Bed bugs increasing problems for public housing
Thursday, May 19, 2011
Bed bug complaints in public housing have
doubled since last year, according to the Lucas County Health
It's so bad at one apartment complex that residents have been
displaced and now crews are doing routine inspections with a
specialized dog! However, it's a problem that can easily be
Bed bugs are such a problem at Parqwood Apartments that special
dogs were brought in to inspect each unit. Paul Bollinger, regional
manager of Lucas Metropolitan Housing Authority, says, "Very
similar to a drug dog or a cadaver, very same concept. There taught
to sniff certain things, and the bed bug has a unique smell that's
only picked up by a K-9."
This is the second time in less than a year that dogs have been
used to inspect every apartment. "Been dealing with them for the
past 24 months. The last 18, we've gone exclusively to doing heat
treatments as opposed to chemical," says Bollinger.
Since September, nearly 70 apartments have received heat
treatment. During that time, residents were displaced. According to
the Lucas County Health Department, complaints have gone up 50
percent since last year!
"It's an issue of re-entry. We're comfortable that when a unit
is heat treated that it's pest free, so our problems come back from
In many cases, bed bugs are carried into a home after vacation,
but authorities from lmha aren't blaming hotels. "If they're
shopping at second hand stores, garage sales and getting used items
from friends and family, if they're not diligent in inspecting
those items, they're not bringing them back in, then we're working
against each other." For those of you second-hand shoppers out
there, simply putting clothes in the dryer on high heat will kill
bed bugs. Experts also suggest getting a steamer, which will allow
you to kill them on furniture.