FREMONT, NE – Two residents of a Fremont homeless shelter say they’re being forced to choose between cold streets or bug bites. Two roommates of the Care Corps Homeless Shelter say bed bugs are a persistent nuisance at the facility.
“They bite in threes and leave scars,” said “Sam” who spoke to Action 3 News anonymously. “There are bites right here,” he said pointing at his hands and wrists.
“Sam” and his roommate “Joe” say the bugs have gotten so bad, they’re losing sleep.
“One night I slept with the lights completely on in the middle of the floor with absolutely nothing in the room but me,” said “Sam.”
He snapped photos of the wooden beds. The corners and crevices were covered with signs of the tiny brown bugs that are hard to spot and can be as tiny as a millimeter. The two said Care Corps officials treated their room, but the bugs have persisted.
“I've asked a bunch of times. I just don't understand why they just don't treat the entire place all at one time instead of just doing one room at a time,” said “Joe.”
In a voice message Monday, shelter program director and case manager Robin Ritter said the problem is one that all shelters deal with, and that the infestations happen because of the transient nature of families and residents.
“We do have a policy in place to combat that,” Ritter said. “And we are also writing additional grants to help us with some other items we have identified. It's just unfortunate that when families come in here and are bringing them with them and so we try to eradicate those issues.”
Ritter said the shelter would keep working to address the infestations, while residents like “Sam” and “Joe” said more needed to be done so they don’t have to decide between cold streets and crawling beds.
“I took the bug, the live bug, to the desk and said your spray isn't working and that's the last I heard,” said “Sam.”
Click here for resources to spot and treat bed bugs.