Bed Bugs On The Rise In Tippecanoe County
WLFI.com (West Lafayette, IN)
Friday, January 6, 2012
WEST LAFAYETTE, IN - "Sleep tight and don't let the bedbugs bite"
is no laughing matter for Jacob Robinson.
The pest bothered Jacob Robinson and his three roommates at their
apartment for four months before they realized what the problem
Robinson showed NewsChannel 18 small red bumps left behind by the
Robinson and his roommates started noticing little bites when they
moved into their McCormick Place apartment in August. They
blame this couch furnished by their apartment which has been since
thrown away. They finally figured out bedbugs were the cause
of their trouble on December 25.
"We actually found bedbugs on Christmas," said Robinson. "It
was the first time we saw them. Talk about ruining the
Other roommates moved out, leaving only Robinson.
Pest control hired by McCormick Place sprayed the place down last
A search of the apartment Thursday found two dead bedbugs in a
different couch owned by a roommate. Robinson said they have
found bedbugs on beds and the walls.
"It makes you paranoid," said Robinson. "I'm always
itching. I'm always thinking something is crawling on
me. I take a lot of showers."
McCormick Place spokesperson Kurt Jacobson said in a telephone
interview the management acted as soon as they found out about the
"We want to be notified immediately," said Jacobson. "We will
take care of it immediately and remediate the problem which we did
in this case."
Jacobson said an inspection of neighboring units found no
"We know for all the residents like this, it's something that's
uncomfortable and that's why we want to take care of it right
away," Jacobson said.
Although Robinson said he wants to move and be let out of his
lease, the terms of the document he signed don't allow for
McCormick Place has scheduled two additional treatments of the
apartment to kill any remaining pests.
But what if your landlord is not responsive?
There are few legal options for health officials.
"Right now, there's no ordinance or state laws against that, that I
can use against bedbugs," said Jake Rowland, Environmental Health
Specialist with the Tippecanoe County Health
Unlike a pest like cockroaches or rats, Rowland said bedbugs are
not a public health hazard because they are not known to carry any
diseases. If there is an infestation of a pest that is a
public health hazard, health officials have more legal
Rowland said the Tippecanoe County Health Department gets about 20
calls a year from people with bedbugs, mostly during move-ins in
It's something a few years ago that would have been unheard
"It's here and it's going to be hard to get rid of," Rowland
That's not a comforting thought for Robinson. The treatments
from pest control must be done several weeks apart to insure that
all unwanted guests and their eggs are dead.
Rowland said bedbugs have been in county hotels and apartments and
they don't care if it's a high-priced unit or a cheap
He said if you're sleeping in a strange room, it's always a good
idea to check the cracks and crevices around mattresses where
bedbugs like to hide.
Bedbugs on the rise in Tippecanoe County: wlfi.com