Bed bugs continue to gain ground in Central Ohio. The Columbus Dispatch has a new story about the problem in the region.
Though this is rare, the title of the article actually reflects the genuine health problems caused by bed bugs: “BEDBUG INFESTATIONS: Bloodsuckers inflict mental, physical harm.”
This piece opens with the heartbreaking story of Dorothy Simpson, an 85-year-old woman who had to give up all of her keepsakes due to a bed bug infestation. The article notes that her family also battled bed bugs, long ago, when she was four years old.
As the article notes,
Paul Wenning of the Franklin County Board of Health said he receives calls daily from families and elderly residents who say they cannot pay for treatment. Sometimes, they’re crying.
The article says that local residents have been turned away from medical care due to bed bug bites, something which Bedbugger Forum users have also described happening to them.
There’s also a quote from Dr. Susan Jones, emphasizing how distressing bed bugs are, and how difficult eradication can be:
“Of any insect pest that we see in an urban environment, bedbugs elicit the most emotional distress,” said Susan Jones, an associate professor of entomology at Ohio State University.
“They’re also the most expensive to get rid of.”
There is a Central Ohio Bed Bug Task Force fighting bed bugs in the region, but not a lot of solutions right now. The laws don’t necessarily hold either landlords or tenants responsible for bed bug treatment.
And, as is true elsewhere, many cannot afford effective treatment.
Wenning said a few have become desperate. The Central Ohio Bedbug Task Force has reports of people trying to kill bedbugs with comparatively cheap, but dangerous, lawn and garden chemicals designed for outdoor use.
“We don’t blame them, but somebody is going to get hurt,” Wenning said.
This kind of story does a great service by educating people in the community about what a serious problem bed bugs can be.