Bed Bugs in OKC?

Warning: By the end of this post, you’re going to be itching all over.

bed bugs on a mattress outside an oklahoma city apartment complex

Growing up, my mom and dad both had a little saying at bedtime: “Nite-nite, sleep-tight, and don’t let the bed bugs bite.” I really never gave it much thought. They explained to me that it was just a funny little saying, and bed bugs had been eradicated in the United States many years ago. There was simply nothing to worry about because bed bugs were a thing of the past.

That was true until a resurgence of the blood-sucking creatures in the late 1990s. Click here to see a picture of a bed bug from the Centers for Disease Control.

I didn’t learn of this problem until I read a post in 2007 on — of all things — Penelope Trunk’s career blog. Trunk blogged about the pests again this last September 27, after a recent trip to New York City. The post literally made me queasy. I immediately did a search on Google to find out if Oklahoma City had a bed bug problem.

bed bugs on a mattress outside an oklahoma city apartment complexBased on an August 2010 story by News 9, there were no bed bugs in Oklahoma until around 2009. By 2010, exterminators reported a 500 percent increase in requests for bed bug exterminations.

I did some more checking and found out the Oklahoma City-County Health Department has an as an aggressive bed bug abatement program for apartment complexes, hotels and motels. That made me feel a lot better. That is, until today, when 10 blocks from my house I passed this senior citizen apartment complex and saw this disgusting mattress spray-painted: BEDBUGS. 

Once again, I did a Google search for bed bugs in Oklahoma City. That’s when I turned up an independent, citizen reporting site that features bed bug reports in hotels and apartment complexes all across the nation. I’m not going to link to it because I don’t know if these reports are legitimate, but it was enough to make me nauseous.


There’s been a lot of great news about Oklahoma City’s economy lately. The last thing we need are bed bugs running around town. Unfortunately, this is a growing problem in every city nationwide. Just this week, the Columbus Dispatch (Ohio) reported on a public forum to address their bed bug problem. I hope they’re eradicated sooner than later. 

Here are a couple articles to help you address your concerns about bed bugs. 

How To Avoid Bed Bugs When Traveling (September 2012)
Should residents pay for bed bug problem? (KFOR, October 2, 2012)
Are You A Bed Bug Magnet? (Web MD, April 2012)

 

7 Responses to “Bed Bugs in OKC?”

  1. Jennifer

     Oh, ugh. I feel sick. This stuff seriously makes me never want to stay at another hotel or check out another book again. We had this problem in Tulsa!

    Reply
  2. ToB

    Oh yeah, I forgot to say – libraries are really bad for bedbugs. I think the Vancouver Public Library had a problem? Not sure – but people read the book in bed, fall asleep with the book on or near the bed, and the bugs crawl in the book spine and get transferred to the next person who takes the book out, as well as to the main library.

    Reply
  3. ToB

    Yes, a visiting friend stayed at a 5-star hotel in Montreal not far from my home. The hotel was infested! I did some reading and found that they can even be transferred on chairs at the bank, movie cinemas, buses, taxi cabs, coat checks at restaurants and museums, and so on. Total nightmare.

    Reply
  4. Sheri Guyse

    Remediation is $2,000, which is painful. But life-altering if you get a reinfestation (say from the kids’ other house, hotels when you travel, an antique chair you purchase and bring home) and have to treat several times.

    I have a blog brewing about it. I did have a couple different stress reactions that I’m still dealing with.And I bet most or all of that complex is infested. :-(

    Reply
  5. Jennifer

    Hey Sheri!! It’s great to hear from you – even if it is about bed bugs. Your comment reminds me of an article I found while researching this post. It was about the emotional toll that bed bug infestation takes on people. I have heard of those dogs – only because Trunk mentioned them in her last post. I guess at one point she had to throw everything away – including books, shoes, clothes. I can only imagine how much remediation costs. I hope that whatever was on that mattress was not bedbugs. If it was, there is a good chance that entire complex is infested. It’s just not good. It feels like a public health crisis is brewing and the impact on the hotel/motel industry could be significant.

    Reply
  6. Sheri Guyse

    There were tiny bugs that popped up in our bedroom by the bazillion over the summer. Like, one week there were a few and the next there was a plague. And I was waking up with welts. 

    I freaked the eff out, especially when I started Googling what it takes to really rid yourself of a bedbug infestation. We stopped sleeping and at one point we sent our kids to the other parents’ house while we formulated a plan. 

    A very kind man who owns a bed-bug sniffing dog (no, really. Her name is Liberty) suggested I take a few to the OSU-OKC Extension office for a real identification before I hired Liberty. 
    Turns out, I did NOT have bed bugs. But it was weeks before I could sleep decently. My first night in a hotel on a trip was MISERABLE. I was certain they were crawling on me all night.

    ::shudder::

    Reply

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