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December 26, 2013

Emergency cleanups ordered on High Street

Officials: Bed bugs, danger and unsightliness forced action

Logansport officials ordered emergency cleanups at four properties on High Street Monday afternoon, one of which arose from bed-bug-infested furniture placed on the curb.

George Franklin, Logansport code enforcement officer, said he received a phone call from Logansport Mayor Ted Franklin Sunday afternoon regarding furniture on the curb at 1224 High Street.

On Monday, George Franklin arrived at the property to take photographs. He said a woman exited the house and told him the furniture was infested with bed bugs and that she had set it out to be picked up during the next trash pickup.

George Franklin said after discussing the matter with Mayor Franklin and Logansport Community Development Director Chris Armstrong, the three determined an emergency cleanup should be conducted on the furniture.

Leaving the furniture would have created a health hazard for trash pickup workers, George Franklin said — the insects can survive in cold temperatures for several days.

The National Pest Management Association describes bed bugs as quarter-inch long, oval-shaped and red-brown in color. The parasitic insects feed on blood with bites that cause skin rashes, psychological effects and allergic symptoms. They typically live in small crevices near human environments.

The insects and their eggs are usually spread by clothes, luggage and furniture moved from an infested area. They do not live or travel on the skin of hosts and generally feed at night when hosts are asleep.

George Franklin said employees of the Logansport Street Department used a bulldozer to clean up the furniture, allowing them to avoid coming into contact with the insects.

Since taking over as code enforcement officer about two years ago, Franklin said he has dealt with about four properties in Logansport that had been infested with bed bugs.

While the infested furniture has been cleared from the front lawn, the problem is not yet over for the residents or the property owner, Franklin said.

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