Residents battle bed bug infestation in north end Kingston apartment complex

KINGSTON – Kristen Atwood/Infested with bed bugs:
“It’s really hard to come back here at the end of the day. But it’s either come back here or be homeless so we don’t have a whole lot of choices.”
This sign says it all — Bed Bug Alley.
That’s what these residents are calling the units at this apartment complex on Guthrie Drive… Tenants say they have been battling a bed bug infestation for the last 7 months.
Kristen Atwood:
“I started noticing bites on my son. He started getting all these red bumps all over him. He started getting allergic reactions, and I wasn’t realizing what it was from until I noticed bugs on the bed and couches.”
That furniture, now long gone. Along with about 80 percent of Kristen Atwood and her son’s personal items. The rest of it is bagged up and sealed.
The duo has been sleeping on an air mattress. Even though their beds have been wrapped in a bed bug protector, the little insects are still visible.
Atwood says the pests keep coming back even after 7 fumigations.
The chemicals and fumes make it hard for her son who has cerebral palsy- he ‘s often the main target for the hungry bugs.
Kristen Atwood:
“It was really bad when he had casts on his legs because he got bit quite a bit because the bugs would get down the cast and feed, feed, feed.”
Atwood’s neighbour says the infestation at her place is out of control. She hasn’t slept in her bed in months and now doesn’t even go into her apartment.
Nicole Massie/Infested with Bed Bugs:
“I’ve been sleeping down at my parents. I have no choice. I’ve been forced to leave my home.”
CKWS reached out to the property managers for an interview or statement they were unwilling to comment.
Atwood says management put her up in a hotel for a few weeks and paid for rounds of fumigation.But now they say they’ve done all they can.
According to KFL&A Public Health, bed bugs are a nuisance but do not spread disease.
Because Public Health does not deal with bed bugs directly — they can only offer tips to those who phone in.
Heather Senoran:
“Public Health Officials say within the last year, there have been about 16 calls from Kingston residents, seeking advice on how to beat bed bugs.”
Public Health says leave it to the professionals.
Pam Landy/Environmental Support Officer, KFL&A Public Health:
“Licensed pest control companies know which chemicals to use and they use other interventions as well called integrated pest management to look after the problem and it usually does take more than one visit.”
As for Atwood, she hopes an upcoming fumigation will finally bring an end to the challenging bed bug battle.

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