Bed bugs affect Corcoran residents, infestation is a major housing and public health problem

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In 2010, Minneapolis/St. Paul ranked 15th on the list of cities with the worst infestation of bedbugs. An ongoing housing survey by CNO confirms that there are at least 11 unresolved complaints of bedbugs on a single block south of Lake Street.

“Bedbugs are a major problem,” states Peter Brown with Minnesota Tenant Union. “It seems to be believed that bedbugs are a contained problem, but it is likely they are widespread.” Long declared only a public nuisance by Minneapolis City Ordnance, Brown asserts “It is time to take a considered look at the very negative impacts of bedbugs on people’s lives.”

These negative impacts include tenants who are paying rent for infected units that are potential unfit to live in and in violation with state and city health and housing codes. Furthermore, renters that become affected by bedbugs are forced to destroy personal property including mattresses, bed frames, furniture and clothing. “Talk about taking of property without due process of law,” says Brown.

Beyond housing considerations, bedbugs are a considerable public health problem. Bedbugs are the size of an apple seed and bite into exposed skin, feeding on blood. A number of adverse health effects may result from bedbug bites, including skin rashes, psychological effects, and allergic symptoms.

John Reed, Minneapolis Police Department liaison, states that “bedbugs are able to stay dormant for a year”, so while they may appear dead, they are most likely just dormant and will continue to feed when they have the chance. When bedbugs bite, they can leave red, itchy clusters or lines of bites along the face, neck, arms and hands. Bedbugs can be spotted as black spots on bed sheets, which are usually dead bugs or their feces and sheddings. They easily hide in dark places, which can include beds, box springs, headboards, and bed frames.

If you or a neighbor is currently dealing with bedbugs, or if you would like to help address this issue please e-mail ross@corcoranneighorhood.org.