Bed Bug violation notice sent to valley apartment complex

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By Andrew Michalscheck By Andrew Michalscheck

PHOENIX -- A bed bug problem has apparently been going on for awhile at a Valley apartment complex, but after 3 On Your Side got involved, something is being done.

"I found them in the kitchen. I found them in the bedroom, in the bathroom, in the living room, in every room of my house," said Nicole Lea.

Nicole invited 3 On Your Side into her unit at the Sera Bella apartments for what she says is an ongoing, nasty problem.

"We have an infestation of bed bugs on this property," she said.

But as soon as 3 On Your Side started videotaping some of those bed bugs that Nicole had collected, management showed up and demanded that we leave.

Even though Nicole had invited us into her unit, management still called Phoenix police who agreed 3 On Your Side had every right to be there.

While officers spoke to management, Nicole continued to show us her bed bug problem including bites on her body.
"I have some on my legs. here, here,here," she said pointing to her bites.  

Nicole claims the bed bug infestation is so bad she had to tape up electrical outlets where she says she's seen the bugs crawl through.  Still, after complaining several times to Sera Bella, Nicole says the problem continues.

"I’ve talked to management about it, they refused to hire a licensed contractor, they're having maintenance people come in here and spray poisonous chemicals in my house and they won't tell me what it is," she bemoaned.

Maricopa County Environmental Services also wants answers, saying they have two formal complaints on file regarding a bed bug problem at Sera Bella apartments. The agency wanted to know if a licensed exterminator, as required by law, was hired to rid the complex of bed bugs.  

The county tells 3 On Your Side that information was never provided. So it sent a "notice of violation" to Sera Bella, demanding the complex comply and resolve their bed bug problem.

Nicole says it's a step in the right direction, but thinks she may have bigger problems now.

"I’m just afraid that her or whoever is going to try to have me evicted or thrown out because I’m standing up for myself because I refuse to live like this," she said.

By the way, 3 On Your Side tried several times to speak to Sera Bella about their bed bug problem but they wanted nothing to do with us.