Mattress bugs infest four flats at Eventide in Moorhead – InForum

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Bed bugs infest 4 apartments at Eventide in Moorhead – InForum

MOORHEAD — Barbara Mohs was at Eventide Senior Living Communities with her mom on Christmas Eve when she noticed something crawling on her own leg.

“I grabbed it and cursed right away,” said Mohs, a social worker. She later realized it was a bed bug that came from her elderly mother, who has dementia and has lived at the Linden Building, 2405 8th St. S., for about a year.

The bed bugs completely infested her mother’s room, Mohs said.

Eventide spokesperson Carrie Carney confirmed on Friday, January 13 that there was a bed bug problem and the facility was coping.

“It wasn’t just the bedroom; they were in her bathroom and bad enough to spread to the living room. The infestation has grown. Once the population gets dense, they crawl out and start multiplying,” Mohs said.

Bed bugs and bed bug feces on sheets used by Barbara Mohs’ mother while living at Eventide Senior Assisted Living in Moorhead.

Post / Barbara Mohs

As a social worker, she knew what to do. She has dealt with bed bugs, lice and other problems before. She brought her mother and some necessities home and started calling for help.

She said she didn’t get a call back until two days later, after the bank holiday weekend.

“It’s a bit worrying for me that nobody called me to ask where my mom is,” Mohs said.

Carney told The Forum that four out of 187 homes were infested with bed bugs. The first instance of bed bugs was discovered and treated in September, she said, adding there was “no definitive way of knowing how they were introduced into the building”.

Mohs left her job to take care of her mother and she waited three weeks to bring her mother back to Eventide.

“We’re following the pest control company’s instructions for how long the apartment should be vacant,” Carney said. “Meanwhile, we have offered residents alternative arrangements within our community during the period of professional services.”

Different apartments were made available to some residents, while others chose to stay with family, Carney said.

In consultation with family and a doctor, Mohs decided keeping her mother in a familiar place where she has a routine was the best decision.

“We asked for a new apartment, which they agreed to, but want our people to inspect it,” she said.

Bed bug bites, which Mohs mom got on her back, can feel as itchy and painful as a chigger’s bite, Mohs said, and the creatures are extremely difficult to eradicate.

“You can put me in a burning room with a bunch of people with COVID and that would be more comfortable than bed bugs,” Mohs said.

“For me, this is about public education and raising awareness,” she said. “If we had had information beforehand, we would have been more diligent in checking things. Our error came from assuming that the services we paid for (did) do because we pay for things to ensure they are taken care of and it doesn’t happen.

Eventide staff were trained on what to look out for, and the Assisted Living Center for the Elderly also treated common areas in the building as a precaution, Carney said.

“So far, three of the four apartments have been cleared by the pest controllers we work with. The fourth apartment has been treated and the pest control company will be monitoring it to make sure the problem has been resolved,” she said.

Eventide also works with each resident who may be financially impacted on an individual basis.

Mohs reported the incident to the Office of the Mental Health and Developmental Disabilities Ombudsman, who confirmed that a complaint had been made. That office could not comment on this story without the direct authorization of the complainant.

Mohs said in her experience as a social worker, fumigation for bed bugs isn’t enough.

“People have to wash everything. You have to use high heat for at least 30 minutes,” she said.

“How many other people live there and have they inspected all the rooms? It’s all very discouraging; This is a very vulnerable population. And we’re not sure when she’ll be able to move back in. It completely made her dementia worse,” Mohs said, adding that her GP recently increased her mother’s anxiety medication.

“We just want reassurance that if she goes back in a few months, we won’t have to deal with it again,” Mohs said.