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.