Show compassion and caring


August 6, 2021

Rusty Markland

Rusty Markland

With more than three decades in the pest control industry, I can safely say I have seen some pretty bad cases of bed bug infestations. One of the worst was an elderly couple living in an apartment that was so infested, bed bugs literally were dropping off the ceiling. The walls looked like a crime scene because they were smashing the bed bugs on the walls and leaving bloodstains and spots. Scenes like this are heartbreaking.

The couple had multiple health issues, were financially challenged, and could not afford professional pest control. They became a food source for the bed bug population, which was now affecting other units in the building where they lived.

The bad news is the entire process was physically and mentally tough on the elderly couple. The good news is we were able to bring the entire building under control with the help of some non-profit agencies. To this day, there has been no other bed bug activity.

Unfortunately, cases like this are not unusual. Care and consideration for the elderly — who are at times helpless in situations like this — must take a higher priority. Jobs like this are not money makers. Don’t run from these jobs; it is not always about profit. Exhibit empathy. You have to handle them delicately, get outside sources involved and understand that people who live this way need help in more ways than one. They do not want to leave their homes for any reason. These jobs may be challenging, time consuming and costly, but they are rewarding. Use jobs like this as training opportunities, and film the process from start to finish while maintaining the privacy of your customers.


About the Author

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Rusty Markland, Corporate Director, PestNow, Sterling, Va.

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