Bed bug spray and coffee: Cincinnati needs professional help

by nobugsonme on October 31, 2007 · 5 comments

in bad ideas, bed bug education, bed bug treatment, bed bugs, best practices, cincinnati, ohio, pest control services, photos, public health, usa

seen downtown: bed bug photo

Blogger 5chw4r7z in Cincinnati snapped this photo of a sign hawking coffee with this come-on:

“Got Bed Bugs? Get *Pronto* / Folgers Classic Roast Coffee $1.99.”

No, the sign is not telling you to buy Folgers right away to help you stay up late at night washing, drying, and bagging. “Pronto” is a spray.

This is Pronto:

Active Ingredients: 3-Phenoxybenzyl-(1RS, 3RS, 1RS, 2 SR)-2,2-Dimethyl-3-(2-Methylprop-1-Enyl) Cyclopropane Carboxylate 0.4%; N-Octyl Bicycloheptene Dicarboxamide 1.6%.

People of Cincinnati, this spray is not going to wipe out your bed bug problems. Bed bugs are seriously difficult to treat. If they were this easy, that would be the end of the blog, and we could all buy a bottle and spray it out and call it a day. We’re here because even with experienced help, it can take weeks and months to eliminate bed bugs from your home–even a small infestation. And if you start treating it yourself, you can even make things worse.

The Cincinnati Bed Bug Remediation Commission seems to be pushing furniture removals (when, in fact, tossing your furniture is often not necessary). Are they getting word out to residents that they need professional help in fighting their bed bugs? This applies to homeowners, and renters as well. It is hard enough eliminating bed bugs from a single-family home. But if you are in a multi-unit building, your neighbors are likely infested too. Those units above, below, or on all sides of your apartment must be professionally inspected and treated if necessary. (Just because someone has not noticed bed bugs does not mean they do not have them.) In some cases, entire buildings will need treatment. Landlords or building management must be involved and they must get a professional who knows bed bugs in to deal with the problem.

And Cincinnati also advises its citizens not to hop down to the convenience store, but to get professional help for bed bugs. According to a Q&A on the Fox News website,

Q: Who do I call if I think my home or apartment has bedbugs?

A: You may choose to contact a licensed pest control to determine if you have an infestation and to provide bug control services. The Cincinnati Health Department does not conduct inspections for bed bugs, but can provide information.

Q: What number do I call for information about bed bugs?

A: Call 591-6000 and press option 1 for Health Information and option 2 for Trash Collection Information.

Notice there is no option to “Ask for help paying for treatment.” In Boston, the Allston-Brighton Community Development Corporation did provide such assistance to homeowners, with corporate grants as well as state funding. And they’re doing it again this year. I believe that bed bugs are going to continue to spread if they aren’t properly treated, and so the government must step in and provide help for those who cannot afford treatment.

If you are a landlord, or homeowner, and you are forced to forego treatment, under-treat, or self-treat because you cannot afford professional pest control services, you need to call the city’s bed bug hotline, local politicians, and local news media, and spread the word. You need to agitate until the city does more than cart away bed bug-infested furniture.

Bed bugs are not roaches or ants.
Bed bugs are not roaches or ants.
Bed bugs are not roaches or ants.

They are much harder to eradicate.

So do not walk into a convenience store. Get real help. Do your homework: start here.

1 5chw4r7z November 1, 2007 at 4:44 pm

Thanks for linking me. I knew what they were saying but I thought the presentation funny.
You can find everything at Walgreens, but that doesn’t mean its worth the money, thanks for the education.

2 nobugsonme November 1, 2007 at 5:46 pm

Thank you for the great picture!
Sadly, so many people don’t know much about this persistent and stealthy pest. I hope you manage to avoid them.

3 ramona March 30, 2008 at 1:44 am

hello, my daughter and i have been trying to kill our bedbugs for over 6 months now and nothing has worked yet the kids and myself get seversl bites a week, were savins our money and getting your sprayt thanks 4 the very nice web sight ramona c.

4 nobugsonme March 30, 2008 at 1:54 am

Hi Ramona,

I hope you’re not referring to Pronto.

If you need support or advice, please go to the Forums:

5 juli November 13, 2008 at 12:57 am

I’m a cincinnati local and i’ve battled bed bugs in apartment living for two years off and on now. it’s depressing, sickening, tiring and too expensive to put up the hassle. My complex manager is doing “all they can”. My husband and I first noticed it when our son was 3 weeks old. we suspected that we brought them back from the hospital and by the time we realized what was not “baby acne” on our sons face we had to throw away our bed.
since then we’ve moved into a new apartment (owned by the same complex) down the street. a year went by and we got them again…no travling this time. I suspect they came from our neibors who had outbreaks. we’ve seen multiple matresses at the dumpsters. this entire year has been a downhill battle. wrapping our matresses, constantly laundering, pest control treatments, living out of garbage bags. A few days after we noticed them (for the forth time this year) I was on my way home when i saw the exterminator in two apartments below us. I asked if they were treating for bed bugs and the response was *GASP* YES! There had been an infestation in my entire building and yet the management did nothing to treat our unit until I said something that day (which i had every entent on doing that very day, i was just prepping the prior days for them to treat my place so it would be done immediately). It’s been two weeks since then, and they won’t be out until next week. They have mostly been spotted in my children’s room. The beds have been pulled away from the walls and you can clearly see where they’ve been harboring in the switchplates. I’ve only spotted three in my room, whereas tonight alone I killed at least 20 nymphs myself in my son’s room with a good old fashioned paper towel and my “squashing” finger. I’ve spotted others (a few adults) in his room, but they were out of my reach. Amazingly enough my 6 year old and my two year old have no signs of bites, my husband has two or three, and i’m covered in them. I’m at my wit’s end, and i’m starting to feel constantly paranoid. We’ve decided as soon as we have the money we’re super cautiously packing and moving out of state. sorry for such a long comment. I just needed to vent.

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