Bed bug infestation overtakes metro retirement community

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OKLAHOMA CITY -- Residents at the Wesley Village Retirement Center in the 300 block of N.W. 12th in Oklahoma City say their building is infested with bed bugs and that the owners are not doing enough to fix the problem.

The center houses not only retired people, but people with disabilities, as well. It’s government subsidized, so most people who live there cannot afford to move.

Jon Hoover says he’s been dealing with the bed bugs biting him for a couple months now, ever since he got his love seat from a woman on the fourth floor who moved out.

“She just asked me if I wanted a love seat and I’m like 'yeah,' and bit me on the butt, literally,” said Hoover.  “Itch, pretty bad, worse than mosquitoes.”

Oklahoma City County Health Department officials say they’ve received seven bed bug complaints from the Wesley Village Retirement Center this year alone.

“That is a pretty large number.  I know it’s not typical.  It’s more than normal,” said Daniel D. DeGeus, Senior Public Health Inspector in the Consumer Protection Division.

Mike LaPlante, with Bug Zappers, says he was working with building management a couple months ago to try and rid the pests from the complex, but they just stopped paying him.

He says something needs to be done.

“The problem’s bad.  I mean it’s bad.  It’s definitely attention worthy.  Because these people are just trying to live their lives and these bugs are all over the building,” said LaPlante.  “When you’ve got every floor infested and every unit infested and the ceilings are infested, you’ve gotta take a bigger shot than just a couple units at a time.  You’ve gotta do the entire building.”

We tried to get in touch with the owner and management, but no one returned our calls.

Officials at the Oklahoma City County Health Department tell us the complex is currently using another exterminator to get rid of the bugs.

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