WKOW in Madison reports that the Wisconsin Department of Corrections helps newly-released prisoners get back on their feet by putting them up in motel rooms known to have bed bugs.
Some of the ex-prisoners had been to local hospitals with evidence of bed bug bites. WKOW notes,
We found out former prisoners have been complaining about bed bugs at the Capitol Motel to the Corrections Dept. since December 2008.
Corrections Dept. spokesman John Dipko says the agency knew about the infestation in some rooms and has been working with motel staff to spray and disinfect rooms.
Unfortunately, piecemeal treatment of individual rooms, in a property with multiple infestations, doesn’t work well. As WKOW notes,
It’s kind of like a game of musical chairs.
“We’ve moved offenders out of the rooms where we know there are bed bugs,” said Dipko. “There are additional inspections occurring.”
The state’s health department has also inspected the motel. Its inspector found bed bugs — alive.
Dipko says the Corrections Dept. is still paying for former prisoners to stay at the motel and has no plans to cancel its relationship with Capitol Motel.
Bed bugs can happen anywhere. The key is that once they’re discovered, management must take drastic steps to deal with the problem.
I have a hard time believing that — as paying customers — the Corrections Dept. cannot do more than shift former prisoners from one room to another in a motel that is not getting sufficient treatment for bed bugs.
In cases like this, entire properties often must be treated.
Note to bedbuggers: this story broke after some of the former prisoners’ relatives visited the WKOW television studio with a bag of bed bugs collected in the Capitol Motel.
If you’re having trouble getting your bed bug story heard, that’s one way to get journalists’ attention.
See WKOW’s Call for Action: Bed Bugs at Madison motel for the rest of the story.