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Housing Complex Battles Bedbugs

By: Janet Kim Email
By: Janet Kim Email

Fayette County Health inspectors were out at the Connie Griffith/Ballard Towers to inspect bed bugs Thursday. One resident allowed 27 NEWSFIRST inside to see the bed bugs inside her home.

Charlotte Newbrest sprays down her mattress with rubbing alcohol daily, all in an effort to kill bed bugs, an infestation she says has taken over her home.

"My grandkids like to come over and I don't where to sleep, where they going to sit," says Newbrest.

Newbrest says the problem has been ongoing for months, for some, even years in the Ballard Griffith Towers, a public housing apartment for the elderly.

In 2008, the Lexington Housing Authority treated all 317 apartments in the towers, and the director says they continue to do so on an as need basis.

"We have in effect an extermination program, and we have contracted exterminators recommended by the health department," says Austin Simms, the director for the Lexington Housing Authority. "We will exterminate free and we've spent $400,000 addressing the problem."

But some tenants disagree and say their requests for help have gone ignored, and say they fear the problem won't be addressed until it's too late.

"I'm 61-years old and I shouldn't live like this because this is low income housing," says Newbrest. "What can you do."

Simms says they continue to do what they can.

"It's especially unique when you're dealing with the elderly," says Simms. "But we have a regimented program for extermination of this buildings.


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