Terminix reminds Dayton residents of bed bug issues for upcoming school year

Bed bugs
This 2008 file photo provided by Virginia Tech Department of Entomology shows mother and child bed bugs. (AP Photo/Virginia Tech Department of Entomology, Tim McCoy)

DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) – Dayton made the bed bug list in 2015 due in part to multiple Dayton-area schools, according to a study by Terminix.

“The communal living spaces and active student populations of schools … increase the likelihood of some terrible roommates: bed bugs,” according to the press release from Terminix.

“The bed bug problem exists in the city of Dayton itself, which is what makes area schools susceptible to problems. There are no current bed bug infestations that we know of in Dayton schools,” a follow-up email from Lauren Cook, Terminix Spokeswoman.

Universities such as the University of Dayton and Wright State University says there is no bed bug “problem” at the university, but that there are a few cases each school year that are quickly handled.

Seth Bauguess, Wright State’s director of Communications says roughly 10 to 15 cases are reported each year in a residential community of 3,000 — a number that’s down from 10 years ago.

He says the decline in number is all thanks to prevention and elimination, such as pre-treating every room before students move in for the school year, as well as bringing in bug-sniffing dogs.

Parents and students are given material at move in that gives them information about how to prevent the spread of bed bugs.

Bauguess says that nearly every bed bug case at the university has come from a student who had gone out of state and then returned.

When the university does have a case, it has the students leave the room, heats it to a high degree, which kills the bed bugs.

Dayton takes rank number five on the list of Top Bed Bug cities released by Terminix. Six cities in the Buckeye state take the top 15 spots.

  1. Detroit, Mich.
  2. Philadelphia, Pa.
  3. Cleveland-Akron, Ohio
  4. Los Angeles, Calif.
  5. Dayton, Ohio
  6. Chicago, Ill.
  7. Columbus, Ohio
  8. Cincinnati, Ohio
  9. Dallas-Forth Worth, Texas
  10. San Francisco-Oakland-San Jose, Calif.
  11. Denver, Colo.
  12. Toledo, Ohio
  13. Oklahoma City, Okla.
  14. Baltimore, Md.
  15. New York, N.Y.

“College campuses are very interconnected, making a single infested futon a significant threat,” said Tom Jeffords, regional technical specialist at Terminix. “Fortunately, there are some protective measures students and their families can take before they even set foot on campus to prevent the spread. By carefully following our tips, students can beat the bite and focus on their studying — or whatever.”

To avoid being bitten by the pesky bugs, Terminix suggests adding a bed-bug proof mattress, pillow and box spring cover to your back-to-school shopping list; thoroughly scanning your room on move-in day; Inspecting mattresses and furniture, looking for discarded shells, live bugs, a sweet musty odor or small blood stains; cracking open your textbooks (bed bugs have been known to hitch a ride inside used textbooks or loans from the library); and wash any used clothing and dry on high heat.

Terminix suggests avoiding picking up discarded or second-hand furniture; leaving jackets, backpacks or clothing on the floor as this can make them easy targets for crawling bugs and avoid allowing your backpack to come in contact with others.

The Public Health Department of Dayton and Montgomery County says it does not have numbers from the universities in the Dayton-area reporting bed bug problems.

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