Bedbugs prompt Henrico group home evacuation

Posted at 8:03 PM, Jun 21, 2013

HENRICO COUNTY, Va. (WTVR) -- Henrico County's Department of Mental Health is admitting that it has had a recent problem with bedbugs.

The small, bloodthirsty bugs make some people's skin crawl, including some Henrico workers who told CBS 6 News that the parasitic insects were spotted in their offices.

Henrico Mental Health Executive Director Mike O'Connor told CBS 6 News’ Shelby Brown that the agency, which oversees nine group homes and three day treatment units, has been dealing with bedbugs off and on for a while now.

County workers first contacted CBS 6 News to report that they were believed the county’s mental health offices might be infested.

O'Connor denied those claims, but did admit that the agency recently had to evacuate a group home because an extreme bedbug infestation.

O'Connor  would not say where that home was located, but added all the furniture was removed and treated professionally by a local company.  He also said the four adults had to stay in a hotel for a few days while the fumigation took place.

O'Connor also acknowledged that clients have come into the county offices with evidence of bedbugs. However, he said the offices were never infested. Some of the workers visiting clients, do now refrain from going inside of some homes, he said.

Nick Lupini, who runs Loyal Pest Control, said bedbugs are considered a pandemic, because the bugs are turning up everywhere. From hospitals, apartments, condos and single-family homes.

Lupini said that the key to getting rid of the annoying critters for good is proper treatment and follow-up. He said the two methods include chemicals – and using extreme heat (about 135 degrees for about four hours) to fry the bugs.

"There's no way chemicals can get rid of them in one shot,” Lupini said. “We recommend three treatments to get rid of them."