Loveland (Denver) Public Library Closes Floor Due To Bedbugs

LOVELAND, Colo. (CBS4 DENVER) February 28, 2020 – Administrators of the Loveland Public Library have shut down the second floor of the building due to the discovery of bedbugs. The bugs were found in the computer lab by staff on Thursday morning.

Loveland Public Library

A cleanup of the area got started Friday morning and no one has reported having any ill-effects since the bugs were found. It will take two to three days for the cleanup process to be completed by exterminators. The director of the library told CBS4 on Friday after that dogs will be brought in to make sure the area is clear of the bugs.

“We’ve got beagles that will be coming out in a couple weeks to do a nose test to see if we have any live bugs left in the area,” said Diane Lapierre, the library’s director. “We’re all about public information and want to make sure people know what’s going on here and have the facts related to it and make a decision as to how they want to use the space or not.”

Lapierre believes the bugs did not make their way into their non-computer materials.

Bed bugs are nocturnal and are like mosquitoes — they feed on human blood leave itchy areas on skin they’ve bitten. Heat and chemicals are typically used to kill bedbugs. A trap, which uses other chemicals to attract the bugs, helps to count how many are in a room.

Loveland Library@LovelandLibrary

Unfortunately due to unforeseen circumstances, the 2nd floor of the Library is closed until further notice. This includes the iCreate Makerspace, the iExplore Computer Lab, and the iLearn Classroom. Please check our website for reopening time and more information.

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Experts say bed bugs can be found in ride shares

Bed bugs

Just the thought of bed bugs is enough to make most peoples’ skin crawl, but actually getting them in your house could be just as costly as it is uncomfortable; and cases are on the rise.  (KCTV5 News)

Eyewitness News 3 (WFSB) – by Matt McFarland and Olyvia Lank | February 25, 2020

The reports of bed bugs are on the rise in Connecticut.

Those whose job it is to get rid of the blood sucking bugs say they’re not just in homes anymore.

Experts described bed bugs as excellent hitchhikers. They can be easily transported into homes, hotels, and there’s another location most don’t think about.

“In general, bed bugs are not discriminatory. They’ll go whether you’re high end, low end, mid end,” said Mike Lipsett.

Mike Lipsett is nicknamed the Bug Man and he says his company, Connecticut Pest Elimination, gets calls daily.

“Anybody can get them, any facility can get them because they’re brought in by somebody,” Lipsett said.

While a nuisance, it’s important to note bed bugs don’t carry diseases like ticks or mosquitoes, but they reproduce quickly and travel easily through clothes, luggage, and other personal belongings.

Now, it has some worried about popular ride share cars.

“It very well could happen. We had a client years ago that used to take the train a lot. They happened to look in his briefcase and it was caked with it. Here’s a guy that got on a train, now that’s rare, here’s a guy that never even thought to look,” Lipsett said.

In fact, a California law firm is representing people who say they got bed bugs in ride shares. Down in Texas, one Dallas-based exterminator says he’s been treating cars.

What about in Connecticut? Experts say they haven’t seen any reports of bed bugs and ride shares.

Doctor Gale Ridge heads up Connecticut’s Coalition Against Bed Bugs and she says there’s a reason why bed bug infestation in a car would be extremely rare.

“If a bed bug was accidentally dropped in the car in the middle of winter, it’s likely to freeze to death overnight. Conversely, if it’s in a parking lot during the summer day, it’s going to die from the heat. They stress out very easily,” Dr. Ridge said.

While pest professionals use heat and chemicals to solve the problems, Dr. Ridge says one of the best pesticides people can use is simply vacuum cracks and crevices where bed bugs live.

Experts also say people shouldn’t panic.

Connecticut’s Agricultural Experiment Station has a website with plenty of detailed information, which you can find here.

Local Michigan exterminator says bed bugs can end up in vehicles

02242020

Exterminator examines news vehicle for bed bugs

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — Last week, a Texas, exterminator told a local news station he treats up to 10 rideshare vehicles a week for bed bugs.

