North Carolina shelter with bed bugs: outlook grim

by nobugsonme on May 23, 2009

in bed bug treatment, bed bugs, bed bugs in the workplace, money, north carolina

Guests of a Salvation Army shelter in Wilmington, North Carolina, are suffering from bed bug bites.  And the shelter managers are having trouble getting rid of the problem.

Eleven-year-old Edwin Benitez is covered with bites. Bed bug bites from staying at the Salvation Army. They first appeared a week ago. “It feels humiliating and frightening,” said Edwin.

What an awful thing to have to deal with, on top of everything else.

The article notes that Edwin’s mother Christine Powell says staff told her they’ve been dealing with a bed bug problem for five years.  However,

The Salvation Army officials said the problem started two and a half months ago. In that time, exterminators have sprayed, residents clothes have been washed, and beds sanitized. “We’re doing everything that we possibly can do. We’ve even shut down for a week so we can take out all the mattresses bought all new mattresses,” said Salvation Army’s Maj. Butch Mallard.

Mallard said $10,000 has been spent on getting rid of the bugs, but the problem is the shelter has wooden beds and the bugs live in the frames. The solution would be new metal frames, but there’s no funding.

Mallard says $12,000 is needed for new metal bed frames.

Even if frames and mattresses are replaced, it may not be enough to get rid of the bed bug problem there.

I hope that the shelter is getting good advice from knowledgeable entomologists who know bed bugs well, and good pest control treatment.

I am also concerned about the larger impact of an ongoing bed bug infestation like this.  If the shelter has been battling bed bugs for five years as Powell stated, bed bugs are likely to have been spread to many other locations via guests and staff.

Guests and staff must take specific precautions to avoid spreading bed bugs elsewhere.  There are links to FAQs which may be helpful here.

See the full article here: Unwelcome visitors invade Salvation Army | WWAY NewsChannel 3 | Wilmington NC News, or click here to watch the video from WWAY news.


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