Bed bugs in a senior apartment building in San Diego

by nobugsonme on July 17, 2008 · 8 comments

in bed bug treatment, bed bugs, bed bugs and the elderly, bed bugs in apartments, california

NBC reports that there are bed bugs in a senior apartment building in San Diego:

It’s happening at the Westminster Manor, which is home to low-income seniors. Resident Rose Chapin, 76, told NBC 7/39 she first noticed the problem in June.

“I saw little black spots on my bedspread,” Chapin said.

Soon after, she noticed bloodstains, bites on her chest and legs, plus larvae found in the couch. Chapin said that about 50 of the 150 apartments in the high-rise wound up with them and are being sprayed for bedbugs.

“They’ve sprayed two times in my place already, but I still have to keep all of my clothes in bags out on the balcony for the rest of the month. And I have to do about 50 loads of laundry when that’s done, just to make sure they’re gone,” Chapin said.

Fifty out of 150 units are being treated. This is a serious infestation. I would not be surprised if other units as well as common areas (and maybe even walls / pipe areas) were also infested.

The management says they treat units when complaints are made:

“The residents spread them when they visit each other. There’s no way to prevent it, so we treat the apartment as soon as we discover a problem,” said Bill Keys, the buildings superintendent said. “At any time, we could be dealing with four or five rooms.”

Treating units like this individually, a few at a time, when 1/3 or more of the building is infested and are being treated at different times, may not be the best way to eliminate the problem.

Would coordinating treatment so that it occurs all at once not be a more efficient and promising plan?

Perhaps some of our professionals could enlighten me on that.

1 parakeets July 19, 2008 at 3:03 pm

Thanks for speaking up for the senior citizens affected by bedbugs.

2 nobugsonme July 19, 2008 at 4:05 pm

Thanks parakeets.

It breaks my heart that elderly people are being treated this way.

After all, none of us would be here — and our cities and countries would be nothing — without them and all they did in their earlier lives.

3 Marjorie Morris July 28, 2008 at 12:13 pm

I am a 74 year old senior living in public housing in BOULDER COLORADO,we have been experiencing horrible bed bug infestations,and the problem is not being resolved. In the beginning it was down played by the housing authority and many of us residents have been exposed to horrendous living conditions due to the building infestation. Trying to get a resolution in next to impossible,and I felt it had to be brought to public attention and that is why my family and I went to the newspaper.I do not know if any thing positive is going to come out of this,but I am living in utter devastation.There has to be an answer and a solotion some where.

4 nobugsonme July 29, 2008 at 9:17 pm

Hi Marjorie,

I read of your experience here. I am sorry you are going through this and I hope you will get a resolution of your problem soon– that the Housing Authority will treat your building more aggressively.

I also hope you and your neighbors will write and call your elected officials and remind them you are voters too.

5 joan August 25, 2008 at 12:58 am

My daughter just moved into a college apartment near SDSU that is infested with bed bugs. The manager will not call me back and is not taking an agressive stance. She moved in on 8/15 but cannot stay there because of the problem. Any suggestions???

6 nobugsonme August 25, 2008 at 3:25 am

You need tenants’ rights information for South Dakota San Deigo / California. Tenants organizations can help.

The college’s Residence Life office should be able to help you find organizations that give advice to tenants on their rights OR be able to fill you in on local rental laws. Even though your daughter is off-campus, the Residence Life office should care about this and help you find the info you need.

If you have further questions, please click the Forums button at top right, and post in our forums.

7 Thelma November 4, 2009 at 4:49 pm

Westminster Manor Update…
Bed bugs not effectively exterminated …
November 4, 2009

I am presently living at the above mentioned Westminster Manor in San Diego, California. This senior building is owned by the Presbyterian Church, which is directly across the street, aka Date Street Presbyterian.

I moved here on March 1, 2009. It was not disclosed to me by the Leasing Agent of Westminster Manor or the Maintenance Supervisor, that this senior hi-rise has been, for at least a year and possibly longer according to some residents, infested with bed bugs and is still experiencing an infestation. I found out approximately two (2) weeks after move-in when I was sitting in the Lobby visiting. A resident noticed a bug on a ladies blouse collar and asked her if he could remove it. He identified it as a bed bug. This was not good news.

I have been hearing, on an on-going basis and too many times for comfort, reports of various units on various floors being treated for bed bug infestation. Only the units that actually have bed bugs are treated. Consequently, the bugs are moving around looking for a new host … Not good news.

When I exit the building on the Ground Level, I sometimes see a mattress, sofa, etc wrapped in plastic with wording “bed bugs” awaiting trash pick-up. Again, this is not good news.

I recently found out, by happen chance, that the apartment directly above me and an apartment across the hall from that unit has bed bugs and was being sprayed that day, Monday, October 19, 2009, by Orkin. The Maintenance Supervisor did do a cursory check of my apartment unit four (4) days later. He used a flashlight to check the air bed I sleep on and the metal railing that is on the floor of the closet that holds the doors in place. According to this inspection, nothing was seen. This was somewhat of a relief, however when you live in a building that has an infestation, it is hard to have peace of mind.

What is really sad is that aging people are already dealing with life issues and should not have to deal with any additional.

I pray that the Date Street Presbyterian Church as owners of the Westminster Manor (WMM), the WMM Management Team, the WMM Maintenance Department, and the residents of WMM will effectively find a solution to this recurring problem. A solution that is non toxic to residents and animals, and effective in relieving this situation ASAP. This would be good news.

Thelma Downey
Current Resident, WMM

P.S. I advised my children … Not a good idea to visit Mom here. Plus, I could carry something on my clothes or in my car to their place.

8 Yvette July 27, 2010 at 9:20 am

Thanks for all the input re: bedbugs in Westminister Manor. I saw their recent ad for applications in our newspaper but I would not live in a bedbug ridden building. I have seen enough of this in NYC where I once lived.

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