GLENDALE, Ariz. -- For more than a year, Sadie Marquez says living in her home has been more like a living hell because bedbugs -- possibly millions of them -- have infested every room.
“It's been a nightmare,” she said. “When I discovered them, I just was sick in my stomach and I was at a loss at what to do.”
Marquez says she's turned her home upside down trying to manage the problem on her own. To avoid being bitten, she and her husband sleep in chairs in their living room.
With the cost of eliminating bedbugs well over $1,000, Marquez says living with them has become a fact of life. Too embarrassed to ask for help herself, it was her daughter, Diane, who emailed 3 On Your Side.
“I made phone call after phone call and had nobody willing to help me but you,” Diane said.
3 On Your Side got a hold Keith Birkemeyer regarding Sadie's problem. Birkemeyer owns a company called ProBest Pest Management and says he wanted to help get rid of the bedbugs but acknowledged it wouldn't be easy.
“Very very tough,” he said. “The problem is it’s not just the big ones, but it’s almost those tiny itty-bitty ones, and if you miss just one single egg, one little tiny one, then they just keep multiplying.”
Because the infestation was so bad, Birkemeyer brought in some extra help with a business called Invader Pest Management, and between the two companies, they got to work.
“ProBest and Invader, we've worked together before and we enjoy doing that especially when it's for a good cause, and these people really needed the help. So, it was our pleasure to get out here and do that,” Invader owner Fred Willey said.
Altogether, Willey and his crew spent about eight hours at Marquez's home -- setting up equipment, sectioning off each room, then pumping in extremely hot air, a known treatment for bedbugs -- and it was all for free.
“You need to maintain at least 122 degrees to kill bedbugs,” Willey said as he measured the temperature of the room.
After the treatment, Birkemeyer stuck traps on the walls which he says will attract any remaining bedbugs, and ultimately determine if the treatment worked.
Two weeks later, we're told no bedbugs turned up in the traps meaning Marquez is now bedbug free.
Sadie says she can't believe the nightmare is actually over.
“Am I grateful? Yes, very very much,” she said. “I can't express it strong enough. The guys were great.”