“The best thing people can do is know what one looks like”

Take a look at this story from Covington, Kentucky about the Transit Authority of Northern Kentucky checking buses for bed bugs — TANK bus routes serve the Northern Kentucky suburbs of Cincinnati. It is an extremely candid piece:

Exterminators said there is not bed bug repellant, and that the best thing people can do is know what one looks like. If in a public area, people should make sure to check the bugs are not around.

This is where the concept of bed bug prevention and “precautionary measures” breaks down. Public transportation, movie theaters, what can you reasonably do to prevent bed bugs in such places? Inspect regularly and educate the community. Of course, but is that enough?

My understanding from trying to read between the lines in historical sources is that we will control the bed bugs in public places problem when we reduce the number of infestations in homes, and only then.

And yet, this advice, the title of this post, is solid. If it’s all you can do, may as well do it like you mean it. I’m partial to the ID photos and tools in the NYS IPM/Cornell Guidelines, and also the out-of-this-world bed bug life cycle diagram in Dr. Anderson’s presentation (PDF) — there are many others and everyone should have no problem teaching others about what bed bugs look like. (People often want to see photos to scale, but they are seldom helpful, and maybe we should encourage public health departments to make available bed-bugs-on-a-stick with all life stages.)

Comments are closed.

Copyright © 2012 New York vs Bed Bugs Top