Bed Bugs Plague City-Owned Dogwood Manor

WRCBtv.com
Tuesday, February 21, 2012

CHATTANOOGA, TN - The Chattanooga City Council is considering paying $30,000 to rid a city owned property of bed bugs. Dogwood Manor Apartments offers affordable housing for seniors, but bed bugs have been a continuing problem.

The city brought in an exterminator last October and has had routine inspections since, but residents say they're back. It's up to council to determine if it wants to spend $30,000 on Terminix in an attempt to get rid of the problem once and for all.

"The little boogers don't like to go away, but they can be made to go away so I'd like to see that," Dogwood Manor resident Ray Hamilton said.

Ray Hamilton has been battling bed bugs in his Dogwood Manor apartment for the last year. He's been hopeful after every visit from exterminators.

"Every now and then you think I haven't seen any in a while and then bang you'll see one," Hamilton said.

The Chattanooga Housing Authority manages the 136 unit property, but it's owned by the city, so it's up to council to decide if sinking the money into an in-depth treatment of the building is worth it.

"There is a history there and the reality is you sometimes have to go back and double, triple make sure that it's taken care of," District 8 City Councilman Andrae McGary said.

"$30,000 is a lot of money but at the same time, it's an irritating situation and I would like to see it gone for good," Hamilton said.

Hamilton says he likes living here, and it's a clean place, but he doesn't like the problems that come with the bed bugs.

"It's the itching and the irritation that it causes," Hamilton said.

"The City of Chattanooga of course is looking forward to making sure it's a problem that doesn't keep re-occurring and hopefully that will be the case after the next treatment," McGary said.

"I'd give the city a big pat on the back for doing it personally," Hamilton said.

City council meets at 6 p.m. Tuesday to vote. If approved, it would be an annual contract with Terminix for inspection and service. The $30,000 would come from the Dogwood Manor Operating Fund.