Lynchburg, VA- Lynchburg residents in low-income housing have been battling an enemy that's relentless. Bed bugs have infested one apartment building and are causing major problems.
The bed bugs just keep coming back, they are very difficult to get rid of, and they're easily spread too. Shawne Farmer, the Executive Director of Lynchburg's Interfaith Outreach Association, says over the last year they've had a huge number of people from across the city requesting furniture, because they've had to throw theirs away.
Right now the Virginian Apartments on Church Street is trying to get rid of an infestation that spans most of the building. Management there says their extermination plan involves routine sprayings for a year. But, Farmer says if the residents aren't doing their part, they might never get rid of the pests.
"You have to also have the people that are in the apartments clean everything up and throw everything away like they're supposed to. If you keep that one favorite chair because you don't want to get rid of it, and it has bed bugs, it's not going to do the trick," said Farmer.
And that's a road block Interfaith Outreach is facing when people come to them for help. Farmer says the person has to treat their apartment, get rid of everything that's been infested, and make sure all bed bugs are gone before Interfaith can give them furniture like beds or couches.
Another big problem Farmer says that contributes to the spread of bed bugs is picking up things off the street.
She says if you see furniture or used clothing in the trash, it's there for a reason. And if you are throwing out bed bug infested furniture, she suggests marking it somehow, or even slashing it to discourage others from picking it up.