Apartment Complex Tackles Bed Bug Infestation

Nate Morabito (Johnson City, Tennessee) wrote an article, “Johnson City Apartment Complex Tackling Bed Bug Infestation” that will make your skin crawl.

This apartment complex, John Sevier Apartments, is a government-owned complex that houses senior citizens and people with disabilities. For a year and a half, these residents have had to live with roommates, but not just any roommates, bed bugs.

An apartment complex being treated for bed bugs by pest exterminators.

One resident, Bryan Saunders, says, “Vampires are real, they’ve evolved over the years into tiny, tick-size little bugs.” Another resident, Lavon Brooks, claims they are extremely itchy.

Many residents realize that bed bugs aren’t necessarily a health issue but an extreme nuisance. So as you can imagine, the residents at John Sevier haven’t gotten a good night’s sleep in quite a while.

M & M Properties is the company that owns the apartment complex, and their manager hired Terminix to deal with the issue. However, many residents think they hired Terminix just a little too late, two years late. So what’s the management going to do about this little problem?

A resident named Brenda claims that management has denied there was a bed bug problem. But management denies her claim. A quote from the article states:

“We addressed it when we initially knew of the problem.”, “Here we thought we had it under control and about a month or so ago it reoccurred.”

Terminix is holding sessions for volunteers and residents in order to prepare them for the upcoming extermination. Soon enough the apartment complex will be completely bed bug free and residents will be able to finally get a good night’s sleep. Springer however feels it’s “a band aid on a deep puncture.” However Gibson feels Terminix will remove the problem but agrees that a solution needs to be developed to keep future bed bugs out of the apartment complex.

Full story can be found here: tricities.com/tri/news/local/article/johnson_city_apartment_complex_tackling_bed_bug_infestation/14901/

Discussions on Bed Bugs in Apartments

Lori Stanislaus::

Do bed bugs get into house plants?


My husband and I have a bed bug infestation in our apartment building, I am devastated because it is getting closer to my suite. My husband went out and bought power and spray for our suite we have sprayed our front door and around the baseboards in our hallways and in around our suite,will that protect us?

melissa campbell::

I live in a apartment that has a bed bug infestation. Aren’t they required to inform their residents? The bugs travel from unit to unit – shared laundry facilities – pipes – cracks in walls — on animals and visiters. I know they have had them a while. I only know I have them because I checked after hearing at least 4 other residents are infested. They should have informed us to help us protect ourselves. They should be treating the entire complex – even if it’s expensive – it’s going to take a lot of work to remove them and not get them back. They were kept a secret on purpose and I am disgusted. The only way to prevent is to increase awareness. It’s an epidemic but people just don’t know it. shaker square apartments ohio


Hello Melissa, I also live in Shaker Square Ohio and have an infestation. I found out Thurs and have had to stay elsewhere as i can’t bear to think of being there. I have been breaking out in hives for a month and went to the doctor thinking I had hives where she prescribed prednisone. Only to find out it is actually bedbugs officially diagnosed Monday. I read that if 10% or more of an apartment complex is affected the health department should be contacted. I haven’t had the guts to go door to door at the complex though.

Joe Ann::

I live in woodford apartment in Highland Park, Mi and I have found out that I have bed bugs, I have
lived here for some years.I have to leave.

Melissa Cambell::

Wow Kara, Yes there are a lot of us and people just think they are hives or mesquito bites. How hard would it be for the complex to just pass around something telling people to watch for them and how to protect themselves. They really think they are following the laws. The truth is… that once you are sued then a law gets past because of it. Sorry you have to go through this.

You can break your lease if you need to. Just go downtown and file to break your lease for safety and health reasons – but make sure you protect yourself from taking them anywhere – mostly throwing stuff out and getting things thoroughly treated first . My new place is going to pre spray to double protect me and them. Good Luck! Also the exterminator said dipping things in alcohol kills them.


My building also has them, and also neglected to inform me when there was an infestation last summer. Unfortunately it sounds like we all have to deal with less-than-responsible building owners and managers. My suite was treated a month ago. I realized that the treatment was unsuccessful when I woke up on Saturday morning with one of the little suckers crawling under my leg – full of my blood. I just shook my head, here we go again.

I am in the process of starting a bed bug strategy/relief company in order to provide a service that no one else is providing – first to deal with the psychological trauma, then to clean/treat and quarantine the bed (so you can get a good night sleep), then develop a treatment strategy for the unit, and then, finally a prevention strategy – especially in the case of flakey building managers.