But here in Grand Rapids, John Koval, the owner of Smitter Pest Control Management, says he gets inspection calls for semi trucks and medical transportation vans.

“Actually, I take Uber all the time,” said Koval, “and I haven’t had an issue.”

Even though he hasn’t seen it, he said that doesn’t mean it’s not happening.

Koval actually gets many calls for vehicles with bed bugs.

Those are typically semi trucks and medical transportation vans.

“Yeah, caregivers that pick up patients, things like that,” said Koval, “that have had bed bugs at their house. We’ve gotten some things from caregivers. So, we try to educate them, put a sheet over their seats.”

As for the semi trucks, he said the bed bugs most likely reside in mattresses or other bedding the drivers bring along to sleep during long trips.

In his car inspections, he first checks the backseat. Especially in the case of rideshare vehicles or cabs, this is where the bed bugs might be. That’s because they usually come attached to a passenger.

“Head rests, you can find them there,” said Koval, “When you’re sitting there, someone could have them on their collar when they’re sitting in your vehicle.”

Also check the cracks of seats, and peel back the plastic surrounding the seat. The bed bugs can lodge themselves in there.

If you find bed bugs in your vehicle, call a professional to chemically treat the car.

Koval said it’s still more common to get bed bugs in your home or in a hotel. He receives five or six calls a week to exterminate bed bugs in Grand Rapids.

Dallas bed bugs expert says he treats 5 to 10 rideshare vehicles per week

WFAA ABC8 | by Matt Howerton | February 21, 2020

Most drivers get their cars treated because they see bed bugs, get a complaint, or are just taking precautions after a ride an exterminator said.

DALLAS, Texas — A Dallas-based pest exterminator tells WFAA that he treats up to 10 rideshare vehicles per week for bed bugs, a mode of transportation that thousands turn to weekly to get around the metro.

Bed bugs have not been a great selling point for the DFW area.

Per Orkin in 2019, Dallas-Fort Worth ranked No. 10 on its list of “Top 50 Bed Bug Cities.”

Baltimore ranked number one. 

In a Terminix ranking last year, Dallas-Fort Worth was ranked third.

For Don Brooks, owner of Doffdon Pest Control, bed bugs are his life. He travels daily around the metro to rid the nuisance insects (that multiply fast) from both homes and vehicles.

“Quite frankly, they’re not racist at all and they don’t care about how much money you have,” Brooks said. “They’re bloodsuckers.”

Don Brooks
Don Brooks talks with WFAA about clearing cars of bed bugs.

Brooks’ has a unique mobile business, one that focuses on burning out bed bugs with high heat.

He pulls around heating equipment on a trailer that can heat homes up to 150°F.

Hoses run into the home and Brooks controls the temperature from the trailer.

He also puts up a tent and heats it to the same temperature to treat cars that possibly have bed bugs, and that’s where Brooks has been seeing an interesting trend.

Brooks told WFAA that he’s seeing more and more rideshare drivers.

“I probably do five to 10 rideshare cars per week,” Brooks said.

“Drivers either see bed bugs, someone complained, or they were suspicious of a customer and just want to make sure.”

Yeah, rideshare vehicles and bed bugs.

That combo is probably one that some haven’t thought about when hailing for a ride on their phone.

But it isn’t an outlandish concept when you think about how many customers rideshare drivers pick up each day.

“It’s highly likely they can crawl off of someone,” Brooks said.

In fact, the insurance company Netquote put a small study last year that said rideshare vehicles were 35,000 times more germy than a toilet seat.

One Los Angeles law firm even represents people who may have been bitten by a bed bug in a rideshare vehicle or had an infestation in their home as a result of booking a rideshare trip.

They can have their car sprayed with a liquid pesticide for a cheaper price.

“I can spray a car in 15 minutes,” Brooks said. “I usually do the backseat, the crevices, and the carpet on the floor.”

