Bed bugs invade Beaumont apartment complex

Mary Katherine Malveaux lives in the Baten Arms apartments; section 8 housing for seniors and the disabled. Malveaux has lived there for nearly three years and says there's been a constant problem with bed bugs, roaches and other pests.

"This has been going on since I've been here," says Malveaux.

While 12News was in her home, we spotted bed bugs on the mattress, on her sheets and dead roaches inside her shoes.

On Monday, she says she woke up to bed bugs crawling on her.

"I felt something crawl on me. It kind of got next to me and I was hoping it was a roach. Instead, it was a bed bug," says Malveaux.

Malveaux's granddaughter cares for her and found a bed bug on the sofa.

"She's elderly and let alone she's blind. She's itching and she has bad health," says Da'Sondra Manuel.

Manuel took her complaint to management who said they would fix the problem in a week.

"We have to strip the bed, take the bed frame down, and move the dressers around. It's like she's moving out of the apartment," says Manuel.

12News spoke to the maintenance supervisor who says they understand the residents are elderly and disabled so they give them plenty of time to move their belongings.

"We can't expect them in two days to have everything done. Generally, we give them five to seven days," says Kenneth Sweatt.

Apartment managers tell 12News that once a complaint is made, they post a note on the resident's door, giving them one week to follow a "to-do" list to prepare for an exterminator. They say the problem is that not all resident comply.

"They've got to do what's on the list and it's got to be done 100%. That's why we give them five to seven days," says Sweatt.

If the resident doesn't comply, an exterminator can't spray; leaving the pesky bugs to fester in the complex. From there, they make their way from one apartment to the next.

But, for Malveaux and her family, management's efforts are not enough. They say they're packing up, not just temporarily, but for good.

"We will move her most likely to another city because no senior should have to live in this condition," says Manuel.

12News also obtained a cost report from Beaumont Senior Citizens Housing. Since 2010, the company says it has spent over $57,000 spraying for bed bugs.

Back in 2010, they moved every resident into hotels while the entire building was sprayed. But, they say the bugs are back and that they need every resident to comply.


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