Residents of the South Bend apartment complex claim the building is infested with bed bugs

SOUTH BEND, Ind. — Karl King Tower is a senior citizens’ home with fixed income residents in subsidized units. People just want an affordable, safe place to live, but residents say they have been living with a beggar beetle infestation for years and property managers don’t care.

“I have a lot of bed bugs. Everyone in the building has bed bugs and even caught them in the office, “said Dolores Winfield, a resident.

Winfield moved in about 2 years ago. Little did she know that her apartment had a roommate – or roommates – an insect colony.

She says the building has been littered with bed bugs since she moved in – and left bites all over her body.

Ashley Noris has a 90-year-old grandmother in the building. She says the bed bugs are not only irritating but also cause serious health problems.

“She’s paranoid. Every evening she sprays alcohol on her bed before going to bed. I’ve watched her health deteriorate over the past few years and I think a lot of it has to do with her living conditions, “said Noris.

Noris has also tried for years to get property managers to address the problem – even called the health department, but Noris says managers only called an exterminator once to spray their grandma’s unit.

“I want them to treat and treat over and over again. It’s not a situation where you can only treat them once and the bugs go away.

Neighbors confirm that management sprayed the building back in May, but it’s November and the infestation is still ongoing.

“It’s hard to find a place to go. The rent is $ 200 and some dollars a month. If I could go anywhere else where I could pay so much money I would. I would be ready to go, “said Winfield.

The rental office did not respond to our calls. The St. Joseph County Health Department is aware of the problem and residents plan to file a complaint with the HUD.

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