Bed bugs in the Broadway house | News, sports, jobs

NEW ULM – Broadway House residents are looking for a solution to an ongoing bed bug problem.

A letter written by the Broadway house resident Shari Schiltz and signed by 11 people in the house was sent to the Neue Ulmer Journal, demanding that the building be given maximum heat treatment in order to remove the infestation.

In the letter, Schiltz said every tenant in the building is affected by this problem and is looking for an immediate solution.

Schiltz said the bed bug problem was a recurring problem in the building. The problem first appeared in March with an infestation in a residential unit.

The Broadway House is owned and managed by the New Ulm Economic Development Agency (EDA). The EDA signed a contract with Plunkett in March to eradicate the bed bugs. Housing coordinator Heather Bregel said this was done through heat treatment. The room is heated to over 100 degrees to kill the beetles. The tenant is not allowed to be in the building during this time. After the unit has heated up, the apartment is cooled with fans so that a tenant can move into the unit again.

Bregel said after this treatment that there were no more bed bug symptoms by July. Two other apartments were heat-treated against bed bugs. More bed bug reports were made in August. A search of the building found two other units with bed bugs. These rooms are to be heat treated next week.

Bregel cited the reason for the delay in treatments that the heaters were on a waiting list. It is estimated that it will be this long before the apartments can be treated.

Bregel said there were plans to amend the contract with Plunkett’s to deal with more housing units at the same time. The hope is that 10 apartments can be treated at the same time. There are 40 units in the Broadway house. The hope is that all units will receive the necessary treatments within a few months.

As an additional precaution against the insects, chemicals are also sprayed in the public areas.

“It’s understandable [residents] are upset, “ said Bregel. “We’re doing everything we can to treat them.”

Waiting for bed bug treatment has made several Broadway house residents nervous.

“People can’t sleep in their beds” said Schiltz. “People get wounds when they do.”

Broadway house resident Eileen Kokesch also signed the letter, saying she woke up with bites several times. A red bite mark can be seen on her forearms. Schiltz and Kokesch said there were other residents with worse bites.

Schiltz admitted it was difficult to get rid of bed bugs, but said residents shouldn’t have to live like that.

If an apartment has bed bugs, even being late for a week is excruciating.

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