Bed bugs are parasites that preferentially feed on humans. If people arenʼt available, they instead will feed on other warmblooded animals, including birds, rodents, bats, and pets. Bed bugs have been documented as pests since the 17th century. They were introduced into our country by the early colonists. Bed bugs were common in the United States prior to World War II, after which time widespread use of synthetic insecticides such as DDT greatly reduced their numbers. Improvements in household and personal cleanliness as well as increased regulation of the used furniture market also likely contributed to their reduced pest status.
There is no silver bullet for eliminating bed bugs. They present a challenge to modern pest control that the industry is still struggling to meet. To make up for the lack of chemical power we have for battling this insect, additional people and tools must be involved. Bed bug success stories usually involve people who live and work in a building (including a pest management professional) coming together as a team to battle this pest. Throughout this paper you will see how communication and cooperation among residents, staff, and the pest control service provider are keys to success.
Guidelines for Prevention and Management of Bed Bugs in Shelters and Group Living Facilities.
Most householders of this generation have never seen a bed bug. Until recently, they also were a rarity among pest control professionals. Bed bug infestations were common in the United States before World War II. But with improvements in hygiene, and especially the widespread use of DDT during the 1940s and ‘50s, the bugs all but vanished. The pests remained fairly prevalent, however, in other regions of the world including Asia, Africa, and Eastern Europe. In recent years, bed bugs have also made a comeback in the U.S. They are increasingly being encountered in homes, apartments, hotels, motels, health care facilities, dormitories, shelters, schools, and modes of transport.
The Central Ohio Bed Bug Task Force formed in November, 2008 in response to the growing number of bed bug infestations that were being reported in Columbus and Franklin County. The Task force is an all – volunteer organization, and members of the Task Force include representatives of many of the communities in Franklin, Delaware and Madison Counties, as well as local social service agencies, health departments, fire departments, schools, pest management professionals, and representatives of the Ohio Departments of Agriculture, Commerce, and Health, and the Ohio State University and Wright State University.