Kentucky Department of Public Health steps up its bed bug fight

by nobugsonme on November 22, 2007 · 2 comments

in bed bug prevention, bed bug treatment, bed bugs, bed bugs and health, how to avoid bed bugs, how to get rid of bed bugs, kentucky, lexington, public health

Just as the Lexington-Fayette Health Department did, the State of Kentucky invites residents with bed bugs to call their Public Health Department, according to this article in the Central Kentucky News-Journal online.

Public Health Commissioner William Hacker, M.D., recommends that people who think they may have a problem with bed bugs seek advice from their local health department or health care provider.

Accurate identification of the insect followed by treatment by a licensed pest control company is the most effective means for addressing bed bugs. DPH has developed information to help citizens understand more about these insects.

Additional information can be obtained from the local health department, area pest control specialists or the DPH Web site.

You may also call DPH staff members, Erica Brakefield, technical consultant in the environmental management branch, at (502) 564-4856 Ext. 3732; or Vonia Grabeel, program administrator in the environmental management branch, at (502) 564-4856 Ext. 3724.

The Kentucky Public Health Department website’s bed bug page also has links to a PDF bed bug fact sheet (which we’ve linked to for some time) and a flyer of consumer information related to bed bugs.

It is new as of November 2, 2007, and includes such suggestions as:

Do’s and Don’ts (where have I heard this phrase before?)

• Do not pick up any used furniture or mattresses/box springs from the roadside or your garbage containers.
• If you have gotten furniture from a rental service, always check the seams and any creased areas for bed bugs.
• When traveling, check all motel rooms thoroughly before setting your luggage on the floor or bed.

Bed bugs prefer to hide close to where they feed. However, if necessary, they will crawl several feet to obtain a blood meal. Initial infestations tend to be around beds, but the bugs eventually may become scattered throughout a room, occupying any crevice or protected location. They also can spread to adjacent rooms or apartments.

Well, some good, and some not so good advice here. I’ve heard bed bugs can crawl 20 feet, or 100 feet (depending who you ask). I am not sure about 100, but “a few feet” seems like an understatement.

And while I am at it, can I just ask people not to rent furniture? Please don’t. Like curbside furniture or freecycle/Craigslist booty, it just is not worth it. If you think life without a TV or sofa bites, imagine not being able to sit in any of your chairs or lie in your bed or lounge around watching that TV without being bitten. It is not worth it. I speak as a woman who sat for many months in a metal folding chair after my sofa started biting me in the arse (almost literally). I did not pick up a secondhand sofa, but I know what it is like to not have one, and believe me: a sofa with bed bugs is a lot worse than no sofa at all.

Still, I applaud Kentucky’s attempts to notify the public, and I especially appreciate their invitation to Kentucky residents to call the Public Health Dept. with questions or complaints or concerns about bed bugs. You can call them, and they have given the names and phone numbers of appropriate contacts.

Bed bugs, a health issue? Who woulda thunk it?!?

1 parakeets November 26, 2007 at 8:07 pm

Go Kentucky. Win the race against bedbugs!

I’d add one thing when they say “DPH has developed information to help citizens understand more about these insects” — be sure they also spread that information to the “health care providers” the article asks the readers to go to for information. My dermatology office had absolutely no idea when I presented with bedbugs, and I’ve heard of lots of people with the same story. Many medical people and other professionals don’t know about bed bugs yet. The DPH should be educating the health professionals, school professionals, senior workers, property managers, etc.

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