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The Sound of Ideas

The Ins and Outs of Bedbugs

Posted Monday, October 11, 2010

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The Ins and Outs of Bedbugs Bloodsucking bedbugs have made a comeback in metropolitan areas recently and are gaining ground in northeast Ohio. Despite their name, they're not staying in bed -- they've been found in movie theaters, office buildings and even Niketown in New York! On the next Sound of Ideas, we'll learn the extent of the invasion here; it's not terrible yet, but experts say the bedbugs are coming. And we'll learn what to do so we can all sleep tight without letting the bedbugs bite.


Environment, Health, Other, Community/Human Interest


Susan C. Jones, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Entomology, The Ohio State University
Rick Novickis, Supervisor, Environmental Health Services, Cuyahoga County Board of Health
Mhari Saito, Reporter, ideastream

Additional Information

Bedbug Fact Sheet, The Ohio State University Extension
Bedbugs Bite Their Way Across the Country, CBS News
Top 15 cities for bedbugs, These are the top 15 cities for bedbugs according to Terminix, LA Times
Good Night, Sleep Tight, Don't Let The Bedbugs ... Fresh Air, WHYY
Bedbug Information, Cuyahoga County Board of Health
Bed Bug Conference - November 4, 2010, Cuyahoga County Board of Health

Leave a Comment

Please follow our community discussion rules when composing your comments.

Sam 9:28 AM 10/11/10

It is incorrect to suggest that bed bugs do not transmit disease. They are known to transmit typhus fever.

Melissa 9:47 AM 10/11/10

I am highly allergic to deer fly bites.  Is it likely that I would have to the reaction to bed bug bites?

Tate, Lakewood 9:51 AM 10/11/10

We purchased a foam mattress and the website indicated that it was bed-bug resistant. I was wondering him if I can know more about this stuff.

Joane 9:53 AM 10/11/10

Forewarned is forearmed.  Sorry, don’t want them.  My parents tell of the horror stories in the ‘40’s after they migrated from Louisiana.  I was born in 1949 and since black people were very limited in where they could live, they were relgated to this horror.  My parents tell of how they fought to keep them off me as their first born.  I take their word for it.  I do not want them.  I do not want my grandchildren to encounter them.  I don’t care if they do not carry disease.  Get real.  They bite and that alone is the ‘raison d’etre’ to get rid of them.

Bob, Cleveland Heights 9:56 AM 10/11/10

One of your guests suggested that the banning of DDT as a commonly used pesticide allowed bedbugs to come back. 

It’s my understanding that DDT was withdrawn from the market because it was toxic, but also because companies stopped wanting to use it because it has lost much of it’s effectiveness… Due to widespread use many bugs it was used against had developed immunity to it, bed bugs included.  The reason people want you to believe banning DDT had negative effects is some people are just opposed to the existance of government environmental regulation on philosophical grounds.

RONALD LOUI 12:37 PM 10/12/10

Love NPR and Proud of Ideastream, but I wanted to grab you guys and shake you for not addressing the effectiveness of ditomaceous earth in combatting bed bugs.  It seems to me that this natural, non-toxic approach (it dessicates the exoskeletons of insects and causes them to explode on contact) is an obvious, natural fit for listeners to this station in this day and age.  It’s inexpensive, easy to deal with, effective, and safe.  I heard your “apology” today, but I don’t think that’s enough.  Maybe you need a whole show dedicated to smart solutions rather than “sky is falling” “woe is me” journalism with “experts” who have businesses built on expensive solutions.


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