Saratoga Springs Taking Charge of Bed Bug Problem

CBS6Albany.com
Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Saratoga Springs - In Saratoga Springs Tuesday night the topic of bed bugs took over city hall. Residents living at Stonequist Apartments, a public housing building had a chance to bring the issue to the Saratoga Springs Housing Authority Board. Some residents claim Ed Spychalski, Director of the Housing Authority has dropped the ball on the problem.

"I got a reinfestation because the bugs were on the floor and they latched on" says   Stonequist resident Teresa Grocki.

"I do not believe we ever had an infestation of bed bugs" says Michelle Deyette, another resident in the building.

Deyette says, morale is low at the building and residents are being stigmatized at area stores.

"CVS they call out your address then everybody knows you're at Stonequist and then you hear the mumblings in the line that they should bomb the building."

People on both sides of the issue packed into city hall Tuesday night to hear what city officials have to say. They learned that City Health Officer Dr. Paul Okosky recently took a tour of the building.

"Of the 176 apartments in the complex 50 have been inspected and 12 were found to be inspected and appropriately treated without the use of pesticides" says Okosky.

The units have been treated with diatomaceous earth, also known as silicone dioxide.

Kenneth Watkins a Queensbury exterminator from Orkin was at the meeting.

After inspecting one resident's apartment this summer Watkins says he reached out to Spychalski. On more than one occasion Watkins says he offered a free inspection of the building but never heard back.

At the meeting Tuesday night Watkins threw out a ball park figure of $25,000 for

a proactive treatment of each apartment four times a year.

"If you treat just the infected room it can drive them into other rooms" says Watkins.

Even if the city brings an exterminator in getting all residents on board may be an issue.

"There are some tenants that clearly don't want anybody to come into their apartments to treat or inspect anything" adds Grocki.

Residents CBS 6 spoke to at the meeting say they hope to find out where the bugs are coming from so the problem can be resolved once and for all.