More bed bug stories from Cincinnati; also, pig spotted in sky over New York City

by nobugsonme on September 8, 2007 · 17 comments

in bed bug epidemic, bed bugs, bed bugs and real estate, cincinnati, government, history, new york, ohio, spread of bed bugs, tipping point, usa, videos of bed bugs

Today, Cincinnati’s WKRC ( tells more local bed bug stories in an article and video.

“Bed bugs,” said Diann Waters, bed bugs in home. “All over my baby.”

Diann Waters may tell her son, “don’t let the bed bugs bite” before he goes to sleep, but it looks like they did anyways.

“He done scratched them and stuff. They from bed bugs.”

Waters lives in Over-the-Rhine. Recently, she spotted insects on her furniture.

“First thing that came to my mind was that I got to get it out of my house,” said Waters. “I had to throw my furniture away. My daughter seen a bug and I figured that’s what it was, but it had eggs all the way around the lining of my furniture.”

Waters isn’t alone. Neighbors say a woman threw out a mattress and rug because it was infested.

Hopefully now the people of Cincinnati will be getting some real help. The article also hints about some of the alliances forming in the fight against bed bugs:

Carles Tassell is involved with an apartment association that’s joining forces with the city to form a task force to fight the pests.

“Bed bugs don’t care what race you are, how much money you make,” said Charles Tassell, Cincinnati Northern Kentucky Apartment Association. ” They care that you’re human. They are equal opportunity pests.”

I was curious about that group, so I googled them. Turns out, they are a trade association of apartment buiding owners and managers, and developers in the multi-family housing industry.

(Was that a pig with wings that just flew overhead?)

Yes, not only did the Cincinnati public health official declare bed bugs a public health issue, but the multi-family housing landlords’ trade group is signed on to fight bed bugs. While all this seems like a logical, obvious step, on the one hand, you have to recall that elsewhere in the country, Mayors are turning a blind eye to bed bugs and landlords are trying to discuss ways to avoid paying for treatment. Smart landlords will understand that beating bed bugs and halting their spread helps business. And turning a blind eye is disastrous.

Since this group is part of a national one for owners and developers of multi-unit dwellings, perhaps other cities may follow suit.

The news video suggests people tossing out bed bug-infested furniture put a sign on it. While it’s true that this can help, it is not as effective as destroying the item. Taking a box-cutter and slashing sofas and mattresses, is one way to make sure no one uses the item. If you are tossing out a piece of furniture like a dresser or desk, Bedbugger S. suggested removing one part to the garbage pile at a time, until each piece is carted off. (So people will find, for example, a table leg, rather than a useful table.) This will work if you are not trying to get rid of items all in one day.

But remember: though articles and videos like this portray it as the normal response to bed bugs, tossing things out is not usually a great solution: in most cases, it won’t get rid of bed bugs, and it also spreads them to your neighbors, meaning they come back. Instead, a good PCO can treat most furniture along with your home, and they’ll tell you if “tossing out” is needed, and how to do it safely.

The video also mentions that in addition to a furniture pickup hotline for infested refuse, the city is working on a system of “citations” for landlords who won’t treat the problem. Click to watch.

1 hopelessnomo September 9, 2007 at 4:28 am

That clever piggy!

We need some of what they got. How soon, Nobugs?

2 nobugsonme September 9, 2007 at 4:37 am

How soon will they get it or how soon will we get it?

(The answer to the first is, no idea, but they sure talk a good talk. The answer to the second is, we need to be activists. We need a few NYC ladies with bags of bugs. We need everyone to care more about one another than appeasing big business. We need to agitate. We need folks to wise up.)

3 nobugsonme September 15, 2007 at 2:21 pm

More here:

This article mentions the city will be giving seniors “bed bug kits” to help them avoid the problem.

4 hopelessnomo September 19, 2007 at 2:08 pm

So, Cincinnati, cooking with gas. Now they have a bed bug furniture pick-up hotline. Smart, clued in, proactive. Showing off, frankly.

Seriously, they’re asking people to seal such furniture in plastic. I think this is key and many people in New York (where the city doesn’t even think there’s a problem, much less have a hotline) who are disposing of bedbugged furniture don’t do this. The cost of the plastic sheeting will just add to your overall bedbug fighting bill, sure, but you protect the poor sanitation workers.

5 nobugsonme September 19, 2007 at 2:25 pm

Showing off, indeed. I hope the officials in Cincinnati see this.

I am starting to develop a serious crush on their Bed Bug Remediation Commission.

6 katie October 4, 2007 at 6:44 pm

Beware of bed bugs at your work place! I work in a multi floor govt building in Covington KY, and a lady come to work completely infested. She was picking them off her clothes and thowing them on the floor. Needless to say, she was sent home and a pest control worker came in. These can spread so easily to another family, please be considerate and dont go to work unless you have the problem under control!! The whole building is in an uproar.

7 Sandy October 28, 2007 at 8:24 pm

I found my way here because I think I might have bed bugs. About a week ago I woke up itching and thought I had a mosquito bite on my arm. Turned out next morning it was three – in a row. Next thought: Spider. Within the next week I’ve got a bite on my palm, then my heel, a bite on my thumb, bites on the top of two of my fingers.

They’re really small (and itchy) – not like the bites I’ve had before. Now, of course, I’m thinking bedbugs. A natural conclusion since my husband works in a building run by Metropolitan Housing … where they’ve been carrying out sealed mattresses…go figure.

At least after reading all the info tonight I’m better informed and not as freaked out as I was. Tomorrow we pull everything out and start checking…and treating – just in case. My husband has not yet been bitten so I’ve got my fingers crossed its easily treated spiders!

