Yet another person tries to self-treat for bed bugs and sets building on fire

by nobugsonme on October 13, 2009 · 4 comments

in bed bug treatment, bed bugs, DIY bed bug treatment, fire, Hamilton County, ohio, pesticides reports that fourteen people living in a Hamilton County, Ohio apartment building were displaced overnight by a fire caused by someone spraying alcohol-based pesticides while smoking:

Fire investigators have determined the blaze was started by a resident spraying for bed bugs while smoking, said Capt. Steve Conn, spokesman for the Colerain Township Fire Department.

“They were spraying for bed bugs, and it had alcohol in it,” Conn said. “One of the residents lit up a cigarette, and it basically flashed and started the room on fire.”

[Emphasis mine.]

This is very dangerous, obviously, and it is a good thing no one was seriously injured, and that most of the residents have been able to return home.

This Hamilton County Public Health document (click for PDF) reminds residents who rent that

If you rent a home or apartment within Hamilton County (excluding cities of Cincinnati, Norwood, Sharonville or Springdale) and you think you have bed bugs, please contact the Hamilton County General Health District at (513) 946-7832. Health District sanitarians will work with your landlord to eliminate the problem.

Self-treating for bed bugs is often ineffective and can be dangerous, as this story reminds us.  And this is not the first fire caused by attempts to get rid of bed bugs.

People in Hamilton County have other options for bed bug treatment; what about tenants and low-income homeowners living elsewhere who don’t?

1 Alan October 14, 2009 at 5:33 am

i’ve seen so many cases like this, when will people to just let the professionals do it.

2 nobugsonme October 14, 2009 at 11:15 am

HI Alan,

Well, to be fair, many people have reasons to not call a professional. The cost, for starters. I agree that self-treatment is not a good idea, but I understand why people do it.

3 Craig Baker October 14, 2009 at 3:20 pm

I can attest to the cost, had to write Orkin a check for $21262….course now, the day before they are to treat, Im think they arent very experienced with bed bugs as they said not to worry about my car and the cold weather would kill them…..highs of 50’s, lows sometimes into 20’s, one day had 8F as a low….but still…..but I guess all an inspector’s job to do is confirm infestations and sell services.

One thing about starting a fire….no more bed bugs (if it burned to the ground)….lol

4 Craig Baker October 14, 2009 at 3:20 pm

oops i meant $2162

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