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Bed Bugs Blamed for Increased Furniture Need

Reporter: Mark Kelly l Videographer: Parker Slaybaugh

Lynchburg, VA - It looks like bed bugs are making a comeback. And, the critters are really taking a toll on one Lynchburg non-profit. Interfaith Outreach says action has to be taken.

Interfaith Outreach gives furniture to qualified, needy families that don't have any. In its inventory, the organization has all types of furniture - chairs, tables, even dishes - but say their waiting list for beds is possibly the longest it's ever been. And, they blame the bed bugs.

Inside the Interfaith Outreach warehouse, furniture is piled high. There are beds too. But, Executive Director Shawne Farmer says not enough! The requests for full and twin size beds keep piling up, reaching record levels.

"That's going to be well over 100 by the end of April. And our norm for bed pieces of 80, 84 for a year," said Farmer.

Farmer blames these bed bugs. Her clients, the neediest of the needy in central Virginia, are losing their beds, even their homes, to bed bug infestations.

Assistant Director Donna Snow runs Interfaith's furniture program. Her clients have had bed bug horror stories.

"Her father had made bed frames for the children's beds, and just a couple months later they found out they had the bed bugs. And so everything had to be tossed," said Snow.

"They can get in the wall, furniture, clothing, your hair," said Farmer.

But, steps can be taken to squash the bug.

"There's a lot people can do out there to stop it from spreading," said Farmer.

Interfaith Outreach says in order to combat the bed bug problem, folks have to stop picking up abandoned furniture off the public curb. A 20 minute drive around Lynchburg, and we found furniture piled up in four separate areas. The advice, never pick up the furniture on the curb, it could be crawling with bed bugs.

"You can not pick up furniture on the side of the road. If it looks too good to be true, it is!" said Farmer.

If bed bugs get in to your home, it's not easy getting them out. An area exterminator puts out a 21-point list for getting bed bugs out of the house. As for Interfaith Outreach, they can use twin and full size bed donations to better serve their clients suffering bed bug infestations.

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