The cincinnati.com website released an article on bed bugs:
“Living in one of the nation’s most bedbug-infested cities – that according to Terminix and Orkin numbers – means Cincinnatians need to know their termination stuff.
That especially has been the case since 2009 when budget cuts forced the Cincinnati Health Department to stop inspecting for bedbugs.
It’s up to homeowners, renters, building and hotel managers and school districts to eradicate the nasty blood suckers.
To help with that, bedbug expert Adam Greenberg agreed to answer five questions on the topic. He is president of Vantzen Products Inc., an Illinois medical supply company that manufactures the zippered bedbug prevention bag BugZip.
In developing products for travelers, day care providers, camps and lodges, as well as health care operators, Greenberg has become an expert on bedbugs, appearing on news programs in Chicago and Indianapolis.
Question: Why would Cincinnati have such a big bedbug infestation at this time?
Answer: Cincinnati is no different than other Midwestern cities such as Chicago, Detroit, Columbus and Indianapolis that are all battling bedbugs on a large scale. While Cincinnati was one of the first cities to aggressively track infestations and develop bedbug education and outreach, unfortunately, the local laws have often been unclear regarding who is responsible for bedbug eradication. Landlords often have forced tenants to pay and perform extermination for bedbugs, which was a huge mistake. Tenants just end up misusing over-the-counter pesticides, which usually spreads the bedbugs quickly to all surrounding units. We’ve even seen two homes in Cincinnati set on fire by home treatments for bedbugs.
Treatment for bedbugs will only be successful if performed by a licensed professional who has experience and extensive training in bedbugs.
Until the laws require treatment by professionals, regardless of who pays, bedbugs will continue to spread in Cincinnati.
Q: How should people inspect for them?
A: Often! Early detection is critical to long-term success. At a minimum, residents should be checking a home monitor (Ex.: BB Alert Passive Monitor, $20 per bed) whenever they change the sheets. Coupling the monitor with mattress and box-spring encasements will speed up detection by taking away their favorite hiding places. Using an LED flashlight and looking for their tell-tale black spots only takes a minute, but is well worth it.
Q: If bedbugs are found, what are the options?
A: Save the evidence in a zip bag to show to a professional exterminator. Bites alone without other signs of bedbugs is not enough to start treatment. Frequently, residents panic and spray chemicals when the problem turns out to be something other than bedbugs. If you detect bedbugs before they have a chance to multiply, treatment can be relatively painless. If they are already embedded throughout your home, you may need the more costly heat treatments that can run $1,000 to $3,000.
Q: If the infestation requires professional extermination, what pitfalls should people look out for?
A: Do your homework! Compare the evidence you have found to pictures online to be sure you have bedbugs. Many exterminators will perform treatment even without finding bedbugs just because residents are in a state of panic. If a dog is brought in to find the bedbug hiding places, make sure the handler manually inspects wherever the dog alerts and finds signs of bedbugs before starting treatment. Many exterminators do not take the time and will begin treatment without confirming.
Q: What is the most amazing bedbug experience you have ever had?
A: I’ve personally found bedbugs in my room on a Caribbean cruise and also in a New York hotel. It’s always unnerving, as you never know if you are going to bring one home with you. Whenever I’m staying away from my home, whether in a hotel or even with family, I always zip up my luggage and clothing in BugZip Travel Protectors ($10-$20). Without them my wife would not let me back in the house.”