Action 9: Regulations on bedbug problems limited

by: Jason Stoogenke Updated:

Loading

CHARLOTTE, N.C. - A woman is demanding more action after she says bedbugs invaded her Charlotte apartment.

The complex stepped in to clean, but now she's worried about other residents.

She turned to Action 9 investigator Jason Stoogenke for answers and he found out another county leader shares the same concerns.

If a place has bedbugs, you probably expect the county health department to get involved.

But the state only gives the county the power to crack down on certain places.

"There's no way that you can live with bedbugs," said Sharodaka Harris, renter.

Harris said her son was the first one bitten on the neck and it got very swollen.

She said her boyfriend broke out, so they went to the doctor.

She was terrified when she found out they were infested with bedbugs.

Her complex, Country Club Apartments in east Charlotte, responded and cleaned her apartment by heating it to 1,500 degrees which is part of the treatment process.

But Harris had had enough.

She sent an email to the county's website hoping the county would crack down on apartments with bed bugs.

But, there's not much the county can do.

State law said counties can actually shut down places that rent by the night like hotels and motels but not places you rent by the week or month, like extended-stay hotels and apartments.

Mecklenburg County Commissioner Bill James wants the state to give counties more power in this situation.

"What this is, is an incredible risk to people that are on the fringes of society that are poor because they're the ones that tend to stay in the weeklies and the extended stays," James said.

Harris recently moved and but while she feels her family's OK.

"There's no way you can live with these things," Harris said. "There's no way."

She wants the state to change the law, so counties have more control when it comes to apartments and bedbugs.

"If I can help two people, I'm fine with that, as long as I know they heard my story and I'm not just another dumb person that just chose to not say anything about it," Harris said.

We are reaching out to state lawmakers and the state Department of Health and Human Services to see if anyone's taking up this fight at the state level.

If you've been ripped off, overbilled or misled; or if you see something that is hurting all consumers, contact Action 9.