Section Eight subsidized housing is also known as government funded low income housing. And at a particular section eight housing unit: Leadville’s Mt. Massive Manor there has been a persistent bed bug problem causing problems for residents as management continues to take care of the issue. The first infestation was discovered in July 2008 but was not fully taken care of to the likes of the residents at Mt. Massive Manor. The complex has 3 floors with 24 units total and only a few of those units are vacant. Bed bugs thrive on densely populated areas.

Orkin Inc. (a pest control company out of Leadville) sprayed a few units and hallways in late July after sightings of bed bugs and followed up on August 8.

Right after the second inspecting the managers of the apartment building received more sightings of bed bugs, but in different units. The management had those units sprayed on August 13 and followed up on August 22.

Finally after inviting Lake County Health Department to inspect the building the management decided to spray the entire complex on October 7th. Mark Schulman, the managing director for the property management group Urban Inc. had to bring in a different pest control company due to scheduling conflicts with Orkin Inc. On October 9 the management of Urban Inc. and other agencies that were related to the issue were supposed to have a meeting to discuss the bed bug problem. The health department, Board of County Commissioners as well as management from Urban Inc. never showed up.

Dina Romero, a property manager in the Denver metro area has her grandmother living in Mt. Massive Manor who has been bitten by bed bugs are suffered severe reactions to the bites like dizziness and nausea. Even though many of the bites are gone, they are still scarring. After the incident Romero moved her grandmother out of the apartments and into a hotel room with herself in Leadville. Romero attended the meeting on October 9 and claims that, “The situation has not been rectified yet…[The management company and board of directors] have been waiting for someone else to tell them what to do, rather than find out themselves…”

Since then the County Commissioner Ken Olsen said that BOCC had recently met with the local health department and that the situation is being addressed. Olsen agrees that the people in the community have a right to be concerned. Other apartment complexes and hotels have had the same issues throughout Denver.

A few quotes from the article:

“We’re not excited about it, but we’re not trying to avoid this issue,” said Shulman. He confirmed that no residents have been forced to leave their units for the treatments and said, “We have not had anybody displaced.”

Romero pointed out that “some people have no other place to go…they are on fixed incomes, and many of them are seniors.”

Bed bugs are becoming more and more of a problem that needs to be taken care of. Have you had a similar experience? Share your story with us below!

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11 replies
  1. O says:

    I moved into a rental house this past month. Currently I am paying $1,200/month for the house. Initially I thought it was infested by roaches, but have come to discover it is bed bugs too. What sort of compensation is my rental company responsible for? Help please.

  2. Lori says:

    HUD housing, same thing once a month Orkin comes in and sprays, but of course not all the apts , seniors & disabled residents don’t want it, what can we do to make it mandatory for all apts to be treated and not just sprayed, frustrated like the rest of you!

  3. nina o. says:

    on or about march 2011, i noticed small insect bites on my 12y/o and 6y/o grandsons and the terrible itching…a friend ,spent the night over in may, she developed a severe rash over several parts of her body…she was forced to go to ER for treatment….i threw out beds/bedding a recliner that i loved my landlord insisted i wasn’t cleaning enough and gave me a can of RAID…

    By October my home was fully infested..these mahogany flat creatures could be found in the drains, the wood work on tile floors…aaauuugghhh!!!!My son spent the night in December 2011 only to be ravaged by the almighty bed bug…the landlord refuses once again to have pesticide treatment to rid the beast forever…my son also ended up in ER…

    The landlord has this misconception that somehow my family is responsible and has no intention of taking responsibility for this massive problem…I have been displaced with my two grandsons we are living in an extended stay facility i cannot sleep /eat or even begin to relax in my own home…please help me to seek some justice concerning the landlords placing blame instead of alleviating the problem…I am a disabled veteran and grandmother of two small children…what can we do!!! We are looking for a place to relocate…financially devastated by the upkeep of my rental and incurred expenses the past month displaced in the city of phoenix…HHHEEELLLPPP!!

  4. Janessa says:

    I have a terrible bed bug problem. I live in a small apartment complex and I have started to notice little black bugs that would crawl on my mattress at night. Within the last couple of months, I would notice bumps on my skin that resembled mosquito bites so I didn’t think anything of it, but weeks and months have passed and the bumps never went away or I would just get new bumps on the skin and I just didn’t know what it was. But just 2 days ago, I saw what looked like a bed bug, crawling right next to me on the bed. I turned on the light and pulled my sheet back to look at the mattress and I saw 3 bed bugs just sitting there and the fecal matter surrounding them. Its disgusting and I’ve never experienced anything like this.

