Bedbugs plague Aurora apartment complex

July 2, 2012 (AURORA, Ill.)

Residents are literally itching to get rid of them.

There has been a resurgence of bedbugs over the past few years. Experts say it could be due to an increase of global travel, secondhand merchandise, and a possible change in bedbug habits.

Residents of the apartment complex say no matter what the reason, they want the bugs gone.

Monica Lathon bagged some bedbugs on Friday - at least four of them - and on Monday, they were still alive. The hardy pests have invaded her apartment on and off for a year.

"Me and my kids are up all night. We might sleep three hours. We have our cell phones looking on the floor, at the blankets - everywhere," said Lathon.

Lathon is not the only tenant at the Forest Ridge Apartments plagued by bedbugs. Deborah Batiest noticed them a few months ago and had to throw out much of her furniture and put everything else in bags.

She says she has had to fight off the bugs without much help from Professional Property Management, the company that runs the complex.

"They still have never offered myself or no other tenants who've had the bedbugs carpet cleaning or carpet removal," said Batiest.

Batiest says she was so frustrated, she went to the leasing office last week with a bag of live bed bugs and dumped them on the manager's desk.

"I said: Do you see this? This is what I keep waking up to at night crawling on me even though I've thrown my furniture away," said Batiest.

Batiest says soon after, she received an eviction notice which she is trying to appeal. The issue was brought to the attention of the city of Aurora last week.

"The management company said that there would be an exterminator on site addressing the problem today, and we will go out and make sure that that indeed is happening," said Aurora city spokesperson Dan Ferrelli.

Many residents say they would like to see the exterminator come out to the complex more frequently than once a week and spray all 89 units, not just the 20 or so that are infested with bugs.

In the meantime, residents are taking the battle against bedbugs into their own hands.

"They sprayed mine, came back for a recheck a week later and sprayed again, but with me continuing to spray, bomb and do the hallways, that's kind of keeping them down I think," said resident Linda Highes.

ABC7 tried reaching out to Professional Property Management on the premises of the apartment complex about the bedbug issue, but we were told they had no comment at the time.

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