Is Cincinnati making progress in the bed bug fight?

Mar 29, 2013

The Cincinnati Health Department says the number of residents with bed bug infestation is down seven percent since 2009. But at least two members of the Joint Bed Bug Task Force disagree that the city is making real progress.

Ohio Representative Dale Mallory leads the task force and says he's frustrated that Cincinnati hasn't worked hard enough to get bigger decreases. He says the city is still near the top on many U.S. bed bug lists.

Terminix lists Cincinnati as number two and Orkin has Cincinnati as number five for the most bed bug infestations.

Spokesman Rocky Merz says, "this is by no means an end all, be all solution, but it is a very positive indication to us that the methods we've implored via the strategic plan, are beginning to have an impact."

bed bug
Credit Wikimedia Commons

But Ohio State entomologist Susan Jones says the survey only questioned 500 people and she questions whether Cincinnati's bed bug numbers are decreasing in a big enough way to promote.

"I have talked to pest control companies in the Cincinnati area and they report 2012 was a banner year. They did more bed bug work that year than they had ever done before."

Jones would like to see more information on the methodology used by UC's Institute for Policy Research. She also would like to have pest control information included.

The Health Department stands by its data, saying it was a statistically valid survey.