Bed Bug Infestation Closes Shelter in KY
Saturday, March 31, 2012

PIKEVILLE, KY (AP) - A bedbug infestation has closed an eastern Kentucky shelter until early April as the owners seek to treat the entire facility.

Westcare Kentucky Vice President Leslie Balonick says the bedbugs were found in a room in the men's dormitory and an exterminator advised closing the Pikeville facility for 10 days while exterminators clean out the buildings.

"It's an epidemic across the country," Balonick said of the insects.

Balonick told The Appalachian News-Express ( ) that the facility, which can house up to 30 people, should reopen April 4. Balonick was unsure how many people were staying at Westcare Kentucky when the bedbugs were found.

Pike County Health Department environmental director Zora May says her agency hasn't been notified of any problems at Westcare Kentucky.

You would think they would have called me. We were not notified that they had any type of problem," May said.

May said the exterminating company would likely "use a chemical treatment and a heat treatment" to get rid of the bed bugs.

"Since it is a private facility they would not have to call us. We only inspect their kitchen, not the rest of the building or grounds, so we wouldn't go into anyone's room," May said. "The kitchen would be public because they get public funds."

May says the bugs are a nuisance, but not a threat to the community.