DECATUR, Ill. (WAND) – A bed bug infestation forced a Decatur man to pack and leave the state.
Jerry Baumgartner, an 82-year veteran, has lived in an apartment at Oxford House (2700 N. Monroe St.) for three years. For most of the last year, he was horrified when bed bugs became a growing problem.
Baumgartner said pictures he and his daughter Denise Davis collected showed begging bugs by the hundreds on furniture. His bed, bed frame, and electric lift chair are believed to have been ruined.
“It’s really bad,” said Davis. “When you lift the bed … there are nests under the mattress and in the woods.”
WAND-TV spoke to an Oxford House spokesman about Baumgartner’s situation to see what is being done. A statement said the company takes pests seriously if it is made aware of them. They had three bed bug affected units, two of which were cleared within three treatments.
You said Baumgartner’s unit was harder to treat. The statement said he had “repeatedly ignored protocols, including replacing his mattress or washing potentially affected bedding”.
Since his apartment was no longer habitable, Baumgartner left some of his belongings and moved to Davis in Missouri. He went for the last time on Tuesday.
“I had to leave my friends that I made there,” he said. “I’m 82 years old. I’m disabled. I just can’t do it anymore.”
Regarding Baumgartner’s belongings, Davis said they will go to a storage unit. They plan to use insect bombs on this unit to kill the insect invaders.
Should anyone else be dealing with bed bugs, experts said the following steps should be taken:
- Bedding and clothing should be washed in hot water
- These items should then be placed in a dryer on the highest setting
- Steamers should be used on mattresses and sofas
- Anything that may be infected should be sealed and kept in an area of 95 degrees or more