Some Homeless Shelters Asking for Donations to Help with Bedbugs

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Several Piedmont shelters are running out of money to help out the homeless because they're spending so much to get rid of bedbugs.

Every shelter in Winston-Salem, as well as the shelters we spoke with in Greensboro, are reporting bedbug problems.

“It's very frustrating. If bedbugs were big enough, I'd choke 'em,” said Dan Parsons with the Winston-Salem Rescue Mission.

The shelters said they've changed mattresses and pillows and now require new check-in procedures for those wanting to stay.

“A man who comes in off the street has to take his clothes off, get those clothes washed, put in the dryer and dried and  check his other belongings,” said Parsons, whose shelter houses only males.

Frank Fowler with McNeely Pest Control said that procedure is the best and really only thing that shelters can do for prevention.

Fowler also said all the treatments in the world won't stop bugs from coming in, and a transient population in shelters results in people coming from other places that have them.

“They are such great hitchhikers. They can come in even on books, and you could wipe out a population. The next article infected starts the cycle back over again,” Fowler said.

Officials at most of the shelters said they have been put bedbug control in their monthly procedures and expenses for the past two years.

Some shelters are even asking for donations to help fight the problem.

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