Bed Bugs Podcast Transcript


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Welcome to the Informed Consumer, providing the latest tips and tools to assist consumers in making informed decisions, from the Fairfax County Consumer Affairs Branch.

Today’s topic: Bed Bugs. We will discuss prevention, education, and resources.

Made famous by the phrase, “sleep tight, don’t let the bed bugs bite,” these bugs are back in action.  Although they are not at the top of the list of unwanted bugs that invade our living areas, they are quickly rising.  The first line of defense against bed bugs is to be aware of what they are, why they are here, and what you can do to avoid letting bed bugs invade your home.

The following essential tips will help you take the bite out of bed bugs:

ASK QUESTIONS: If you suspect bed bugs or have bed bugs, notify your landlord or property management company if you live in a rental property or contact a pest control professional for your home.  Be sure to follow all instructions and requirements for treatment and don’t let up until the infestation is eliminated.

DON’T TRY HOME REMEIDES: Store bought sprays or oils advertised on the Internet may actually cause bed bugs to spread or create a hazardous situation.  Hire a licensed, qualified pest control professional.  Contact the Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services Office of Pesticide Services at 1-800-552-9963 for licensing and certification requirements for pest control professionals. 

DON’T PASS-ON AN INFESTATION: Never place infested items in hallways or other common areas where you live.  If you need to throw something away, mark it up or put a label on the items that says “BED BUGS” so it won’t be tempting for someone to take.

DON’T MOVE: If your apartment or home is being treated for bed bugs, don’t move until the treatment is completed.  If you do, you might spread bed bugs and start the infestation cycle all over again.

TALK ABOUT IT: Find out as much as you can about bed bugs.  Make sure everyone in your home is aware of bed bugs so they know how to avoid and prevent them from spreading.  

LEARN MORE: The Environmental Health Section of the Fairfax County Health Department provides information and education about Bed Bugs.  Contact the Environmental Health Ambassadors program for more information at 703-246-2205.

BE ALERT: Make sure you know what might be sleeping in your mattress. From time to time, check all sleeping areas for signs of bed bugs. Carefully inspect all used furniture before bringing it into your home. When traveling and after traveling, inspect your belongings to make sure bed bugs don’t hitch a ride in your luggage.

By being alert, proactive, and knowing when to get professional pest management services, we can all be a part of the solution in dealing with the little bugs that create a big problem.

To get the message out, the Fairfax County Tenant-Landlord Commission, in partnership with the Department of Cable and Consumer Services, and the Fairfax County Health Department presents a fact filled Consumer Focus program on Fairfax County Government Channel 16. Visit www.fairfaxcounty.gov/cable/channel16/ for show times and video on demand.

Thanks for listening to the Informed Consumer. For more information on this topic or if you feel that you’ve been a victim of a scam, please contact the Consumer Affairs Branch at 703-222-8435 or visit our web site at www.fairfaxcounty.gov/consumer. Informed Consumer is produced by the Fairfax County, Virginia, government.

 


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