Experiencing a bed bug infestation within a home is every homeowner and tenant’s worst nightmare. Although bed bugs cannot spread disease to humans or inflict structural damage to a home, the insects are notorious for biting people, resulting in itchy and swollen bite wounds. Unfortunately, bed bugs are too tiny to be immediately noticed within a home, making itchy welts on skin the typical first sign of a bed bug infestation. Also, bed bugs inject a saliva into people’s bloodstream when they bite. This saliva acts as an anesthetic, preventing bite victims from knowing when they are being bitten. It is not until later that the bite wounds begin to itch and become irritated. For one man in Metairie, the biting bed bugs infesting his mattress were too much to tolerate. However, instead of contacting a pest control professional, the man decided to carry out his own bed bug eradication strategy. This strategy involved the use of heat to eradicate bed bugs. Or, to be more specific, the man lit his mattress on fire in order to kill the bed bugs in his home once and for all. This man likely acted on impulse in response to weeks of sustaining bed bug bites, as he lit his mattress on fire while the mattress was still in his bedroom. As a result of this man’s actions, he was arrested and charged with negligent arson.
Charles Jones was arrested on March 7th in Metairie by deputies with the Sheriff’s Department for lighting his mattress on fire within his apartment bedroom, putting all other residents of the building at risk of being caught in a wild blaze. Not only that, but Jones fled the apartment building after lighting his mattress on fire. Luckily, due to flame retardant chemicals within the mattress, Jones’ ill-conceived plan did not work. The fire damage was limited to Jones’ bedroom, but his foolish act earned him a charge of negligent arson with the possible risk of endangering human life. If convicted, Jones faces up to three years in prison and a $3,000 fine.
Do you think that government programs should be enacted to assist lower-income individuals and families with bed bug control services?