WBEZ | Bedbugs http://www.wbez.org/tags/bedbugs Latest from WBEZ Chicago Public Radio en Senior public housing residents protest terrible living conditions http://www.wbez.org/news/senior-public-housing-residents-protest-terrible-living-conditions-108326 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/main-images/CHA protest 130807 AY.JPG" alt="" /><p><p dir="ltr">Residents in senior public housing on Chicago&rsquo;s South Side say they are living with mice, bedbugs, cockroaches and other problems.</p><p>Seniors and activists from the North Kenwood community protested against poor management outside the Chicago Housing Authority (CHA) headquarters today.</p><p>Resident Alphonso Jones says they&rsquo;ve<a href="http://www.wbez.org/news/senior-citizens-blast-prominent-community-leader-slumlord-105612"> complained before</a>, but managers aren&rsquo;t doing enough to solve the problems.</p><p>&ldquo;They plugged all the holes, and they put down some sticky pads. Alright, everyone knows that mice are too smart for sticky pads,&rdquo; Jones said.</p><p>Jones also described paint peeling off walls, mold, bedbugs and apartments where he can see the outdoors through holes in the wall. He says some senior residents are disabled and cannot clean their own apartments. The protesters brought placards with pictures, some of which were taken by Jones. He says he wrote over 40 letters to CHA and management, but the only response he got was that if he wrote one more letter, he would be evicted.</p><p>Resident Frances Banks says managers only did cosmetic changes without addressing underlying problems.</p><p>&ldquo;It&rsquo;s like if you have cancer on your face: you put on some makeup, it covers the cancer up, but you still have cancer,&rdquo; she said.</p><p>She eventually moved out, but she says she will continue fighting for public housing tenants.</p><p>&ldquo;I could not stand the roaches, the bedbugs, the mice and the intimidation,&rdquo; Banks said.</p><p>Although the protesters described individual apartments, these problems are widespread, says Princella Lee, a member of the Kenwood Oakland Community Organization.</p><p>In particular, they named Judge Slater Apartments, the Judge Slater Annex and Vivian Harsh Apartments, making up 570 units of public housing in the North Kenwood community. The units are managed by the Woodlawn Community Development Corporation (WCDC), a project of Reverend Leon Finney. At <a href="http://www.wbez.org/news/senior-citizens-blast-prominent-community-leader-slumlord-105612">a previous protest this February</a>, residents called Finney a slumlord.</p><p>&ldquo;It&rsquo;s easy to dismiss this to one tenant but these conditions are prevalent in many of the units on the South Side of Chicago, particularly in WCDC managed buildings,&rdquo; Princella Lee said. &ldquo;Let&rsquo;s not act like we don&rsquo;t know the history that WCDC and Leon Finney has had in the City of Chicago.&rdquo;</p><p>Finney is a <a href="http://www.wbez.org/episode-segments/housing-d%C3%A3%C2%A9j%C3%A3%C2%A0-vu-woodlawn-residents">politically connected pastor</a> who used to serve on the city&rsquo;s planning commission. The protesters said Finney should step down, and that WCDC should not be allowed to manage public housing. They also ask for public housing officials to walk through the buildings with them, and they plan to take the issue to Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel.</p><p>In response to the pictures of bed bugs, Chicago Housing Authority spokeswoman Wendy Parks said the agency carries out monthly pest control meetings. She also says Charles Woodyard, the agency&rsquo;s CEO, will meet with residents this month. Parks says the CHA will be requesting proposals from property management firms interested in managing the public housing complexes, but notes this does not mean they are replacing Finney and the WCDC.</p><p>She also points out officials are improving Judge Slater Apartments, where Alphonso Jones lives, in an ongoing construction project. The $13.5-million project would install new plumbing, flooring, lights and paint. The first phase should be complete early next year.</p><p><span id="docs-internal-guid-6fefc2b9-5aba-cd02-667f-d737ab9aac4f"><span style="font-size: 16px; font-family: Arial; font-style: italic; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;">Alan Yu is a WBEZ metro desk intern. Follow him </span><a href="https://twitter.com/Alan_Yu039" style="text-decoration:none;"><span style="font-size: 16px; font-family: Arial; color: rgb(17, 85, 204); font-style: italic; text-decoration: underline; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;">@Alan_Yu039</span></a><span style="font-size: 16px; font-family: Arial; font-style: italic; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;">.