Local News

Bed bug infestation worries Smithfield woman

Posted October 4, 2012 6:11 p.m. EDT
Updated October 4, 2012 7:19 p.m. EDT

— The resident of a Smithfield apartment community says her home is infested with bed bugs and that no one told her about the problem when she moved in three months ago.

"It's getting to the point, where I just want out," said Elga Justiniano, who lives in the Woodall Heights community, which is run by the Smithfield Housing Authority.

She says she began noticing the insects after moving into her apartment in June. Since then, she says, she has had to throw away her mattress, and she is afraid to visit people out of fear she might spread them.

Justiniano says she has complained to the Housing Authority, but the bugs keep coming back.

Then, she learned that she was not alone.

Her next-door neighbor also had his place treated recently for the same problem.

She also learned that her home had been treated before she moved in.

"If you knew this was a problem, why move people in?" Justiniano said.

The Housing Authority's director, Warren Grimes, says apartments with bed bug problems are not rented until they are treated and certified free of pests.

That is what happened with Justiniano's apartment, he said.

Grimes also says that, of the 205 units, about 10 have been treated for bed bugs this year.

Still, Justiniano says she's had enough.

"I'm tired of (washing) my clothes every day. I've got to live in bags," she said.

Grimes says her apartment was treated as recently as Monday and that it will continue to be treated until the problem is fixed.