    I’ve already contacted my apartment manager and building maintenance and they just don’t seem like they are going to help me out. It seems like they are trying to avoid me. Normally when I have a problem, they come and fix it the same day but when I told them that the problem is now “bed bugs”, they have been completely avoiding me.

    I’m a very strong person and I don’t let a lot of things get to me but this is ruining my life and I cry about it every other hour and I’m miserable thinking about it. I don’t know what to do or who to go to for help. Even if they come and spray my apartment, I don’t think that I will ever be able to get a good nights sleep in my apartment. I am staying with my mom right now and even she is afraid that I may bring these bugs to her house.

    This is a living NIGHTMARE!!!!!

  5. ms wrench says:

    What is scary too as I have recently de-bugged I live in senior housing -my manager said they can’t force people to spray or comply with bagging etc. we actually have a woman here who said she puts a bucket of chili and water to kill them!

    We have 10 floors in this building and after 5 years of hearing of neighbors getting them I finally got them too-Housing has complied with DPH sprayings and we have replaced our mattress and bough endorsements plan to use diatomaceous earth soon as preventative measure. My contention is why can’t the DPH mandate all tenants to spayings around the same time to eradicate them once and for all?

    Even the heat treatment which is going in and raising the apt temp to 150 degrees can work if they are worried about pesticides. I am so mad that I have to be paranoid as it seems bed bugs are all over the city and my building is infested just like the rest!

  6. janice says:

    i got bedbugs from the people behind me! I was hanging my laundry on the line to dry when I heard they had bedbugs but housing in winthrop ma 02152 said that the bugs die outside. I’m so mad i feel like if they let people know that someone has bedbugs this problem wouldn’t be so big!

    I told all of my neighbors because i wouldn’t wish this on my worst enemy its a living hell i feel like i will never get a good night sleep again i have no money to wash and dry everything never mind get new furniture and i cant stop itching i feel like no one will help and people keep trying to hide that they have bedbugs instead of warning there neighbors.

    Some people don’t think I’m so upset and every story i just read sounds just like what I’m going through. I don’t know where to go for help! I cant take it anymore!

    Thank god my daughter isn’t getting bit or i would really lose my mind! ps can u freeze bedbugs out?

  7. millia says:

    I have never experienced a problem like this before. I’m currently living in HUD housing. I moved in to this building one year ago. 150 single rooms in downtown Sacramento. This senior residence is infested with the bed bug. How the management deals with the problem is a spray one room at a time. So what that means if you don’t have them and your neighbor does. They spray one room and the bed bugs move right on to the next room in search of a blood meal. They call it treating. Most of the people here do not have any resources for self help measures. It is overwhelming. I’ve suffer numerous bites. How i know this is because I started to come up with red welts on my arms, legs and face. Until I actually saw a bed bug climbing in my bed I thought I was immune because I’m “so” clean (lol). Shortly after my last red welt I caught a bed bug in action. I pulled it out of my arm like a tick. It is just before dawn. My arm was bleeding. It had embedded itself in my flesh.

    Several weeks before I invited the management in my room to examine the blood spot and dark spots on my sheets. With no experience (she had over 5 years of experience with this problem). She found it easy to lie and said “oh we do not think you have a problem” and told me that the dark spots were not associated with a bed bug problem.

    The next morning after finding the little critter in action I lifted up the box spring and torn the netting of my box spring. It was infested with them. Immediately spoke to the maintenance staff who told me that the management had informed them not to remove any bed that were infested. To speak with them the next day. There are no words in the any language to express my emotions. I got my friend who lives in the building and we immediately moved that box spring out of my room. To maintain some human dignity and after inspection I left the mattress on the floor. It was another 4 days before the pest control came in to spray. During which time I had to completely bag my room. If you are having questions about why I did this read the current information about bed bugs. So pest control sprayed my room and now I need to wash and dry every thing twice or dry clean everything and wipe everything down. Oh yes I will have to go through this process 3 times. My plan to move and I’m considering going to a commercial laundromat with a set of clothing washing and drying them, going in to the restroom changing clothing and starting over. I cry nightly over this issue and I feel so humiliated.

