Download a flyer to use with tenants--see bottom of this page
bugs a public health problem?
Centers for Disease Control
says: "Although bed bugs are not known to transmit disease, they
are a pest of significant public health importance. Bed bugs fit into
a category of blood-sucking ectoparasites (external parasites)
similar to head lice (Pediculus humanus capitis). Bed bugs, like head
lice, feed on the blood of humans but are not believed to transmit
disease. Other ectoparasites, such as body lice (Pediculus humanus
corporis), are known to transmit several serious diseases.
Differences in the biology of similar species of pests, such as body
lice and head lice (or bed bugs) can greatly impact the ability of
pests to transmit disease. Bed bugs cause a variety of negative
physical health, mental health and economic consequences. Many people
have mild to severe allergic reaction to the bites with effects
ranging from no reaction to a small bite mark to, in rare cases,
anaphylaxis (severe, whole-body reaction) (2). These bites ...can
also lead to secondary infections of the skin. (RHINO
emphasis added) http://stacks.cdc.gov/view/cdc/21750 Ohio
Health Department seems like it agrees with the CDC, but instead of
taking leadership for the problem of bed bugs in Ohio, the ODH hides
behind the coat tails of the Local Health Departments (LHDs) in
defining bed bugs as a public health problem. "One of the
workgroup’s primary goals was to identify current state and local
bed bug response efforts. As the problem has continued to increase,
the question of ultimate responsibility continues to be raised. This
section provides an overview of what the workgroup has learned. [ ]
As Ohio is a home rule state, public health nuisances are addressed
at the local level. ODH provides information and technical support to
its local counterparts. The LHD response to bed bugs depends on
whether bed bugs are considered a public health nuisance within a
particular jurisdiction. Most LHDs do not consider bed bugs to be
a public health concern because they are not known to transmit
disease to humans. Another factor that varies among jurisdictions is
the presence or absence of a nuisance abatement, housing or
motel/hotel program. LHDs without these code
enforcement programs have no capacity to respond to bed bug
complaints." RHINO emphasis added.Source: RHINO
believes that both ODH and LHD's succumbed to the interests of
landlords in failing to make a finding that bed bugs were a public
health issue. Part of the evidence for this collusion comes from the
report we just quoted. On the Bed Bug Force which created this
position paper, "tenants" were represented by a property
manager! Efforts in the Ohio Legislature to include bed bugs in the
Ohio Revised Code as 'vermin' have not passed either house.
Bed Bugs don't carry disease...or do they?
One of the "blessings" of bed bugs is the often repeated mantra that bed bugs don't carry disease. Well, maybe not so fast according to a new study. Huffington Post reports on a new study that links bed bugs and Chagas disease. "Levy emphasized that the research does not prove bed bugs are
actually transmitting Chagas to humans. Other researchers underscored
the same point. Richard Pollack, a public health entomologist and
instructor at Harvard University, said the work is "compelling," but
remains hesitant to call bed bugs a vector of the disease." This
is important because having proof that bed bugs transmit disease would
make the critters a public health threat, making it easier for tenants
to hold landlords accountable for extermination.
Integrated Pest Management (IPM)?
says: "IPM takes advantage of all appropriate pest management
options, including the judicious use of pesticides. Although bed bugs
may sometimes be controlled by non-chemical means alone, this
approach is often very difficult, potentially less effective, and
usually more resource intensive. Bed bug control is most effective
when an IPM approach is implemented with diligent participation by
the residents. In multi-family housing, diligent participation is
also required of the building management." RHINO
emphasis added. More here:
practice this means that tenants are actively involved in prevention,
surveillance, and treatment. If your "exterminator" is not
doing education, monitoring, and evaluating...then she/he is not
is recommended by HUD, USDA, and EPA in their guidance on the
treatment of bed bugs. IPM
is safer for tenants because it uses less toxic "pesticides"
less often. Remember that "pest"-icides sometimes don't
know the difference between a pestand a customer. More on pesticides in the home here:
on IPM here
February 2, 2016 Cincinnati Enquirer UC helps crack the genome of bed bugs "Researchers at the University of Cincinnati leading a global consortium of scientists have made a major breakthrough in understanding one of humanity's nastiest little pests. They have decoded the genome of the bed bug, which could lead to new ways to combat the pest’s resurgence in Cincinnati and other major American cities. 'Having this resources opens up a lot of potential new rounds of research in dealing with bed bugs,' said Joshua Benoit, assistant professor in UC’s Department of Biological Sciences. 'In a year or two, we might actually develop better ways to control bed bugs.' The International Bed Bug Genome Project Collaboration has been studying the bed bug genome for about 18 months, Benoit said, focusing on several features of bed bugs but especially what makes the bed bug pesticide-resistant. Benoit said analyzing the genome creates a wealth of new research opportunities.February 3, 2016
