Bed bugs infesting Lake Wales apartment complex

Tenants say landlord won't do enough to fix it
Posted at 8:35 PM, Sep 15, 2016

Residents at a Lake Wales apartment complex say they are infested with bed bugs and the landlord isn’t doing enough to fix it.

Tenants from several apartments in multiple buildings tell ABC Action News that the bed bugs have been around for months.

“It felt like a mosquito bite,” said Rachine Williams-Flax, one resident at the Lake Wales Gardens Apartments.

Pictures provided by another tenant show the bugs are now bigger than an apple seed.

“They just keep coming and don’t seem to be going away,” another tenant said, who didn’t want to show her face or reveal her name for fear of retaliation.

She did show us several welts on her stomach.

“It’s quite terrifying. You don’t want to climb in your bed because you’re scared you’re going to wake up with bites,” she said.

Her neighbors shared similar stories. One even showed a video of the small bug crawling on a pillow.

City Code Enforcement said it has received complaints from six separate tenants about he ongoing issue, along with claims that the landlord isn’t doing enough to fix the problem.

When ABC Action News tried talking to other tenants, the property manager called the police and three officers arrived.

We left when asked to leave.

By phone, a representative with the management company admits the complex has an issue with bed bugs, but insists it’s trying to fix it by spraying.

“I feel like they should shut down this whole thing and everybody should move out until they’re done cleaning it up,” Williams-Flax said.

Due to all the complaints, code enforcement plans to pay a visit on Friday.

If the claims are verified, the owner will have to fix the problem within a specific deadline or face a fine.

“I mean it’s embarrassing to tell your family and friends that hey, this is what’s going on in my apartment.