website.

“Day after day after day staying up every single night being itching and scratching and can’t sleep feels like your whole body is tingling and burning,” explains the Westbrook woman who wants to use an exterminator out of New York who promised to rid her home of bed bugs for $30,000.

“You can actually correct bed bug issues very cheaply,” said Dr. Ridge who reminds us the bugs need to be positively identified by an expert before the family does anything else.

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