Pest control photo
Heat hoses run from Brooks’ trailer and into a tour bus to raise the temperature and kill any possible insects.

WFAA reached out to three other pest control services in the metro, and two said they use high heat to get bed bugs out of cars.

However, neither business could recount knowing that a customer was a rideshare driver.

Brooks’ revelation isn’t meant to scare anyone, he even said it wouldn’t stop him from booking a ride.

But he did say to be wary of any cars that weren’t clean, something that rideshare drivers are supposed to be on top of.

“If you feel suspicious, just throw your clothes in the dryer for 50 minutes on high heat,” Brooks said. “Then it’s best to hop in the shower.”

Elementary School Battles BedBugs

NewsChannel21 | GENESEE DEPOT, WI  — A Waukesha County elementary school is in a battle against bedbugs.

Some students went to school with bedbugs in the fall, but parents from other families are now coming to the rescue to try and prevent an infestation at school.

“Someone found it, brought it to the health room, and it was actually a bedbug,” Magee Elementary School Principal Sue Sterner said.

Sterner said the school’s fight against bedbugs started in October.

“Contacted families and did everything we could do here to prevent the spread at school,” Sterner said.

The school isolated the infestation to three families, but the public school can’t turn away students because of bedbugs.

They’re not considered a health risk.

The school’s parent teacher organization, or PTO, bought containers for all 250 students to keep belongings separate and prevent a bedbug infestation.

“I feel bad for the children. They don’t have any control over it,” said Stacy Grafenauer, vice president of Magee Elementary PTO.

As part of responding to the bedbug problem the school purchased a washer and dryer.

Half of it was paid for by the PTO.

The principal and a custodian launder possibly infested clothing daily, and the families with infestations treated their homes in ways they could afford, but the bedbugs didn’t go away.

“There were questions about why is this taking so long? Well, it’s a process,” Sterner said.

“From a public health standpoint, shouldn’t the health department jump in here and help you with this?” WISN 12 News reporter Terry Sater asked.

“Super great question again. You might want to ask them that,” Sterner said.

WISN 12 News asked the Waukesha County Environmental Health Department which said there are no local or state laws that give them authority.

Parents organized a GoFund Me campaign, raising more than $4,000 in four days to completely treat the infested homes.

The money was raised “to give some peace of mind to those families, as well as others,” Grafenauer said.

Magee Elementary School brought in a bedbug detecting dog to make sure there were no bedbugs in school.

There will also be follow-ups at the school and in the treated homes.

Bed bugs, sex, and drugs: Records detail problems at Toledo adult care homes

 The Blade logo

A Blade review of hundreds of pages of public records found that 35 individuals suffering from mental health and addiction disorders were removed from six adult care homes in Toledo as a result of concerns about poor living conditions and possible criminal behavior.

The documents, obtained by The Blade through Ohio’s public records law, provide insight into how unscheduled inspections of the homes in Toledo in December and January raised questions about residents’ access to basic care and fundamental necessities. State and local social service officials performed the unannounced inspections after they received complaints about violence, unsanitary living conditions, and even individuals in one home being sex trafficked.

State reports show inspectors found some residents weren’t being fed three meals a day. Others claimed they were assaulted by group home employees. Bed bugs infested every bedroom of one home; while in a second location investigators found broken glass, a chicken carcass uncovered on a plate in the refrigerator, a room that smelled like urine, and a mattress flanked by used condoms in the backyard.

Now authorities are trying to determine next steps, while operators of the homes in question are pushing back against what they say are unfair accusations about conditions and safety, and the improper decision to displace residents from homes where, in some cases, they had lived for more than a decade.

 Reverend Otis Gordon looks at the agenda during planning and oversight committee meeting held by the Mental Health and Recovery Services Board of Lucas County in Toledo on Tuesday February 11, 2020.

Lucas County Mental Health Board takes next steps in group home relocations

State Department of Health officials have largely declined to discuss the case, while the Mental Health and Recovery Services Board of Lucas County has defended the removals, arguing conditions found in the homes were dangerous.

