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Battle against Bed Bugs ramps up in off season

Bed bug complaints have gone up, and in every part of the city.
Marty Overline built an oven-truck to heat bed-bug infested clothes and furniture.Charles Mostoller

Marty Overline points to Philly's identity as the primary cause of its bedbugs problem.

"It's the row homes," said Overline, owner of Aardvark Pest Management. "So, guess what," Overline said. "If your neighbors got bedbugs, guess what you're potentially going to get."

Two weeks ago City Councilmembers discussed ways to encourage more residents with an infestation to take care of the problem before the bugs spread.

The group is creating a Bed Bug Task Force – members of which Councilman Mark Squilla said Wednesday will be announced in January – to develop a strategy and a policy to guide the city's attack.

"We need to get ahead of it," Squilla said.

For those who may currently suffer from bedbugs, Overline suggests removing clutter, vacuuming and remediate anything that carries the crawlers, which could include the bed frame, mattress, couch, recliner, computer chair.

"I wouldn't waste your time in the kitchen or the basement," Overline said. "They live where we sleep or rest."

Education

​Other than the home, where else do bed bugs hide?

- Hotels

- Movie theaters

- Public transportation

- Shelters

Mystery machine

Overline built a vehicle specifically designed to handle the creepy crawlers.

He built an oven-truck, which heats up bed-bug infested clothes and furniture to 120 degrees to kill the creatures.

 
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