Bed Bugs Infest Newlyweds' Rental Home
Tuesday, April 3, 2012

ACWORTH, GA - Michelle and Lee Dowdy were married on Feb. 13, and they moved into a new home in Acworth. But they weren't alone.

They were moving into a home filled with nearly 1,000 creepy, crawly, blood sucking bed bugs.

"That infestation has been there for months and months before they moved in," sad Garey Clark, the owner of Clark Pest Remedy.  "The landlord should do something about it, it is a heavy infestation."

"It's horrible, it's horrible," said Michelle Dowdy. "I don't wish this on anyone. It is like devastation, complete devastation."

The Dowdys said they just bought a new king bed and new furniture. All of that furniture is now infested with bed bug eggs and the bugs themselves.

"We've lost everything," said Lee Dowdy. "What I do want out of this is all the money back that I have lost, that is the only right. It's only fair."

We asked the property manager, Patricia Spry, who works with Augsburg Investment, what they are doing to help.

"We already called someone out to spray and they sprayed," said Spry.

"They sprayed, but the couple and Garey Clark with Clark Pest Remedy said the problem is still there and it is going to cost $1,800 to get rid of the bugs," CBS Atlanta's Mike Paluska said.

"I'll call my boss and see what he says, but you need to quit filming me and get off the property," said Spry.

The Dowdys said they called Clark after the spraying the landlord paid for failed.

Spry said she didn't know there were bed bugs inside the home at the time the Dowdys moved in.

Neighbors told Paluska that the previous tenant complained about having a lot of bug bites and possibly fleas.

"This is a heavy infestation that has been in that apartment before the Dowdys moved in," said Clark.

Michelle Dowdy has numerous bug bites on her arms and body from where the bed bugs were biting her.

"They just suck your blood," said Michelle Dowdy. "I can't live like this, and we can't move because we have no money."

"I don't even know who I am anymore, I walk around with a flashlight looking for bugs," said Michelle Dowdy.

Clark recommends anyone who thinks they might have come into contact with bed bugs to put all of their clothes in the dryer on high for 20 minutes. The heat will kill the bugs and their eggs.

"Something needs to be done to help this couple," said Clark. "This isn't right what is happening to them."

"Why are you still staying here?" asked Spry to the Dowdys. "Why don't you just leave?"

Michelle Dowdy responded, "We have been staying in and out of motels. We want you to fix the problem that was here when we moved in."

CBS Atlanta News will continue to follow up with the landlord to see if he is going to take any further action.