January 30, 2016 Bed bugs aren't gone The Guardian is reporting on a new study that shows that bed bugs are gaining resistance to a key chemical control. "Bed bugs have developed a resistance to neonicotinoids, a group of the most widely used insecticides, according to a new study published in the Journal of Medical Entomology. Products developed over the past few years to control bed bugs combine neonicotinoids, or neonics, with pyrethroids, another class of insecticide." News of emerging reisisance could mean that more repeat visits will be necessary and...you guessed...tenants could getting charged for follow up extermination treatments. Lets all watch out for landlords trying to charge for 2nd visits and challenge them at every opportunity. Look out Ohio. "The bed bugs collected from Cincinnati and Michigan proved to be tougher, with a much higher resistance to neonics than the Harlan and Jersey City bed bugs. Compared with Harlan’s bed bugs, the Michigan creatures were 462 times more resistant to imidacloprid, 198 times more resistant to dinotefuran, 546 times more resistant to thiamethoxam and 33,333 times more resistant to acetamiprid. Similarly, the Cincinnati bed bugs were 163 times more resistant to imidacloprid, 358 times more resistant to dinotefuran, 226 times more resistant to thiamethoxam and 33,333 times more resistant to acetamiprid. More on bed bug immunity
Bedbugs still an issue in Central Ohio Columbus Dispatch reports: “From our perspective, it continues to be a problem,” said Mitzi Kline, spokeswoman for Franklin County Public Health. Kline said the agency tracks reported landlord-tenant disputes over bedbugs but doesn’t have a tally on overall infestations. The city of Columbus, meanwhile, receives some bedbug complaints through its code-enforcement division. Scores of others go directly to exterminating companies. The city was No. 3 on the latest list from Orkin, which ranks U.S. metro areas by the number of bedbug treatments the company performs there. “It does still seem to be a growing problem that, unfortunately, some people have gotten used to,” said Terri O’Connor, a supervisor with the Central Ohio Area Agency on Aging. She and Jones lamented the fact that low- and middle-income families can’t get assistance to pay for extermination, which can cost $1,000 or more. And social-service agencies are not equipped to perform the often-extensive prep work that needs to be done to ensure treatment success. “We’re still in the same situation where there are no public monies,” Jones said. “People who have bedbugs are a voiceless population. They don’t know who to turn to, where to turn, and they don’t get consistent answers.”
What can tenants do?
your prospective landlord before you move in if there have been bed
bugs in the property and if she/he has a bed bug policy. There's no
requirement to disclose past or current infestations, but if she/he
lies, you may have grounds to seek damages in case you become
that you have bed bugs.
your landlord or apartment manager immediately in writing! Keep a
you live in a multifamily building, file a complaint with the
appropriate agency. Include a FACT
SHEET FOR LANDLORDSwith your notice to correct the problem.
you live in a multifamily building, encourage your landlord or your
tenants organization to hold a meeting for tenants to learn how to
prevent an outbreak and identify infestations.
an entomologist certified bed bug encasement for your mattresses and
springs to prevent bites until your unit is exterminated. More
about encasements here:
all of your bedding and clothing in hot water and dry it in the
dryer on the hottest setting for a minimum of 30 minutes AFTER IT IS
clutter from your home. Store things that you want to keep in
tightly covered plastic totes.
discard furnishings or belongings unless instructed by a pest
control professional. If furnishings and belongings must be thrown
out follow these steps:
wrap n plastic any furniture that your pest control professional
tells you that he/she cannot treat. Seal all of the seams with
strong tape before you remove it from your home. Mark
furnishings with signs
that indicate they are a hazard.
RHINO says; Once upon a time Dr. Susan Jones produced some "limited
edition" stickers to use when labeling discarded furnishings.
RHINO will check with Dr. Jones to see how to make these available
to RHINO members.
vacuum the floor and baseboards in the rooms that have bed bugs.
Vacuum often. After each vacuuming, sprinkle about half a cup of
talcum powder or corn starch on the floor, then sweep it into the
dust cup or sweeper bag. Empty the dust cup or remove the vacuum
cleaner bag after you’ve finished. Put the bag or dust in a
plastic trash bag. Seal it, and put it in an outdoor trash
visitors to your home until the bed bugs are gone!
a product such as Benadryltm ointment on the bites to relieve the
itching. If the over-the-counter product doesn’t relieve the
Itching, please contact your doctor! Some victims can develop
things will make your bed bug problem worse:
use over-the-counter chemicals! They will not kill the all of the
bed bugs. They are a waste of money and may be dangerous to you.
buy do -it-yourself products from your pest control provider. RHINO
snagged a $16 pint bottle of vinegar and herbs (AKA salad dressing)
from a licensed pest control provider in Cleveland.
give or loan clothing, furniture, toys or other personal belongings
to anyone while you have bed bugs!
permit anyone (maintenance man or manager) to spray in your unit
unless she/he is licensed by the Ohio Department of Agriculture. If
they do, report them to Ohio Department of Agriculture. More info
from Central Ohio Bed Bug Task Force