Friday, February 26, 2016

"City, SCJ hosting forum on bed bugs"

From The Journal  

"RACINE — You likely remember the headlines: 'Bedbugs gaining ground,' 'Bedbugs Bite Their Way Across the Country,' 'Bedbug reports on the rise.'

"It’s been more than five years since the scourge of bed bugs re-entered Americans’ consciousness and furniture.

"In the last couple years, national and local news stories about the bugs have been reduced to a trickle but local health officials and area exterminators say the pests remain a real issue.

To help educate people about the bugs, the City of Racine Health Department will present a free community interest program on the pests at 6:30 p.m. on Thursday, March 3, at the SC Johnson Golden Rondelle Theater, 1525 Howe St.

"Funded by SC Johnson, the 'Bed Bug Blues' will feature experts in the areas of bug biology and behavior, bug prevention and control and related family and housing laws.

"Speakers at the forum will include SCJ Urban entomologist Jennifer Gordon; Randy Rupert, the team leader for Bed Bug Services at Batzner Pest Control, and Gai Lorenzen, the managing attorney for Legal Action of Wisconsin’s Racine office.

Still a problem

"Bed bug populations in the United States began increasing around 2010. More affordable air travel and increased urbanization were two possible causes for the spike, scientists said at the time. Although they are not known to spread disease and should not be considered a medical or public health hazard, they are an incredible nuisance, Racine Public Health Administrator Dottie-Kay Bowersox said.

"That’s why she wanted to host a public information forum on the issue — both to clear up misconceptions and to remind people that the pests remain a problem.

"The Health Department, which only inspects licensed facilities like hotels for the pests, gets several calls a week about bed bugs, Bowersox said. But often times, the people who contact the department are unclear about what the bugs are, or whether they should be concerned.

"The fact that the bugs haven’t been in the news lately also has given people a false sense of security about the pests, Bowersox said, which can lead to more infestations.

"'As long as it is not being reported or they are not hearing about it, people think the problem has been eradicated. So then they walk down the sidewalk and there is a mattress laying there that somebody tossed. It looks pretty good to them. They pick it up. They bring it home. It’s full of bed bugs,' Bowersox said.
Rupert said Batzner, which is headquartered in New Berlin and serves most of southern Wisconsin and Northern Illinois, continues to get calls about bed bug infestations.

"'It seems like it is plateauing, but it is plateauing at a pretty high peak,' Rupert said. 'Don’t make the mistake of thinking they’re gone. Believe me, they’re not.'

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Since I moved in, I know of five other cases of bed bugs here.  You can tell when you walk down the hall and they have the portable furnaces going.

Indeed, bed bugs are the reason why I live here now.  I assume they've finally cleaned out the old apartment building.  I should see if there's any openings.

The big problem is the shit they spread everywhere.  I'm so glad they're gone - for now.

I'd be afraid to attend this presentation because I assume some people with bed bugs will be there.       


kkdither said...

You experienced a living nightmare with the infestation. I heard about this presentation on the radio. I immediately thought about you. It would be interesting to hear the information, especially about legal rights. I'm certain yours were violated. I agree with your assumption, though. I'd be concerned that a very unwelcome friend would want to come home with me.

OKIE said...

I don't remember his name or NBA team but one of the players who was staying here at the Skirvin Hotel (very old nice hotel) didn't play during the game because he had awakened with 3 to 5 bedbugs on him. It un-nerved him and he couldn't sleep. The Skirvin's response? "A guest brought the bugs in and when we were made aware of the problem we addressed it". In other words, they were blaming him.

There was also a story of bed bugs at a housing center and while interviewing a resident, the reporter noticed a bug crawling on him. Ick.

Nowadays when you buy a mattress, they give you a plastic cover to help keep rid of the varmints. Nasty creatures.

kkdither said...

They can infest almost anywhere. I've heard of people getting bit while at the movies. Schools, Doctor's offices, public transportation, restaurants... anyplace can have them if people congregate there.

They stopped being a problem in the U.S. when we used a very heavy handed pesticide. (was it DDT?) Now they are making their comeback. Nothing kills these buggers except prolonged intense heat. Much like cockroaches, if you treat one area and not the whole building, they just move to a safe area and can return once the treatment is over.