Raleigh, N.C. — Bedbugs invaded units on three floors of a north Raleigh high-rise apartment building for seniors, so the property manager is educating residents about the creepy critters, how they spread and how to recognize an infestation.
A resident of Capital Towers on Six Forks Road who didn't want to be identified said she's embarrassed by the tiny bugs that have overtaken her home.
"Everybody is just disgusted by the whole thing," she said.
She moved into the apartment building about one year ago and said the bugs have been a problem since day one.
"It's a constant battle," she said.
Bedbugs feed on blood, so they gravitate toward places where people spend long periods of time – beds and couches, for example. Triangle Pest Control said the majority of infestations come from people who pick them up at hotels, but used furniture is also a common culprit.
The outbreak at Capital Towers has been blamed on a donated couch.
Triangle Pest Control is on the front lines of the bedbug battle at the apartment building and is using extreme heat to kill the pests. Each apartment's rooms, walls and everything inside gets baked at 150 degrees for at least four hours to kill any bugs.
Company spokesman Mike Dinatale said he sees a lot of bedbug infestations in multi-unit housing.
"Unfortunately, you're having to worry about not only what you are doing, but what your neighbors are doing as well," he said.
Dinatale said the only way to get rid of bedbugs is to forget embarrassment and call in professionals right away.
"A lot of people will not report that they have an issue for fear of a stigma," he said. "But there is no stigma. It's not a dirty pest, so to speak. If you have blood, you are on the menu."
Capital Towers property manager Rita Blackmon said they're being proactive to tackle the bedbug problem. In addition to educating residents, they began inspecting units quarterly for bugs and are doing chemical and heat treatments whenever a problem is found.
"It's hard on our residents, whether they have them or not," she said.