</span></span></p></p> Wed, 07 Aug 2013 16:36:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/news/senior-public-housing-residents-protest-terrible-living-conditions-108326 Bed bug reports up in Chicago http://www.wbez.org/blogs/chris-bentley/2013-01/bed-bug-reports-chicago-105080 <p><p><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/bedbug%20with%20penny%20courtesy%20StarMaster.jpg" style="height: 413px; width: 620px;" title="Cimex lectularius. (Courtesy StarMaster via Flickr)" /></p><p>Chicago is now the <a href="http://blog.chron.com/sciguy/2013/01/and-the-most-bedbug-infested-u-s-city-is/">top city for bed bugs</a>, according to pest control company <a href="http://www.orkin.com">Orkin</a>. There is no population count for the blood-eating insects, so Chicago&rsquo;s dubious honor is based on an increase in the number of bed bug treatments local residents have called in Orkin to perform.</p><p>As worried reports from metro areas around the country make clear, bed bugs are back. Although they are not known to transmit diseases, bed bug bites can cause an allergic reaction leading to itchy red welts. They are notoriously hard to get rid of, and <a href="http://curbed.com/archives/2011/11/09/renter-horror-story-2-bed-bugs-ignored-for-three-months.php">the stress they can cause</a> renters and homeowners is hard to overestimate.</p><p>Their resurgence over the past 10 years could be seen as a return to normal though, historically speaking. Bed bugs have been around since ancient times, earning mention in medieval European texts and writings from the time of Aristotle. After World War II, however, widespread use of broad-spectrum pesticides like DDT largely stamped out bed bugs in the U.S.</p><p>Ten years ago Karen Kramer Wilson, then an extension agent in Colorado, said reports of bed bugs were rare, but she would sometimes see infestations of related species known for feeding on bats and birds. DDT was phased out for <a href="http://www.epa.gov/pesticides/factsheets/chemicals/ddt-brief-history-status.htm">environmental and toxicological effects</a>, and an increase in international travel revived the U.S. population.</p><p>&ldquo;The key to getting a handle on this is really understanding their ecology and biology so you know what you&rsquo;re dealing with,&rdquo; said Wilson, who is now the <a href="http://www.chias.org/">Nature Museum</a>&rsquo;s living invertebrate specialist.&nbsp; &ldquo;In our current situation, everyone should be aware of what they look like, and how you could contribute to their movement.&rdquo;</p><div class="image-insert-image "><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/bedbugs%20by%20cuttlefish.jpg" style="height: 414px; width: 620px;" title="Bed bugs seek out crevices and small openings, like mattress seams. (Courtesy cuttlefish via Flickr)" /></div><p>Bed bugs like tight quarters &mdash; a behavioral response known as thigmotaxis, also seen in earwigs and silverfish. That has served them well, evolutionarily speaking, but it can make them exceedingly hard to oust from an apartment building. Look around mattress tags and seams, behind headboards and anywhere your bed meets the wall. Clutter also makes for good hiding places, so don&rsquo;t leave luggage or laundry lying on the floor. These are good tips not just at home, Wilson said, but also when traveling.</p><p>&ldquo;It&rsquo;s one of those things that crosses all the socioeconomic barriers,&rdquo; Wilson said.</p><p>Pest control specialists have been called in to clear bed bugs from four-star hotels and million-dollar homes, as well as more modest accommodations.</p><p>How do you know if you&rsquo;ve found bed bugs? Their flat, oval-shaped bodies are about 3/16 of an inch long and reddish-brown in color. In addition to the actual bugs, you could see rust-colored streaks or small dark splotches on and around your bed.</p><p>Bed bugs can live for many months without feeding, and can even slow down their metabolism in cold weather to survive cold temperatures. So rather than trying to starve or freeze them out by leaving your apartment, eliminate their hiding places and get encasements for your mattress and box spring. Pest control specialists can also kill existing bugs by steam-heating the air to 120 degrees, which melts the bugs&rsquo; waxy coating and dehydrates them.</p><p>Though it&#39;s not a viable option for long-term pest control, bed bugs do have a rather effective natural predator. Masked hunters (<a href="http://www.extension.umn.edu/yardandgarden/ygbriefs/e608maskedhunter.html"><em>Reduvius personatus</em></a>) are of the &quot;assassin bug&quot; family of insects. The aptly-named bugs sometimes carry dust on their backs for camouflage while stalking prey, which includes bed bugs. Any heat or pesticide treatments to kill off the pest, however, would also eradicate the masked hunters.</p><p>So the only long-term solution, Wilson said, is diligence.