Seniors Battle Bed Bugs at NE Atlanta High Rise
Thursday, June 21, 2012

ATLANTA, GA - Residents at a senior citizens high rise in northeast Atlanta say bed bugs have overtaken their homes.

Those who live at the Wheat Street Towers say they first noticed the apple seed-sized insects a month ago.

"How they got in, how they got started, I don't know - but it is epidemic right here at Wheat Street Towers, and it's awful," said Ella Daniel.

Experts say it doesn't matter if your house is clean or dirty, anywhere they can get access to you - and your blood - they'll turn up.

"They've been in the couch - and they've been in the bed, too. And they're in the carpet, too," said Herbert Barron.

The pests are persistent, still biting even though property managers say they've spent a lot of money and effort trying to clean.

Managers say part of the problem is that residents are re-infesting the building by bringing old things in.

"I don't know where they come from, but every night they're there," said Clarence Thorpe.

The bugs are affecting the seniors' sleep and their sanity.  

"I just sleep in daytime since I can't sleep at night.  I feel like if I sleep at night they're going to attack me," said Barron.

"I'd like to move, but moving is expensive and I don't have the money," said Thorpe.  

Property managers say they plan on going unit to unit and cleaning each one before bug treatment. They say maintenance workers are even breaking furniture taken outside to prevent infested pieces from returning to the building.