Bed Bugs Infuriate Residents At Arlington Heights Complex With ‘World Class Amenities’

CBS 2 CHICAGO | by Tim Nicholas | December 17, 2019

ARLINGTON HEIGHTS (CBS) — An apartment complex boasts of its “world class amenities” on its website, but it doesn’t mention the bed bugs crawling around.

Tenants say it’s been a problem for months, but management hasn’t fixed it at the Residences at Arlington Heights.

Joseph Garnhart showed the CBS 2 Morning Insiders the bed bugs crawling around his bedroom walls.

“Here’s one of them. Two. Three,” he counted. “Four. Five.”

“How many have you seen in here?” a reporter asked.

“Oh, I couldn’t tell you. Oh is that one? That is one.”

Garnhart said he first noticed the uninvited guests more than two weeks ago. They even bit his partner.

He said he let management know right away.

“We’re coming up on three weeks now of living in here [with bed bugs[, and they’re not moving us. We just don’t want to be living in a health hazard,” Garnhart said.

It’s gotten so bad he cleared out his bedroom and is sleeping in the living room. His living situation is a far cry from the “most charming apartments in Arlington Heights” and the “world class amenities” described on the property’s website.

Alicja Mrugala, who lives in the same building as Garnhart, said she moved in Oct. 18 and started finding bed bugs within days.

“It’s just ridiculous,” Mrugala said.

She said she told management right away, and an exterminator treated her apartment two weeks later on Nov 4.

Now she’s worried the bugs could come crawling back upstairs–if they haven’t already.

“In all honesty, what they should do is put everybody in a hotel and fumigate the entire building,” Mrugala said.

It’s the same complex where management called the police on a CBS 2 Morning Insiders reporter back in October when he tried to ask the staff about the gnats and worms another woman found in her apartment, which is located in a separate building from Garnhart and Mrugala’s apartments.

Last week, the staff refused to answer CBS 2’s questions again, and directed a reporter to the company’s corporate office–JRK Property Holdings–based in Los Angeles.

“There’s no comment. You have to deal with corporate,” an employee said at the Arlington Heights office.

JRK owns properties across the country.

The Morning Insiders emailed and called them but the company has not responded.

On the Better Business Bureau’s website, JRK has 54 reviews and every single one has just one star out of five.

One person wrote “…at least they finally got rid of the bed bugs.” But that’s in Portland, Oregon–not Arlington Heights.

“It makes me very angry, especially because this place sells this whole like, luxurious feel and they charge a good price for a one bedroom apartment,” Mrugala said. “You think you’re getting something and then you get bed bugs.”

Another neighbor who lives below Mrugala and across the hall from Garnhart tells CBS 2 she has also seen bed bugs in her apartment.

The Arlington Heights office of Health and Human Services is aware of the problems and will be following up to make sure the complex gets rid of the bugs, a village health officer said.

The health officer said an exterminator is scheduled to return to the building and treat at least two apartments.

The tenants are hoping that works for good this time.

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