But to tell the truth, the thought of getting back in that bed is really creepy! I might just do the couch and see how my husband fares!

PS: As far as sealing stuff in plastic? Give me a break – how am I suppose to seal a mattress or anything else sizeable????

8 nobugsonme October 29, 2007 at 12:18 am


The answer is you probably do not have to throw away your furniture. I am not sure exactly why Cincinnati has gone whole hog on furniture pick-ups, since most PCOs say MOST people do not need to throw things away.

Most furniture can be professionally treated. If the sofa must go, a good PCO will advise you and probably help you wrap it. The reason it matters, is that bed bugs might fall off a sofa as you carry it through and out of your home–thus spreading them to other rooms, as well as other people (if you’re in a multi-unit building).

I don’t want to make you panic, but it is very common for women to be bitten or react to bites and for men and children not to react. (It is common for anyone to react to bites, but where they aren’t, your pattern is a frequent one.) Don’t assume that no marks and no itching means they are not biting him–it’s an allergy he may not suffer from.

I am not sure what you meant about doing the couch, but do not sleep elsewhere, if that’s what you mean. You can easily spread them to the couch if they are currently only in the bed. Best to sleep where you are.

Get a professional in to treat and read the FAQs which should help.

9 Sandy October 30, 2007 at 1:20 am

Thanks for your response. I’m not surprised about it not affecting my husband. He doesn’ t react to poison ivy either! (that dog!)

I didn’t get bit last night and am wondering if wearing clothing has any bearing on bites. It was cold and our heat isn’t on yet so I had socks on too. My hands and face and neck were bare of course…but no signs of any new activity! I must have lain awake scratching every imaginable itch for over 2 hrs – my body finally gave up and went to sleep.

Haven’t seen any “buggies” yet. Still looking and will be on guard.

10 nobugsonme October 30, 2007 at 2:36 pm

Wearing clothing might help redirect them, but a hungry bed bug will find a way to bite you. They do not bite every day. You may not have a very large infestation (yet) and so I would get professional help right away. It can take a very, very long time to see bed bugs. I would not wait until you do.

11 Sandy October 30, 2007 at 9:23 pm

Hi again! I was afraid of that. We have a friend that sold his “bug company”. Think I’ll contact him asap. Also had a question…(2 actually) you mentioned not to sleep on the couch. Would they find me … or exactly how would that spread the infestation? Also, is it possible for them to infest a memory foam mattress? We have a 4 inch topper. I’m thinking they only hide in cracks … right?

OMG! My skin is crawling thinking about it.
Bye again.

12 nobugsonme October 31, 2007 at 12:56 am

If your friend has not been in the business lately, he may not even have had to deal with this. It began resurfacing about 1999 but really just got big in the last few years.

They will find you if you sleep elsewhere, and they’re likely to hang out in the new location.

Don’t know about memory foam but they will live in mattresses, in the covers on mattresses, they can get through many kinds of seams. They will hide anywhere, though they prefer tight thin spaces.

13 A-bombthebugs November 5, 2007 at 4:49 am

Im in Cincinnati and I’ve got bedbugs something fierce! I work third shift and generally get home around 5am and have my bedroom completely blacked out. It’s pretty much pitch black most of the time which cannot be helping matters. I’ve seen quite a few of them scurrying behind the large dry erase board that hangs over my bed. I’m getting a LOT of bites. I know I shouldn’t have but I started sleeping on the couch. I know that I have a really bad infestation and just to freaked out to sleep in that bed I cant get more than an hour or two of sleep without waking up paranoid trying to shake bugs off. and usually there is one or two on me. Arghh. I’m doing laundry and light pre-PCO cleaning tommorow and then to my landlord. I know a family just moved out from across the hall about two weeks ago. I’m begining to think I know why. Also I think I’ve read that there is a smell associated with heavy infestations. I haven’t broken the news to my roomate yet but I definately noticed a heavy sweet muskish scent in both our rooms. Which is unusual as we are both very clean and generally keep a fresh clean smelling place.
I am honestly going crazy over this. I can barely sleep I itch. I’m showering multiple times a day and inspecting every piece of clothing before wearing.
Bedbugs are no fun.

14 nobugsonme November 5, 2007 at 12:34 pm

Sorry for your trouble. You need that PCO in right away. It sounds like when the neighbors moved out, their bed bugs scattered into neighboring apartments. Don’t hesitate on the PCO–everyone on every side of you (and above and below) must also have a professional PCO search their apt.

Also, you might be interested in this.

15 question November 6, 2007 at 4:24 am

I think I might have bed bugs. I saw on two occassions one single bug crawling on my pillow. I was on the couch both times. I have no bites nor does my fiance. I assumed them to be Ticks but I saw on the news where someone had them they actually showed the mattress and it was covered on the corner with them. A few months ago my sister had gotten rid of her mattress and box springs because of bedbugs. I had never seen them before. I don’t know if she treated her home or not. I hate bugs period. I am unsure now what kind of bug I saw If it was bedbugs i think i would react to the bites because I get huge welts from the small mosquitos when they bite me (the size of nickles) so do they look simular to Ticks. I saw pictures on the net. But I would like to hear from someone that has seen these things first hand and if they thought they looked like ticks.

16 nobugsonme November 6, 2007 at 4:38 am


scroll to the top of this page, and click “Photos of bed bugs and signs of bed bugs.”
You may not react to bed bugs even if mosquitos bother you.

Read the FAQs (button at top) also and come to the forums (button top right) if you have more questions.

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