Some elected leaders and mental health service advocates and experts, meanwhile, are calling for better oversight of adult care homes, which total 112 in Lucas County.

Terry Russell is director of Ohio Adult Care Facilities Association, a Columbus-based nonprofit that works with group home operators to improve care and services for residents. He believes that operators have for years been left alone to fend off the many problems that can arise when caring for mentally ill individuals. State officials must do more to ensure such homes are clean and safe, and operators are supported, he said.

“Sometimes we treat the mentally ill like commodities,” Mr. Russell said in response to the allegations surfacing in Toledo. “The mental health system has just ignored them.”

‘Imminent danger’

The Ohio Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services oversees the state’s adult care home program. The program aims to provide community-based housing opportunities to adults who suffer from mental and developmental disabilities, addiction, and other issues.

The homes, usually found among common neighborhoods, are operated by private citizens or enterprises, working under state licenses. Operators must renew their license every two years, according to state law. Home inspections are done annually, each time a licensee seeks renewal, and whenever a complaint, whether anonymous or by caseworkers and guardians, is filed with the state.

The home at 68 San Rafael in Toledo on Tuesday, Jan. 28, 2020. The mental health services department has relocated 35 people from six homes adult group homes in Lucas County due to poor living conditions.

35 Toledo group home residents relocated due to poor living conditions

Operators must adhere to several regulations, including providing three meals a day, thoroughly and routinely cleaning homes, and ensuring adequate staffing.

It was complaints about such requirements that led county officials along with the Ohio Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services, beginning in December, to conduct unannounced visits to eight homes in Lucas County. Eventually residents from six of those homes, all in Toledo, were removed.

Scott Sylak, the director of the Lucas County mental health board, said Ohio Revised Code gives his department authority to take action when residents are in “imminent danger.”

“I’m concerned for the health and safety of our clients which fall under our governing,” he said. “But, I’m also concerned about the providers and the operators and helping them. … We need them. We need to do a better job of supporting them and they need to do a better job of following through on the licensing requirements and addressing the issues that they know they need to address.”

Lori Criss, director of the Ohio Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services, declined to discuss specifics of the individual cases.

“In general, we view residential care facilities as an important part of the continuum of people staying in the community,” she said. “It’s a service we value. We’re working with stakeholders right now on how we can improve residential care facilities.”

San Rafael Avenue

The state conducted an unannounced  visit on Jan. 17 to a group home located at 68 San Rafael Ave. in South Toledo after receiving a complaint that two women living in the four-person home were being sex trafficked. State and local mental health officials inspected the home alongside Toledo police and Lucas County sheriff’s deputies.

Inspectors on site talked to residents — unnamed in inspection reports — who said two female residents would often have “strange men” in the home and would often use drugs. Those same residents  reported their concerns to owner Clara Brank, who operates Clara Mae’s Adult Family Home, LLC.

“One resident reported that she is afraid due to the strange men in the home and one of the other residents threatened her for telling the owner what was happening,” according to a state investigation summary. “The facility owner reported that she was aware that two of the residents were having men come into the group home and she contacted case managers and gave the residents [30-day vacate notices], but did not increase supervision in the homes to ensure the safety and well-being of all…”

Sgt. Paul Davis, a spokesman for the police department, said a detective at the scene determined no one at the home was being sex trafficked, however, at least one woman was “having sex in exchange for drugs and money.”

Officials found and documented other concerns during their visit, too.

Records from the inspection accuse Ms. Brank of not providing three meals a day to residents as required by the state. Inspectors found a chicken carcass uncovered on a plate in the refrigerator, and a room in the house smelled like urine. Broken glass was observed in some areas of the house and a mattress flanked by used condoms was observed in the backyard. Residents also reported Ms. Brank only came by twice a day to bring food and pass out medications, according to state documents.

Following the inspection at 68 San Rafael, Mr. Sylak and state officials decided as a precaution to relocate residents from there, and from Ms. Brank’s other group home, located at 72 San Rafael Ave.

