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.

 

Two Upstate Cities Make “Top Bed Bug Cities” List

NY_CitiesHudson Valley Post | January 26, 2020

Talk about a dubious distinction. For a second year in a row, a couple of New York state cities made Orkin pest control’s top 50 list for bed bug cities. Yuck. Well, at least in both cases, both cities aren’t as high up the list as last year.

Syracuse and Buffalo were both ranked in the top fifty in the country for bed bug cases. According to Orkin’s website, Buffalo ranked 24, and Syracuse 39th respectively. New York City was 6th, which is not surprising for a city that size.

So what city has the most bed bugs in the U.S.? according to Orkin, Washington D.C. The nation’s capitol is now also the bed bug capitol. Orkin has a number of helpful reminders on their home page that could help you spot the pests before they potentially spread, and also ways to treat and infestation. This is not one of them.

Bedbugs bite Wednesday night rush under Queens Boulevard

In this file photo, subway riders wait on the platform of the Forest Hills 71st Avenue station in Forest Hills.
In this file photo, subway riders wait on the platform of the Forest Hills 71st Avenue station in Forest Hills. (Xanthos Julia/Xanthos Julia)
NEW YORK DAILY NEWS | Jan 22, 2020 | by Clayton Guse and Bill Sanderson

A bedbug infestation in an underground subway workspace slowed the homeward commutes of thousands of straphangers Wednesday night on the Queens Boulevard line.

E, F, M and R service were affected by the delays that started around 4:30 p.m., the MTA said.

The problem arose in a subway control tower at the Forest Hills/71st St. station, said MTA NYC Transit president Andy Byford.

When an employee reported seeing bedbugs in the tower, “we immediately took action to fumigate the tower, which resulted in an evacuation until tower staff were able to safely return at approximately 7:30 p.m,” Byford said in a statement.

Towers are places where railroad staff control switches that route trains. The subways use the word tower to describe such control facilities even though they are underground.

Because the Forest Hills/71st St. tower was evacuated, there was no subway staff available to turn around trains on the M and R lines, which end their runs at the station.

That forced the trains to be rerouted, and turned around further east on Queens Boulevard.

NYCT Subway

@NYCTSubway

At approximately 4:30pm, our management team requested a fumigation of the Continental Master Control Tower, which we immediately commenced. All of our personnel were evacuated from the tower.

NYCT Subway

@NYCTSubway

Continental is where the track switches at 71 Av are controlled. Without human operators, our ability to turn trains around at the terminal was compromised. That caused severe disruptions along the E, F, M, and R lines.

“We apologize for the inconvenience to our customers as we worked to address the issue and ensure the safety of our employees,” Byford said.

The problem was finally cleared up at around 8:30 p.m.

Byford said the problem wasn’t expected to affect the morning commute.

OUCH! Actress, husband sue Princess Cruises over alleged bedbug incident

foxBy Janine Puhak | January 16, 2020

Ouch!

An actress who appeared in the film “Marriage Story” and her husband have filed a lawsuit against Princess Cruises, alleging that they suffered such “horrific” exposure to bedbugs during a recent cruise that the woman had to be hospitalized for treatment.

“Marriage Story” actor Connie Flores and her husband Alvin Flores have claimed that they were attacked by the pesky critters during a November cruise from Los Angeles to Mexico, NBC San Diego reports. The couple were traveling on the Emerald Princess ship to celebrate their anniversary over Thanksgiving weekend.

Connie Marie Flores arrives at the Premiere Of Netflix's

Connie Marie Flores arrives at the Premiere Of Netflix’s “Marriage Story” at DGA Theater on November 5, 2019 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Gregg DeGuire/FilmMagic)

The Flores’ said in a recent statement that the bugs “feasted” on them while they slept in an “infested” stateroom, sharing photos of their heads, arms and legs covered in red bumps.

“Imagine yourself on a cruise at sea with your stateroom infested with bedbugs. There was nowhere to go. We were trapped. We felt helpless. There were bedbugs coming out of the pillows and the mattress, we felt betrayed,” Connie claimed.

An image the aftermath from of the alleged bedbug attack.

An image the aftermath from of the alleged bedbug attack. (My Bed Bug Lawyer)

The couple said that they notified the on-board medical staff of the bedbug issue and demanded a relocation to a new room, but the Princess Cruises employees delayed their urgent request.

