- Associated Press - Monday, July 24, 2017

DECATUR, Ill. (AP) - A resurgence of bed bugs has cities in central Illinois scurrying for answers of how to tackle the issue.

Bed bugs are becoming a problem in places such as Decatur because there’s no funding for prevention and extermination, the Herald & Review (http://bit.ly/2tDLLZk ) reported. The small, flat, brown bugs that bite don’t carry a disease, which causes them to be excluded from falling under the authority of governmental organizations, such as state health departments.

“Nobody in the city of Decatur and Macon County as a whole has jurisdiction over bed bugs,” said Kathy Wade, Macon County Health Department’s director of environmental health. “We don’t have the funding to help, and the city doesn’t have the funding to help. We can’t track them. We have started keeping a list of how many calls come in, but we don’t map them out.”

The bugs are attracted to warm bodies, spread easily, and are difficult and expensive to eliminate. They’ve been found in a variety of places, including hotels, apartment buildings, homes, restaurants and churches.

“I don’t think anyone saw it coming and hitting as hard as we got hit in Macon County,” Wade said. “In the last week and a half, we’ve taken eight calls on bedbugs here. It is a problem.”

To try and resolve the issue, Macon County formed the Bed Bug Coalition, which includes the city, landlords, business owners, schools, health and social service organizations.

Scott Fisher of Scottie’s Pest Control in Decatur said bed bugs typically are eliminated through three treatments. Treatments prices range from $250 to $1,000 per treatment, depending on the size of the dwelling.

“It’s not a one-time shot - it’s a procedure,” Fisher said. “We use chemicals with residuals and direct-contact killing agents.”

Fisher, who has worked in pest control for nearly 40 years, said he began seeing bed bugs pop up about seven or eight years ago. He said now he performs two bed bug jobs a week.

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Information from: Herald & Review, http://www.herald-review.com

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