Couple Says Apt. Infested With Bed Bugs, Landlord Barely Helps

NBC11News.com (Grand Junction, CO)
Tuesday, November 15, 2011

GRAND JUNCTION, CO - The thought of bed bugs makes most people cringe but one couple in Grand Junction is living with these pesky insects on a daily basis.

They say the landlord has sprayed twice but hasn't done enough to actually get rid of them.

"Every time I kill them, they're full of blood," says resident Cynthia Vick.

Cynthia Vick and her fiancé Jerry Skalla moved into the Driftwood Apartments last April.

"I don't want to have to get rid of all my stuff," says Vick.

That's because a month after they moved in, they discovered a bed bug infestation in their apartment.

Since moving in, Vick says the landlords have sprayed twice but have not fumigated.

"Maybe it's my carpet. Maybe it's underneath the carpet," says Vick.

The landlords refused to go on camera but in a phone conversation, the landlord told 11 News the infestation probably came from Homeward Bound Homeless Shelter; that's where Vick and Skalla were living before they moved into Driftwood.

They also say the couple has visitors from the shelter every week that could have brought in the bed bugs.

"As far as the homeless people that come here, that's not true," says Vick.

Regardless, Homeward Bound spokesperson Mollie Woodard says they go through a lengthy and pricey process to prevent bed bugs at their shelter.

"Everything from very expensive coverings for our mattresses, polyurethane every surface that they could nest in; use caulking as well as natural remedies," says Woodard.

Woodard says the size of the bed bugs at Driftwood Apartments would have been feeding for months already, likely before the couple moved in.

"They would have to be months old to be deeply red, deeply visible to where you can see their legs and stuff because when they start off, they're very microscopic," says Woodard.

After speaking with other tenants, Vick believes one thing is for sure.

"I think the building is infested," says Vick.

Vick fears they will have to get rid of all their furniture and bedding if the bed bugs aren't destroyed.

She also fears having to return to the shelter, a decision she says will be a last resort.