Cuyahoga County Bed Bug Task Force
You have probably heard the old saying, “Sleep tight…don’t let the bed bugs bite”. Well, unfortunately, bed bugs have made a big resurgence across the United States. Although their name comes from their tendency to live in and around where we sleep and from the fact that they typically feed on us at night, bed bugs can be found throughout dwellings and workplaces. Bed bugs can seem to come from nowhere, but are being seen more and more in homes, apartments, hotels, shelters, dormitories, nursing homes and any other places people gather. They are active travelers, usually being transported in luggage, boxes, clothing and furniture. Anyone who comes into contact with bed bugs can unknowlingly carry them into their home or workplace. Infestations are not tied to unsanitary living conditions; even world-class hotels have reported bed bug problems.
Althought they are not directly associated with disease transmission, bed bugs can cause a variety of physical and mental health concerns to anyone living with an infestation. Economically, bed bugs can be a challenging and very expensive pest to control. The CDC and the USEPA have even declared that the bed bug is now a “pest of significant public health importance”.
With the dramatic increase in bed bug activity in Northeast Ohio, local health officials and pest control operators have had to respond to an alarming increase in bed bug related complaints. Along with residential settings, anyone who owns, manages or works in places where people gather should be aware of basic bed bug prevention and response strategies. Examples include office buildings, retail stores, hospitals, dormitories, nursing homes, libraries, movie theaters, and even buses or other modes of transportation utilized by the public.
To help deal with the growing local concern with bed bugs, a number of interested parties representing local health departments, organizations and businesses directly involved in bed bug reponse and control began to discuss the task force planning process. Since its’ first meeting in March of 2011, the CCBBTF has routinely met to discuss current bed bug related news and issues and to identify methods of improving the dissemination of education and guidance on the prevention, detection and elimination of bed bug infestations.