Bed bug “infestation” has renters concerned

News

Urbana, Ill. (WCIA) —

This story may make your skin crawl. Some people in an apartment complex are having issues with bed bugs.

It’s happening at Steer Place in Urbana on East Harding Street and South Cottage Grove Avenue. We talked with tenants who are angry about what they call an infestation.

She says they have to pay half the extermination fee to get rid of bed bugs. The landlord pays half and the renter is on the hook for the rest.

“The box spring cover was covered in blood and their feces,” Linda Long, who lives at Steer Place, said.

Linda Long has been living at Steer Place in Urbana. She recently had bed bugs and had to evacuate her apartment while crews came in and sprayed. She says she was told she would get a new cover for her box spring, but when she got back, it was not clean.

“I said no, no. I said this is unacceptable,” Long said.

She called her manager at Steer Place who also said it was unacceptable and that he would take care of it. She says the landlord wouldn’t let her remove the dirty cover. So Long has had to keep it in her apartment.

“It makes you sick to your stomach. And I told him I said I want it out of here and I want it gone now,” Long said.

Days later its still in her apartment. Meanwhile, another person has been dealing with bed bugs. Joy Cox says she can’t afford to pay to get them exterminated, so she says she has to continue living with them.

“I cannot afford to pay for the fee to be sprayed. I have no income and this is low income housing. So that means I have to live with them I guess,” Cox said.

“These babies are getting bit up in my apartment from the bed bugs,” Cox said.

The manager of the building was there when a WCIA reporter visited the apartment. The reporter knocked on the door and no one would answer. For now, Cox says she is stuck and unsure where to go from here.

“So I don’t know what to do from this point,” Cox said.

The Champaign Urbana Public Health District says they refer bed bug cases to city building inspectors. That department works with the landlords and owners to fix the issues. WCIA called them and it went to voicemail, but will be following up with them.

If you experience bed bugs, here are some tips to get rid of the pesks:
Clean up clutter, but be careful moving items from room to room to prevent spreading.
Wash and heat dry and clothes or bedding. Bed bugs can hide in laundry hampers.
Of course, turn to professionals, if needed.

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