County Eyes Contract For Bed Bug Inspection
Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Franklin County Commissioners are keeping an eye out for bed bugs.

Commissioners on Thursday are expected to approve a $5,600 contract with Ehrlich pest control services. Ehrlich twice a year will inspect county-owned buildings and transport vehicles.

It's the first bed bug assessment contract of this scope for the county, according to Commissioner David Keller.

"Our buildings and vehicles are open to the public, and we feel responsible," Keller said.

The county spent $5,290 last year to fight bed bugs in one apartment building.

"Over the past 18 months we've had workers in the county come in contact with suspected bed bug environments," Administrator John Hart said.

Some county employees visit consumers in home environments, or some consumers suspected of having bed bugs come into county buildings, he said. The county has trained staff on what to do if they enter an environment suspected of being infested with bed bugs. They have been given cleaning supplies and resource materials.

The county employs case workers who visit consumers' homes and van and bus drivers who take consumers to doctors' appointments.

Commissioners spent more than $6,500 in two years to treat an apartment housing clients of the county's mental health program. The first treatment in 2010 did not correct the problem. A treatment in August 2011 eradicated the infestation. County taxpayers split the tab with the federal Housing and Urban Development.

Soon afterwards, commissioners contracted with Ehrlich for $600 to inspect the Day Reporting Center on Loudon Street for the remainder of the year.

The county worker's compensation fund will pay for the most recent inspection contract, Hart said. The fund also pays for air quality testing and other safety checks. The county workers' comp program is self-insured.