“They simply were negligent in providing safe premises,” said attorney Brian Virag, founder of the law firm My Bed Bug Lawyer, which is representing the couple in court.

Now, the Flores’ complaint seeks $75,000 in damages for financial loss and personal injury as well as emotional and mental distress in a jury trial, according to NBC.

An image of the aftermath from the alleged bedbug attack.

An image of the aftermath from the alleged bedbug attack. (My Bed Bug Lawyer)

“This was a horrific experience, and no one should ever go through such pain and trauma,” Connie said. “This ordeal has prompted us to be advocates and bring awareness to people who have been exposed to bed bugs.”

A spokesperson for Princess Cruises told Fox News that the cruise line is “limited” regarding what information can be shared about the open suit, but maintained that their employees are “highly trained to identify bedbugs” in staterooms, which are “ALL thoroughly inspected” each month.

An image of the aftermath from the alleged bedbug attack.

An image of the aftermath from the alleged bedbug attack. (My Bed Bug Lawyer)

“We were very sorry to hear about Ms. Flores concerns,” said a cruise line representative. “Princess Cruises is committed to following and often exceed stringent sanitation and health guidelines. Given that this is an open lawsuit, we are limited in what information we can share right now, however it is worth noting, our room attendants are highly trained to identify bedbugs and ALL staterooms are thoroughly inspected each month as a preventative measure.”

“By virtue of how the cruise vacation experience is designed our staterooms receive considerably more cleaning attention by our room attendants than a hotel room on land (twice a day, including evening turn-down service along with a thorough cleaning – including changing linen at the end of each cruise),” they said.

“It would be highly unusual for the presence of bedbugs to go un-noticed for more than the length of one cruise.”

Virag said in the statement that roughly one in every five Americans has either personally experienced bedbugs or knows someone who has.

Hollywood Actress Trapped On A Cruise Ship With Bed Bugs: MYBEDBUGLAWYER™ Files Lawsuit

LOS ANGELESJan. 15, 2020 /PRNewswire/ — MYBEDBUGLAWYERTM, the nation’s leading law firm for Bed Bug Litigation has filed a lawsuit on behalf of Connie Flores and her husband Alvin, against Princess Cruises Line over the couple’s horrific exposure in a stateroom infested by bed bugs during a recent cruise from Los Angeles to MexicoConnie Flores is an actress who has recently appeared in the Oscar Nominated Netflix film Marriage Story.MYBEDBUGLAWYER

“Imagine yourself on a cruise at sea with your stateroom infested with bed bugs. There was nowhere to go. We were trapped. We felt helpless. There were bed bugs coming out of the pillows and the mattress, we felt betrayed,” said Mrs. Flores.

Blood can be seen on the pillows while bed bugs crawl under the mattress, as shown by the video the couple recorded. The bed bugs feasted on Connie and her husband as they slept. The bites were so severe that it landed Mrs. Flores in the hospital. Her husband remains traumatized by the entire incident, said Brian Virag, Founder of MYBEDBUGLAWYERTM.2

The emotional suffering, however, continues to be the bigger nightmare for our clients. They continue to relive waking up in the middle of the night imagining bed bugs sucking the blood from their body as they slept, added Virag.

“After this ordeal, I wanted to advocate and bring awareness to people who get exposed to bed bugs. No one should have to go through what we experienced,” said Mrs. Flores.

According to the lawsuit filed in Federal Court in Los Angeles (Case Number 2:19cv09961) by MYBEDBUGLAWYERTM and Law Offices of Aksana Coone (maritime cruise ship injury attorney), the cruise ship knew or should have known of the bed bug infestation and simply failed to protect its passengers from physical and emotional harm. The lawsuit also alleges that the cruise ship’s policies and procedures were inadequate in maintaining the safety of their guests. “They simply were negligent in providing safe premises,” said Virag.

According to Virag, about one in every five Americans has either experienced or knows someone who has experienced bed bugs.

MYBEDBUGLAWYERTM is the only law firm that specializes exclusively in bed bug litigation and has lawsuits pending against Disneyland, the Queen Mary and represents Brazilian Supermodel Sabrina Jales against Hilton Hotels. Virag and his firm have obtained the largest jury verdicts ever recorded in US History for victims of bed bug exposure.

