Hannibal foster care services have new bed bug prevention device

QUINCY (WGEM) – After a series of bed bug infestations in foster homes around Hannibal, the United Way of the Mark Twain Area has purchased a new solution.

Executive Director Denise Damron said they were raising money to clear a foster home of bed bugs but when they discovered at least three other homes also had similar infestations, they decided to buy a bed bug bag.

She said the items like toys, clothes, blankets and linens can be put in the bag which is heated up to kill any bed bugs.

“We need to prevent these situations from happening and not be reactive, but rather prevent them and so one of our agency partners, Avenues, which is our local domestic violence shelter and advocacy service, when they have women and children move into their shelter they require every individuals belongings to go through a bedbug bag,” Damron said.

Brittany McCaskey, the area coordinator of Coyote Hill foster care services said this bed bug bag is going to be extremely helpful for families as bed bugs can spread very quickly through a house through clothes, toys, blankets, that foster children could bring with them.

β€œIt could be unsanitary living situations. It could be a multitude of things and so when a child first comes into a home, the case worker is learning what is happening, the investigator is trying to piece all the things together, so often times a foster family may not know exactly where a child’s coming from that first night,” McCaskey said.

Damron says this can be a big financial burden on foster families, who are on limited funds trying to care for the foster children, as an extermination job can cost up to $2,000, where as the beg bug bag costs $400.

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