Jill Porter of the Philadelphia Daily News reports on bed bug infestations in the Art Museum area of Philadelphia. This time in Parkway House (and recently in Park Towne Place).
Porter says one Parkway House tenant, Waide Hemphill, has had them twice since February (I assume this means they were eliminated for a time). He claims the building is not dealing with the problem, and Porter says this is
. . . potentially harmful for all of us, because building management is treating the infestation piecemeal, failing to alert other residents who may spread the problem by selling infested belongings, or moving out with them, Hemphill said.
Management’s intransigence has forced Hemphill and another tenant, Janet Flood, to hire lawyers.
Flood recently moved out after months of being tortured by the insects. But the landlord won’t let her out of her lease, she said.
Porter attempted to contact management, but they would provide no comments.
Barbara Williams, who manages the building at 2201 Pennsylvania Ave. for Philadelphia Management Co., would not comment. The owners, Parkway Associates, also declined to comment, Williams said.
“I feel like tenants need to know what’s going on,” said Flood, 22, who had moved into the building in November.
“What Barbara does is isolate you and makes you feel it’s your fault.
“She keeps hiding the infestation problem so that other apartments keep getting infested. The problem keeps getting bigger and bigger and it goes from unit to unit.”
Porter reports that Hemphill’s girlfriend broke up with him after receiving bed bug bites in his apartment. And that’s just the tip of the iceberg as far as how much bed bugs can negatively affect one’s life.
Flood moved to escape bed bugs (a very risky business, I have to add):
“I can’t even tell you, even now living in the new place, I’m bonkers,” said Flood, 22.
“It makes you feel so disgusting. You feel so violated because they’re in all your things and you don’t know where they are.
“I wake up in the middle of the night. I didn’t sleep for two months. It ruins peoples’ lives.”
Flood’s story is typical: She began getting red, itchy welts on her arms in May and went from doctor to doctor until an Internet search solved the mystery: She had bedbug bites.
Parkway management had a pest-control company treat Flood’s apartment. But when the bedbugs came back, management insisted that the infestation had been corrected and claimed that there was no problem in the building, Flood said.
Meanwhile, Flood met Hemphill, and talked to several other tenants in the building who also had bedbugs.
Porter’s assessment that “Management’s reluctance to acknowledge the problem and alert the residents is irresponsible, not to mention counter-productive” is right on the money.
Overall, this was a smart article, and got right to the heart of the problem of building managers not dealing properly and promptly with bed bug infestations.