Erin Holroyd wrote an article “This Bites” for Fairfield Weekly about a couple, Sergio and Adelaida Ramos, who live in a public housing complex that has been infested by bed bugs for over a year. Problems with bed bugs in public housing complexes is become more and more common. Lately many of the articles on bed bugs include infestations in public housing complexes. Why is that?

Sergio Ramos explained that the infestation started in one side of the complex well over a year ago and now the entire place has bed bugs. The couple themselves have been dealing with the problem since January. Mr. Ramos also says many people are ashamed that they have bed bugs, because people will think they are filthy. This is certainly not the case as the Ramos’ unit is quote “immaculate” and they still have bed bugs.

A common misconception about bed bugs is that they only infest dirty, messy cases but this is very wrong. Bed bugs are known as “hitchhikers” meaning they are picked up and carried by travelers, so really they can be found anywhere.

The Ramos’ haven’t received much help from the management of Charter Oaks Communities, the community in which they live. They’ve even tried to take matters into their own hands. On top of keeping their home clean they’ve spent hundreds on mattress covers and bug killers but it’s not enough. Mrs. Ramos has been to the doctor on more than one occasion because of the infections from the bites as well as her being allergic to the pesticides. Mr. Ramos has also brought the issue to the attention of the health department who returned sent an exterminator, which didn’t work as the Ramos’ woke up with the same amount of bites as they usually did.

Another huge issue is a language barrier that many of the residents at Charter Oaks have. Mr. Ramos says many of his neighbors don’t speak English and in return don’t know how to get the help they need. One of them fears that if he mentions bed bugs he will be put in a nursing home. Richard Fox, executive director of Charter Oaks Communities, says he is aware of the problem and it isn’t just happening in this community. But this tough to take care of situation is happening all over despite the economic class one lives in.

Clearly there is more than one issue at hand here. If you’ve read any of our other reviews you’ll learn that bed bugs aren’t considered a health hazard so there isn’t much the Health Department can do. Also, the language barrier is an issue. Please share any comments you have with us below and take the time to check out the full story here:

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