</p><p>More bed bug information is available from <a href="http://www.ca.uky.edu/entomology/entfacts/entfactpdf/ef636.pdf">the University of Kentucky</a> and <a href="http://www.idph.state.il.us/envhealth/pcbedbugs.htm">the Illinois Department of Public Health</a>.</p></p> Wed, 23 Jan 2013 05:00:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/blogs/chris-bentley/2013-01/bed-bug-reports-chicago-105080 Daily Rehearsal: 'Yo Joe!' brings a favorite figure to theater http://www.wbez.org/blog/onstagebackstage/2011-09-09/daily-rehearsal-yo-joe-brings-favorite-figure-theater-91746 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/blog/photo/2011-September/2011-09-09/joeposter.jpg" alt="" /><p><p><img alt="" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/blog/insert-image/2011-September/2011-09-09/joeposter.jpg" style="margin-left: 10px; margin-right: 10px; margin-top: 10px; margin-bottom: 10px; float: right; width: 305px; height: 250px; " title=""><span style="font-size:14px;"><span style="font-family:georgia,serif;"><strong>1. <em>Yo Joe! A Real American Hip Hop Musical </em>opens tonight</strong></span></span> at Chemically Imbalanced Theater.&nbsp;Anyone who recognizes the call "Yo Joe!" will love this live stage parody of the long-running cartoon (and toy) franchise. It's a hilarious face-off between good and evil which includes an original, incredibly catchy, hip-hop musical score!," says the press release. I don't recognize that call, but that doesn't mean much, as I didn't play with GI Joe's.&nbsp;Book, lyrics and music written by Jay Gish, who has some background in cartoons via the theater. Hear from the creators of the show on this <a href="http://whatsonjoemind.podbean.com/2011/09/01/episode-19-whats-on-joe-mind/">we-love-GI-joe fan website</a>.</p><p><span style="font-size:14px;"><span style="font-family:georgia,serif;"><strong>2. Tonight at 7:00, and Sunday at 5:30</strong></span></span> are your last chances to check out <a href="https://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=250504524972009"><em>Bedbugs </em></a>from the Harlotry &amp; Necromancy Appreciation Society at Chicago Fringe. Bedbugs is the first long-form piece from HNAS, who've thus far done mostly shorter pieces of clowning. Part-bedtime story, part-trip to the circus, this will probably be a feel-good time with a bit of edge. Oh forget me, just watch Aileen talk about it below.</p><p><iframe allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="345" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/uiQGbIB7Sw0" width="560"></iframe></p><p><span style="font-size:14px;"><span style="font-family:georgia,serif;"><strong>3. Want to go old-school with the Second City?</strong></span></span> Check out <a href="http://www.secondcity.com/media/mediaplayerfull/41/0/">this video</a> from 1961 where some of what I assume were the company's best play wannabe football players at the University of Chicago. Pretty cute, even if the humor doesn't translate.</p><p><span style="font-size:14px;"><span style="font-family:georgia,serif;"><strong>4. The Ephron sisters (that's Nora and Delia) </strong></span></span>are bringing their hit <em>Love, Loss, and What I Wore</em> to Chicago. The show has been expanded by the Ephron's from a book by Ilene Beckerman, and they flushed it out with stories from their friends and family. <a href="http://www.suntimes.com/entertainment/stage/7520273-421/love-loss-and-what-i-wore-explores-why-our-fashion-choices-reflect-so-much-emotional.html">A conversation with the sisters</a> seems to have&nbsp;inspired Hedy Weiss to chime in with <a href="http://www.suntimes.com/entertainment/stage/7520274-421/story.html">her own thoughts</a> on how what she's worn speaks about her life. Fun facts: She's never worn jeans, and has only a few pairs of rarely worn pants.</p><p><span style="font-size:14px;"><span style="font-family:georgia,serif;"><strong>5. Comedian Brian Posehn</strong></span></span> is at <a href="http://www.cubbybear.com/">The Cubby Bear </a>Saturday night, which might seem like a strange venue. Last time, "I had a great experience," Posehn said. "I had a local Chicago guy and a friend of mine, Dan Telfer, open up for me, and we had a great time. I’ve had fans online go, 'Why are you going back to that place?' I’ve got the metal fans and the alternative comedy fans, and it’s not really a place they go to. But I had a great time judging it from the first time I played there." Posehn also <a href="http://chicago.metromix.com/events/article/q-and-a-brian/2807266/content">explains to Metromix</a> about the craziness involved in performing for Juggalos. Wrigleyville is bound to be a calmer scene, right?</p><p>Questions? Tips? Email <a href="mailto:kdries@wbez.org">kdries@wbez.org</a>.</p></p> Fri, 09 Sep 2011 14:21:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/blog/onstagebackstage/2011-09-09/daily-rehearsal-yo-joe-brings-favorite-figure-theater-91746