Councilman and Department of Public Health to help residents with rising bed bug cases in Cleveland

CLEVELAND - Officials are saying that bed bug cases in Cleveland are increasing rapidly and now they're trying to help you.

Councilman T.J. Dow and the Department of Public Health will host meetings next week to give residents information they should know about bed bugs.

The meetings are open to the public and will all be held at 6 p.m. with these dates and locations.

- Monday, February 13 - Erie Square, 7621 Euclid Avenue and 7711 Euclid Avenue
- Tuesday, February 14 - Rockefeller Park Towers, 1588 Ansel Road
- Wednesday, February 15 - Addison Square, 7400 Wade Park Avenue
- Thursday, February 16 - Springbrook Apartments, 1675 Ansel Road
- Friday, February 17 - Willson Apartments, 1919 East 55th Street

Experts warn that Cleveland could be at just the beginning of an outbreak and that bed bugs can affect anyone, no matter location or income.

Here are some bed bug tips from the Department of Health:

Avoiding bedbugs

- Carefully inspect second-hand furniture, especially an upholstered or wood item, before bringing it home.
- Wash both new and second-hand clothing as soon as you bring it home. Dry on high heat.
- Keep purses and bags off floors in offices and theaters.

Identifying bedbugs

- Look for reddish lentil-sized bugs, reddish brown stains or droppings on mattresses or box springs, or small sticky white eggs.
-Watch for bites that become itchy welts.

Dealing with bed bugs in your home

- Buy mite-proof or bed bug-proof mattress covers for your mattresses and box springs. Bed bugs can stay dormant without a host for more than a year, so leave the covers on.
- Pick up clutter and vacuum often. Vacuum up a little talc or baking soda after each cleaning session to kill bugs in the bag or dust cup.
- Take clothes to the dry cleaners or wash clothing and bedding in hot water and dry on the dryer's highest heat setting.
- Put cloth items that aren't washable (like stuffed animals) in the dryer for 30 minutes on high heat.
- Contact an exterminator

For additional information, call Cleveland Department of Public Health at 216-664-2300.

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