Back in August 2007, we reported on a Salvation Army women’s shelter in Charlotte, North Carolina, which was fighting bed bugs.
Ten months on, they’re in the news again. News 14 Carolina reports:
Last August, crews removed mattresses and spread polyurethane on the beds to stop bed bugs from hiding in the cracks. “Overall they were sympathetic, because they were amazed how one person could get bitten so many times,” said the woman.
In a statement, leaders at the shelter said “It’s unfortunate and a challenge. We’re being consistent and have hired a contractor to rework the plumbing and add a new washer and dryer to keep clothes and bed sheets cleaner. Along with new mattresses, we have recently added 60 new beds, and will add another 50 news beds in the near future.”
It’s not easy to get rd of bed bugs. And I hate to sound cynical, but it is probably quite a feat keeping a shelter bed bug-free even for ten months. Keeping in mind that many shelters are infested, the potential is always there for new guests at this shelter to bring them in.
That said, no one should have to live with bed bugs, and I am glad that the management is taking steps and I hope they have good, experienced advisors working with them on their bed bug treatment and prevention plans.
Unfortunately, fighting bed bugs can mean a less hospitable atmosphere to guests, who often carry their homes, in the form of their few worldly belongings, with them (a practice which likely contributes to the spread of bed bugs):
Last year, officials with the shelter suggested the bed bugs may have come from dirty clothing. They are now monitoring how many belonging are brought into the shelter to protect residents.