Residents of Sangamon Towers want management to get rid of bedbugs in complex
Residents say bedbugs are swarming Sangamon towers in Springfield.
NewsChannel 20 was first contacted about the issue Monday by a concerned family member, but we then discovered this is affecting more than just one person.
Some of the residents at Sangamon Towers said these bedbugs have been an ongoing problem for months.
Springfield's Public Works department said the apartment complex said they are working to combat it, but some residents of the Section 8 rental assistance complex said it is not enough.
“I'm too old, I'm 60 years old now so I don't want to live like this," Debbie Darnell, a Sangamon Towers resident said.
Darnell said when she moved into Sangamon Towers in August, she never expected what would come next from the HUD- Assisted Complex.
“They never said, well chances are there's bedbugs. I was never told that," Darnell said.
While Darnell said someone does spray down the apartments monthly, the issue is still there for her and others.
One of those is Darren Witty's mother, whose apartment is shown in videos crawling with dozens of bedbugs.
“If their family members lived here, management speaking, if their family members lived here, I'm sure they would want their family members, their loved ones to live in a nice place," Witty said.
Witty said his mother is disabled and is not currently able to move elsewhere.
"I just want people to care for other people," Witty said.
Springfield Public Works sent a team from their Environmental Housing Division to look into the problem as the incident was reported within the city’s jurisdiction. They did confirm bedbugs were found.
“They need to engage a professional exterminator. We give them a 24-hour notice to start that process. That's what's really required. Ultimately, an inspection will show, and certification from a certified professional will show that the bedbugs have been exterminated at that location," Director of Springfield Public Works Mark Mahoney said.
But some residents have a different idea on how to combat the problem.
"Evict everybody, get us in a better place and put a big, huge tarp around this entire place and bomb it," Darnell said.
To treat one’s home for bedbugs and to prevent any re-infestation from happening, there is a very specific treatment needed.
It is a two-step process and they are usually about a week apart. The home must be vacated during the treatment. It is suggested to throw away unneeded items and to bag all loose items before washing sheets and any other bedding.
Typically, bedbug bites are not noticeable until after the bite has happened. They are attracted to warmth and carbon dioxide. Known treatments include vacuuming, steaming, extreme heat, extreme cold and pesticides.
NewsChannel 20 reached out to the complex for a comment, we received a statement from Patrick Somers, who is president of Pacific Management, which takes care of the Sangamon Towers. He said a resident refused service of an exterminator they sent Wednesday.
However, the resident's son tells us they merely rescheduled the appointment for next Wednesday.