It’s a week later, but I did want to comment on the media’s follow-up from last week’s Town Hall Meeting in Cincinnati, about the bed bug problem.
WCPO.com’s Lynn Groud reported on the event last Monday. Hundreds of bed bug sufferers turned out. One speaker said:
“For many older adults, they are a 24-hour a day problem. Their homes are so infested they are visible during the day, crawling on the older adult, crawling on the walls,” said one speaker.
City, county and state leaders answered questions, acknowledging that bed bugs are multiplying and moving in to more and more homes at an alarming rate.
“Some of the bed bugs will go into the mattress, they will put their eggs into the mattress,” said Ken Hippner, of Command Pest Management. “So, we go out and kill what we can see – then go weeks or months later – and the eggs hatch and have new bed bugs emerging.”
But hiring an exterminator can cost hundreds of dollars – and many at the town meeting were hoping the city would offer more help.
“That’s what I want to know,” said Collins. “Are they gonna come out and do this free, because I can’t afford it and neither can these poor people.”
That’s what we want to know too!
WCPO reports that the Cincinnati Bed Bug Task Force “are planning an emergency meeting and hope to come back in December with more solutions.” Lets hope financial assistance for landlords and homeowners is at the top of the list.
Click to watch WCPO.com’s video or read the article.
However, one reader, entoman, apparently attended the event, and had this to say:
November 6th, 2007 at 10:19 am edit
The Bed Bug Town Hall meeting was very confusing. Obviously the people on the Bed Bug Task Force did not compare notes before they presented their information. The Commissioner of Cincinnati Health Department stated you do not need a professional, you need an integrated plan that would include the use of soap and water. Another official stated temperatures of 98 degees will kill all bed bugs. Even another stated that pesticides do not work. Hamilton County Health Director said to sleep with the lights on (this would prevent bed bugs from biting). He also said to use 90% isopropyl alcohol (there are legal issues with this in Ohio). The information pamphlets that were handed out contradicted all of this and said home remedies do not work.
The only positive thing is that Susan Jones from Ohio State is on the Task Force. Dr. Jones is known for her research with termites but is starting to get into bed bugs. Hopefully she will be the voice of reason.
As I said in the other thread, I really appreciate having the perspective of an actual attendee (and one who is, judging from his pseudonym and his comments, an entomologist). The recommendations quoted above are a reason why government officials need to have all their ducks in a row, when it comes to speaking to the public about bed bugs. Bed bug experts need to be involved in the planning, and officials need to get their story straight as far as what to recommend and what not to recommend. Having pamphlets that recommend one thing and speakers suggesting the opposite is not going to help attendees fight their bed bugs.
Public education around bed bugs is needed for consumers, but to make a difference, and avoid confusion, we have to start by educating the people who are working in government and social services.