Bed bugs still a problem around the area

A recent report by the Cincinnati Health Department indicates that the number of bed bug cases is on the decline. However, State Representative Dale Mallory says he's skeptical.

"I think that the bed bug calls have declined, from what I've seen with the stigma a lot of people are afraid to report bed bug incidents," he said.

Ohio State University entomologist Dr. Susan Jones says the bed bug problem is alarming. "If you have one in five people reporting bed bugs, a 20% infestation rate, that's a serious, serious problem."

The problem was supposed to have been addressed by a bed bug task force, but Mallory says the panel seems to have lost its way.

"After about three months, from what I understand, the city abandoned that plan. The city health department abandoned that plan. So as people called City Hall they were told well we really don't deal with bed bugs, but we'll send you a brochure," he said.

Mallory says he'd like to see the infestation problem eliminated by the time Cincinnati hosts the World Choir Games in June.

University of Cincinnati biology professor Dr. George Uetz says bed bugs had nearly been eliminated back in the 50's, but pesticides used back in those days are now illegal.

Xavier University biology professor Dr. Annie Ray says the mild winter hasn't affected other types of insects.

"Things that we call peri-domestic pests like cockroaches...things that live in your house like silverfish...not really insect, but arachnids and some of those house centipedes....they're really not going to be affected by the weather," she said.

Dr. Uetz says "If it continues to be on and off wet with warm weather....I think we'll see swarming mosquitoes and swarming flies."

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