Shelter exhausts funds after battle with bedbugs - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Shelter exhausts funds after battle with bedbugs

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WATERLOO (KWWL) - Resident workers at the Catholic Worker House in Waterloo said the shelter has exhausted its reserve funds after a costly bedbug infestation.

"We had to get rid of them because they were biting people, and it's not something fun to have, so we had to get them treated," said Patrick McCarty who lives on site.

According to McCarty and another resident worker, Ken Hasty, the nine-bed shelter was forced to close this week after someone complained about a bedbug bite.

Josh Rzepka, owner of Enviro-Pest Solutions, helped treat the shelter. In fact, he said he spent more than 70 hours this week battling bedbug problems in the Waterloo area.

"They're a very serious pest," he said.

"We get a lot of calls for bedbugs. It's just continual. It's absolutely continual. Yesterday, I had about seven calls, and that's been the average since about the first of March everyday," said Rzepka.

Rzepka offered the Catholic Worker House a discount and even facilitated donations for home prevention kits, but he said since the shelter was heat treated through a third party, the tab to get rid of the bedbugs added up quickly.

McCarty and Hasty said the $5,900 bill wiped out the reserve fund for the shelter.

"Hopefully we'll bounce back," said McCarty.

"We're kind of back to square one, but you know when you have a good cause there's no shortage of people willing to help out," he added.

Donations can be dropped off or mailed to the St. Francis Catholic Worker House which is located at 321 E. 8th Street in Waterloo, Iowa, 50703.
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