The county has been abuzz in recent months with rumors of bed bugs terrorizing area residents, and the Grayson County Fiscal Court heard one of these accounts during their Friday morning meeting last week.
Beverly Woosley explained that she and her husband, Junior, have custody of their great-granddaughter and have to spend time at the Grayson County Judicial Center periodically for custody reviews.
On a recent visit, Woosley believes that her family was exposed to bed bugs in the waiting area and unknowingly took them home with them.
Woosley said that while in the waiting area, she broke out in welts and began to itch, and noticed another woman nearby with similar marks on her arms who was also scratching.
Woosley’s husband told the court, “We’re 100 percent sure we got it there.”
Woosley explained that she has had to replace carpets and burn box springs, mattresses and furniture.
“We’re out over $1,000,” she said, adding that it will cost an additional $800 just to have exterminators treat her home for bed bugs.
“We’re not rich people, we can’t afford this,” she said. “It’s not their fault [if visitors bring in bed bugs], but it’s not our fault, either.”
Judge Executive Logsdon promised the family, whose young great-granddaughter played nearby, that the court would investigate the issue and be in touch with them. “We appreciate you letting us know,” he said.
The court has heard other accounts of bed bugs in area apartments and one local motel, and protesters recently set up on the lawn of the old courthouse on Public Square to bring awareness to the issue.
Protester Chris Higdon initiated an awareness effort recently by boasting a hand-made sign which read “Don’t stop here. Don’t shop here. Town infested with bed bugs.”
Higdon said that he recieved a mixed response from soem who supported getting the word out, and others who were angered at the sentiment that people should not shop locally.
Higdon explained that he is afraid that bed bugs will make their way into local schools now that they are in session, and be spread at a significantly higher rate as children catch them and bring them home.
Higdon has been in touch with Leitchfield Mayor William Thomason, who brought up the issue at a recent City Council meeting.
Thomason told the group that he has passed along a list of local rental properties which area residents suspect of being infested with bed bugs to the Health Department for further investigation.
Leitchfield Police Chief Kevin Henderson said of the issue, “The Health Department is really walking a fine line.”