Blood Suckers Impact Mattress Donations
Monday, January 9, 2012

Gales Ferry, CN - The Wuestoff's have been running the Furniture Bank of Southeastern Connecticut for 20 years. It's a labor of love, which is facing more challenges thanks to a recent rise in some blood sucking little creatures.

"We've been the volunteers in charge of this since '82 and this is the first time we've had a problem with bed bugs," said Karen Wuesthoff, "starting about last year."

Karen says about one in every dozen or so bed requests are because of bed bugs.

"Not only have we had more requests from people who have lost things to bed bugs," Karen said, "but we're having trouble accepting used bedding now because of the bed bugs, so we have to buy most of them now."

And that's costing them a lot more, which is why they are counting on grants and donations from banks and other businesses even more.

"Thirty to 50 donated beds," Mike Wuesthoff said, "and now we have to buy those so we're paying about $200 a piece for them so figure that out.

The Uncas Health hopes to prevent the problem by encouraging people not to buy a used mattress or pick up one along a street without inspecting it first.

"Very often furniture ends up on a street corner for a reason," said Patrick McCormack, Uncas Health District.

If you do have bed bugs, you need more than a new mattress. You may need to call a professional.

"It can take several treatments and different types depending what the level of the problem is," McCormack said, "and very often it's very difficult to identify the source."

The one thing the Wuestoff's don't have to buy anymore are mattress protectors and that's because they used to give them out with their used mattresses, which will no longer be available.

Bed bugs impact mattress donations: