Bed Bugs Invade, Overwhelm Phoenix Home

KPHO-TV (AZ)
Thursday, May 26, 2011

PHOENIX -- A Valley exterminator is calling a bed bug infestation in a carpenter's home the worst he's ever seen.

Carpenter Roger Neal invited CBS 5 News into his Phoenix house, where thousands of bed bugs are now living.

"I need psychological help," said Neal. "I'm about to go crazy dealing with bed bugs every day.

Neal said he has bed bug bites all over his body.

"They're in the carpet, all of our clothes, in all the furniture," said Neal. "I've got an antique desk and antique table that are full of bed bugs."

AJ Richards, with K-9 Bed Bug Inspectors, calls it a bed bug nightmare.

All Richards had to do was pull up a corner of the sofa and he could see bed bugs crawling everywhere. They are even in the walls and ceiling.

"I've been into 100 homes this year and its the very worst I've been in so far," said Richards. "They're everywhere."

The bedroom was so bad that CBS 5 News photographer Mike Williams did not go past the doorway.

The mattress and pillows were covered in bugs and blood spots.

Neal said that the first bed bugs arrived about a year ago, after he rented a mattress and bought some furniture from a Rent-A-Center store in Phoenix.

"I never had the bed bugs until we got the furniture," Neal said."If Rent-A-Center doesn't step up and help us, they will just have to take a match and torch the place and we're out on the street."

Rent-A-Center has offered Neal $7,000 to pay for exterminating costs and other expenses.

However, Neal said that it will cost a lot more to replace the furniture, clothes and carpeting.

Richards said the bugs won't stop there.

"They'll get inside the electronics, in the computer and in the keyboard," said Richards. "That's why a chemical doesn't work at this stage, because they are in everything."

Richards suggested that some of the furniture be thrown out and the entire home tented and fumigated.

"There is no product on the market that will prevent bed bugs," said Richards. "Early detection is the only way to keep it from getting to this point."

"No one should have to live like this," said Neal.

A spokeperson for Rent-A-Center said they want to help Neal, but there is no way to know for sure where the bed bugs originally came from.