Steps can be taken to fight bed bugs

Posted 12 April 2017 at 8:38 am


Bed bugs are becoming quite the presence in Orleans County. We have seen the articles concerning the growing problem; case workers have seen the numerous afflicted families; schools are scrambling to protect their students and families.

Bed bugs can affect anyone, regardless of cleanliness or income. Most of us cannot help but cringe at the thought of an infestation in our own homes. It is imperative that we take steps to prevent and treat this problem quickly to prevent that fear from becoming a reality. There are things we can do to prevent the spread of bed bugs.

I am campaigning toward a bed-bug free future for Orleans County. It is my goal to provide mattress encasements to several low-income residents via local agencies and to promote the public to purchase mattress encasements for their own homes. Mattress encasements can make it easier to identify bed bugs due to the light color, but also to prevent infestation of the mattress.

Many people are quick to dispose of a mattress that has been infested with bed bugs; however, it is possible to utilize a mattress encasement to save the mattress. Additionally, simply throwing out the infested mattress, leads to the spread of bugs during the removal of the mattress and potentially could be picked up by an unsuspecting person intending to use this item in their own home. It is understandable that one would not want to sleep on a mattress that is now trapping an unknown number of pests; however, for many this may be the only option to keep from sleeping on the floor and to assist in the treatment of an infestation.

A major component of this initiative is to provide education to the community on bed bug prevention and treatment. The more we know about this problem, the better chance we have at stopping it. There was a time when head lice posed a similar threat, but we learned how to deal with it and hear about it less and less. Together, we can do the same in the battle against bed bugs.

Any donations received will be used for the direct purchase of mattress encasements. Mattress encasements and education material will be distributed by two human service agencies: The Eastern Orleans Community Center and Genesee Orleans Ministry of Concern. Individuals can donate purchased encasements to these locations to support the initiative or can make a monetary donation at either agency. Find great tips and information on Facebook at Bed Bug Free Orleans!

Thank you in advance for your support.

Andrea Skowneski