Kentucky: pro-active against the epidemic

by nobugsonme on October 14, 2006 · 3 comments

in bed bugs, bed bugs in colleges, information and help, kentucky

Today was big bedbuggin’ day, with two reports from Lexington-Fayette Kentucky.

In Lexington-Fayette County, Kentucky, the government is taking action (NYC Mayor Bloomberg, are you paying attention?!?):

The Health Department is working with other Lexington Fayette Urban County Government agencies to develop a mass educational effort targeted at travelers, hotel managers, dormitories, apartment residents, apartment managers, human services workers, pest control companies, childcare workers, and the general public. Though educational needs among target groups may vary, the effort is intended to help people recognize the signs of infestation early so proper treatment can be done before the problem spreads to another location.

Yes. We need educational efforts, big time. Most people either hear about bed bugs for the first time when they google “itchy insect bites,” or when they see a news report (so common right now, and yet most folks probably think it’s all “hype”).

Lexington-Fayette Health Department (who wrote the article) reminds readers of that:

To prevent bed bug infestations, you may take the following precautions:

  • Do not pick up any second hand furniture or mattresses/box springs from the roadside or by dumpsters.
  • If you have received furniture from a rental service, always check the seams and any crevices for bed bugs.
  • When traveling check all hotel or motel rooms thoroughly before setting your luggage on the floor or bed.
  • Do not sit on furniture or lay in beds where you suspect there may be a problem.
  • While cleanliness is not a major factor in fighting bed bug infestations, it is a good idea to minimize the clutter around your home, or in your room.

This is a great start. However, I’d like to remind readers of that many, many people do not actually see bed bugs for a very, very long time after they begin to be bitten. People should keep in mind that not seeing the little vampires is no assurance that their hotel room (or rental furniture, or brand new expensive leather sofa) is bug-free. Nevertheless, I applaud L-FHD for starting an educational campaign, and also for putting the word out about curbside furniture. I also applaud them for being more on the ball about this issue than the government of oh-so infested NYC.

Also in Kentucky, the University of Kentucky (Lexington) announced it had its first bed bug case in a dorm. The U of K is to be commended for its swift action; after finding bugs in only ONE dorm room,

Following the recommendations of UK entomologist Michael F. Potter, a recognized worldwide expert on bed bugs, the two student-residents of that room were relocated immediately. The room was closed and sealed, and will remain unoccupied while pesticide treatments are completed. Adjoining rooms will be regularly inspected to prevent further incursion.

The U of K is obviously listening to its resident expert. (I hope other colleges will find an expert and listen to him/her too!) Compare this with reports from other schools, where much larger infestations are maybe not handled quite as carefully as this one at U of K.

1 Dee October 15, 2006 at 11:08 pm

Add to the “prevent infestations” list:
Do not allow bed warehouses to deliver to you if they pick up old mattresses when they deliver. We are almost certain this is how we got ours.

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