Bed Bug Infestations Rising, Affecting All Areas

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New numbers released Monday showed bed bugs are everywhere in Franklin County, and the problem is growing.

Bed bugs do not care who you are or where you live, 10TV's Jeff Hogan reported.

The bugs are on the rise in Franklin County, and the stereotype of low-income renters being the only ones infected is long gone, experts said.

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"We've had reports from schools, we've had reports from churches, bowling alleys, dialysis centers, vets offices," said Paul Wenning, with the Central Ohio Bed Bug Task Force.

The bugs are also invading private residences, Hogan reported.

A recent map included every ZIP code color-coded with a complaint lodged - up from just two years ago when the Franklin County Board of Health formed a bed bug task force.

"Our goal was to be ahead of the upcoming surge in bed bugs," Wenning said. "This map tells us the problem was way in advance of what we had ever dreamt it had been."

The problem has become so bad in some places, that apartment complexes are setting aside special areas for people to throw out infected furniture.

 "We threw away a couch, a couple beds, we had our carpet replaced once or twice, it's ridiculous," said apartment resident Michael Eckenrode. "It got to the point where we went out and bought our own bed bug bombs."

Wenning said there are no over-the-counter remedies for bed bugs, and that a licensed professional exterminator is the only way to get rid of the pests.

Bed bugs can turn up in the cleanest homes, but experts said some tips for keeping them out include caulking all small spaces in your homes, such as the spaces between floors and walls.

They also suggest sealing all light switch plates and other wall panels where they can get in, and if possible, using metal bed frames.

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More Information:

Central Ohio Bed Bug Task Force