Lambs Farm battling bed bug infestation

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Lambs Farm says the bed bugs have been found in six of its 11 residential buildings. (WLS)

Lambs Farm has revealed the scope of a bed bug infestation at the north suburban home for people with disabilities.

Lambs Farm says the bed bugs have been found in six of its 11 residential buildings. There have been chemical and heat treatments and specially-trained dogs have even brought in to spot the bugs, but the problem continues.

The infestation began last September in one of the group homes on the sprawling, 72-acre campus in north suburban Libertyville.

"They say you can get them from an airplane, from anywhere. All it takes is for one person to come in with them on their clothes or something I guess," said Dianne M. Yaconetti, Lambs Farm president and CEO.

After exterminators were brought in, the bed bugs were thought to be gone, only to turn up in more residential buildings. An unspecified number of residents reported minor bites.

"Every time it was detected in a room the staff would have to go in, take all the clothes out, wash them in a certain temperature, and be very careful with how everything was handled," Yaconetti said.

For the last 50 years, Lambs Farm has helped adults with special needs lead productive lives. More than 200 people live here and work in the various businesses, which include a petting zoo, stores, a restaurant and a bakery.

Now, the non-profit that helps people overcome their challenges, continues to deal with one of its own.

"The problem is that we don't know where it came from, and so if it came from a resident that went on a trip or came from a home visit or something we have no guarantee that that won't happen again," Yaconetti said.

Lambs Farm says this is the first time they've had a problem with bed bugs. And they say OSHA and the Illinois Department of Public Health have had inspectors here, and they've complied with all recommendations.
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