Cincinnati: awareness spreading, funds needed to fight bed bugs

by nobugsonme on July 31, 2007 · 2 comments

in activism, bed bugs, cincinnati, ohio, usa, used furniture

Cincinnati’s ABC9 did a spot on bed bugs Monday, and you can click the link in the top right corner of this page to watch it.

It focuses on two stories: the St. Vincent De Paul Society, a social service agency, reports on the prevalence of bed bugs, how thoroughly they alter peoples’ lives, and how they’re unable to help people get the expensive treatments necessary:

“We actually do home visits to people who need assistance and find people who basically are going into apartments that are empty,” said the Society of St. Vincent DePaul’s executive director, Liz Carter. “It’s because people have bed bugs and they’ve just cleared out their apartment of all their upholstered furniture, sleeping on the floor. They don’t have a couch to sit on.”

The agency can’t afford the $400 to $1000 to professionally exterminate each client’s apartment.

While the reporter opens her story by quoting the local health department’s insistence that “there’s no real need to be concerned” about bed bugs,
it’s clear from Liz Carter’s perspective, people sleeping on their floors is a concern. Just because something does not (yet) spread a physical disease, does not mean people should have to live with it.

The City Health Department has gotten 200 complaints about bed bugs this year. (That tells me there have been many, many more bed bug cases–because we know most people do not call the health department about their bed bugs. Most call their landlord, or their pest control operator, or–gasp!–just try and deal with it themselves.) That’s enough to make Cincinnati take action. Bed bugs have been a topic in city hall, and the city is passing out flyers to alert people to the bed bug epidemic in that city. (They’re not just hiding a flyer on the Department of Health website, as NYC has done–meaning only those looking for bed bug information online come in contact with it).

“What we want to do is try to get the information out to as many citizens and residents as possible about the problem and how to combat it because it is becoming a big problem in many of our neighborhoods,” said council member, Chris Monzel.

The city is planning to kickoff a campaign to educate citizens about bed bugs.

“We’re going to do some training in schools. We’re going to do some flyers and pass out flyers,” said Dale Grigsby from the Cincinnati Health Department.

The health department says not to pick up used furniture off the sidewalk, even if it looks like it is in good condition.

I wish my (New York) city health department would tell people not to do that. Cincinnati is doing something, and I am glad about this–but the report from the St. Vincent folks tells me more needs to be done: funds need to be made available so that everyone can get the professional bed bug treatment needed to eradicate bed bugs from their homes.

Rich, middle-income, or poor: nobody should have to live like this.

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1 Bugalina July 31, 2007 at 6:26 pm

Well this is the “ghost of things to come”….At least they are beginning to acknowledge that bed bugs are life altering and bad bad bad. What they should also stress is that bed bugs don’t stay put. Today their house, tomorrow, your house…. And yes Nobugs its wonderful that they are going to make up flyers to address the problem of taking discarded things,…but where is the real problem !!! Refuse pick-up for contaminated mattresses and furniture. . When bed bugs were in epidemic in the 1930’s and 40’s, ,People could haul their contaminated things outside and burn them. This is impossible to do now. So City governments must address this. As an aside, I read today that hotel stays are down in NYC and that costs of Hotel stays has risen 13% since last year, an unusally high rise in prices. Well , we here know why…At $400.00 an hour for a bed bug sniffing dog, hotels have to pass along their bed bug costs somehow !!! Governments won’t be able to keep this underwraps for ever…the truth is going to have to be told……….Bed Bugs are epidemic and they are monsters…

2 hopelessnomo September 6, 2007 at 7:20 pm

Cincinnati just did something truly astonishing.

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