Ms. Brank, when reached by The Blade last week, said she “has enough supervision” at the home on 68 San Rafael Ave., but declined further comment.

“I’d rather not say anything right now,” she said.

Previously, Ms. Brank told The Blade the problems at the home started after she agreed to house an individual who was released from jail on the basis that state and local officials would help her monitor the resident. After breaking house rules, the resident received a 30-day vacate notice and was supposed to be gone by Feb. 2, Ms. Brank said, but then on Jan. 17, authorities relocated residents from the two San Rafael properties.

“I’ve been sick. I’m depressed,” she said on Jan. 30. “I didn’t do anything wrong. Why am I being closed?”

Mr. Sylak said he doesn’t have the authority to “close down” the homes and added that the state will go through a process to determine the status of affected operators’ licenses.

Douglas and Clover 

Several reported issues led officials to Delores Place III, a group home at 3521 Douglas Rd.

A resident there accused a staff member of assault after a dinnertime argument. According to state documents, the resident left the dining room area after the argument and was followed by the employee, who barged through a door and tackled the resident onto a bed. The resident cut his head on a nearby window, an injury that required staples, according to the report.

The report says the staff member did not offer assistance to the resident and a family member then came to the group home to take the resident to the hospital. The report also accuses facility owner Tracy Price of asking the resident not to file a police report “due to not having another staff member available to work.” The employee and the resident subsequently filed police reports against each other.

Attempts to reach Ms. Price were not successful.

During an unannounced complaint-based visit on Dec. 20, 2019, inspectors found live bed bugs in every bedroom, facility operators only providing one meal to residents each day, and expired food made available to residents. The facility’s license had expired 10 months earlier on Feb 2, 2019, and the state never received a renewal application, records show.

Ms. Price also owns homes at 5565 and 5238 Clover Lane. Residents from those houses were relocated because of concerns about supervision. Live bed bugs and “bed bug excrement,” were also found on mattresses inside the homes, according to reports.

Tom Johnson, who lives next door to the home at 5238 Clover, told The Blade he and other neighbors have had to call the city about trash in the backyard, which caused rats to appear.

Mr. Johnson said he worries residents are often without food and he will offer them vegetables from his garden.

“Those people don’t deserve to be treated like that,” he said.

Hadley Homes

At 2262 Collingwood Blvd., complaint-based visits were conducted on Jan. 3 and Jan. 7 after a resident alleged the operator’s son “beat him” and told him he would be thrown out of the facility.

Durell McGhee runs the 14-person adult care home under his Hadley Homes LLC. He said he didn’t learn about that complaint until he received a letter from the state on Feb. 10. He told The Blade he immediately fired his son once he got the letter — but that was 33 days after the incident. Mr. McGhee said he was in the dark during that time, wondering why residents were removed from the home.

“When I found out what the problem was I fired him immediately,” Mr. McGhee said. “They never told us a reason. If I would have known, I would have fired him right then.”

Mr. McGhee said he’s now working to better train new employees and taking other preventative steps so future problems don’t occur. But Mr. McGhee also believes county officials are “overstepping” by removing residents from the homes.

“What they’re doing is wrong,” Mr. McGhee said. “The county is totally out of order. There were people there 15 years, crying, asking them not to take them.”

Mr. Sylak defended the decision to remove residents in order to keep them safe. He also said the residents all moved willingly and voluntarily.

“We’re always going to protect people when we believe their health or safety is in imminent danger,” he said.

Attempts by The Blade to contact adult care home residents were unsuccessful.

As of Monday, no criminal charges had been filed in relation to the adult care home complaints and inspections.

Since the removals, the operators of the affected homes have been given until Thursday to provide the state a written plan that identifies how owners “will correct, or have corrected each finding,” records show.

Eric Wandersleben, a spokesman for the Ohio mental health department, said the state will then check compliance with the corrective plans through follow-up site visits.

“If the providers are still out of compliance, the department has the authority to take further action,” he said.

