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Bedbug Complaints Soar In San Francisco

SAN FRANCISCO (KCBS) – San Francisco’s South of Market neighborhood appears to have been hit hardest by a recent bedbug infestation. Fingers were quickly pointed at the recent heat wave as one of the factors that contributed to this pesky problem in San Francisco.

KCBS Bob Melrose Reporting:

Complaints to San Francisco’s Health Department about bedbugs were mainly from tenants and managers in single room occupancy hotels, more commonly known as SROs.

“Bedbugs are not easy to get rid of,” lamented Johnson Ojo, the health department’s special projects director.

The unusual heat wave in late September seemed to fuel the problem, with the health department fielding hundreds of calls about bedbugs.

Ojo warned that if not caught and aggressively treated right away, bedbugs had the potential to become long-term residents.

“People have become very complacent when dealing with or recognizing bedbugs. Many pest control companies don’t know how to deal with bedbugs and I will also say that because of the increase in travel, bedbugs have been brought in from other countries.”

That surge in travel, Ojo added, made it a city-wide problem and not an issue limited to lower-end facilities.

“Bedbugs do not discriminate,” he warned.

That meant bedbugs had the potential to show up at four-star hotels in the tony parts of town.

All the more reason, insisted Ojo, to nip the problem in the bud.

“A very knowledgeable pest control operator, we call them PCOs,” recommended Ojo. He stressed that it was essential that PCOs work in concert with hotel guests, staff and management.

San Francisco was not alone in dealing with bedbugs, Ojo pointed out.

“They can also fly first class through the airplanes, so you see bedbugs both in rich and poor residences.”

In fact, bedbugs made headlines this week for making their way into the federal building that houses the U.S. Agency for International Development in Washington, D.C.

USAID officials told employees this week that juvenile bedbugs were found in a single office at the agency’s tower in the Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center. There were no signs of the bugs elsewhere in the building.

Officials said that a pest control service would inspect offices and that any infected areas would be treated. They also said USAID and the General Services Administration would continue to be proactive to prevent any future bedbug activity.

The blood-feeder bugs are not known to transmit any diseases. But their bites can cause infections and allergic reactions in some people.

(© 2010 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

  • anibeth

    Who the frigging cares about bed bugs? Why are people complaining and whining about? Learn how to live with them! I don’t expect to see this as news again in the future.

    • Joyce

      I care about bed bugs! You can not learn to live with them… unless you learn to sleep with the lights on! Have you ever seen a baby covered in bites? An unhappy baby makes an unhappy mother. You have heard the saying, if mama is unhappy everyone is unhappy.

    • John

      You try waking up everyday with your body covered by bites and then tell us that you don’t care. I love how some people have the whole “it’s not a big deal to me so why should other people care about it” mentality … news flash anibeth, but the world doesn’t revolve around you. Most of the people I talk to regarding this topic DO actually care quite a bit about bedbugs. Like I said, wait until it happens to you … keep in mind getting bitten isn’t just for one night; once you get bedbugs you will be waking up with bites _every_ morning from then on. I bet a lot of people would care about that.

    • ashley

      really i think your point is stupid some people are very allergic how the hell would you like waking up with welts on your face and body so shut up who cares what you think really read up hun you must not get out much

  • joe

    Funny it doesn’t mentiooned where all these bed bugs came from, it’s pretty easy to identify that. There can only be one answer, besides the BS hot weather excuse, (yeah, it was really cooking in SF this summer) is a lot more people here with a lower quality of personal hygiene, and intelligence. All the rest is just a big pile of BS.

    • traveler

      Bed bugs travel by the luggage from one motel to the next. The bed bugs are not looking for dirt or dirty people, they want nice warm clothing to hide in when the lights come on. Personal hygiene has nothing to do with the bed bug problem.

    • John

      Yes, “traveler” is 100% correct … it has nothing to do with personal hygiene. Joe, please do your research before making ignorant comments.

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