Bed bug problem at Albert Lea apartment - KTTC Rochester, Austin, Mason City News, Weather and Sports

Bed bug problem at Albert Lea apartment

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ALBERT LEA, Minn. (KTTC) -- If just hearing the words "bed bugs" is enough to give you the creepy crawlies, imagine living in a home infested not only by bed bugs, but also cockroaches.

For residents in one Albert Lea apartment complex, that's their reality and they've had enough.

Just a block off Broadway Avenue, 26 apartments in the Albert Lea Downtown Homes complex are fighting to have their landlord remove bedbugs from the complex.

Residents say there's little up-keep at the apartments. Along with cockroaches and bedbugs. Some renters say if the problems aren't fixed by the end of the month--they're going to sue.

One resident of the apartment, Malinda says, "I moved here October 1st, I noticed them in November."

The pesky intruders were making their home in Malinda's apartment. In her mattress, couch, chair. "I started noticing bites and the doctor tried to tell me it was scabies, and then I noticed a little bug crawling and then I Googled it and it was bed bugs."

On the mattress are blood stained pillows from bed bugs bites, that's where Malinda sleeps every night.

"This is a bed bug, probably a medium size one, they get a little bit bigger than this."

Malinda and her kids aren't alone. Residents of the complex say bugs have invaded all 26 of the apartments.

Another resident, Justin Billings, says "Everybody is getting rid of their personal stuff because of this problem. Like at night you're trying to sleep and you're just itching yourself constantly all night and it's annoying."

Resident Claudette Meillier says, "On my legs, on my arms, on my back and on my stomach and I got one here. It's hard to sleep because they itch so bad."

People say they have contacted the owner of the Downtown Homes about the bed bug problem, but nothing ever gets done.

When we were at the complex the current manager was there, but refused to speak to us, closing the apartment blinds and windows.

The sad reality is that for many of these renters this is the only place they can call home.

"We really don't have anywhere else to go, this is all we can afford," says Malinda.

American Pest Control out of Albert Lea was there Monday afternoon along with the Fire Captain Mark Roche to assess the situation.

We're told by the pest control company they have declined to do the project and instead are handing it off to another larger company in the Twin Cities.

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