@Melissa – Yes, alcohol does kills them, but killing them on a bug-by-bug basis doesn’t really do much to solve the problem. Because you’re right – they can hide out in the tiniest of places, and they multiply like crazy. If you’re building is not dealing with the problem you can protect yourself by developing a strategy.

You can barricade your unit by putting diatomaceous earth around the perimeter walls. Do some research on it, it works, and it’s non-toxic. Also and even easier you can put duct tape sticky side up around your bed. Secure the edges to the floor with masking tape. They can’t crawl across duct tape (I’m still experimenting with this but that is what alot of people say.)

@Kara – I’m so sorry to hear you have a bad reaction. I don’t react at all which is good, but also bad because I never noticed signs of infestation, and I never know for sure if they’re gone! Forget about going door to door. Unless your building does a full sweep, you’re on your own.

@Joe Ann – Don’t leave! You’ll likely just take them with you. Then you will have left your home of many years only to have the same problem. You need to educate yourself and deal with the problem effectively. Don’t worry, it can be done!

Good luck!



Everyone speaks about this diatomaceous Earth, but to be honest I have used this stuff and it hasn’t worked. Maybe it works if you don’t have an infestation. But if you have an infestation, for instance if they are in the baseboards, carpets, and such, then this stuff won’t work! You HAVE to call a professional. And be warned, if the apartment complex in which you live takes care of your apartment, you will still have issues if they don’t take care of the apartments on the same floor as yours, beneath you, and above you. It is pointless to treat a few apartments.

And if the pest guy tells you that you can stay in the apartment while, or after he treats, he is wrong! You are supposed to leave your apartment and go somewhere else. And if you have bugs in your baseboards, carpet, believe they are somewhere else, too. In other rooms. The living room. The other bedrooms, if you have more than one bedroom. Don’t be fooled into thinking that only one room in your home has them. It just isn’t so.

Your pest guy should be treating the entire apartment. And one treatment doesn’t do the job. usually if you have bugs in your carpets and in your baseboards, you will only be able to control them and not rid your space of them.

Apartments managers will usually pay for someone to come in and ‘try’ to take care of the problem. But if others aren’t being treated, then it is always going to be a problem. And when it is all said and done, when the landlord is tired of paying almost 300-400 a treatment, he will start billing you or blame you for the problem.

I hate these things!


I moved into a complex in April an was doing my best to prevent these bed bugs from getting in here. But somehow they’ve still managed to get in here. I have mattress protectors an i’ve still been getting bit. I didn’t realize at first until i seen one crawling on my wall. I can’t sleep. i feel like something is always crawling on me an this is really not healthy. I’ve called property management an hopefully they will do something because they’re really getting out of control.

It takes a lot to kill them regular bug spray will not do it. They reproduce very quickly. So if you have them let your complex know or your entire complex will have them in no time.


From original message Aug 18, 2010 – Thus far I have not spread the bug problem. I immediately called everyone I had been in contact with to warn them. I would feel terrible if I dropped the bug problem on someone else.
However, the complex has sprayed my apt twice once on August 23 and once on September 13. I have not stayed there since the discovery in August and went back to the apartment October 6th. THERE ARE STILL LIVE BUGS…


I have bedbug infestation n Tulsa Oklahoma in sthomas apt on 61 st south peoria its outbreak in all apt!

Bed Bug Girl::

Hi Tina,

Can you take some pictures of the bed bugs and send them to me badbedbugs@gmail.com, and I’ll make sure to post them on the site after I edit them.



My husband and I just recently found bed bugs in our room we threw away our matresses and have vaccumnd our house over and over agian I havnt seen anymore but i have this felling that they are here. We do live in an apt. complex but know one has said anything about our apts being infested so im not sure if anyone else has this problem…. any Ideas on how to get rid of the blood sucking pest?


Bed bugs questional pick up from MGM Grand hotel in Las Vegas. Only trip in the past few months and trying to find out how I got these little pests and comments?

Concerned Property Manager::

I would like to take a stand for all the property managers/Owners. Yes we understand its a problem and we are required to take action. It is a very costly procedure that runs about $450.00 per unit. multiply that by the number of surrounding units and it becomes very expensive.

As for myself I totally understand the resident complaint and initially believe that the treatments should be covered by the the owner. But my disconnect is what happens when you treat the units and residents fail to comply and or purchase used furniture etc. Should the Owner again pay for these services? I know most people will comment, ” evict the resident” these is easier said then done. I tried and the court ruled against this stating that “the resident may not have caused the issue” so basically for a 120 unit at $450 a unit comes out to $54,000 just the initial treatments!

