3OYS Update: Bed bugs at Sera Bella Apartments

Posted: Updated:
By Tami Hoey By Tami Hoey
By Tami Hoey By Tami Hoey
By Tami Hoey By Tami Hoey
By Tami Hoey By Tami Hoey
By Tami Hoey By Tami Hoey

PHOENIX -- It's an issue 3OYS brought to everyone's attention a few weeks ago. Bed bugs had infested a Valley apartment complex.

Since then, tenants like Nicole Lea say the complex has taken care of the problem. "I haven't seen any bugs so you know that part of the situation is taken care of," says Nicole.

No more bed bugs! It's a problem Nicole Lea brought to the attention of 3 On Your Side recently. However, as you may recall, it wasn't a problem management at Sera Bella Apartments wanted her to tell us about.

Management held off our cameras, saying: "I don't want... You don't have permission. Yes, you don't have permission to be in my house This is my house!"

Managers were so upset, they even called Phoenix Police. But officers agreed 3 On Your Side didn't have to leave.

Maricopa County Environmental Services stepped in to investigate the bed bug allegations after getting complaints from tenants at Sera Bella.The complaints were similar. Many tenants said bed bugs were such a problem that they had bites all over their bodies. Some even collected some of the bugs to show.

According to the County, Sera Bella Apartments failed to provide them with documentation of the licensed pest control company they were using to treat the complex. As a result, the County demanded Sera Bella hire a licensed company to get rid of the problem.

They did, and one tenant even took photos as the treatment was being performed. “They did have a licensed contractor finally come out and he's been out twice," Nicole tells us.

Nicole is glad the bed bug problem has been addressed, but still feels so uneasy that she keeps her clothes wrapped in bags. We asked management if they wanted to talk to 3 On Your Side about resolving the issue, but they declined. Still, their problems may be far from over. That's because the Arizona Office of Pest Management is now looking into the matter.

Jack Peterson is the agency's acting director. He says the question of whether Sera Bella Apartments did not have a licensed exterminator to initially treat the bed bug problem needs to be addressed.

"With bed bugs, it's a problem that's growing and growing and growing and everybody wants the problem taken care of early," Peterson says.

The agency is still gathering information on the matter.  In the meantime Nicole is happy 3OYS stepped in.

"Thank you for all your help and your digging," she says. "I appreciate it, saved me a little bit of headache you know. You guys are just great! I watch you guys all the time you bring results."

If you have a problem you can't resolve, maybe 3OYS can. Just visit azfamily.com. Go to our 3 On Your Side section, and write me an email.

To find out more information about bed bugs and treatment  visit: www.sb.state.az.us/ or www.maricopa.gov/EnvSvc/QC/Enforcement/Bedbugs.aspx.