Baltimore Takes Neighborly Approach To Bed Bugs | WAMU 88.5 - American University Radio

: News

Baltimore Takes Neighborly Approach To Bed Bugs

Play associated audio

Public health departments around the region are teaching people about bed bugs: how to avoid, detect them, and get rid of them. In Baltimore, the message is that neighbors need to help each other manage the problem.

Bed bugs are hitchhikers that crawl between shared walls. That's a problem in a city that's chock-a-block with row houses.

"They could be next door, and you might not know it," says Mike O'Leary of the Baltimore City Health Department. "And when people try to get rid of them on their own, often times they do things that will repel the bugs into their neighbors' home."

O'Leary says if you have bed bugs, you need to tell your neighbors so you can come up with a solution together, instead of sending the bugs back and forth between homes.

Admitting publically that you have bed bugs is a tall order. That's why O'Leary says he's working hard to reduce the stigma associated with the bugs.

"Many people believe there are bed bugs because people are dirty or poor. It has nothing to do with that. Anyone can have bed bugs. Bed bugs are no one's fault. You can pick them up anywhere. I could have them on me now," he says.

Baltimore 311 operators have received 640 calls about bed bugs in the past 12 months. That's more than double the number of calls received in the previous 12-month period.

WAMU 88.5

Art Beat With Lauren Landau, Oct. 23

You can see a play and hear music made famous by film.

NPR

Why California's Drought-Stressed Fruit May Be Better For You

Is California's severe drought hurting the nutrient content of fruit? No, preliminary data on pomegranates suggest. The fruit may be smaller, but packed with more antioxidants, tests show.
NPR

In North Carolina, Latino Voters Could Decide Tight Senate Race

Latinos make up 9 percent of the state's population and 2 percent of registered voters, and a new poll shows many are undecided. In Charlotte, Michel Martin learns more about their growing influence.
NPR

Mark Zuckerberg Shows Off His Mandarin Chinese Skills

The Facebook co-founder and CEO spoke at Tsinghua University in Beijing for about 30 minutes. In Mandarin. His audience liked it.

Leave a Comment

Help keep the conversation civil. Please refer to our Terms of Use and Code of Conduct before posting your comments.