Tips offered for when the bed bugs bite

EAST LIVERPOOL Among the complaints health Commissioner Jelayne Dray has had to address this month were those concerning bed bugs.

She reported to the board of health Thursday that, whether in private homes or rental properties, bed bugs are “nothing new” and have “been around a long time.”

Dray said that, while some people may never be aware they have been bitten, others suffer allergic reactions to bed bug bites and develop painful swellings similar to mosquito or flea bites.

She offered tips on ridding the home of bed bugs, saying it may require a professional exterminator but vacuuming will remove some of them.

For infested items such as clothing, bedding and blankets, placing them in a clothes dryer on high heat for 20 minutes will kill the bugs and their eggs.

Mattresses and box springs can be enclosed in bed bug-proof zippered covers which will kill the bugs, but Dray emphasized, “The cover should remain in place for more than one year because bed bugs can survive a long time without feeding.”

In other matters, Dray reported health nurse Stephanie Summers had a Vaccine for Children site visit in May and the evaluation showed three minor issues that needed corrected. Those were corrected during the site visit.

Dray also said Summers wanted to inform the community that TB testing is not done at the local health department, saying she had been receiving calls regarding the testing.

Noting that October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, Summers issued a reminder that all woman 50 and older should schedule a mammogram every two years.