Senior Center cleaned and treated for bed bugs


In what officials refer to as “an abundance of caution,” the Spalding County Senior Center has been cleaned and treated for bed bugs.

This follows an Oct. 25, report from a Senior Center participant who reported to staff he had bug bites on his skin.

Staff then contacted Peachtree Pest Control, the contracted vendor, and shared photos of the bites.

Peachtree Pest Control reviewed the photos and stated, “It does not look like bed bug bites.”

Officials say Peachtree Pest Control recommended vacuuming the floor and furniture daily, and said since there was no evidence of bugs in the furniture, a bed bug infestation was highly unlikely.

As a precautionary measure, the chair the participant utilized daily was removed from the building, treated and left outdoors for three days. Furnishings and carpeting were also vacuumed daily by inmate custodial crews.

The same male Senior Center participant on Dec. 5, again reported to staff that he had bites to his skin after sitting in the facility library.

Senior Center staff reported this to senior management and the Three Rivers Regional Commission, which provides senior transportation services.

Senior Center library access was also closed.

Staff members of the Senior Center were subsequently informed that the Heavenly Cares Personal Care Home in Griffin had a bed bug problem and two participants who resided at that facility had stopped attending the Senior Center.

Three Rivers Area Agency on Aging advised that this personal care facility should provide proof of treatment and bug eradication to Senior Center staff prior to residents being allowed to return to the Senior Center.

Peachtree Pest Control was again contacted and an inspection of the Senior Center was scheduled for the following week.

A Dec. 6 meeting was held involving Senior Center staff and Spalding County senior management.

The county’s senior management contacted Spalding County Extension Agent Philip Hensley, who then contacted Glass Termite & Pest Inc.

Glass Termite & Pest Inc. inspected the Senior Center that afternoon, finding traces of possible bed bug activity in the chair previously removed, as well as in a bench that had been located in the hallway.|

All benches were removed, and Glass Termite & Pest Inc. described the situation as a very early detection.

The Senior Center library showed no further evidence of bed bugs, but remained closed.

On Dec. 10, Senior Transportation busses were cleaned and treated, and the county’s senior management conferred with Dr. Dan Suiter, a professor of entomology at the University of Georgia School of Agriculture and Environmental Sciences at the UGA-Griffin Campus, and an inspection by a bed bug sniffing K9 was recommended and approved.

Red Coat Services, which utilizes K9s specially trained to detect bed bugs, on Dec. 12, inspected the Spalding County motor coach, with no evidence of bed bugs being detected.
Red Coat Services, Glass Termite & Pest Inc., Suiter and Spalding County staff on Dec. 13, inspecte3d the Senior Center.

Officials say the Red Coat inspection determined, “A small amount of feces was found on a hallway bench, that had been removed from the Center a week before the inspection. No other evidence of bed bug activity was found.”

Following this inspection, a press release was issued regarding the Senior Center being closed Dec. 19-20 and through the holidays for cleaning and maintenance.

Although no evidence of bed bugs was found inside the Center during the Dec. 13, inspection, in an abundance of caution, a deep cleaning was undertaken on Dec. 19, followed by the treatment of the entire Center on Dec. 20.

The Senior Center reopened Dec. 26.

Continued treatment will include inspections every seven to ten days for seven weeks and quarterly inspections moving forward.

“We are extremely proud of our Senior Center and the services provided there. Our Seniors are a great asset to the community and to set everyone’s mind at ease we are taking that extra step to clean and treat the facility,” said Spalding County Manager William Wilson.

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