Bed bug task force
Description of Ideal Scenario
In order to provide stakeholders with tools to minimize & eliminate bed bug infestations and limit the spread in Linn County, the community needs resources, education, policies, procedures, and understanding of legal issues including HIPPA, civil rights, landlord / tenant laws, and local housing codes. There shall be a standard practice for municipal ordinances within Linn County. There is community buy in, there is no stigma or fear of disclosure.
The Reality of the Situation
There is no quick fix. Currently there are limited resources available for treatment and prevention techniques for bed bugs. There is also lack of protocols that define the roles and responsibilities of stakeholders and what processes work best to control and prevent the pests. There is no formalized education for all stakeholders and a training program for key stakeholders, and there is not a clear understanding of legal issues. Lack of transitional housing during treatment period. There is a social stigma associated with bed bugs. There are significant personal barriers (i.e. resources, physical prep, evacuation of premises). Lack of personal responsibility, lack of financial resources among segments of the population. There is a lack of understanding on how to treat for bed bugs resulting in misuse of pesticides or other treatment measures.
The Consequences for Linn County
If the Linn County community does not disseminate, develop, and provide adequate resources and education for bed bug treatment and prevention techniques, bed bugs will continue to spread and infest buildings especially occupants living in multi-unit housing. Bed bug eradication is costly and can be a huge economic burden for the entire community. Failure to control bed bugs may result in lost productivity due to missed work and school days, and health effects of mental health symptoms such as insomnia, stress, and anxiety. Increased pesticide exposure and improper use when failing to read the appropriate warning labels. Financial losses from eradication of the bed bugs, legal costs, and property values. There will be economic consequences for commerce, retail, travel & tourism and real estate.
National Geographic Bed Bug Video
May 22, 2012
June 5, 2012