Bed Bugs Battle Continues at Dulle-Hamilton Towers
JEFFERSON CITY - Residents and the Jefferson City Housing Authority continue to battle the bugs infestation at Dulle-Hamilton Towers, which has been going on for nearly two years.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said bed bugs are reddish-brown "small, flat, parasitic insects that feed solely on the blood of people and animals while they sleep." The wingless insects are roughly the size of Lincoln's head on a penny, ranging from 1 mm to 7 mm. Bed bugs can live several months without a blood meal and may enter your home undetected through luggage, clothing, used beds, couches and other items. Most bedbug bites are painless at first, but later turn into itchy welts.
Resident Marcie Robin Olmos said the biggest problem is the bugs are able to spread across the building through fans and elevators, hence more apartments get infested.
"It's sad when low-income residents are responsible to replace mattresses, clothing and furniture," said Olmos.
Olmos said the Housing Authority blames the residents for bringing the bugs in. She said when the apartments are being treated, residents are asked to leave.
"They give us no option, we must leave the property. We have to go, no financial retribution there at all," Olmos said.
Crystal Mohiuddan is a disabled resident at the Towers. She said the bed bugs problem makes her mentally upset.
"They were literally attacking me. Like, needles poking and poking and poking. And I woke up in the morning and my body is covered in red, itchy bites," Mohiuddan said.
Although the Housing Authority is treating the apartments individually, Mohiuddan said they are not treating the building as a whole.
"And then you have those who have the problem of giving items to other people, so bugs spread in the same building," Mohiuddan said.
Patrica Mitchel said her apartment was treated last week and she had to throw away her bed and couch.
"I am sleeping on the floor now," said Mitchel, adding the Housing Authority did not ask her if she needed a replacement of her items.
Other residents said they have not had any problems with the bed bugs infestation.
The Jefferson City Housing Authority sent out a letter to all residents in January 2013 which states, "resident units that have become infested will be treated at management's expense on the first occasion and for one follow-up treatment to ensure the issue is resolved. The amount charged by the pest control company for treatment after the initial and follow-up treatments will be passed onto the resident." The charge for a heat treatment is a minimum of $750 and for a chemical treatment is at least $125.
KOMU tried to reach out to the Jefferson City Housing Authority on Saturday morning but could not get ahold of anyone.
You can find a copy of the letter below.