The Straight & Narrow addiction treatment center, based at the Meadowview Psychiatric Hospital in Secaucus, New Jersey, is suffering from chronic bed bug problems. The Jersey Journal tells the story today of one woman who fled the 28-day program on day 15, because she did not want to live with bed bugs.
The resident called The Jersey Journal about the problem.
Reached by phone, David Mactas, executive director of Straight & Narrow, said the building occasionally gets bed bugs, but an exterminator has a standing contract to visit the site as soon as a problem is reported. “I’m not sure we’ll ever have a month where we don’t see a bed bug, we’re doing the best we can. We always feel bad,” Mactas said. “If we get a report, the exterminator is out right away.” Hudson County Spokesman James Kennelly said the county Department of Health and Human Services was unaware but will now investigate.
Since a client can bring bed bugs into a treatment center (or other medical facility) on any given day, it’s impossible to keep them entirely free of bed bugs.
On the other hand, if a facility is “seeing a bed bug” every single month, this may not be a case of someone bringing a bed bug in, the pest control company coming in and killing it, and a new bed bug being brought in the next month.
Since most traditional spray treatments take more than one visit, calling the pest control company in and getting a single treatment only when a bed bug is spotted (if that is accurate) is probably not the best approach.
Treatment centers with chronic bed bug problems may need to take additional steps once the problem is solved, such as not allowing residents to bring in pillows, blankets, bedding or stuffed animals. (I’m not sure if that’s an issue in this facility, but it is at many hospitals, birthing, and sleep centers.)
And until the problem is solved, residents should be sent home with all clothing freshly dried on hot and sealed in plastic bags, with luggage left at home. (Non-clothing items should be minimized as much as possible.) Because the last thing someone newly sober needs is to deal with a bed bug infestation they bring home with them from the treatment center.