 

Bedbug infestation wreaking havoc at Paris hotels

NEW YORK DAILY NEWS JAN 10, 2020  by Storm Gifford

Bedbugs are ruining business for many Parisian hoteliers.

Bedbugs are ruining business for many Parisian hoteliers. (animatedfunk/Getty Images/iStockphoto)

Quelle horreur!

Bedbugs, usually thought of as an American nuisance, are driving Parisians crazy with their appearance in hotels.

The pests, known as punaises de lit in France, are causing financial losses upwards of millions of euros for business owners in the French capital.

One Paris hotel group conceded that even ritzy hotels are falling victim to the pests — and the problem is worsening.

“It’s traumatizing hotel managers. We talk about it among ourselves, but timidly,” Jean-Marc D’Orx, the general president of a French hotel union, told Le Parisien. “The hotelier is a victim in this kind of case. It’s not that the hotel is dirty, but it has welcomed people who have brought the bedbugs with them.”

The number of reported bedbug cases in the nation has ballooned from 180,000 to 4000,000 in two short years, reported The Local.

And in 2018, there were 100,000 bedbug infestations just in Paris alone, according to the French Union for Pest Control.

Fearing massive financial losses and bad reputations, hotel managers also must shutter their establishments until the arrival of new beds and pest controls carry out inspections.

Bedbugs, usually only just 7 millimeters long, crave human blood. Bites can result in allergic reactions, skin rashes, and in some cases, psychological trauma.

One TripAdvisor commenter, who allegedly stayed at a Paris hotel in November, stated, “Bedbugs, no handling of the matter and no treatment. You’re better off sleeping in your car.”

 

‘You’re better off sleeping in your car’: How Paris is plagued by scourge of bed bugs

THE LOCAL | January 10, 2020

The bed bug infestation that is worsening across France has left hoteliers and residents in Paris struggling to find a remedy to a problem that leaves them often out of pocket and out of home.

If the last thing on your mind when staying at a glitzy Paris hotel is having to worry about getting bitten by critters, think again.

A Paris hotel group head has admitted that even high-end hotels in the French capital are affected by a pest infestation that’s getting worse across France.

France’s bed bug problem has seen the number of cases go from 180,000 to 400,000 in just two years.

In 2018 alone, there were 100,000 bed bug infestations in Paris, according to the French Union for Pest Control (CS3D), a scourge that is now also affecting the capital’s hotel industry.

As one TripAdvisor user commented about their stay in a Paris hotel last November: “Bed bugs, no handling of the matter and no treatment. You’re better off sleeping in your car”.

“It’s traumatizing hotel managers, we talk about it among ourselves, but timidly” Jean-Marc D’Orx, general president of Ile-de-France’s Hotel Union, told Le Parisien.

“The hotelier is a victim in this kind of case. It’s not that the hotel is dirty, but it has welcomed people who have brought the bed bugs with them.

“When a room is infested, you have to change all the bedding, the mattress, the bed frame, it can cost anywhere from €300 to €10,000 depending on the category of the hotel.

Aside from these big financial losses (not fully covered by insurance according to D’Orx) and the effect bed bugs can have on a hotel’s reputation, hotel managers also have to close their establishment until new beds have been delivered and pest controls carried out.

In fact, since 2018 any landlord with a rental property in France that’s found to have bed bugs or any other parasite infestation (cockroaches, rats etc), has to cease letting it out, or face a fine of €50,000 to €100,000 for not doing so.

“In Canada, pest control treatments are mandatory when a tenant departs, but unfortunately this is not the case in France,” French housing and social inclusion group Si Toit Lien told Le Monde.

This has resulted in countless unwitting tenants in France having to deal with a serious health and housing problem from the moment they move into their new home.

According to the French Union for Pest Control, 92 percent of French people have at some point found pests in their homes.

But bed bugs – called ‘punaises de lit’ in French – aren’t just being found in beds.

“It’s horrible, even when you’re sure they’re gone you see them everywhere,” a north American reader in Paris who asked to remain anonymous told The Local.

“The cinemas have a problem with them so you start avoiding places.

