NEW BATTLE: Veterans Home Fighting Bedbugs

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Iowa's veterans are under attack.  But this isn't a foreign enemy.  The Iowa Veterans Home--the largest nursing home exclusively for veterans and their spouses in the state--is fighting an on-going battle against bed-bugs.  "It's not a nursing home issue or a hospital issue, this is a national issue." says Commandant David Worley,  "It's in public institutions, it's in college dorms."

Over the past year, the facility has spent about $30,000 trying to fight off the pests.  They can only be treated through expensive chemicals or super-heating rooms.  It's important to note, bedbugs are not necessarily a cleanliness  issue--anyone can have the bugs.  And getting rid of them isn't easy.  At the Iowa Veterans Home, some rooms are intentionally left vacant so residents can move in if their rooms become infested.

"It's extremely frustrating." says Director of Clinical Operations Susan Wilkinson, "Because it's hard on residents to have to be displaced.  It's really hard on the staff. Staff have concerns about not only do they work here and want to provide the best care for residents but 'am I going to take this home or how is this going to impact my family."

The facility is working with a pest control company.  But with more than 620-residents and their families coming in and out, there is always the chance someone will bring the bedbugs back again.  For now, the plan is to educate residents, visitors and staff about how to spot the bedbugs--and to continue fighting the battle every time the pests are spotted.

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