Bed Bugs

bed-bugs-thumbDid your parents ever recite the following poem?

“Good night, sleep tight,”

“Don’t let the bed bugs bite.”

Bed bugs are reemerging as a public health concern for private citizens and the hospitality industry.  The reemergence of bed bugs is due in large part to pesticides no longer being used because the positive attributes do not outweigh the negative attributes and the insects’ ability to adapt to less concentrated .

Bed bugs are best described as a wingless, reddish-brown insect that is about the size of an apple seed (1/4 to 3/8 inch long).  Much like a mosquito, bed bugs require blood meals to stay alive.  Female bed bugs have the ability to lay one to twelve eggs per day when having regular blood meals.  Those eggs will typically hatch in about five to seventeen days to become nymphs and can begin feeding immediately.  In approximately five feedings or twenty-one days, a nymph will develop into an adult and the life cycle will begin all over again.

Bed bug infestations can happen anywhere and to anyone.  The best method of treatment is prevention.  Contrary to popular belief, bed bugs do not travel long distances to infest homes.  You or someone you know typically introduces bed bugs to your home.  Bed bugs may be found on new or used furniture, in hotel or bed and breakfast rooms, or when someone temporarily stays at your home.  The Office of the State Fire Marshall is responsible for licensing hotels, motels, and single room occupancies in the State of Ohio.  To make a complaint regarding hotels, motels, or single room occupancies in the State of Ohio, contact the State Fire Marshall at (888) 276-0303.

Once an infestation begins, it can be difficult to manage without contacting a professional pest control specialist.  It is important to understand that a professional cannot remove bed bugs alone, it takes a team effort with the homeowner.  As a homeowner, it is important to remove clutter and clean regularly including vacuuming.  For more information, see the links below or contact the Environmental Health division at (419) 784-3818.

Listed below are several resources that may be useful to property owners, renters, and persons traveling: