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Ohio Bed Bugs Resources

Beg bugs on human thumb - magnified viewAdult Bed Bugs on Human Thumb (1/4 to 3/8 inches long)

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overview - Bed Bugs Ohio Problems

In 2017, several Ohio cities were on the list of most infested cities in the U.S. (Cincinnati #8, Columbus #5, Dayton #7, Cleveland/Akron/Canton #13), making Ohio the #1 state for bed bug problems.

Consistent with the overall trend of increase bed bug infestations, an apartment house in Columbus was featured in a 10TV news story on the infestation. According to Dana Rose, code enforcement officer in Columbus, and the Columbus Dispatch, indicated that bed bug infestation reports are coming in "2x to 3x a week from all over thecity."

Bed bugs in Dayton have been a problem for apartment residents. Approximately 180 residents of the Biltmore residence had tomove out of their homes for a week while exterminators sealed thebuilding and used Vikane gas to kill thebedbugs.

With government funding shortfalls in Cincinnati, proactive inspections have ended with government focusing on lower cost education efforts. reported that  there are approximately 12 bed bug infestation cases reported in Northern Kentucky per week (2009).  CincinnatiState Representatives are calling for government assistance with the problem (2009). The Ohio State University extension recommends marking any discarded furniture that was thrown out due to bedbugs and to inspect hotel rooms before entering to determine if bed bugs are present, before bringing in luggage.  

Time Magazine has reported that Cincinnati bed bug related problems are so bad that some apartment tenants would rather sleep on the streets. An article in the Cleveland Plain Dealer further confirms the Bed BugsOhio problem. A newspaper article on the bedbug problem quotes a representative from Orkin Pest Control who claims that in North Olmsted over the past 3 years (2007-2009), they've seen a +20% increase in bedbug related calls year to year. 

bed bugs found after bed inspection in a Ohio homeBed Bugs Found On Bed In A Ohio Home (Magnified View)

Hotels and MOtels

Hotels and single room occupancy facilities are regulated by the Bed bugs Ohio law (R.C. 3731.13) which states that bedding, floors and carpets must be kept sanitary. The law prohibits bedding which is infested with vermin or bedbugs from being used on any bed in any hotel.

how to eliminate bed bugs from your home or apartment

The first step is to determine if you actually have a bed bug problem is best left to a professional.We always recommend contacting a local pest control professional that is part of a pre-screened network such as HomeAdvisor. You can also call  1.877.673.2704. 

Whether you call or find an exterminator online, confirm that the pest control company will 1) visit your home, 2) confirm that you are having a bed bug problem, and 3) will provide a free quote.

If you want to have a bed bug identified without a bed bugs Ohio exterminator coming to your house, you can also contact your local Ohio Cooperative Extension office or Ohio State University.

Bed Bug Inspection Process

How to inspect a home or apartment for bed bugs. bed bugs on bed cover

do it yourself instructions

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.

Step 1: Clean and Steam

Remove and wash in hot water any you can items such as clothing and bed linens.  After the linens are removed, empty all nearby drawers onto the bed. Place all items into bins with snap tight lids. Do not carry anything from the room unless in a sealed bag or bin to avoid spreading bed bugs in the home. If you cannot clean the item, consider either freezing in the freezer or buy a portable bed bug heater that will kill any bed bugs called a PackTite.

Once clean, place clothes in a sealed plastic bag.  A good choice are Ziploc Big Bags since they are bed bug proof or a plastic bin with a snap tight lid. 

Vacuum any bed bugs that you can spot and then dispose of the vacuum bag in a sealed plastic bag. Use a crevice tool around the perimeter of the room, and along all mattress and box spring seams.

The use of a steamer can also be used to kill bed bugs.  Steam heat exceeds the required 113F needed to kill bed bugs and bed bug eggs. You can steam all surfaces (make sure you aren't staining furniture by testing first), which is a safe, chemical free way to treat bedbugs.  Consider steaming items such as the mattress, box spring, bed frame, headboard etc before using bedbug spray products. 

Using a steamer to kill bed bugsBed Bug Steamer Killing Bed Bugs Along Seams

Step 2: Spray

Two types of bedbug sprays are needed to effectively remove bedbugs from the home. The first a knock down spray, kills bed bugs and bed bugeggs on contact.  Our recommended insecticide based products are Sterifab and Bedlam.  If you prefer an organic spray, use Bed Bug Patrol.

Bed bug mattress spray treatmentTreatment Using Bed Bug Mattress Spray

The downside of a knock down spray is that it does not provide lasting protection once the spray drys.  Because of this, an additional spray is needed.  For this we suggest using Phantom.  If you only want to use organic products, combine Bed Bug Patrol with the application of dust  (also called bed bug dust or diatomaceous earth).

bed bug furniture treatmentTreat the inside of furniture such as night tables. Remove drawers and treat al seams and tracks.

Follow the manufacturers directions, particularly when using products on areas that come in contact with your family or pets. Be sure to treat the insides and backs of furniture, end tables, along baseboards etc.

Step 3: Use Bed Bug Dust

Spread bed bug fossil dust around the room in a thin layer. If any bugs are left or if any eggshaven't hatched,the dust will attach to the bed bugs shell and kill them.

bed bug mattress treatment - example 2After treating mattress and box spring with a knock down spray, add some Bed Bug Dust

Step 4: Move your bed and cover the mattress and box spring

For added protection, move your bed four to six inches away from the wall, to prevent bed bugs from climbing the wall to get to the bed. To keep insects from climbing up the bed legs, either buy an inexpensive bed bug trap for each bed leg such as Climbup Interceptors or put double sided tape around each bed leg. 

An alternative home made solution is to place each leg in a bowl filled with mineral oil or a thin layer of talcum powder or bed bug dust.

Bed bugs climbup protectorUse Climbup Interceptors to keep bed bugs from climbing the bed legs

After treatment, consider using bed bug mattress and box spring covers to trap any remaining insects inside. You do not have to throw away a mattress or box spring that is covered.  Throw out any pillows since these are more easily replaced (in sealed plastic bags).

See our guide for detailed instructions on how to treat bed bugs.

government and local resources

Cuyahoga Bed Bug Ohio Task Force LogoResources like the Cuyahoga County Bed Bug Taskforce Are Helping The Community Deal With The Bed Bug Infestation.

Information on Bed bugs Ohio infestations is available from many sources including the Ohio State University Cooperative Extension and local government health departments. 

This is a partial list of Bed Bugs Ohio resources. A good starting place for research on local ordinances is:

landlord and tenant rights

 Since bed bugs have not been linked them to the spread of disease,  they are not classified as "vermin" under state law (although pending bed bugs Ohio bills in the Ohio state House and Senate would do so).  The Centers for Disease Control identified them as a "pest of significant public health importance."  So it is only a matter of time before landlords are required to treat infested apartments.

The classification, or lack of it, directly affects the legal rights of tenants, according to Mike Piepsny, executive director of the Cleveland Tenants Organization.  If you live in Cleveland, the good news is that tenants in Cleveland can break a lease over infestations because the city's health and safety codes declare bedbugs a public nuisance.  

In Cleveland, if you are a  tenant, in accordance with Bed Bugs Ohio law, you must give your  landlord a written notice to correct any bedbug problem. If the landlord doesn't address the bedbug problem in 30 days, a tenant can break the lease.  A sample letter that can be sent to landlords about bed bugs Ohio problems -  informing them of a bedbug problem and a letter notifying the landlord after 30 days that you are breaking the lease is available by clicking this link to the Cleveland Tenants Organization.

ohio bed bugs news stories

- Fox 10 Now

- Fox 10 Now

- Plain Dealer Reporter

- 9

Scent Dogs Used To Sniff Out Bedbugs At Apartment Complex

- Columbus Dispatch

- Dayton Daily News

- Huffington Post

ohio based bed bug pest control experts

Eliminating bed bugs Ohio infestations from a home can be expensive. For this reason, it pays to contact a few local pest control companies in order to request quotes and to educate yourself on different approaches to the problem.  Speed is key as an infestation can spread quickly.

Use a Service that Offers Free Quotes. Start by searching our list of Ohio based bed bug exterminators.   Next, contact Home Advisor or call this number for a list of local experienced exterminators (1.877.673.2704).

Bed bug exterminators that are part of the Home Advisor or other networks are pre-screened before they can join the network.


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

Facts on Bed Bugs including pictures of what they look like and tips for killing bed bugs in Ohio.
Available in a free Ebook

Bed Bug Signs, Control Measures, Prevention and Inspection.
Available in a free Ebook

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