“You throw out everything that’s part of your bed including the mattress, even though they say all you need to do is wash beddings at 90degrees and it should be fine.

“The pest control guy I got was great. It cost €450 for him to come three times to fumigate. The main problem at my place was the carpet.

“So on top of the cost of fumigation there’s also the expense of staying a night or several nights at a hotel, which often has to happen.

“The fumigator told me bed bugs were by far his biggest business, way above cockroaches and mites, and that he couldn’t keep up with demand despite not advertising.

“The French blame Americans for bringing them over…I got them from an American friend who travels a lot. Bastard.”

The Local’s Paris based editor Ben McPartland said: “A neighbour in my block just dumper their mattress in the street after realising it was teaming with bed bugs. They were everywhere. It was stomach-churning.”

Bed bugs are 7mm-long insects that feed on human blood, usually at night. Their bites can result in skin rashes, allergic reactions and psychological trauma for the person trying to sleep.

After having almost disappeared in the 1950s, bed bugs (Latin name Cimex lectularius) have proliferated in France in recent years.

 

 

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Pill bottles full of bedbugs found in Walmart jacket, men’s department prompt investigation

USA TODAY | by Jordan Culver | January 7, 2019

It’s not uncommon to have an occasional influx of bedbugs at a motel. But at a Walmart?

That’s exactly what police in northwestern Pennsylvania are investigating after several of the creepy critters were found crawling around a Walmart men’s fitting room. Pill bottles containing the bugs were also found in the store.

Law enforcement officers believe the bugs were deliberately released into the Walmart near Erie. The motive isn’t known.

An employee at the Walmart in Edinboro, Pennsylvania, first found a closed pill bottle containing live bed bugs on Thursday, police said. The bottle was found inside a boy’s jacket, which was for sale.

The jacket was “disposed of” according to police, and Ecolab, a company focused on “clean water, safe food and healthy environments,” according to its website, came to the Walmart the next day. An Ecolab employee found and identified the bed begs in the men’s fitting room.

Police were alerted after a second closed pill bottle was found on Saturday. The second bottle contained several dead bed bugs and was found in the men’s department, near the belts, according to police.

“Our third-party pest management service has visited the store, and after conducting a thorough review found no evidence of an infestation,” a Walmart spokesperson said in an email to USA TODAY.

“We believe this to be an isolated incident and are taking all the necessary steps to help ensure a safe environment for customers and associates. We will continue working with law enforcement as they conduct their investigation.”

The second bottle found at the store has been submitted for forensic analysis, according to police. Surveillance video from the store is also under review. Police said Walmart verified the incident was “isolated” after reaching out to other stores in the area.

Bed bugs can be found worldwide, according to the CDC. They don’t spread disease, can live for “several months” without feeding and aren’t considered dangerous, but can infest areas where people sleep and their bites can trigger serious allergic reactions, the CDC says.

Colorado Governor Signs New Bed Bug Law For Landlords And Tenants

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Colorado Gov. Jared Polis has signed HB19-1328, a new bed bug law which requires a tenant to promptly notify the landlord via written or electronic notice when the tenant knows or reasonably suspects that the tenant’s dwelling unit contains bed bugs.

Not more than 96 hours after receiving notice, a landlord in most circumstances must hire a pest management professional to inspect and treat the dwelling unit and any contiguous dwelling units for bed bugs. Except as otherwise provided, a landlord is responsible for all costs associated with mitigating bed bugs.

The provisions in the measure are:

