Salvation Army Fighting Bed Bugs

By Jonathan Cooper |

Published 02/18 2014 04:27PM

Updated 02/18 2014 09:28PM

(ST. JOSEPH, Mo.) The St. Joseph Salvation Army is fighting an annoying pest that is bothering several people that stay in their shelter's beds.

Bed bugs have been on the rise for the past several months.

"Unfortunately for us they're very easy to get and very hard to get rid of," Director Capt. Chuck Cook said.

"Been bitten many times," said a man that did not want to be identified who uses the shelter.

He said he has rashes up and down his arms from getting bitten every single night.

"They bother me more than a lot of other people," the man said. "I'm one of the people that's allergic to them."

Bed bugs have been a problem at the Salvation Army off and on for the past two years. Cook said they now have a plan in place to fix the issue after several shelters in Kansas City had the same problem.

"We just finished a proposal," Cook said. "There is a company that has eradicated them from our shelters in Kansas City."

The fix won't come cheap. Cook said it will cost them about $25,000 to eradicate the bugs completely. The money will come from a fund they've set aside.

"It's not something we want to buy or spend money on but I don't see how we cannot," Cook said.

It also means the shelter will have to close briefly while the company comes in to kill the bugs and cleanse the building.

That's a sacrifice the man said he's willing to make.

"It's not much fun having itchy arms," he said.

Cook said the eradication process will begin in the next few weeks.

Crews will come in and heat the building to kill the bugs and use dogs to sniff them out.

All people that use the building will also have their clothes cleaned.

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