TARPON SPRINGS, Fla - A handful of residents at Cypress Place Apartments in Tarpon Springs said they are dealing with a bed bug infestation.
"To sit there and watch my kids sleep wondering if they are getting bit that is the worst feeling," explained Danielle Branton while wiping tears from her eyes.
Branton claims bed bugs have been an issue in her apartment for a year. She told ABC Action News the infestation is so bad she is now living out of the back of her car with her two children.
"I don't even eat in my house. We eat in the car. All of my clothes are in the car," Branton said.
Branton's neighbor Lindsay, who lives beneath her, said her apartment is also infested. With a newborn at home, Lindsay said she's already seen bite marks on her baby.
"It's hard," said Lindsay while choking back tears. "It's hard. I have a thing I keep on my chest and that is where she sleeps."
Branton and Lindsay are among a handful of residents who contacted ABC Action News for help. They also emailed us multiple pictures of bite marks and of bed bugs on apartment walls.
Both said they've taken their concerns to management and that management did quickly respond by sending out an exterminator on multiple occasions.
"They've bombed so many times," Lindsay explained.
Branton estimates that her apartment has been treated close to 10 times for bed bugs.
"The fact remains, the stuff that their doing is not working and nobody seems to care," Branton said.
The apartment manager did return calls for comment but was unable to go on camera Saturday. She said she is aware of the problem and has been taking aggressive action for months.
She added that the impacted apartments were not infested with bed bugs when these tenants moved in.
"She is pointing the finger on us like we keep bringing them em in but if we keep bringing them in my mom would have them, the schools would have the and the day care would have them," Branton said.
The manager said there have been follow up instructions for these tenants but they have not been cooperating. She also added that she checked in with tenants after their homes were treated and was told the issue had been resolved.
She also said all of the complaining tenants are friends and believe they are bringing bed bugs into each other's apartments resulting in re-infestation.
Branton denies those claims. She told ABC Action News none of the impacted neighbors have been in her home.
Now, her and a male tenant, who also said his apartment is infested, are collecting the bed bugs they find and are putting them in bottles. Branton show three bed bugs she caught to us.
Branton and Lindsay want to move but said they don't have the money to make that happen.
"I dread for nighttime to come because I don't way to lay my head down," Lindsay added.
According to Branton, management did get her a rent credit and reimbursed her for food when her home treated. Lindsay said she did not receive any help or breaks but would like to considering she had to get rid of all of her furniture and clothing.
Lindsay plans to file a complaint with the state.
The complex manager said she will continue to take aggressive action to end any issues.
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