Former Love Lady Center client talks about bed bug infestation
BIRMINGHAM - AL —
"The lady that was down the hall from me had them," Helen said. "My God, she was tore up with them from her head to her toes...she was ate up."
For four months, "Helen" was a client at The Love Lady Center. During her time there she says it was infested with bed bugs.
"It's everyday somebody there is ate up with bed bugs," she said.
"Yeah, I don't deny it at all," The Love Lady Center Executive Director, Brenda Spahn, said.
Spahn doesn't deny it. She says the occasional bed bug does make its way in. It's inevitable. After all, she says, look at the clientele. The center takes in women from jails, hotels, the streets and even prison.
"Prisons are cleaner than that place," Helen said.
Spahn says the Spring/Summer months were the worst, having to get rid of about 100 beds. The center houses about 400 women.
"The bed bug crisis this year cost us about $40,000," Spahn said.
That money came out of the operation budget for new, bed bug proof mattresses, steel frames and treatment for every room.
"That is the most we can do," Spahn said.
Spahn says, to her understanding, the problem has once again gone away.
As an extra precaution, Spahn takes sheets to laundromats and even her own home to use the dryer, because the one on site, she says, isn't hot enough.
"You have to have a very, very hot dryer to dry clothes in once someone has bed bugs," Spahn said. "When we go to the laundromat, we use their dryers, but that should not hurt them at all."
Helen is thankful for the efforts to try to fix the problem, but says it is still...a problem.
"It's like a continuous, ongoing thing because they don't stay in one place," Helen said. "They go from room to room."