The Albany Rescue Mission is battling an infestation of bed bugs, bringing in new equipment to wipe them out.
Albany's downtown homeless shelter has had a bed bug problem for years. Now they're undertaking a new effort to get rid of the blood suckers.
Officials at the Albany Rescue Mission have brought in what is basically an oven, to bake the bedbugs before they can get inside.
Albany Rescue Mission Founder and Director Brother Larry Hample says they have been battling a bed bug problem for years in their dorms.
"Yes, and it's because of the high turnover of people coming here. And it's in the Program dorm probably the worst, because we have constantly people coming in and out. We know we had a problem. But we're doing the best we can," Hample said.
Many of the men and women they house may not have bathed in weeks, many have slept outside. So now before they go inside, they will shower, get new clothes. And all their belongings will go through what they are calling the hot box. "You can put their suitcase, their belongings in here. And leave them in there, and heat it to 130 degrees. The maintenance director said for a couple of hours, and it will kill anything that's moving," Hample said.
The next step was to seal the mattresses. "After we had the problems, we decided to go ahead and shrink wrap all these mattresses. Even under these sealed covers here, the mattress. It's like a saran wrap, but it's a commercial grade. It's just completely sealed."
Brother Larry wants his mission to be a place of safety for those in need. He says he personally understands the misery of bed bugs. "I been there. They bit me at my house. So I understand what they are going through."
So officials at the Albany Rescue Mission are taking steps to clean those bed bugs out for good.
Brother Larry said they don't have the money to hire an exterminator to come in on a regular schedule to fight pests, but he would welcome any professionals willing to donate to help.
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