Plump, reddish-brown, and seed-shaped, bed bugs are a sight that is increasingly familiar to many Americans in the past few years, and bed bugs in Columbus, Ohio have joined the roll call of cities that made the “top 15” list of worst infestations in 2014.
According to statistical reports, Columbus, Ohio is at eighth place for the number of service calls make to exterminate them from homes, hotels, schools, and public buildings where the unwelcome insects have set up housekeeping. In a recent 2013 report, the number of bed bug complaints in Columbus, Ohio has risen by as much as 47%.
In a pattern that is seen in other big cities where bed bugs have become a major problem in the last few years, hotels in Columbus are especially likely to host lots of these scuttling pests. This suggests that international travel is at least partly responsible for bringing the near-extinct bed bug back from the brink, to the blood-sucking “glory days” it enjoyed before the Second World War.
There is no doubt that bed bugs are thriving. A woman guest at the Columbus Inn and Suites was attacked by hundreds of bed bugs while attempting to sleep there on a business trip. With her eyes swelling shut from an allergic reaction to the many bites covering her arms and face, she was forced to go to the emergency room for help.
It was also discovered that firemen and fire engines were accidentally carrying bed bugs to many new locations throughout out the city, so the Columbus Division of Fire is also participating in the struggle against bed bugs. Bed bug treatment methods used by the fire department include washing and heat drying work uniforms and protective clothing to dispose of bed bugs, as well as clearing out infested furniture from the fire houses. Clearly, it has been “all hands are to the plow” in Columbus, though it still remains to be seen if the growth in bed bug numbers can be stopped or reversed.
Though the bed bugs in Columbus are clearly a force to be reckoned with, so are the people and government of the city. The response to the bed bugs has been very strong and well organized in the Ohio metropolis. The Central Ohio Bed Bug Task Force is a highly focused organization that educates the people and coordinates efforts by health officials and exterminators to get the situation under control. They can be reached at 211 or on their website, which includes large amounts of detailed, practical information for all kinds of people dealing with bed bug problems.
Getting rid of bed bugs on your own can be difficult but not impossible if done properly. However the use of just pesticides alone won’t eliminate an infestation. Neither are fumigation or bug bombs going to solve the bed bug problem. In fact, bug bombs may just cause the bugs to disperse to alternative hiding places without truly harming them, thus making them tougher to root out and possibly spreading them to other rooms or nearby apartments, too.
To eradicate bed bugs completely requires what is described as an Integrated Pest Management (IPM) approach. Watch the following short video which explains about bed bug biology and how to eliminate them using the principles of integrated pest management.
Integrated Pest Management Checklist
- Identify and confirm the presence of bed bugs in your home or room. Look for signs of the insect in mattresses, upholstered furniture, closets, under the carpets, behind peeling paint or wallpaper.
- To prepare for the treatment, get rid of any unnecessary clutter in the room to eliminate any possible hiding places that the bed bugs may hide.
- Thoroughly vacuum and steam any furniture or mattress that you discover signs of the insect.
- Sprinkled Diatomaceous earth (a form of pesticide) to where you suspect the infestation is severe.
- Make any repairs necessary such as caulking and sealing up cracks or holes in the wall, on the floor as well as baseboards and moldings to prevent future bed bug invasions.
- Launder all sheets and linens and heat dry them in temperature above 120°F for at least 20 minutes.
- Encase your mattress and box spring with zippered bed bug proof covers to prevent re-infestation as well as protect yourself against bed bug bites.
- It often takes more than one treatment to completely eliminate bed bugs so continue to monitor the status of the infestation after the removal on a weekly basis. Repeat steps if signs of bed bugs re-surfaced.
Note: If you find evidence of these bed bugs in your home but do not intend to deal with the infestation yourself, report the problem immediately to the Central Ohio Bed Bug Task Force and look for a professional pest control expert. If you like to get a free exterminator quote in your local area, click here.
With the handy 211 three digit phone number to call for “bed bug answers” (or the alternative 1-614-221-2255), advice is readily available on how to cope with bed bugs in Columbus and hopefully you can emerge triumphant from the struggle with your six-legged adversaries.
For individuals and families who are traveling into Columbus, Ohio, click here to read about bed bug prevention when staying in hotels.
Quick Bed Bug Resources In Columbus, Ohio
- D-I-Y and commercial solutions to treat and protect yourself against bed bugs: http://www.getridofbedbugsathome.com/bed-bug-supply
- Bed bug hotline: 211
- Alternate number: 1-614-221-2255
- Central Ohio Bed Bug Task Force website: http://www.centralohiobedbugs.org/index.html
- Ohio Department of Health: http://www.odh.ohio.gov/odhprograms/dis/zoonoses/vbdp/bedbug.aspx
- Columbus Public Health website: http://publichealth.columbus.gov/health_environmental_health.aspx?id=30769