Bed bug infestation at Middletown, Ohio homeless shelter

by nobugsonme on September 5, 2008 · 2 comments

in bed bugs, ohio

Hope House, a shelter at 34 S. Main St. in Middletown, Ohio, is battling bed bugs.

An anonymous caller told the Middletown Health Department on Thursday morning, Sept. 4, that bedbugs had been discovered at the shelter, Middletown health inspector Janay Mourer told the Middletown Journal:

Hope House confirmed Thursday that exterminators had been at the shelter recently, and that the health department had notified them Thursday, said the Rev. Mitchell Foster, the pastor of Tried Stone Baptist Church and an adviser to Hope House who is running daily operations.

“We’ve already taken care of it … we dealt with the issue, and it’s under control,” Foster said.

Asked when exterminators were at Hope House, Foster said he was “not absolutely sure, but I know the problem is taken care of.”

Carla Ealy, a supervising sanitarian for the health department, said she spoke to Foster and was satisfied that the situation was being handled. Foster also said the shelter has ordered new mattresses.

Although it sounds like the management are on the case, I would not be so quick to declare the problem “taken care of.”

The anonymous tip-off about the bed bugs was made on Thursday morning and this article was online as of 1:00 am Friday. The only way to have eradicated the problem this quickly would be if the entire structure were heat treated or gassed with a fumigant like Vikane.

Traditional pest control methods (sprays and dusts) do not work that fast or that effectively. They must be given time and re-treatments are likely needed in the next two weeks.

Bed bugs can be very persistent, especially among a population that may be being exposed and re-exposed to them off-site.

Hopefully the shelter will educate staff and guests about how to avoid and detect bed bugs, and hopefully the shelter will be getting follow-up treatments (which are almost always necessary) and regular inspections.

1 irene latham May 22, 2009 at 12:03 am

This is from first hand knowledge,The Hope House is far from being took care of as of May 21,2009,with there bed bug problem. They use things like alcohol and some kind of powder that you are suppose to be able to drink in a glass of water,so you tell me if they have took care of the problem?Whoever it takes to help those people out ,to live in a sanitary housing should be contacted. They are scared to death if the city comes they will be out of somewhere to live and lay there head.But whoever it takes to help provide bug free housing and decent meals should contact who ever it takes to get this going without making them suffer. Thank you for listening and hope you can help.Don’t ask, send a reporter to show the proof.

2 nobugsonme May 22, 2009 at 12:17 am

Hi irene,

The post which you responded to quotes an article at the Middletown Journal. I strongly recommend you get in touch with the author of this article, Eric Robinette.

I strongly encourage you to email him and let him know the problem is ongoing. I suspect the paper may want to follow up. (You can email Eric Robinette by clicking the link on his name on the page I just linked.)

I am afraid I cannot help since I am in New York and am not on the scene there. But I suspect Robinette or other local print or TV journalists would be very interested to know this problem was ongoing.

I note also that the original complaint to the Middletown Health Dept. was anonymous. It might be time for another anonymous call, and I encourage anyone with firsthand knowledge to do so. You may feel the Health Dept. did not solve the problem the first time, but bed bugs are difficult to treat. The Middletown Health Dept. needs to be informed by someone if the problem is ongoing, so they can follow up.

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