BENTON HARBOR, MI - People who live at an elderly and disabled
housing community in Benton Harbor are itching to have some
problems fixed. Last week a woman claimed she was attacked and that
security cameras didn't record the incident at Harbor Towers. Now a
bed bug infestation is raising questions.
Everyone seemed to have a bed bug horror story when we asked
residents outside Harbor Towers on Monday."They crawl in your face
and in your hair. You know, they just crawl and eat on you," said
Gidget Franklin."You wake up with all kinds of bite marks, it's
ridiculous," said David Moss. "I had to get rid of all my
furniture, everything in my house," said Quana Blomer. "I don't
think we'll be able to get rid of them because everyone else in
there has got them," said Herbert Carlyle.
Harbor Towers is a low-income, elderly and disabled apartment
complex that's home to hundreds of people and apparently plenty of
bedbugs. "I had a couple bite my lag last night. My leg and my
back," said Franklin.
Franklin sleeps with bed bugs every night and said it has been
a building-wide problem for more than a year. "They will crawl in
the hallways to other apartments and everybody just gets it," she
The Benton Harbor Housing Commission runs the building. Ralph
Crenshaw said bed bugs have been reported but said it is under
control. "No it's never been an issue at that building, not a
serious issue," said Crenshaw. He said when the bugs are reported
exterminators are called within days.
Crenshaw estimated the commission paid more than $15 thousand
in the past year for exterminators. A pest control company was
parked outside the building Monday. At $350 per treatment, half of
the apartments in the complex have already been treated, according
Residents said the treatments don't work very well. "We're
still having a serious issue with it," said Blomer. "Spray only
does so much," said Carlyle. "I might go over to your house one day
and they might get on me," said Moss.
Franklin said she thinks the whole building would need to get
treated at the same time to rid the bugs. "I want to see the whole
building cleaned because nobody should have to live like that," she
Crenshaw said the Housing Commission is determining the next
course of action. "We're in the process of talking with an
exterminator to see what it would cost to clean up (the) floors
affected or even the building," he said.