Bedbugs Be Gone! Relief Comes to East Bay Residents

Nighty-night, don't let the bedbugs bite!

By Jessica Greene and Jodi Hernandez
|  Friday, Oct 9, 2009  |  Updated 6:54 PM PDT
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Bedbugs Targeted in Richmond Apartment Building

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Night-night, don't let the bedbugs bite.

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It's enough to keep you up all night. The thought of creepy crawlers sharing the bed, leaving bite marks all over your body.

That's exactly what residents of an East Bay building have dealt with for months as the bloodsucking creatures inhabited the Hacienda, a 160-unit affordable housing complex.

"When twilight hits, I'm laying there for half an hour," Billy Nichols told the Contra Costa Times. "As soon as I start to fall asleep, they come for me."

The 68-year-old is one of the building's tenants who is spending a few days in a hotel while the building is being fumigated. It's something the people who live in the building have been asking the Housing Authority to do since April.

Their pleas were finally answered on Friday, when fumigators covered the building with 150-pound, 55-foot high tarps and pumped poison into their apartments. They had a whisper of relief in May when fumigators went door-to-door spraying each apartment.

Allen Kanady of Omega Termite and Pest Control says the city decided to fumigate after trying to eradicate the bedbugs using both conventional and unconventional means, including freezing the bugs. Nothing worked. He says a bedbug operation of this magitude has never been done in the state.

"This is going to take care of any hidden bedbugs any place in this building." Kanady said. "This is the last resort. There won't be one live bedbug when we're done with this fumigation."

The project will cost the Housing Authority about $75,000, including the price to put residents up in a hotel and feed them as they wait out the extermination.

It's a small price to pay for peace of mind and a safe, bug-free night's sleep. Do you feel itchy yet?

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