Bed Bug Infested Apartments Are Forcing University Students To Sleep In Their Cars
These days, bed bug infestations are considered a public health threat, and most states have laws addressing how bed bug infestations should be handled when they occur in rental properties. Landlords in Florida cannot afford to ignore tenant complaints concerning bed bugs, as a new state law requires landlords to promptly address bed bug issues on their properties, and to pay for all treatment costs. One recent court case in Florida saw a tenant collect 26,000 dollars from her apartment manager due to the manager’s failure to address the tenant’s bed bug issues. Before the recent bed bug laws were passed in Florida, existing laws in Florida largely stated that bed bug issues in apartment buildings must be adequately addressed by landlords and/or property managers. However, these initial laws were somewhat vague and not well enforced, and nobody knows this better than University of South Florida graduate Andrea Wright. Like many students in Tampa, Andrea struggled with bed bug issues in her apartment unit during the early fall of 2016. After her apartment managers failed to have the bed bugs in her apartment unit eradicated, Andrea was forced to live in her car.
Andrea noticed that her new apartment unit at Ascott Place Apartment Homes in Tampa was infested with bed bugs shortly after moving in back in August of 2016. After just a few days, Andrea claimed that she felt like bed bugs were always on her body, and after learning that the apartment managers were not going to be of any help, Andrea decided to take her story to the local ABC new station. Andrea showed her many bed bug bites on the news program, and she led a camera crew around her infested apartment where multiple bed bug harborages were found throughout her home. These bed bug harborages were found in between couch cushions and on the lining of mattresses, and they clearly indicated that a bed bug infestation had been active in the unit well before Andrea moved in. These harborages contained all the signs of bed bug activity, including shed skins, dead specimens, and bed bug fecal stains. Andrea also showed the news team a pile of dead bed bugs that had collected behind her wall outlets, within the smoke detector and within the closet. Andrea’s nextdoor neighbor also claimed to have experienced bed bug issues, and like Andrea, his complaints fell on deaf ears. The managers at the complex stated that they had sent pest control professionals to Andrea’s unit twice, which indicates that the apartment managers do not know what an effective bed bug treatment actually entails.
Have you ever found signs of bed bugs within a new home?