Healthy Cleveland: Bed Bugs

Welcome back for another episode of Healthy Cleveland! In this episode, TV20 host Leah Longbrake sits down with Brian Kimball from the Cleveland Department of Public Health and Mary McNamara, Director for the Cleveland Department of Aging, to discuss bed bugs.

We’ve all heard the saying: “Sleep tight, don’t let the bed bugs bite.” As catchy as it might be, bed bugs are a very serious concern for all who come into contact with them. For those who have had the fortune of never seeing one, a bed bug is a small insect, brown in color and close in size to an apple seed.

Bed bugs feed off humans and other mammals, being attracted to the heat and carbon dioxide of their bodies. Bed bugs feed by biting and sucking blood. A bed bug bite can be distinguished by a welt or bump on the skin, typically centered around one area that has been left exposed.

Bed bugs can be hard to find on their own, but the signs of them are not. On places such as bed sheets or furniture, signs of bed bugs include their shell-like skin or their fecal matter, which can appear as black or rusted dots.

It may be easy to keep track of bed bugs in the home, but you are most likely to experience them when traveling. It’s recommended that before taking out your luggage that you do a thorough sweep of any beds or upholstered furniture your room might contain, keeping an eye out for the signs previously mentioned. It is also worth inspecting electrical outlets, electrical switches, and around baseboards.

When traveling, requesting a room is an easy enough task should you find bed bugs. The real concern comes when bed bugs are found in the home. Cuyahoga County has the Bed Bug Task Force, whose website has plenty of in-depth information on handling bed bugs.

In addition, the City of Cleveland has a residence bed bug assistance program. You can click here find out if you qualify and how to apply. It is highly recommended any kind of infestations be handled by professionals.

A common source of most infestations is the bed. The best method to stop bed bugs is prevention. Washing & drying your linens in a high temperature lessens the chance of any bed bugs surviving. However should an infestation get to an unmanageable point, it is best to simply dispose of any infested furniture. Before doing so, it should be wrapped tightly in plastic wrap & also labeled for those who might pick it up.

A special thanks to the Cleveland Department of Aging and the Cleveland Depart of Public Health. You can contact and learn more about either agency at the following:

Cleveland Department of Public Health –
Twitter: @CleDPH

Cleveland Department of Aging –
Twitter: @ClevelandAging

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