Lexington-Fayette County, Kentucky Health Dept.: Think you’ve got bed bugs? Call us!

by nobugsonme on November 6, 2007 · 1 comment

in bed bug education, bed bug treatment, bed bugs, government, health department, how to get rid of bed bugs, kentucky, lexington, pest control services, public health, usa

This video footage and printed excerpt from WTVQ channel 36 in Lexington, Kentucky, focuses on the story of Sakiesha Demus, a resident of the Westminster Village apartments who has bed bugs, and wants to move to another unit. Her apartment was treated by All-Rite Pest Control, who recommended that she stay put after treatment:

An exterminator for All-Rite says it is ok for her to return to her home.

“Really and truly there is not a lot of reason to move out to tell you the truth,” Charlie Asberry of All-Rite Pest Control explained.

“You run the risk of moving a problem from here to another unit,” Asberry said.

Demus has thrown out two couches and a mattress and plans to get rid of their clothes as a result of the infestation.

“Yes, he said I could come back in here, but honestly would you want to come back?” Demus said.

While the PCO is correct, it is hard not to empathize with the tenant. Who wouldn’t want to escape? In fact, if she leaves, without a human acting as “bait” to draw them across the poison to their deaths, the bed bugs are likely to hide out waiting for another source of food to move in, or to flee to neighboring units in search of food (or both).

Interestingly, these articles rarely mention the need for follow-up treatments spaced around two weeks apart–and necessary until no bed bug bites, bed bugs, or signs of bed bugs are found. They also almost never mention that all adjoining units (above, below, and all sides) must be carefully inspected by the PCO.

This article is no exception, leading one to hope All-Rite did inspect all the neighbors, and that they will be back in two weeks for more. Perhaps that part of the story does not make for interesting journalism, but it is important that the public become aware of these concerns, should they one day find themselves on the other end of a bed bug’s proboscis.

But the most interesting part of this article was that the local health department is asking people to call to report bed bugs:

If you live in an apartment complex and suspect there are bed bugs. You are urged to call the Lexington-Fayette County Health Department at (859) 231-9791

That, my bedbugged friends, is very good news, but not particularly new news. Lest we forget, Lexington-Fayette County Health Department was one of the first in the US, if not the first, to declare bed bugs a problem, over a year ago. There is probably more that the health department could do, however. For example, their brochure (available here) recommends washing bedding and clothing or throwing it away. Why suggest throwing away washable clothes and sheets? It also does not state clearly enough that mattresses and other furniture can usually be treated, and usually do not need to be thrown out. Or that throwing them out may lead to further spread in your building. (Perhaps we should say, here at Bedbugger.com,Caveat dumpster”?)


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