Bed Bugs Crawl to Downtown Lansing

By: Rachel Thomas Email
By: Rachel Thomas Email

Several residents are worried after three cases of bed bugs have been found in their apartment building since last June.

"I'm scared as hell. I know how easy it is to get them and I don't want them again," said Clyde Tompkins, a resident at Porter Senior Apartments.

About a year after he moved into the section 8 housing development, Tompkins said he notified management that he had bed bugs.

"I noticed I was getting bit all over and my doctor didn't know what it was. It was on my feet and on my arms and elbows," Tompkins said.

Tompkins and Porter management both said at first there was some confusion as to who should pay for extermination costs.

"They tried to make me pay. They wanted me to sign papers saying it was my fault and I brought the bugs," said Tompkins.

Tompkins then wrote to the Michigan State Housing Development Authority who confirmed management's responsibility to get rid of the pests. Porter management says they have never dealt with this problem before and are certainly taking care of the problem as fast as possible.

"From the time a report of bed bugs is made, I have pest control on site within 24 hrs," said Porter Senior Apartments manager Fred Desero.

Management says they won't have inspectors go to every unit in the building, but they are taking proactive steps to rid the complex of the pests.

"Educating folks about how to prevent bed bugs from entering the complex is the best way to stop the problem," said Desero.

Local exterminators say the Porter Apartments aren't the only ones in Lansing dealing with bed bugs.

"Our calls for bed bugs are increasing exponentially. We used to get calls monthly and now we are getting them daily," said Mark Ankney of Rose Pest Solutions.

Exterminators say bed bugs are transferred from person to person on shoes, briefcases, clothing, and other items.

"No. they don't jump," said Ankney. He says it is probably just coincidence that there are a few cases of bed bugs in the 6-story building. Two units are still being treated for bed bugs at Porter Senior Apartments, but management says they'll be bug-free in 4 weeks.


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