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Bed bugs do not discriminate

By Ben Hyatt

Clifton Village apartment described as ‘slaughter house’ of bed bugs


“It is the worst case of bed bugs that I have ever seen,” said executive director of the Cynthiana Housing Authority Michael Buis.
An issue that most tend to refrain from in general conversation, the bed bug issue seems to keep creeping up.


According to Buis, on Friday, Aug. 10, a resident of the Clifton Village Apartments contacted him with a hunch of a growing problem with her next door neighbor.
“The person who contacted me is one of the cleanest tenants we have. You can literally eat off of her floors,” explained Buis. “However, she noticed a few signs of bed bugs in her home and suspected that they had migrated from her neighbor’s apartment.”
Buis said immediately following the call, an investigation was underway to find the source of the problem pests. However, nothing could prepare his workers for what they were about to see.
“I have not been in the apartment, but it was explained to me as being a slaughter house,” said Buis. “I was told that bugs were all over the floor, dead and alive, along with blood from where the tenant had been killing them.”
Buis said the first step in cleaning the horrid problem up was to discard all furniture in the apartments that showed signs of bed bugs.
Buis said furniture in a bed bug infested dwelling must be discarded due to the bugs hiding in them.
“There are three apartments total where signs of bed bugs have been found,” said Buis. “All the furniture was placed outside and hauled away immediately.”
Buis said several applications of pesticides will be used in the apartments in order to kill all the remaining bed bugs.
“Bed bugs are hard to get rid of,” said Buis. “There is no silver bullet. They hate extreme heat, but several methods like that can lead to fires in the home.”
Buis also pointed out that bed bugs are not linked to unsanitary dwellings.
“To paint  a real picture, imagine someone with bed bugs stays in a hotel for the night,” explained Buis. “Then someone without bed bugs comes in and the eggs stick to your cotton clothing. They then go to a restaurant before heading home. How many people have them just from that one hotel room now?”
Buis said Clifton Village has had at least 25 cases of bed bugs since 2008 and most of it is due to residents visiting other apartments.
“Currently residents are afraid of letting us know when these issues first pop up because they think we will ask them to leave,” said Buis. “This is far from the truth. We want to know so we can get it under control as quick as possible.”
Buis said he is not sure what the final cost will be to eliminate the current bed bug issue, however, over $1,000 has been spent already.
“They are not cheap to get rid of,” said Buis. “The hard part is they do not distigush between clean homes and dirty homes. Kings and queens can get them.”
Buis said a meeting will be held in order to further educate Clifton Village tenants about the severity of bed bugs.
“We just want them to understand how important it is to notify us when issues like this come up,” said Buis.
Buis said he hopes the current problem serves the community as a learning lesson.
“Anyone who says bed bugs are not a problem and that they will never get them are living in the dark,” said Buis. “It takes everyone being vigilant to keep them from spreading.”
According to the United States Environmental Protection Agency, bed bug signs are often found in the creases of mattresses.
Common signs include small blood spots, skin castings and feces which resemble dirt. Bed bugs usually come out at night.
For additional information regarding bed bugs visit www.epa.gov/bedbugs/.com.

Preventive measures

• Do not purchase used or unwrapped furniture
• Be cautious of where you visit
• Be quick to act on first signs of bed bugs
• Be particularly aware of surroundings
   in rental property

How to treat

• Call a pest control professional
• Wash and dry linens at high heat
• Be cautious of over-the-counter treatments
• Thorough vacuuming to remove any eggs in carpet             and upholstery