We are happy that Renee of New York vs Bed Bugs alerted us to the news that Baltimore is now implementing a bed bug control strategy, which includes
- bed bug inspections,
- training for Baltimore City Health Department Healthy Homes Division staff in detection and control of bed bugs,
- development of English- and Spanish-language educational materials, as well as several Spanish-language outreach campaigns, and (as Renee writes)
training Baltimore City public housing maintenance and management staff and, apparently, impressing upon them “the need to immediately respond to bed bug complaints.”
For more, see Baltimore’s Bed Bug Response Plan.
Baltimore City Health Department has a bed bug page, which lets readers know what to do in case they suspect bed bugs. Unfortunately, at this time it only mentions what “homeowners” should do.
It is crucial, in my mind, that local fact sheets direct renters as to what they should do when they suspect bed bugs.
Also, the fact sheet advises:
Avoid “insecticide bombs” and “foggers” in your home. These products can spread hazardous chemicals throughout your home.
It is correct that people with bed bugs should avoid “bombs” and “foggers” when treating bed bugs. But the reasons are not just related to the spread of chemicals. In some cases, they are a fire hazard.
But as important is the fact that entomologists tell us bombs and foggers can disperse bed bugs and drive them deeper into our homes. They’re specifically a bad idea with bed bugs for this reason.
Still, we are very glad Baltimore has a bed bug page and that they’re taking coordinated action to reduce the spread of bed bugs, and help citizens learn how to identify and get rid of the problem.
Update (4/27): and now the Baltimore Sun catches up with New York vs. Bed Bugs, reporting about the new Baltimore bed bug plan and website.