Catholic Charities is one group trying to help those displaced when the Traveler’s Beach Inn was shut down due to bed bugs and electrical problems, the Ventura County Star reported Saturday.
The week before Christmas and raining, to boot, some 14 families were tipped out of a Ventura inn because of electrical hazards and an infestation of bedbugs.
— Richard Neal, his fiancée and her mother with late-stage lung cancer.
— William and Tina Kirkpatrick and their two children, 7 and 5.
— Franchine Ivans, Steve Jordan and their four children.
They are among the approximately 40 people — including about 15 children — staying in the 37-room Travelers Beach Inn told 4 p.m. Tuesday by the county Building and Safety and Health divisions that they would have to leave until the motel’s problems are fixed. It is not known when the motel might reopen, as reported by Star reporter Kevin Clerici in his Wednesday article, “Bedbugs, electrical issues force tenants from motel.”
Tenants at Travelers Beach Inn, 929 E. Thompson Blvd., pay $275 weekly rent. Although it is more costly than renting a small apartment, many can’t afford to pay first- and last month’s rent.
Whoever you are, whatever the state of your bank account, bed bugs are a burden. But they seriously worsen the already bad conditions many are living under. In this case, people who can barely make their current rent are temporarily displaced, with no means of moving to a new home.
We hear time and again of people with serious illnesses, disabilities, infirmities related to age, Alzheimer’s disease, single parents, parents of small children–all facing bed bugs. Their battle with bed bugs is not easy, or quick. If you think it’s hard for young, healthy professionals like Nicholas Brown, consider how bad it can be when the deck is stacked against you.
When people say “it’s just a bug”–well, yeah. I get that. But it can seriously wipe many people out financially, energy-wise, timewise.
We need bed bugs to be taken seriously, and for motels and other establishments to be proactive in identifying and treating problems–and educating residents about how to spot and prevent bed bugs.
And we need the government, as well as private industry, to take responsibility. Not just for shutting things down when codes are violated. But for helping avoid such drastic measures in the first place.
Merry Christmas to all who celebrate it. The Christmas story is about a couple with no where to sleep and a baby on the way. I’ll be thinking about those homeless Travelers Beach Inn residents on Christmas.
This article says the Traveler’s Beach Inn has reopened, “pest-free” and with the other repairs done:
The motel also was thoroughly fumigated, and a health inspector says it is now free of bedbugs.
It is unclear whether the motel was actually fumigated with vikane gas, which has a high success rate as a one-off treatment (we’re told), or whether “fumigation”
is being used as a shorthand for pest control spray treatments, which often require many follow-ups. I am not sure how well this works when people are not present. (We do know that in serious infestations, when inspectors or others come in after the room has been vacant, bed bugs often appear, in daylight, looking for food.)
Perhaps soon housing inspectors will take advantage of bed bug dogs as an aid to doing visual bed bug inspections?