  • A tenant who gives a landlord electronic notice of a condition must now send such notice only to the email address, telephone number, or electronic portal specified by the landlord in the rental agreement for communications. In the absence of such a provision in the rental agreement, the tenant shall communicate with the landlord in a manner that the landlord has previously used to communicate with the tenant. The tenant shall retain sufficient proof of the delivery of the electronic notice.
  • Not more than 96 hours after receiving notice of the presence or possible presence of bed bugs, a landlord (a) must inspect or obtain an inspection by a qualified inspector of the dwelling unit, and (b) may enter the unit or any contiguous unit for the purpose of conducting the inspection.
  • If the inspection of a dwelling unit confirms the presence of bed bugs, the landlord is also then under obligation to perform an inspection of all contiguous dwelling units as promptly as is reasonably practical.
  • Except as otherwise provided, a landlord is responsible for all costs associated with inspection for, and treatment of, the presence of bed bugs.
  • If a landlord, qualified inspector, or pest control agent must enter a dwelling unit for the purpose of conducting an inspection for, or treating the presence of, bed bugs, the landlord shall provide the tenant reasonable written or electronic notice of such fact before the landlord, qualified inspector, or pest control agent attempts to enter the dwelling unit. A tenant who receives the notice shall not unreasonably deny the landlord, qualified inspector, or pest control agent access to the dwelling unit.
  • A tenant shall comply with reasonable measures to permit the inspection for, and treatment of, the presence of bed bugs, and the tenant is responsible for all costs associated with preparing the tenant’s dwelling unit for inspection and treatment. A tenant who knowingly and unreasonably fails to comply with inspection and treatment requirements is liable for the cost of subsequent bed-bug treatments of the dwelling unit and contiguous units if the need for the treatments arises from the tenant’s noncompliance.
  • If any furniture, clothing, equipment, or personal property belonging to a tenant is found to contain bed bugs, the qualified inspector shall advise the tenant that the furniture, clothing, equipment, or personal property should not be removed from the dwelling unit until a pest-control agent determines that a bed-bug treatment has been completed. The tenant shall not dispose of personal property that was determined to contain bed bugs in any common area where such disposal may risk the infestation of other dwelling units.

Rental Housing Journal | by The Editors | 6/19/19

HOTEL HORROR Tourist’s trip to Dublin ruined after she is bitten 77 times by bed bugs in Hotel Riu Plaza The Gresham

THE IRISH SUN | by Danny de Vaal | December 10, 2019

A SWEDISH woman was treated for bed bugs after staying at a lavish city centre hotel in Dublin.

Sanja Manduric, from Lund in Sweden, forked out almost €350 ($389 USD) for a two night stay at Hotel Riu Plaza The Gresham on O’Connell Street while on a business trip.

 Sanja was left in agony after waking up to 77 large red bites on her face and arms
Sanja was left in agony after waking up to 77 large red bites on her face and arms

The 54-year-old Swedish Board of Agriculture official was also planning on spending the weekend in Dublin with her daughter when her work commitments wrapped up but she was left in agony after waking up to 77 large red bites on her face and arms.

Sanja told the Irish Sun: “I picked the hotel because it had a great reputation.

“I never expected that something like this was going to happen.

“I have big marks on my face, my neck and my arms.

“I tried to show the managers and they were just like ‘No, no’.

“I travel a lot and I’ve never had an experience like this.”

‘I HAD 77 BITES’

Sanja booked the hotel for two nights and checked in on October 30 and stayed until November 1.

She was forced to spend €70 on a visit to the doctor and a further €30 on steroid tablets and cream.

Sanja, who left Dublin last month, said she had to work from home as she had large marks on her face.

She said: “The hotel was aware of what the problem was because there wasn’t a small infestation.

“I had 77 bites on me. I don’t know how many bed bugs there were in total but I saw several. I brought the manager up to the room to show him.”

‘WE TAKE MATTER VERY SERIOUSLY’

Sanja claimed the manager told her it looked like “something” but wasn’t sure because he “wasn’t a specialist”.

A spokeswoman for Riu Plaza The Gresham said: “Please let us assure you that the health and safety of our clients is our number one priority.

“We know of the case you refer to and please let us say that we take this matter very seriously.

“After the first notification, the hotel contacted its specialised partner and the result of the analysis conducted was negative.

“No bed bugs were found in the hotel. In any case, and as a gesture of goodwill, the belongings of the guest were treated via our cleaning partner and the luggage replaced.”

The Irish Sun then sent the hotel a video of a bed bug which Sanja filmed and requested a copy of the report from the pest company.

“But we can tell you that we have had no other reports of this kind from any other guest staying either in this very bedroom nor in any of the other 339 guestrooms during these dates.

“Despite this, if there is the minimum suspicion, we activate the specific protocol to avoid any possible problem from spreading.”

 A Swedish woman was treated for bed bugs after staying at a lavish city centre hotel in Dublin

A Swedish woman was treated for bed bugs after staying at a lavish city centre hotel in Dublin
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