Tenants complain of bed bug infestation at east San Antonio apartments

Palms Apartments residents blame apartment complex, manager blames residents

Author: Tim Gerber , Reporter, tgerber@ksat.com
Published On: Aug 15 2013 09:57:05 PM CDT   Updated On: Aug 16 2013 02:11:38 AM CDT
SAN ANTONIO -

Residents at an east side apartment complex said Thursday they are dealing with a bed bug infestation.

They claim it's happening at the Palms Apartments located in the 3700 Block of East Commerce Street.

Residents said the management isn't dealing with the problem properly but the manager disagreed and put some of the blame on her tenants.

"I have bed bugs," said Knatiya Flores, a tenant at the complex. "I have bites all over my skin."

Flores said the bed bugs in her apartment are so bad she had to throw out much of her furniture.

"The maintenance man came to spray and he told me I had to get rid of everything in my apartment 'cause it's covered in bed bugs," Flores said.

She wasn't the only resident forced to toss out her belongings.

Rebecca Hernandez's mattress was covered in blood stains from bed bug bites, she tossed it in the dumpster with other items.

"I have no beds, no couches, no living room, no nothing and they don't want to be responsible," Hernandez said.

Hernandez used to manage the complex. She claimed the owners didn't want to pay for a professional exterminator and used cans of Combat and other insecticides instead.

Christi Shoemaker is the new manager, she said they hired a pest control professional last month to treat 2 units and offered up an invoice as proof.

"I'm not sure where the infestation came from. We don't know where the tenants bring it from but we do end up incurring the cost of having to take care of it," Shoemaker said.

Shoemaker said the pest control company is set to return next week for another treatment but it won't work if the tenants don't follow their instructions.

"Blankets, clothing, things like that were not removed.," Shoemaker said. "They didn't do what they were supposed to do on their side so now we're taking more time because we do want to take care of it."

Knatiya Flores wasn't convinced and wondered how she would be able to replace the items she had to throw away.

"We're on limited income, I live on $400 a month with 2 kids and we can't afford anything," Flores said. "There are bed bugs all over the apartment complex and nobody seems to be able to get rid of them."

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