    I understand that the EPA had a summit on this issue in 2009 but yet I really don’t see that any real action is being taken. As far as the bed bug not hosting any vector to human diseases that is the current research. In my opinion, anything that sucks blood then travels on to another human to suck blood is subject to transmit diseases.!! Oh yes I have contacted HUD. They told me that I can not do anything thing until the landlord treats 3 times. I know many people in this build who have been treated 9 or more times. HUD always errors on the side of the wealthy landlord. They are far more concerned about the getting sued by a wealthy landlord than the public health issues that bed bug could bring now or in the future.

    The bed bug hitchhikes and travels undetected. The people who manage this building could suffer an infestation at anytime. There is an small up side to this situation. There are residents living in this building who have experience with the management, and this problem are quick to point out that it is easy to become overwhelmed. In any HUD housing our government enforce the current standards.

    BB were common until DDT came in to use. Since the ban on DDT bed bug infestation have been on the rise. To the point of a world wide emergency. The reasons cited for their increase is an increase in world wide travel. They hitch a ride to parts unknown. Pest control methods have have changed. Which include the baiting of insects rather than spraying of pest. BB are become resisted to the pesticide.

    The last thing I want to address is people who experience this bed bug problem have emotional and psychological problems that should not be ignored when treating bed bug. Education, research is needed now. We must realize that bed bug infestation can happen to anyone regardless.

    Thank you for reading any thoughts or comments would be greatly appreciated.


  8. sandy says:

    Bed bugs are harder to treat when you have a lot of furniture. Live simple. Keep all of your clothing in plastic bags. Don’t think those little bins from walmart are going to keep your clothes bug free, because they wont. Bed bugs can creep into the smallest cracks and crevices.

    It is sad that people who can’t afford treatment will suffer with these things and they will only get worse and worse. There has to be something for those who are low income and can’t afford treatment and can’t afford to move somewhere else. Besides, even if they did move, they would only carry the problem somewhere else. Because, of no fault of their own, bed bugs are notorious for traveling from one person to another, room to room, and however else they can hitch a ride.

  9. therese anderson says:

    The reason that this bed bug problem is still an issue is because the landlord don’t care and neither do section eight. Why because in my building there was never no new carpet put in here and old appliances just fresh paint. when you do not take care of your property things like that will happen.

    I do not have them bus but I do know people who do. the landlord say it the tenants job to exterminate, even in an apartment. There is a woman who been in this building for ten years and never had know new carpet and she stay with bed bugs.

  10. Charlotte Nelson says:

    I have a bed bug problem also. My landlord wants to move me to another unit because i have to much stuff for them to properly treat them, but where she wants to move me, the three apartments above are also infested.

    I am on section 8 so this makes it difficult to just move to another unit without an inspection, i want to get rid of belongings, she says no, she can destroy them. I’m sacred that I don’t have a guarantee that there won’t be a reinfestation.

    I and several others have asked to break lease, they say no, because they are going to get rid of them. We had an infestation last year about the same time. Also, lots of plumbing issues, they must dig 8-9ft. below to fix the problem, as well as issues inside apartments, do you feel they could be digging them up?

    Can i sue them for my couches, bedding and etc that i must throw out. she has offered to give me money to my laundry, but also fear that i may have infested my family members by having them over or going to their home.

    What do i do? have contacted landlord tenant act, housing not getting very far at this point, she wants to say that i am not keeping my house clean, how do you explain others getting them, we live 5-10ft apart. Charlotte in Arizona

  11. Nicholas says:

    I’m the on site guy for a small older bldg, and we have had bedbugs. As a result, I’ve educated myself on this situation, and I see how it”s developed into a “them against us” attitude, meaning tenants vs. management. It should be “us against them”, meaning tenants AND management against the bugs. And the only way this will happen is through education.

    I have a ton of information posted on our laundry room bulletin board. We have taken a PRO-ACTIVE stance and “treat” the entire building once a month, whether or not we have received any bedbug activity reports.

    And when we do get a report, we jump on the reporting unit, PLUS the units to either side, above and below, with a special in depth treatment applied by a professional exterminating company.

    We have decided to continue doing this, until the folks in the labs come up with a sure fire cure, It seems this grief is ongoing until then. But take heart, we have frontal lobes AND opposing thumbs, and the bugs don’t, so we should be victorious in the end!

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