Mr. Russell  feels more resources need to be provided to support operators who provide adequate living conditions for residents.

Toledo city councilmen Larry Sykes and Yvonne Harper put the blame more pointedly at the state level. Both said state officials need to be doing more to regulate such homes, and ensure those who live in them receive quality care.

“The state needs to be held accountable,” Mr. Sykes said. “They need to reassess their policies. There’s a lot of questions that need to be asked.”

The Lucas County mental health board will hold a regularly scheduled monthly meeting Tuesday at 4 p.m. at 701 Adams St.

Furniture Today: Nip it in the bud!

 

Please, everyone sleep tight and don’t let the bedbugs bite! We have all heard this as youngsters but we paid no attention. Maybe we should.

Here in Richmond, two of our elementary schools are having to close some classrooms to have them deep cleaned for … you guessed it, bedbugs. Parents are being told to put the child’s clothing in a pillow case and run it them in a clothes dryer at its hottest setting for one hour to kill the pests. Meanwhile, other schools are watching out for this new, but very old, problem.

Truthfully, I have not heard much about bedbugs over the past 50 years in the furniture industry until recently. If you read the hotel business publications, bedbugs are a HUGE problem, and there are a half dozen full-page ads for bedbug solutions or how to prevent them. There are occasional stories about entire floors of hotels being closed for cleaning and bedbug control.

I have read in travel publications to not leave your luggage open where bedbugs can climb in and catch a ride to a new home, yours. Be careful how you handle your clothes in hotels and just don’t throw them around, especially near the bed. This is not a problem at remote and backward third world countries; it is in major U.S. cities in a big way.

Unfortunately, bedbugs are quietly impacting the residential home furnishings business. The way I hear it, stores that help dispose of old beds when they deliver new ones, get their delivery trucks infested. Since most new beds are delivered wrapped, the bedbugs are getting into the upholstery on its way to be delivered. Customers are NOT happy with this free add-on and make demands on the stores. Recently, I read that the average cost of a resolving a bedbug problem is $1,700, which sounds low to me.

Upon hearing about this and also hearing about some of our larger furniture stores having many bedbug suits from consumers, maybe this is a problem our industry needs to address in a serious way before some crusading do-gooder starts suggesting laws and regulations we don’t want or need.

My wife and I own a 120-year-old wooden farmhouse on the Rappahannock River, just off the Chesapeake Bay. Over the past 20 years, we have had to call for help with a raccoon family in the attic, a large icky spider problem in one bedroom, tiny mice in a wall and a black snake that fell out of a closet near the pool table. But we have never found bedbugs!

W.W. “Jerry” Epperson, Jr. is a founder and managing director of Mann, Armistead & Epperson, Ltd., an investment banking and research firm. Jerry is the head of their research efforts and has in excess of thirty years of experience in the publication of hard/soft dollar research which focuses on demographics, consumer products, furnishings (residential and contract) and related issues. More specifically, Jerry’s research in the furnishings industry is recognized on a world-wide basis for its in-depth coverage of suppliers, manufacturers and retailers.

Lancaster Fire Department dealing with increased number of bed bugs while on calls

02142020The Lancaster Fire Department says it’s seeing an increase in the number of bed bugs while out on calls.

LANCASTER, Ohio — When you think of fire fighters, what comes to mind?

You should think nothing short of heroes. Dedication. Bravery. Saving others’ lives while risking their own.

The list is endless.

For the Lancaster Fire Department, there are two words you probably don’t think. And, it’s such a big deal, the department has five pages on policy about it.

“Right,” Assistant Chief K. J. Watts said. “We never really had one up until about six years ago.”

Those two words: bed bugs.

“We engage with the public, we go in their house, we sit on their furniture to try to talk to them to find out what’s going on and, sometimes, the bed bugs jump on us,” he said.

Between three stations, the fire department goes on 9,000 calls a year. In the last few years, Watts says the exposure to bed bugs has increased up to 10 percent every year. But with the increase in bed bug numbers, how do they decrease the potential spread?

