Bed bug infestation has some Alton residents concerned about potential health risks

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ALTON, IL – A bed bug problem is plaguing an Alton Illinois apartment complex.

On Wednesday, some residents living at Pine Meadow Apartments told Fox 2, the critters are an ongoing problem and that they are concerned about their health.

“When I got closer to it and looked down I said, ‘Oh that’s a bed bug,” said Casandra Hamilton about discovering bed bugs crawling in her bedroom last Sunday.

Hamilton provided Fox 2 with photographs of the bugs.

“I won’t even go to sleep at night,” she said, “I just sit up all night, looking across the floor at the walls wondering where the next one is going to come from.”

Hamilton said that she had the same problem back in June, and property management took care of the infestation.  But the bugs came back this month.

She said this time, she called the city inspector’s office about the infestation.

“I said, ‘Y’all are passing inspections on houses that has roaches and bed bugs and mice in it?’ Hamilton said.

Kuwaka Isom lives in the same building as Hamilton and said that he has the same problem crawling around his apartment.

“Get rid of these bed bugs,” Isom said, “I’m thinking this could be a health issue.”

“I got a little grandson and I got a daughter,” said Hamilton, “I don’t want to leave here and take the bed bugs to my daughter’s house, I don’t want to go to my sister’s house and take them there or nobody else’s house and take them nowhere.”

Fox 2 contacted property management and we were told:

“We were not made aware of the recent problem until today. The resident called the City Inspector rather than our office. As a courtesy, the City Inspector came to our office to tell us of this issue so that we could begin our remediation paperwork and scheduling immediately, rather than wait for a letter from the city telling us to do so.”

“I’m mad, I’m just mad, I could just cry,” Hamilton said, “get the right exterminators out here so it can all be treated at one time.”

Bed bugs are not new to the City of Alton.

In a statement to Fox 2 Dawn Voss with the city’s building and zoning department explained:

“The City of Alton does receive complaints about bed bugs on occasion.  We deal with each complaint individually.  We will inspect the building to verify the complaint and if it is determined the problem exists, we require a professional extermination of the premises.  We have only been receiving complaints regarding this issue over the last few years.  I am unaware as to any specific reason this occurs.  We do address each complaint that we receive and thus far there have been no issues with compliance by property owners/managers dealing with the issue in proper form.”

Hamilton said that she received a letter from the building letting her know that management will take care of the problem as soon as a completed bed bug remediation form is returned to the office.