Bernie – The Bed Bug Busting Dog – To the Rescue

myFOXaustin.com (AUSTIN,TX) – A group of Austin residents said they’re still getting eaten alive by bed bugs, more than a year after a FOX 7 News investigation exposed an infestation inside their apartments.

“They’ll spray, but there’s nothing you can do to get rid of them,” said apartment guest Kelly Davila Monday.

Davila said her daughter Elina Faith, four-months-old, was bitten by a bed bugs on her head. Elina Faith had several red scabs on the left side of her head.

“You can’t sleep. You wake up itching… There she goes again, scratching again. You wake up scratching,” said Davila.

Another residents across the parking lot from Davila also said his 9-month-old son has been bitten by bed bugs. You could see several bites on his son’s cheeks and legs.

“You can’t even sit on the sofa like three minutes with out getting bitten,” said Alex Castillo.

It’s the same story FOX 7 News uncovered last May. We brought along a bed bug expert from Austin’s ABC Pest and Lawn.

“My hair. I had to pull them out,” said one resident last year during our inspection.

“They’re getting eaten alive. This is the main one,” said another woman.

We talked to several mothers with children who had itchy scabs and welts from where the bed bugs fed on their blood. Some residents even caught the bed bugs to prove it.

“We’ve seen an increase of at least 1000 percent in our call volume since last year,” said Hill Country Pest Control (now Pest Management, Inc.) Owner Brian DiCicco.

DiCicco said he’s now busier than ever especially since he’s the only one in the state who uses one and a half year old Bernie to sniff out the pesky critters.

He showed us how the wired hair terrier finds the bugs using this vile full of bed begs. He’s trained the same way bomb and drugs sniffing dogs are.

“They’re hitch-hikers in nature. So what they’re going to do is hitch-hike from place to the next. So if they’re on your clothing that you wore on the trip and then you go throw your clothing on the bed,” said DiCicco.

Dicicco said in extreme infestations, extensive measures must be taken to kill the bed bugs. After our report last year, many people threw out their mattresses, couches and dressers.

“They climb in the walls. They’re in the electric sockets. They literally multiply by the hundreds. There’s nothing you can do to get rid of them,” said Davila.

There are a couple things you can do if you think you may have bed bugs. One, get a plastic mattress casing that zips up.That will contain some of the bugs until you get an exterminator. Another tip, after traveling, put your clothes in a plastic bag and don’t bring them into your home until it’s time to wash them.