In August, H&H Pest Management donated its services — estimated at a cost in the tens of thousands of dollars — to treat a severely infested home being occupied by a family of four.
|Volunteers from H&H clean up and de-clutter a severely bed bug-infested home.
ST. GEORGE, Utah — H&H Pest Management, St. George, Utah, has had the good fortune of experiencing tremendous growth in recent years, so when an opportunity arose to give back to a local family that had been down its luck the company went “all in.”
In August, H&H Pest Management, which was founded in 2009, donated its services — estimated at a cost in the tens of thousands of dollars — to treat a severely infested home being occupied by a family of four.
What complicated this job was the fact that the bed bug infestation had gone unabated for four years because the family had resigned itself to “living with bed bugs.” H&H Sales Manager Carson Hunt recalled seeing the infestation upon making the initial inspection in July. “When inspecting the mattress and box springs, the amount of husks, feces, eggs and live bugs was tremendous,” he said. “Bugs were found in every room of the house including dry storage areas that were nowhere near any living space. They were also found throughout the home in cobwebs.”
What really tore Hunt apart was seeing blood smears on the children’s beds. "No little kid should ever have to live in a situation like that," he said.
Hunt recognized that the family, which includes two special needs children, would have had difficulties affording an effective treatment. So Hunt, along with Will Hansen, director of operations, H&H Pest Management, began planning a donation project. During the next month, they solicited assistance from the following companies: Home Depot (disposable painters suits to be used as PPE); Mosdell Sanitation (a Dumpster); AAA Mobile Storage (40-foot shipping container to store salvaged items); Ecolab (cleaning and sanitation chemicals); Fresh ' N Dri Tile and Carpet Cleaning (carpet cleaning); and Western Pest Control (four technicians). Additionally, H&H service professionals volunteered their time/labor.
The job began on the afternoon of Aug. 23, with dozens of volunteers, wearing protective jumpsuits cleaning out the home in preparation for a heat treatment. Hundreds of bed bugs were encountered crawling in mattresses, couches, and in the children's toys. Volunteers were on site for the heat treatment, which began at 1 p.m., and they stayed until about 7 p.m., on Friday. Will Hansen and Carson Hunt, along with one other volunteer, then worked through the night at a local hotel putting 38 loads of laundry into the hotel’s commercial dryers and heating clothing to 200°F. Volunteers then returned at 8 a.m. on Saturday and worked until about 5 p.m., when the heaters were shut off. Hunt estimated the job took 30-34 hours.
Hunt said he continues to maintain contact with the family. In the first few days after the treatment they reported seeing a couple bed bugs per day, but that after three days they had not reported a sighting. Subsequently, H&H has done several thorough follow-up inspections and deemed the house free of bed bugs.
Additionally, Hansen believes H&H’s efforts can help the family break its hoarding habits. “H&H did not just remediate the bed bug infestation but got the family dehoarded and subsequently their lives back,” he said.