Crews treating bedbugs at southeast Charlotte senior living complex

by: Tenikka Smith Updated:

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CHARLOTTE, N.C. - Crews are working right now to get rid of bedbugs inside a southeast Charlotte senior living facility.

"I like it here, but I don't like the bugs," resident Thelma Aubrey said.

The 87-year-old said she first had a bout with bedbugs in her McAlpine Terrace apartment a few months ago. The Charlotte Housing Authority had crews treat the problem.

"They took mattress and chair and put it in a trailer outside," Aubrey said. "They took my clothing and everything I had in my drawers. They took that out in big plastic bags and the stuff in the bags they put in a dryer."

But now she said the bedbugs are back. While an Eyewitness News crew was at Aubrey's apartment, she got a notice alerting residents that crews would be treating for bedbugs through Nov. 5.

When we went back to the comple to check on the progress, we found crews at work.

We watched two men haul out a mattress and put it inside a heat unit, now set up at the complex.

Deborah Clark, with the CHA, said chemicals will also be sprayed inside the affected units to help kill the bugs.

Aubrey thinks the bugs are back because the city's treatment hasn't been effective, but Clark says that's not the case.

"There are a number of ways that bedbugs can be transported," Clark said. "It's not that the unit was treated and the bedbugs were eradicated, but it could be a number of ways the bedbugs can get back into the unit."

Clark said as added precaution, they will take the extra step of replacing the carpets inside of Aubrey's unit and others that have seen a recurring bedbug problem.

While the heat kills the bedbugs in a matter of hours, the CHA said its can take up to three weeks for the chemical treatment to take effect. Both of these methods cost about $600 per unit.