“This machine is two different heaters that have fans in them,” he said.

The machine is quite literally called the “Bed Bug Killer.” It reaches up to 130 degrees. The fire department runs it for five minutes in the back of emergency vehicles where patients are transported. Watts says the machine is used at least twice a month.

The department has another precaution, and it’s one you wouldn’t think of.

“Just like narcotic sniffing dogs and bomb sniffing dogs, they have bed bug sniffing dogs,” Watts said.

At all three stations, once a month, the dogs come in and sniff. If they detect a bed bug, they sit down. The department also uses the heaters if they’re on a call and notice bed bugs in a residence or if they spot one in a truck after a call.

Twice, Watts says fire fighters have unknowingly taken bed bugs home. In that case, the department works with them to get rid of the problem and even offers the heaters for the staff to take home. This, Watts says, often puts extra pressure on responders.

“I get that, but we’re an all-hazards response company,” Watts said. “That’s kind of what we do and bed bugs are the recent hazard for us.”

The fire department says it disinfects the trucks after every run. It also has implemented new rules allowing fire fighters to change into their gear at the fire house so that they don’t wear work clothes home.

10TV.com | by Bryant Somerville | February 12, 2014

Midtown home infested with bed bugs; renter calls on state to fix clean-up mistake

State warns property manager over pesticide after bedbugs found in home

 

02132020MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) – A bed bug infestation soon turned into a much bigger health concern for the woman renting a midtown home. State inspectors say her property manager improperly sprayed pesticide hoping to get rid of the problem.

Eva Woywod moved into her midtown home a couple of days before Christmas in 2018.

“The history. I’m drawn to historic places. It’s a beautiful home,” said Woywod.

She moved to Memphis from Wisconsin to be closer to her son but she was unknowingly moving closer to some unwanted guests.

“The next morning my son woke up covered in bites, just bites all over his body,” said Woywod.

Bed bugs were found all over her son’s bedroom wall.

“They attack at night. They literally attack. It’s like an army of bugs coming at you at night,” said Woywod.

Woywod spent months asking her property manager Bernard Evans to hire an exterminator. Bed bugs are incredibly difficult to get rid of. According to the Centers for Disease Control, bed bugs are tiny and excellent at hiding. They can go months without feeding and only come out when an appropriate host is available.

Waywod says she spent more than nine months in her home before her property manager offered to come fix the problem, but instead of hiring a professional he decided to do it himself.

“He left puddles down the hallway. He saturated our furniture with it. My furniture got ruined,” said Woywod.

As Woywod suspected, her property manager shouldn’t have been spraying her home in the first place.

“Pesticides are regulated by state law. It by nature is named a pesticide. It means it’s designed to kill something and if used improperly it can cause a lot of damage,” said Jerry Seabolt with the Tennessee Department of Agriculture Pesticide Department.

Seabolt says state law only allows certified, licensed professionals to use those types of chemicals.

“The appropriate way to take care of a bedbug issue is to call a professional,” said Seabolt.

Bernard Evans of First Choice Properties was issued a warning last November for violation of the Pesticides Act of 1978. If he does it again, he could face criminal charges.

Pesticide use is taken seriously because Seabolt says improper use of pesticides can cause skin burns and if ingested can damage the kidney, liver and lungs.

“Well yeah, that kind of kicked him in the butt. He got a real exterminator,” said Woywod.

Woywod says her home is now bed bug-free but hopes other renters learn from what she calls a nightmare. She says it’s also important to know who actually owns your rental, not just the property manager.

“It is extremely important because like in this situation the middle man wasn’t communicating and doing his job,” said Woywod.

Tuesday afternoon we went by the property manager’s home. He did not want to be on camera but said he is no longer managing that property.

It’s unclear at this time if he manages any other properties in the city.

The State Department of Agriculture tells WMC Action News 5 that they will follow-up with Evans within the next six months.

 

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