Davis County renters dealing with bed bug infestation

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CLEARFIELD -- Residents of a Davis County apartment complex building are waking up every morning to a nightmare: Their homes are infested with bed bugs.

Residents of the Clearfield apartment complex say they are in a tough spot because apartment and condo buildings are some of the most difficult places to get rid of the bugs. The question remains, whose responsibility is it?

For one resident who asked to be identified only as Loraine, the problems began shortly after she moved into a new apartment. She spotted a bug in her bathroom, took it to the health department and got the diagnosis: bed bugs.

Management at the apartment complex sent an exterminator, but the bugs were still there

"I don't think the results I was seeing were effective," Loraine said. "It was kind of haphazard spraying."

More neighbors complained. A woman named Lanie says she was waking up with bites all over her arms, legs and back.

"I'm disgusted with it," she said.

Loraine talked to neighbors and found the source: bugs crawling all over one apartment. The owner let her snap pictures of the bugs on the bed, walls and mattress.

Bottom line: neighbors like Loraine can clean their apartments every day and it won't make a difference until the bugs in the source apartment are dead.

"Not everyone's going to do what they need to do to get rid of the bed bugs," said Lora Lee, environmental health scientist at the Salt Lake Valley Health Department.

Lee says while it's not impossible to get rid of an apartment infestation, it isn't easy. Property owners or managers are responsible for extermination costs, and the renter must clean, vacuum and dry his or her sheets on high heat every day.

"Management needs to step in and let the tenants know what they need to do," Lee said.

As for the apartment complex's property management company, officials there have hired a different exterminator. They don't think the first company had enough experience with bed bugs. They say they'll keep at it until the bugs are gone.

E-mail: sdallof@ksl.com

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