BOSTON (CBS) – “It’s the blood they feed on. These are the marks.” Shelnut Curtis is scarred with bed bug bites from head to toe. The 48-year-old disabled man told WBZ-TV his St. Botolph Street apartment managed by the Boston Housing Authority is infested.
He already struggles with diabetes and kidney problems now he’s not getting any sleep. “I’m always scratching, thinking something’s crawling on me and I shouldn’t have to live like that with the state of my health,” said Curtis.
WBZ-TV’s Kathy Curran reports
Lydia Agro from the Boston Housing Authority says bed bugs are an ongoing battle everywhere; one of those things that are very challenging to deal with. The BHA has spent roughly $35,000 at this one property alone dealing with the problem over the past year.
Shelnut say his apartment has been exterminated about eight times over the past year. He had to throw out his couch, a chair, and his bed, but the bugs are still biting.”
There are protective covers on his new bed, his clothing is kept in plastic bags and the housing authority has used monitors to check for infestation in the complex which houses the disabled and the elderly.
Jonathan Boyar’s company Ecologic Entomology is helping with the battle.
“Heat, steam, insect repellant have all been used,” said Boyar. “This is one of those problems where one method is not better than the other. We have to look at each case individually.”
Shelnut knows the childhood saying, “Sleep tight. Don’t let the bed bugs bite,” and always thought it was a myth. Now he calls it a nightmare.
There’s little sleep and a lot of anxiety all caused by tiny bugs.
The BHA urges tenants to notify management immediately if they think they have a bed bug problem. They’re working with residents to try to stay on top of the problem and to move them if necessary.