A Danville couple arrested Wednesday morning on domestic violence charges had to be decontaminated because of bed bugs, along with the arresting officers.
Danville Police Chief Tony Gray said officers responded to 318 Caldwell St. about 10:30 p.m. for reports of domestic violence in progress. Thomas and Lisa McManus were arrested on fourth-degree assault charges.
Gray said authorities learned the home was infested with bed bugs after the couple were taken into custody but before they entered the Boyle County Detention Center. According to Gray, bed bugs were not brought into the facility.
Danville Fire Department set up a station outside the jail where all those thought to have come in contact with the home or the couple went through what Gray referred to as a decontamination process. Fire Chief Woody Ball said firefighters wore HazMat suits to assist with the decontamination.
In addition to the couple, some police, fire and jail staff also had to go through the cleaning process, Gray said. Eleven people were affected in all, and some equipment, including at least one police cruiser, had to be treated.
David Troutman with Boyle County Health Department, who was on hand for a press conference Friday on the situation, said bed bugs appear to be getting more prevalent nationally.
In 2010, Cincinnati was singled out as having the worst bed bug problem in the nation based on the number of calls for service. According to information from the Cincinnati Health Department, the quarter-inch long, wingless bugs often live between mattresses and feed on people at night, which is the only time they are active.
Bed bugs “are active travelers, usually transported in luggage, boxes, clothing, furniture and even hair,” according to literature from the health department. They can be found anywhere and are not associated with unsanitary living conditions.
The insects feed on bare skin, typically leaving red welts long after they are done feeding, but are not known to transmit diseases to humans. The best way to ensure getting rid of bed bugs is using a pest control service, but they can be killed with heat. Clothing and bedding that may be infested should be washed in hot water and dried.
For more information, visit www.cincinnati-oh.gov.