Bed Bugs – Cabinet for Health and Family Services


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In recent years bed bugs have made a resurgence throughout the U.S. In response, the Kentucky Department for Public Health (DPH) provides guidelines to help individuals and businesses with prevention, surveillance and control of bed bug infestations.

Based on reports from local health departments and pest control operators, bed bug infestations have been found in hotels, nursing homes, public housing, apartment complexes, moving vans, jails, furniture rental stores, dormitories and other multi-unit dwellings as well as in single-family homes.

Adult bed bug feeding on a person Image used with permission

Where are bed bugs found? They can be found almost anywhere in your house or other buildings. They tend to like fabric and wood as opposed to metal and plastic. Places to look include:

Furniture from a rental service should always be checked atthe seams and creases for bed bugs.

When traveling, check rooms thoroughly before setting your luggage on the floor or bed.

Bed bugs prefer to hide close to where they feed. However, if necessary, they will crawl several feet to obtain a blood meal. Initial infestations tend to be around beds, but the bugs eventually may become scattered throughout a room, occupying any crevice or protected location. They also can spread to adjacent rooms or apartments.

How do you get rid of bed bugs? Consult a certified pest control operator

If you live in an apartment building and think there are bed bugs, you need to call your landlord about the problem. Call the local health department for more information. All apartments in a building with bed bugs need to be checked and treated. You or your landlord needs to call a licensed pest control company to schedule an appointment for an inspection and treatment.

Pick up everything in the infested room, and put anything that you need to keep in a zippered plastic bag. Put it in a hot, sunny place (at least 120 degrees F.) or colder than freezing (colder than 32 degrees F.) for a couple weeks.

Bedding and clothing will need to be bagged and washed in hot water (at least 120 degrees .F) or thrown away.

When trying to clean bed bugs from carpets, vacuuming is not enough. You must steam clean this area at a temperature of at least 120 degrees F. The carpet may need to be replaced.

If mattresses and box springs are badly infested, spray paint a warning sign on them or cut them beyond repair or use and seal with plastic. Contact your county solid waste agency for special pick-up for these items.

For less severe cases, zippered covers (available at bedding and allergy supply stores) may be used to keep bed bugs off the mattress and box springs.

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Bed Bugs – Cabinet for Health and Family Services

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