When Americans think of household infestations and pests, some longstanding suspects come to mind. Rats, mice, and cockroaches are dreaded, yet fairly common, pests who enjoy many of the comforts of a human house. However, bed bugs, a pest with a more specific need—human blood—are back with a vengeance, and many government employees are beginning to take notice and take action.
Some cities have been more responsive to the rise in bed bug activity than others.Kansas City, Missouri, is now on the front lines of the war on the bugs. And longtime Kansas City rat control supervisor Michael Swoyer is doing his best to lead the efforts.
Many of Swoyer’s calls in recent years have been about bed bugs, not rats—so many that he was no longer content to tell them to seek help elsewhere. Bed bug treatment can be affordable, but a rash of city-wide bed bug exterminations would extend the Health Department far beyond its budget. Bed bugs don’t pose the same public health threat that rats do, and thus aren’t as high a priority when allocating Health Department funding.
But Swoyer had his heart set on helping fight bed bugs anyway. He is, along with other Health Department officials, establishing a bed bug education program. The program will offer classes aimed at giving homeowners advice about bed bug and other insect infestations, and may include discounted prices on treatments from local pest control companies. “It’s the right thing to do,” Swoyer said. “People can live better. When they call us, they need help. That’s why we started this program.”
The program, which bills itself as “integrated pest management,” has been several months in the making. Swoyer outlined the problems he was facing late last year, after receiving numerous phone calls, emails, and walk-in complaints about bed bug maintenance.
Swoyer is adamant that educating homeowners will greatly benefit public health. “Obviously, bed bugs are a problem and bed bugs are the engine that’s pushing the thing, but the fact is that there’s a long-term health crisis going on with people with asthma, particularly children with asthma,” Swoyer said. “Bed bugs to a small extent, but mice and cockroaches definitely, spread allergens and make asthma attacks worse for kids.”
Many Americans, unfortunately, only realize the severity of the present-day bed bug epidemic when it’s too late. Stay ahead of the curve—get bed bug detection, prevention, and extermination service from Bed Bug Solutions!