Michael Swoyer from the Kansas City Health Department receives a lot of calls from residents with bedbugs.
Unfortunately, he says there's not much the city can do to help them — exterminating bedbugs is a time-consuming and expensive business.
So, Swoyer and the Kansas City Health Department are organizing classes for the general public on how to prevent rats, mice and bedbugs from colonizing in homes – and what people should do if they’re already there.
Most people call exterminators right away without taking measures to reduce the pest population. Hiring one when the home is overrun means they will have to use a lot of pesticides, which Swoyer says increases the chances of human residents also being exposed.
“There’s not one person on the face of the earth who doesn’t have some trace of pesticide in their body,” he says.
Swoyer says there are better methods for controlling pests:
- Bedbugs — encase boxsprings in plastic and vacuum in cracks and crevices around the bed.
- Mice — lay down mousetraps close to walls where they like to scurry, remove them every few days so the mice will forget them and become curious again when they are replaced a few days later.
- Cockroaches — keep things clean and throw out any dead roaches since they can still carry their eggs to term.
Fewer pests, says Swoyer, means exterminators use fewer chemicals.
More information about the classes is available from the Kansas City, Mo., Health Department at 816-513-6010.