Fox19 reports “City Establishes Bed-Bug Furniture Pick-Up Procedures and Hotline.” (Hopelessnomo drew our attention to this in a comment, but I wanted to make sure everyone saw it.) Cincinnati now has a hotline people can call to have infested items picked up by garbage collectors.
They have a hotline.
Garbage collectors know what they’re dealing with.
Residents are being told to seal items in plastic, to protect workers (but an added benefit is that it helps protect passers-by and helps warn them not to take the contents, since we can assume consciousness is being raised.
(I originally thought “Cons”; then I said to myself, “Nobugs, there are no cons.”)
Collections are made on same day as garbage pick-up. (That means stuff is sitting around, and some people will doubtless take it anyway.)
Workers are being given bug repellent. I think they need more. Tyvek suits for those doing bed bug pickups would not be overkill. I hope they’re also getting educated about how to treat clothing and stuff either back at the depot or at home. Those trucks may easily become infested and should be treated preventively (but this is probably true of other refuse trucks as well.)
All in all, this is wonderful news, and I am very impressed with Cincinnati’s efforts in fighting bed bugs.
I do think they will have to tackle the problem of people not being able to pay for treatment.
As the Q and A in the article states,
Q: Who do I call if I think my home or apartment has bedbugs?
A: You may choose to contact a licensed pest control to determine if you have an infestation and to provide bug control services. The Cincinnati Health Department does not conduct inspections for bed bugs, but can provide information.
The expense of treatment affects homeowners and tenants alike (even if landlords have to pay, this can really mess up tenants’ lives since landlords may be pressed for cash and reluctant to treat properly). You can throw away all the mattresses and sofas you like, but in the vast majority of cases, bed bugs are not just in your furniture, and so you will not get rid of bed bugs without treatment.
I also hope that Cincinnati will consider imposing some kind of fine for people just dumping infested stuff on the sidewalk, without wrapping it. (Again, though, same-day pickups would do the most good.)
Finally, I hope Cincinnati is soon to provide the public education on bed bugs that residents need. People need to know that throwing things out is not always the best idea, and they need to learn the dos and donts of bed bugs.
I sound ungrateful, don’t I? It’s like, I really liked Cincinnati. I really wanted Cincinnati to start the Bed Bug Remediation Commission. But once they did, it took more and more to impress me. First I just wanted a date, then I wanted flowers, then it had to be Gerbera Daisies. Look, Cincinnati, you’re #1 in the Bed Bug Heroes category. But now you have to keep impressing us.