I-Team: Bedbugs Even Worse Problem for Renters

 I-TEAM-Bedbugs make most of us cringe, but if you are a renter getting rid of them may be an even bigger pain.
    A woman, who wishes to remain anonymous, shared her bedbug nightmare with us as a way to warn renters.  For the purpose of this story, we will call her Melanie.
    "They're horrible," Melanie says. "You go to sleep, you stay asleep and when you wake up, you have little red bumps."
    Melanie and her family were living in a Decatur apartment complex when, "We were waking up with bites so we called the office and they offered to come in and do an extermination, one of the maintenance men."
    A maintenance man, instead of a licensed exterminator.  The bedbugs came back and she returned to the office for help.
    "She gave me a form that stated we were willing to pay the extermination fee, about $650-$700, or we would need to move out because we were breaking our lease," Melanie says.  
    That's even though her lease clearly states the landlord will take care of exterminations.  Melanie complained to the corporation and eventually they hired an exterminator.
But they only sprayed her apartment.
    Craig Dell is a personal injury attorney for Dell & Schaefer, a law firm in Florida.  His firm has handled hundreds of bedbug cases.
    He says having untrained people try to exterminate bugs is negligent, even dangerous.
    "How on earth are you going to have a property manager that has no certification, has no education, possibly deploying dangerous chemicals for a bedbug infestation they know little to nothing about?" Dell says.
    He says having a good exterminator and evidence are key.
    "Make sure everything is in writing, photos are very important," Dell says.  He also recommends seeing a doctor and documenting any personal injury, and saving any and all receipts.
    Exterminator Scott Fisher sees more and more cases of bedbugs in Decatur.
    He says treating only one apartment in a complex is defeating the purpose.  And that merely spraying one apartment would actually spread the bugs further.  Unfortunately for consumers, Fisher says a good job is expensive.
    "You've got to get every crack and crevice," Fisher says.
    Melanie spent hundreds on new mattresses and sheets and hundreds more on laundry.  Because she feared the return of the bedbugs, she moved her family out of the apartment.   Now, she's warning renters.
    "I think people need to know that there's bedbugs there and they have to be very careful and you have to have it clarified that its something that is paid for," Melanie says.
    For more information about steps to take if you have bedbugs, visit www.bedbuglaw.com

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