"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.'
Read more: http://journaltimes.com/news/local/city-scj-hosting-forum-on-bed-bugs/article_7122c1ff-9f63-5f5f-9d48-43c8f3b4abb8.html
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.