Monday, February 1, 2010

Job Corps Center blasting bed bugs with freezing-cold air

FLINT -- The Flint/Genesee Job Corps Center is using the freezing-cold as an ally against invading bedbugs, and the center director says the strategy seems to be working.

“We are so grateful that it’s gotten cold,” said center Director Jean Hill. “We are letting cold air into the buildings when students are away.”

Notoriously hard to wipe out, bedbugs often spread quickly throughout a building and can be hard to find as they hide in nooks and crannies, including bedding, mattresses and box springs.

But the bugs can be killed by freezing cold weather, and Hill said officials at the center have also had exterminators fumigate buildings and clothing on campus and given students advise on caring for their clothing to make sure the insects aren’t carried back onto campus.

Officials have said the bed bugs appear to have been brought onto campus in the first place by a student returning the center after winter break earlier this month.

Hill said there have been no recent bedbug spottings and credited the Job Corps Center’s varied and persistent treatment, including the blasts of cold air.

“We’re using every treatment that we’ve (heard of),” she said.

Bed bugs were one eradicated in most developed countries with the use of DDT after World War II, according to the Mayo Clinic Web site, which says the return of the parasites to this country may have occurred because of increased international travel.

The bugs are reddish brown, oval and flat — about the size of an apple seed.

There are about 280 students who live on campus at the Job Corps Center, a free education and training program that helps young people learn a career, earn a high school diploma or GED, and find and keep jobs
The center is located on North Saginaw Street in Flint

Source:By Ron Fonger | Flint Journal