Zoonotic Disease Program
Have you ever seen a bed bug?
Bed bugs are insects that feed on human blood and have lived
with people for thousands of years. References to bed bugs are present in literature from as far back as 400 B.C. and were a common part of life in Europe by the 1600s.
These insects were once thought to be eradicated from the United States, but they are making a comeback and have affected every major city in Ohio. In the past four years, significant increases in bed bug reports to local health departments highlight the need for education and effective action against infestations.
So why have bed bugs returned? Although the bugs were nearly wiped out in the United States in the 1950s, other parts of the world did not see a similar decline. Changing pesticide use in combination with international travel and commerce left an opening for bed bugs to again take hold in the United States. Pesticide resistance contributes to the challenge of controlling this pest. While bed bugs are not known to transmit disease, they do bite and may cause allergic reactions. An infestation of bed bugs may be very costly and difficult to control and usually requires professional pest control help.
For more information on bed bugs, see the following links:
Bed bugs - Ohio Department of Health fact sheet
Bed Bugs in the Workplace: Information for Employees
Bed Bugs in the Workplace: Information for Program & Facilities Management
Central Ohio Bed Bug Task Force
Bed Bug Information – University of Kentucky
OSU Extension Bed Bug Fact Sheet
Ohio Bed Bug Task Force Report 2011
Last updated: 02/07/2013
Vector-borne Disease Program