First Step, a local non-profit organization that provides a safe and secure place for victims of domestic violence and sexual abuse, is dealing with an infestation of bed bugs at its shelter.
After multiple attempts to rid the shelter of the bugs, First Step Treasurer Donna Landis says they've thrown out everything and a pest company is coming in to take care of the pests and will continue to treat the facility until they are gone for good.
She says they've had the bugs before and were able to take care of them but its the worse she's seen.
"They showed up again about ten days ago and they're everywhere," Landis says.
Landis says it's so bad clients have been moved to another shelter.
She says, "We have completely emptied everything out of the shelter. The closets, storage buildings, everything is gone."
Landis says the non-profit has procedures in place to avoid this kind of problem but clearly no matter what precautions are taken sometimes they get through the cracks.
In addition, Ken Putnam, owner of Putnam Pest Service, says you can pick up the pests just about everywhere you go.
Putnam says, "Bed bugs can be in your grocery store. Bed bugs can be in your car, in buses. They can be in any and every place that we walk in life and getting them is not something that you have caused."
Also, he warns getting rid of the bugs is a job you should leave up to the professionals.
"If you're doing it yourself and you're trying to spray around your bed, you're going to be touching that," Putnam exclaims. "You're going to be laying in that. You don't want to hurt yourself trying to get rid of the bed bugs."
He says the biggest inconvenience about getting rid of them is the treatment requires you to vacate the premises.
Putnam says the extermination process at First Step will take about 11 days.
First Step is accepting donations to try and replace some of the items that had to be thrown away.
You can drop off donations at their office located at 624 Indiana St. or by calling Donna Landis at 940.631.2261.
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