With bed bugs comes a stigma. This stigma projects that only low-income homes attract bed bugs. That only dirty and clutter filled homes attract these militant pests. This is far from the truth. Anybody can get bed bugs, as they have no stipulations other than a place to hide and a host to feed on.
The only common difference is the victim’s means to destroy an infestation. Bed bug eradication and extermination processes can be quite costly. They either require a substantial upfront sum or numerous treatments with a cost associated with each job. There are members of our community that do not have the means to be able to invest in bed bug extermination, so the issue is often ignored or dealt with through DIY hardware store products, which are not proven to be successful with eradication. Thankfully, there are several organizations in Cleveland and Cuyahoga County that provide resources to community members to help educate on how to prevent, eradicate, and identify a bed bug infestation.
With a total of 32,000 housing units and 12,700 one or two family homes, Lakewood, OH holds a reputation for one of the highest population densities in the state. The 9,190 people per square mile are also living in homes that have an average age of 74 years old, leading to a mass of population that need resources to keep up with modern construction and repairs.
Thankfully, associations, such as LakewoodAlive, provide resources for its community members. LakewoodAlive’s Housing Outreach Program is designed to give its residents a place where they can receive resources and services to live in healthy and safe housing. This includes programs such as Lakewood Tool Box, which allows its community members an educational option for borrowing tools that are required to repair homes.
LakewoodAlive is also committed to a community wide bed bug education campaign that holds the purpose of stopping the spread of bed bugs throughout the community. Assisting landlords or property owners that are unaware that their property contains bed bugs or are unknowledgeable as to how to deal with the issue, Community Engager and resident Bed Bug Expert, Mark McNamara, provides residents with resources that give options on how to exterminate. He also sets out to remind landlords and property managers and tenants of their responsibilities of properly exterminating all bed bugs on the premise all the while adhering to all federal, state, and city wide policies in reference to bed bugs.
The Lakewood Community works together in an effort to stop the spread of bed bugs and educate its residents on proper prevention. City schools and the refuse department stay in consistent contact with Mark to refer those that they feel may have a bed bug infestation. Mark will then perform a discreet inspection or provide a list of pest control companies that could eradicate their infestation. After an appropriate amount of time, he will then follow up to ensure the problem has been resolved. Although it does not happen very often, a landlord or property owner can be referred to the Housing Department if the problem has not been dealt with properly.
During an interview we conducted with the team at LakewoodAlive, they had several bed bug prevention items to express to the community:
- Do not trash pick
- Minimize sleepovers
- Bag all furniture and mattresses that are placed on the curb for trash day
- Do not try and exterminate bed bugs using DIY products
- Tenants should report all bed bug infestations to property manager or owner as soon as possible
- Property managers should educate and inform all residents on bed bug identification, prevention, and how to report an infestation when it appears (possibly putting this in their lease agreement)
Having partnered with LakewoodAlive to exterminate bed bugs in the past, we at Bed Bug BBQ can say that they put heart into seeing the community thrive and have put an invaluable amount of time into educating the community on bed bugs.
City of Cleveland Bed Bug Assistance Program
The Cleveland Department of Aging has developed a Bed Bug Assistance Program to assist disabled adults and seniors with the bed bug extermination process. Please visit their website for more information on the income and assistance qualifications.
Cuyahoga County Bed Bug Task Force
Beginning in 2011, The Cuyahoga County Bed Bug Task Force, a group of individuals who are committed to lessen the impact of bed bugs on its residents, housing, and community as a whole, have hosted several conferences, meetings, and discussions throughout the year. Its members focus on bed bug related news, issues, and methods of educating its residents on the prevention, identification, and eradication of bed bugs.
Cuyahoga County Bed Bug Assistance Program
The Cuyahoga County Division of Senior and Adult Services also had a Bed Bug Assistance Program that is designed to help senior and disabled adults with bed bug extermination services. There are income guidelines and age qualifications in order to apply, please visit their website for more information.
Bed Bug BBQ supports all programs and associations that provide valuable educational content to the residents of its communities. We are also advocates of providing our community with as much information as possible to minimize the negative impact of bed bugs.
If you need bed bug extermination services in Cleveland, OH or need a FREE bed bug inspection, contact Bed Bug BBQ at (216) 221- 1227 or visit us on our website.