Middlesex County Educates Residents About Bed Bugs

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MIDDLESEX COUNTY – The county’s health department is working to educate residents about bed bugs. Fact sheets in both English and Spanish are being distributed through municipal government offices, local health departments, libraries and senior centers.

The fact sheets are also available on the county web site at http://co.middlesex.nj.us/publichealth/hot-topics.asp.

Middlesex County Public Health Department Director-Health Officer David A. Papi will also appear with Perth Amboy Mayor Wilda Diaz on a special taping of the topic to be aired on channel 34 (Comcast) and 47 (Verizon) for the residents of the city.

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During the program, Papi tells residents that it will take a community effort to eliminate bed bugs. “Home owners, business owners, landlords, property managers and tenants will need to take a proactive approach on prevention and control in order to successfully eliminate them,” he says.

“Bed bugs are insects that are normally found hiding in cracks and crevices near sleeping areas during the day and come out to feed on humans at night. They are frequently found in dwellings with a high rate of occupant turnover, such as hotels, motels, apartment complexes,” Papi says in the program. “Bed bugs are wingless, oval shaped, appear to be flat, reddish-brown in color, and adults are about one-quarter of an inch in length.”

“An infestation of bed bugs does not mean your dwelling is not clean or sanitary. They can be brought into your home by hitching a ride on clothing or luggage. It is strongly recommended that treatments for bed bug infestations be conducted by a licensed New Jersey pesticide applicator,” said Papi.

“Although bed bugs are not known to transmit disease or illness, the bites can cause itching and small lesions. Constant scratching of these bites may result in a secondary infection. Persons should consult a physician if they think they may have been bitten by bed bugs,” said Papi.

To prevent a bed bug infestation it is important to perform the following actions:

  • Carefully inspect clothing and luggage when returning home from travel
  • Remove clutter from your home
  • Caulk or seal cracks and crevices in the home (especially near sleeping areas)
  • Repair loose wallpaper
  • Tuck in sheets and blankets so they do not have contact with the floor
  • Encase mattresses and box springs in special mattress bags

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