Bed bugs infest Oahu transitional living center

Beg bugs infest Oahu transitional living center

KANEOHE, OAHU (HawaiiNewsNow) - A mother is speaking out about her son's unsanitary living conditions at a Kaneohe halfway house.

It's infested with bed bugs.

However, the owner of the home says it's tough to keep the place pest free.

The mother asked us to conceal her identity out of fear of retaliation or her son getting kicked out of the home. She says she is very grateful he now has a place to live, but believes everyone who lives there deserves better.

"He's clean and sober and he has his 90-day coin. Now he's over 100 days. I'm just grateful to the whole program system. But I'm just concerned about his living conditions right now. That's the only problem I have," she said.

Her son captured video on his cell phone of one crawling all over his bed. Another video shows a nest of them at the edge of his mattress. He says he wakes up with bites all over his legs and feet and he can feel them crawling on him while he sleeps.

"I've seen the video and obviously it's not healthy. It's just awful to look at what he's living in," she said.

Owner of the home, Jody Solbach, has five transitional living centers. He says a total of 70 people live in them and he is aware of the home's bed bug infestation.

"We've been made aware that there is a problem with an infestation at one of my houses and we have a protocol to address those issues…unfortunately some of these protocol haven't been met at this house," Solbach said.

He says it is difficult to control because they sometimes turn over three to four people a month.

There was a recent infestation at Oahu Community Correctional Center. Plus, some of Hawaii's best hotels have had reports of them. So Solbach says an infestation at a transitional living center is almost unavoidable.

"Even if we had vector (control), even if we had the place tented, that would only be temporary until the next guy brought in the next bag, the next clothes," he said.

However, the concerned mother says this adds yet another wrinkle to the city's effort to get people off of the streets.

"You talk about helping the homeless, let's help the homeless…all the way through, not halfway," she said.

The Hawaii State Department of Health says transitional living centers are not required to register with them.

Solbach says they will hopefully begin cleaning the home thoroughly this week.

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