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WWD interviewed master bed bug buster Andrew Klein, president of pest control firm Assured Environments. Klein's grandfather founded the company, and he took over after studying for a degree in European history (a topic that sounds unrelated but is surely also dotted with bed bugs.) Among the things we learn from the interview is the going rate for a bed bug inspection and fumigation:
To inspect a smaller boutique we charge $250 to $500. Larger stores are $2,000 to $3,000. For remediation, which is treating and fumigating a small 2,000-square-foot store, it's $5,000 to $6,000. Larger stores can cost $50,000 to $100,000. This is going to be a cost of doing business in our urban environment.
We're neither entomologists nor financial advisers, but those numbers make it sound like semi-regular inspections are worth the money. Klein also answers a question we've been wondering for ages: Do bed bug experts risk taking their work home with them, and if so, how do their spouses deal? The answers seems to be "Yes" and "With as much patience as humanly possible." Explains Klien:
I had a bedbug problem twice in my life. My wife was getting bit but I wasn't. The second time happened [not long ago] after our fourth child was born. We realized that we had a bedbug problem after my wife came home from the hospital. She's been through the gauntlet. She thought I was bringing them home from work.
· The Bedbug Man [WWD, subscription req'd]