, Gloucester, MA

Latest Cape Ann News

August 15, 2013

Bedbug battle

Heights tenants ponder move after infestation

A Heights at Cape Ann tenant stood next to a heap of white furniture outside of her doorway Wednesday, emptying her apartment as she prepared for a bedbug extermination set for Friday — and pondering where she might stay in the meantime.

“It’s physically, mentally, emotionally affected me,” said tenant Vikki Larocque.

The tiny, wingless bugs, had crept into at least four apartments in Larocque’s building, according to Max Schenk, the city’s manager of environmental health services.

He said his department became involved with the privately-owned complex when Larocque called the city. But the city is limited in terms of how it can respond to a private property.

“Bedbugs are a nuisance, absolutely, and I feel badly for the tenants, but they’re not considered a public health emergency,” Schenk said Wednesday. “They don’t transmit disease. They are scary when you hear about them, but it’s like any other pest control problem.”

Schenk said his office sent an inspector to the apartment complex Wednesday morning. The inspector reported back that he was unable to make contact with Larocque, but he spoke to a building manager who said a pest control person was already scheduled to exterminate four apartments and inspect the entire building after extermination.

The 276-unit apartment complex is owned by Forest Property Management, based in Cambridge. A woman identified as the property manager at the Heights at Cape Ann refused any comment on the situation Wednesday, saying the management would have nothing to say about the infestation.

Larocque said she first discovered bedbugs in her apartment Monday night, then spoke to other residents with the same problem Tuesday and notified the building manager that day.

She complained openly Wednesday about an allegedly slow response from management, saying an exterminator was not scheduled to arrive until Friday while she and many tenants were left with no place to go.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Latest Cape Ann News

Pictures of the Week
Your news, your way
Comments Tracker
AP Video Network
Raw: 2 Shells Hit Fuel Tank at Gaza Power Plant Raw: Massive Explosions From Airstrikes in Gaza Giant Ketchup Bottle Water Tower Up for Sale Easier Nuclear Construction Promises Fall Short Kerry: Humanitarian Cease-fire Efforts Continue Raw: Corruption Trial Begins for Former Va Gov. The Carbon Trap: US Exports Global Warming UN Security Council Calls for Gaza Cease-fire Traditional African Dishes Teach Healthy Eating 13 Struck by Lightning on Calif. Beach Baseball Hall of Famers Inducted Israel, Hamas Trade Fire Despite Truce in Gaza Italy's Nibali Set to Win First Tour De France Raw: Shipwrecked Concordia Completes Last Voyage Raw: Sea Turtle Hatchlings Emerge From Nest Raw: Massive Dust Storm Covers Phoenix 12-hour Cease-fire in Gaza Fighting Begins Raw: Bolivian Dancers Attempt to Break Record Raw: Israel, Palestine Supporters Rally in US Raw: Air Algerie Flight 5017 Wreckage