SLO homeless shelter reopens after bed-bug infestation

newsroom@thetribunenews.comJuly 12, 2013 

Ravinder Singh treats cots for bed bugs Wednesday at the Maxine Lewis Memorial Shelter in San Luis Obispo.


The Maxine Lewis Memorial Shelter in San Luis Obispo is open again after a bed-bug infestation was discovered Monday.

A pest control company confirmed that the beds in one section of the homeless shelter were infested. Dee Torres, homeless services coordinator for CAPSLO, decided it was best to close the shelter until the entire building could be sprayed. In addition, hundreds of pounds of linens such as sheets, blankets and towels were also removed to be cleaned.

All of the vans used to transport people staying at the homeless shelter have also been treated as an added precaution, Torres said.

Clients are allowed to use their own bed rolls at the shelter, something that Torres said might have to be reconsidered in the future as the bugs can be easily transferred from luggage or bedding.

Bed bugs, described as small, reddish-brown, wingless insects about the size of a ladybug, feed on human blood at night. However, the bugs don’t pose a significant health risk because they do not carry disease.

This is the first case of bed bugs in the shelter’s history, Torres said.

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