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Getting Rid of Bed Bugs in Cincinnati

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Unfortunately Bed bugs Cincinnati problems place the City as #5 on a listing of the top cities in the U.S. for bed bugs infestations (2013 Orkin Report). There have been reports of bed bugs  being brought home in library books and house fires caused by bed bug treatment.

Cincinnati is not alone with 4 cities in Ohio making the top 15 including Cleveland, Columbus and Dayton. The
University of Cincinnati Institute for Policy Research found that 14.5% of residents have suffered from bed bugs. Luckily, the Cincinnati Department of Health offers advice and services for removing infested furniture. Hamilton
County also provides assistance for apartment bed bug problems including help with resolving any landlord and tenant issues.

We always recommend going with professional exterminator when tackling bed bugs Cincinnati problems, but home owners can treat infestations using a kit. No single product can completely remove an infestation (see below for details).

Cincinnati bed bug mapBed bug mattress stains

If visiting Cincinnati and staying a local hotel, do your own room inspection as follows:

  1. Pull back the sheets and inspect the mattress corner.
  2. If the mattress has stains or if insects can be seen in the seams, then call the manager immediately. Most major chains actively check for bed bugs and have treatment protocols.

Call in Cincinnati Based bed bug exterminators

bed bug mattress stains - example 2Bed bug mattress stains

Removing bed bugs in Cincinnati is hard work and often requires 2 to 3 treatments, even with the best equipment.

Start by calling in a professional to confirm that you have a bed bug problem and who can determine the size of the problem.  We suggest starting with Home Advisor Network (1.877-233-1145), since they represent several local companies and provide up to 3 free quotes. The network also checks to make sure  that exterminators are licensed and insured. Contacting more than one bed bugs Cincinnati exterminator is important due to the high cost and differences in terms of how each firm applies their bedbug treatment program.  Some rely on sprays, while others use heat.  Heat is always preferable, since it is chemical free and 100% effective.  The problem is that it is also expensive, particularly when treating an entire home.

You can also check our list of local bed bug pest control experts.  Each firm on the list will provide a free quote.  You can search the list of local bed bug experts here.

To read consumer reviews of pest control companies specializing in bed bugs Cincinnati problems see Angies List.

How to Kill Bed Bugs in Cincinnati

Bed bugs on inside furniture trackBed Bugs Hiding on Furniture Track

Home Owner Advice

If you live in a single family home , the first decision is whether to fight bed bugs yourself using a "do it yourself" kit or to hire a professional.  For small infestations or those that are limited to one area of the room, you can start with home treatment. If ineffective after 2 to 3 treatments, then you can switch to a professional. Remember, even for professionals, removing bed bugs is still a challenge.

The main obstacle to hiring a professional is the cost.  There will be a fee for the home inspection ($100-$500) and then another fee for the treatment itself ($750+).  The advantage of a professional is that they know where to look in the home, their experience in fighting bedbugs and any specialized equipment they might have.

A do it yourself kit, such as the one offered by Bed Bug Patrol (organic kit) or an insecticide based kit (matter of preference), can also be effective as they contain the 4 key products needed to fight an infestation.  This includes a bed bug safe spray (kills bedbugs and eggs on contact and in cracks), fossil dust  and residual sprays (to kill bedbugs after treatment ends and around electrical outlets - it is easy to miss the insects or eggs during the 1st treatment), a hand steamer (to kill bed bug eggs) and mattress covers (to trap any remaining bedbugs that you might have missed).  Kits cost approximately $160.

If you decided to do it yourself or for how to prepare your home prior to professional treatment, see our guide on  how to kill bed bugs

Advice for apartment tenants

bed bugs hiding under carpet - example 5Bed Bugs Hiding Under Carpet

If you live in a Cincinnati apartment and have a bed bugs problem, be sure to contact your landlord so that he or she can coordinate the extermination program throughout the building.  To date (9/2010), landlords are not required to provide an apartments bed bugs Cincinnati history before a tenant moves into the unit.

Cincinnati Health Department Bed Bugs Video and news

If you decide to treat the problem yourself, it is more cost effective to purchase a bed bug removal kit. You can buy one that is organic or insecticide based.  The kits contain all of the products mentioned below (knock down spray, longer lasting spray, powder) and are an economical way to approach the problem. 

Getting rid of bed bugs is hard work, and having the right products available will help.  It may take two or three treatments. If an infestation is large, call a professional. 

If you live in an apartment all adjacent apartments will need to be inspected in order to find the source of an infestation (next door, higher and lower floor). There is a 20% chance that an infestation will spread from apartment to apartment.

Cincinnati Worst in the Nation for Bed Bugs

News Story on the Extent of the Bed Bugs Problem in Cincinnati.

Bed Bugs Cincinnati News

Cincinnati Landlord Tenant Bed Bug Law

Laws that govern responsibility for Cincinnati bed bug treatment are set by the Cincinnati Health Department (Board of Health Regulations), the Neighborhood Quality of Life Code and laws in Ohio. The law states that "the abatement of vermin is the responsibility of both the owner/manager and the occupant of an infested building.

Said another way, the law isn't clear on who is responsible for treating the issue. In cases such as this, we suggest:

  • Working with building management to treat the problem in all apartments that are adjacent to the problem
  • Splitting the cost of treatment
  • If the landlord refuses to help, contact the Cincinnati Department of Health for assistance
  • If they will not provide assistance, hire a lawyer and consider placing rent into escrow until the problem is addressed
  • Contact the television media to see if negative attention to the building will result in action by the building managers

government resources

  • Ohio Department of Health - the health department offers a free bed bug identification service for Ohio residents. Call the department (614) 752-1029 or send in this form with your sample (PDF download).

    If you rent a home or apartment within Hamilton County (excluding cities of Cincinnati, Norwood, Sharonville or Springdale) and you think you have bed bugs, please contact the Hamilton County General Health District at (513) 946-7832. Health District sanitarians will work with your landlord to eliminate the problem. A bed bug fact sheet from Hamilton County is available here (pdf).
  • Cincinnati Schools - the Cincinnati Schools has published a formal bed bug protocol for parents and staff which can be downloaded here (PDF).
  • Cincinnati Health Department - Brochure on "How Can I Get Rid of Bed Bugs? You also download the bed bug information sheet published by the health department here.
  • Cincinnati Bed Bug Hot line - Call 513.591.6000 with questions or to arrange a pickup of furniture that has been contaminated with bedbugs
  • Central Ohio Bed Bug Task Force
  • Ohio State University Bed Bugs Fact Sheet
  • University of Kentucky


Each of these free brochures provides additional information on how to identify bed bugs in your home or apartment.

Questions to ask before hiring a bed bugs exterminator in Cincinatti.
Available in a free Ebook

Cincinnati Guide to Getting Rid of Bed Bugs.
Available in a free Ebook

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