Bed bugs in Cleveland have won a distinction that few of their six-legged brethren have gained anywhere else in America – they are being hunted by the police as well. As of mid 2012, the infestation was bad enough in the Forest City for the police department to issue two sizes of insecticide spray to its officers – a hand-held sprayer for police car interiors, and a 16 ounce bottle for fighting off the blood-sucking hordes at the station house.
Cleveland isn’t the worst bed bug infested city, but it still ranks at the lower end of the top 15 according to most major pest control company studies. The Federal Building has reported bed bugs as of late 2012, and nearly 40% of calls to exterminators come not from private homes but from businesses, showing that wherever an ample supply of human blood goes, bed bugs are willing to follow.
Cimex lectularius has had a long history with human beings, and is no stranger to the United States either. As the EPA notes in their bed bug literature, the insects were found throughout America up through the Second World War, and it was only the use of massive amounts of DDT and other highly dangerous insecticides that wiped them out for nearly 50 years.
Today’s bed bugs are extremely resistant to common household insecticides thanks to natural selection caused by people attempting incomplete home treatment of the pests. Using “bug bombs” and similar products just helps to make the bugs tougher, and just annoys them enough to spread out through your home and nearby apartments, worsening the infestation rather than working to kill bed bugs.
The city responded strongly to the burgeoning numbers of bed bugs in Cleveland by the formation of the permanent Cuyahoga County Bed Bug Task Force. Though the core of the task force is government officials from the health and housing departments, the public is encouraged to participate both by reporting new infestations, and by participating in periodic meetings that help keep everyone informed of the infestation’s progress, plus aids with coordinating efforts against the insects.
The Task Force works to educate people in the best ways to counter the six-legged legions and recommends effective pest control companies. There are also many telephone numbers for advice, reporting, and other bed bug matters, making Cleveland a benchmark that other metropolises should aim for in getting rid of bed bugs.
Of course, you want to ensure that you really have bed bugs in your house before you sound alarm klaxons and send up flares to bring the pest control experts swooping to your rescue (or in simpler terms, before you call the exterminator).
- Though bed bugs may be sneaky enough to avoid direct sightings for many months – being skulkers in darkness, and injecting anesthetic so that you can’t even feel their bite – they can’t conceal their large, itchy bites and the rash that often forms after feeding on their victims. Bites come in groups, and may be arranged in crooked lines (or just random clumps).
- You may also spot shed skins, which look like empty, transparent husks; droppings, which are dots of blackish-red stains on the sheets; and perhaps eggs, which are white, slim, and elongated, considerably smaller than the bugs themselves.
- In the event you find signs of bed bug infestation, contact your landlord for extermination, or call the pest control service of your choice. You should also report the matter to the Task Force to increase the clarity of their information and make them better able to study the problem.
With the correct extermination information, you can figure out a hard-hitting plan to overcome your unwanted, reddish-brown guests. Bed bugs in Cleveland are a formidable problem, but not beyond human ingenuity to deal with them successfully and rid your home of their presence.
With the number of infestations been reported in Cleveland, travelers who are planning to travel into the city for leisure or business are encourage to read up on prevention tips against these blood-sucking insects so as to enjoy a bed bug free trip in the city.
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Video: Bed Bugs In Cleveland
Quick Bed Bug Resources In Cleveland
(Note: the Cuyahoga County Bed Bug Task Force is referred to here as the “CCBBTF”.)
- CCBBTF information/help line: 1-216-664-2300.
- CCBBTF info line for Shaker Heights: 1-216-491-1480.
- CCBBTF website: http://cuyahogabedbug.ccbh.info/Home.php
- CCBBTF contact: http://cuyahogabedbug.ccbh.info/Contact-Us.php
- D-I-Y and commerical solutions to take control of your bed bug infections: http://www.getridofbedbugsathome.com/bed-bug-supply