Village warns against spreading infestations

By Nikki Blankenship

New Boston Village Administrator Steve Hamilton would like to urge citizens to consider Village employees when putting out furniture to be picked up by the service department. Hamilton stressed that the Village will no longer pick up furniture infested with insects unless those items are fully wrapped in plastic, duct taped and marked as bug infested. Infested furniture must be wrapped properly so that all insects are contained.

Hamilton released a similar message last year, but says some residents have still been sitting out items infested with bedbugs, roaches, fleas and other insects. When service department workers pick up the items, they subject themselves to bites, carry insects home with them and may even have an allergic reaction.

According to Hamilton, one worker had to go urgent care last week due to a reaction to an insect he came in contact with while trying to do his job. Sitting infested furniture out without wrapping it also can spread the insects to other nearby homes or expose fire and police to the insects as they respond to emergency calls.

“People get insects. I understand that,” Hamilton stated. “It’s not a poor or a rich thing. But our men have to pick that stuff up. When they put stuff out without wrapping and marking it, they are putting our men in harms way.”

Hamilton added that the Village as a whole does not have a bug problem; however, there are some houses where residents do. He is currently working with the Village solicitor to see what legally can be done about the issue.

“If we know it (furniture left out for pickup) has bedbugs or other insects, I will not allow the men of the service department to pick it up,” Hamilton stressed.

Hamilton is also working with the health department to see if there is a way to start doing inspections in some of these homes.

“If you’ve gotten insects so badly that you have to sit your furniture out, you need to do something inside your home as well,” he commented.

Furthermore, the Village Administrator says that if Village employees have to file a workers comprehension claim because someone put out infested unmarked and unwrapped furniture, he feels that person should be responsible for the cost to the Village.

Hamilton urged that he is trying to be understanding and work with the residents but also expects them to do their part.

“We just want the residents do work with the Village on this problem,” he concluded.

Anyone with questions, can contact Hamilton at 740-456-4103.

By Nikki Blankenship

Reach Nikki Blankenship at 740-353-3101 ext. 1931.

Reach Nikki Blankenship at 740-353-3101 ext. 1931.