Lambs Farm Getting A Handle On “Frustrating” Bed Bug Problem

CHICAGO (CBS) — Experts say bed bugs can be found almost anywhere; from homes and businesses to hotels, shelters, and hospitals. Now, an organization for the developmentally disabled in the Chicago area is fighting them.

Lamb’s Farm president and CEO Dianne Yaconetti said it’s been “frustrating” that her residential setting for the developmentally disabled has been dealing with an outbreak of bed bugs since September, but she believes Lamb’s Farm finally is getting a handle on the problem.

She said bed bugs were first found in one room of one of the nine group homes Lamb’s Farm has in the Libertyville area. An exterminator was called, the room sprayed, kept vacant for a couple days, and then sprayed again.

Days later, bed bugs were found in another room of that group home and the process was repeated, Yaconetti said.

Eventually, an exterminator recommended the whole house get a heat treatment to rid it of the bed bugs once and for all. Yaconetti said that was recently done, and the bugs are gone from that house.

During the two nights of the treatment, the 12 residents slept in the gymnasium, “which they thought was wonderful,” Yaconetti said.

“Just in the last week or so, bed bugs were discovered in another house,” she said.

Lamb’s Farm “cordoned off 2 rooms affected there and we are, next week, going to do the same thing with the heat treatment in the entire house in the hopes that that’s going to solve the problem.”

Yaconetti said several residents were bitten by the bed bugs.

Experts have said bed bugs can be found anywhere, and Yaconetti agreed.

“It’s a huge problem and everyone to whom I’ve spoke. I’ve talked to all the family members of all the residents involved and it’s just amazing to me. Every one of them knew somebody who had a bed bug problem at one time or another”, she said.

She said staff at Lamb’s Farm washed all the clothing and items in rooms with hot water.

Yaconetti said someone complained to the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration, which investigated and dropped the complaint. OSHA said someone did file a complaint on February 10, but OSHA closed the case on February 23, satisfied Lamb’s Farm was handling the situation properly.

Lamb’s Farm reported the problem to the Illinois Department of Public Health, since the facility is licensed by the state, Yaconetti said. An investigator came out, checked, and also left satisfied. A spokeswoman for the Department of Public Health said the investigator believes Lamb’s Farm “is adequately addressing the problem.”

Lamb’s Farm is a residential setting in Green Oaks, near Libertyville, and includes nine 12-person group homes, an apartment building with 16 individual apartments, a retirement facility, and single-family houses in the community.

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