Tenants Want Recurring Bed Bug Infestation Gone

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EDINBURG – Some Edinburg apartment tenants said they want a permanent fix on a bed bug infestation for their safety.

Two women at the Galilean Apartments said their families are living and sleeping with hundreds of invaders.

Although apartment managers deny the claim, a CHANNEL 5 NEWS crew saw the pest firsthand.

The two single mothers live in adjacent units at the apartment complex. Both asked us not to reveal their identities.

“Waking up in the middle of the night and the bugs are feeding on your children and feeding on you. I don’t think that’s right. Especially if you’re paying your rent, and still having to pay rent to get rid of the problem. Nothing’s getting done,” one woman said.

Both said they reported the problem to management twice. Each time they had to pay $300 for pest control.

“They’d go away for two weeks. But after two weeks, they’re back. So I’m thinking that they’re in the walls. They’re in the sockets of the walls. If they’re traveling to other apartments, they’re definitely in the walls,” a tenant said.

The manager of the apartment complex told CHANNEL 5 NEWS she hadn’t received any complaints from tenants about bed bugs. She referred us to their corporate office, VestA Corporation, for further comments.

The Connecticut-based company said they’ve only had two recent reports of bed bugs since December. Each was treated within 24 hours.

The tenants said the supposed pest treatment was done when they weren’t home.

CHANNEL 5 NEWS explained the problem to pest control expert Adrian Esparza.

“The best method would be to tent the whole entire structure and shoot it with gas. You let the gas sit there for 20, 30 hours and it goes through all the mattresses, the boards, the walls. It penetrates everywhere, killing all the bed bugs,” he said.

He said liquid bed bug treatment doesn’t always work, especially for a bad infestation.

“Bed bugs like to get into the tiniest little nooks and crannies. They can get up into the wall, where a liquid can’t reach,” he said.

Esparza said bugs can live without food for several months. He said they are able to stay dormant until the liquid chemical vaporizes.

Bed bugs can travel home with you on your clothes, luggage, furniture, bedding and even cardboard boxes.

The EPA has tips to avoid inviting bed bugs into your house:

  • Be wary of shared laundry facilities

  • Transport clothes in plastic bags and do the folding at home

  • If you live in a multi-family housing, install door sweeps and seal any crack around baseboards and light sockets

  • Reduce clutter in your home and vacuum frequently

But tenants said they still want a permanent fix.  

“They’re coming out of their backpacks at school, those bed bugs. I mean their clothes and their jackets,” one of the moms said.

They said many people can’t afford to move or pay $300 every two weeks for temporary solutions.

VestA Corporation said tenants should only have to pay for the pest control once.  Any problems after that are covered by warranty. The company subsidizes the cost for the pest control, and tenants pay the remaining $300.

The company said residents are encouraged to report bed bugs to apartment management immediately so they can prevent a spread. They can always call the corporate hotline at 866-715-5400.  

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