Woman sleeps in bathtub to escape bed bugs

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OKLAHOMA CITY -- Exterminators will tell you a single bed bug can populate an entire apartment or home.

That's the problem one metro apartment complex is dealing with right now.

The Oklahoma City Housing Authority (OCHA) said nearly 20 low income units at McGuire Plaza have been infested with bed bugs.

They feed on human blood, causing rashes and allergic reactions.

Exterminators see them in hotels, movie theaters, libraries.

One apartment resident said they've driven her out of her bed.

"This is where I sleep at night," Koenia Evans said, while pointing to blankets in her bathtub. "I cover up and I sleep with the light on."

She said although the bathtub is uncomfortable, it's a better alternative than being bitten in her bed.

"This is how I live," she said with tears in her eyes. "I can't do this no more. I can't. I don't want to have to go out there on the street, homeless, or walk away from everything. That's not fair to me."

Evans said she didn't sleep Tuesday night because she found two more bed bugs on the floor.

The OCHA tells us they put monitors on Evans' floor to confirm if her unit has bed bugs or not but have not seen any evidence.

Evans said they're coming from a neighbor's apartment that has already been treated.

She would like to move but the OCHA said they are fully occupied.

Mother Nature Pest Service's Richard Page checked her sheets Wednesday for rust-colored stains; evidence of bed bugs.

He said bed bugs can travel through outlets and floorboards, from unit to unit and you'll find them in dressers, chairs, couches and other places besides a bed.

"Bed bugs are asexual," Page said. "They do not need a pair to reproduce. A single bed bug will populate an apartment or a home or whatever. It's very difficult to deal with."

Mother Nature Pest Service sprays to stop bed bugs from laying eggs in the first place; other professional treatments include using extreme heat (thermal remediation).

"You have to treat them all because you will get travel back and forth and if you don't do that, you will be re-infested," he said. 

He recommends using bed bug-proof mattress covers, which the OCHA is selling to those residents.

The OCHA said although they didn't find evidence of bed bugs in the monitors on Evans' floor Wednesday afternoon, they will seal her floorboards and use thermal remediation on her unit on Thursday because she showed them the bugs she killed earlier this week.

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