I don’t know how you feel about this but how can a Owner keep “footing” the bill when residents and the courts fail to comply? We managers are the escape goats… You think we want out residents to live with Bedbugs? We have a moral obligation to treat residents with respect and yet what we receive in return is nothing short of harassment. Put yourself in the Manager’s or Owner’s place and think how would you like to incur these fees?

Just so you know for the year 2011 alone we have spent $122,000 in pest control measures. When does it end?

Bed Bug Girl::

Excellent points Concerned Property Manager! However, may I make a suggestion? Why not buy your own pest control equipment, such as heat treatment? The cost of a portable heat treatment is nothing compared to the money you are spending in pest control measures!

I watched a video, and if I find it, I’ll add another comment, but in the video, they guy explained how he built his own bed bug treatment truck / trailer that uses heat to kill bed bugs.

Turn this into an opportunity and make your own heat treatment unit, write it off :) and start servicing other complexes as well. This is the only solution that I can think of that would work for everyone without the worry of pesticides, etc.

If you choose to do this and it works for you, I’d love a mention on your new website :)


I live in a huge apt building, I informed the apt managers about 3 years ago that there was something in my apt bldg, and they have been playing the same cheap game with me ever since. They come in and do nothing, crawl all around and say this, and that, and just put those little sticky board things down, and then the main guy from Terminex that comes here says ” I don’t know what they are, so I will not put anything down” that was last winter.

There are other people in this building that have then also, because when I went to their apatrments I could feel them all over me. And some of them have just moved, and others tried to get them taken care of, I no longer talk to most people in here, they just don’t seem to care, they will not admit that there is a problem in this building, and I don’t want to move and take them somewhere else, but, I cannot take this anymore, I have tried various things myself, I have asthma, and it makes me more and more sick trying to get rid of whatever these things are, I don’t know what to do.

I have contacted the Health Department in the past, and nothing happened. I think this company is so big, the apartment owners that no one will do anything to them. I am at the end of my rope, I don’t know what to do anymore. I guess i will have to get rid of all of my furniture and lots of my belongings, I even think they are in my car, I have soaked my car with all kinds of things, and nothing helps. You cannot hardly see them, they are very, very, tiny, and they bite really hard and it
feels like pincers, and leave a little red spot, sometimes I see them they are tiny like the head of a pin, and white, and they bite like hell, it is really painful.

I live in a nightmare, don’t know what to do anymore. Am disabled, don’t have much money, but, enough, but, no one will listen to me, or help me, what do I do?


I’ve went to war with bed bugs and I won. First of all, get some doubled sided sticky tape and surround your bed with it if its not already infested. (put on wall, around bed and down to the floor) If your bed is infested GET RID OF IT! THIS IS A MUST! You can get the tape for cheap at Walmart.

You’re best bet is to buy an air mattress so the bugs cannot get inside of your bed. Put all your clothes in the dryer, and bag them up. Bed bugs travel and hitch a ride on your clothes. If you have any holes in your walls, cover them with tape. B/C bed bugs can live behind your walls, also under your carpet. So get rid of your carpet or get new carpet. Your apt complex has to give you new carpet once a year its state law. GET RUBBING ALCOHOL 99.9%, IT KILLS BED BUGS! Spray everything and even on the bugs.

They flatten up and dies in 2 seconds! But it does not kill the eggs, at Walmart you can buy 3 bombs that kill the eggs and bugs for $11. Throw out your couch, get used to sitting in a plastic chair or buy a new couch and put a plastic cover on it! Also do not let others come in with out checking. Bed bugs are an epidemic almost everyone has them if not they will get them. Most of all keep looking for help its there.


Bad infestation of bed bug here at Churchill Senior Living in Germantown, MD. I can’t believe they are still renting out apt and not telling the new tenants. I have been here about 10 months and just found out that one of the HOC apt on the 1st floor has had bed bugs for 2 years. That tenant had to go to the hospital for bites and infections.

dee dee::

mortified…seen on a show last week…found bed bugs last night in a bedroom in my apt in macon ga…promptly called management next morning…i was told they never.had.a.problem…threw out mattress after.killing all.i found…hopefully that will do it..never in my 38 years.have.i ever.seen.a.bed.bug…its a nice apt and I pay major money…hoping that is the end

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