P.E.S.T. Relief International treats bed bug infestation, helps family avoid eviction


January 21, 2020



Led by Mattress Safe VP Andrea Hancock, P.E.S.T. Relief International is a non-profit 501(c)3 for “Professionals to Empower, Sustain and Transform lives.” In December, the Johns Creek, Ga., organization led an effort to help an Atlanta woman, Mary, who was a domestic abuse survivor.

A single mom of five children, ages 2, 4, 6, 10 and 17, Mary left her husband in July of 2018 as a result of years of physical and emotional abuse.

After struggling to make ends meet, Mary encountered a bed bug infestation while learning that her temporary job had been suspended. Unable to pay rent, she received an eviction notice just days before P.E.S.T. Relief intervened.

Glenda Lehmberg with Certified Pest Control Operators of Georgia, John Dougherty with AP&G, and Dianne Cornwell, a 25-year veteran of Univar Solutions, reached out to their networks in the pest control industry and created a huge impact.

Industry professionals from New Jersey to Texas offered up resources to help Mary and her family. In 10 days, $900 was raised to pay for Mary’s rent and groceries. Additionally, bed bug products and time to perform treatment was donated. Volunteers donated presents and Christmas pajamas and helped hang lights on Mary’s house for Christmas. “I can’t thank you enough,” Mary texted on Christmas Day. “The girls LOVE the lights! I just wanted to say thank you for everything!”



“Watching the industry join their resources, time, and charity to save this family has been the best Christmas gift I could ever receive,” Hancock said. “Thank you so much to everyone who supported this initiative and all that we have done these last five years together.”

More than 20 volunteers helped as well as products and services that were donated by Inspect-All, BedBug Central, Univar, MGK and Mattress Safe.

Brian Wescott, of Inspect-All Pest Services, said he hopes to help out again in the future. “It was our pleasure and we thank (P.E.S.T. Relief) for the opportunity to help this wonderful individual,” he said. “We also thank (Andrea and P.E.S.T. Relief) for the charitable work done for people in need all year round.”

P.E.S.T. Relief International is a charity through which pest management professionals help provide safe shelter, clean bedding and other services to underserved communities. To become a P.E.S.T. Relief Responder and contribute toward these projects, visit PestRelief.org.

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About the Author

Photo courtesy of Danielle Pesta

Danielle Pesta is the senior digital media manager at North Coast Media, the parent company of PMP magazine. She can be reached at dpesta@northcoastmedia.net.

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