Cincinnati, Ohio public health officials are joining forces with surrounding counties to fight bed bugs in the southwestern Ohio region. “We already know it’s a regional issue,” Camille Jones, assistant Cincinnati health commissioner, told the Cincinnati Enquirer. “It’s going to end up being a statewide issue.” Health officials in Cincinnati and Hamilton County plan to target landlords, tenants and secondhand-furniture sellers.
What’s happening in Cincinnati mirrors the growing bed bug problem being reported across the country. In 2004, only two bed bug complaints were reported to Hamilton County health officials. By 2006 that number had increased to 167 complaints. Last year complaints skyrocketed to 800, and this year the county is afraid that number could nearly double.
Cincinnati area health officials plan to combat the bed bug invasion by educating residents, landlords, thrift stores and secondhand furniture stores on how to prevent bed bugs and what to do when they occur. A bed bug hotline to assist in tracking infestations is under development. Training for pest-control operators is being investigated to ensure their knowledge of proven bed bug eradication techniques like the revolutionary green bed bug solution Cryonite. Enforcement actions are being considered that may entail changes to city and county ordinances and Ohio state law.
For information about identifying bed bugs and how to control them, click here.