Resident complies with condominium association, throws out bedbug infested furniture

Edward Cox, Reporter

A resident of a Sherman Avenue condominium complex threw out his bedbug-infested furniture after the condominium association filed a complaint Jan. 22 with the Cook County Circuit Court.

Maisonette Condominium Association filed an injunction against James Collins on Jan. 22 after he failed to respond to requests to treat his bedbug-infested apartment. A friend of Collins, who asked not to be named, said Collins was reluctant to throw out a brown leather couch that reportedly cost about $1,500.

The association hired a pest control company two years ago to treat reported signs of bedbug infestation. The company used heat treatment to kill the bugs, but checkups revealed the infestation had not disappeared.

A chair and a couch in Collins’ apartment were found to be too infested to treat, said Kevin Connelly, general manager of A-Alert Exterminating Company, Inc. The pest control company took over treatment last year after a previous exterminator failed to get rid of the bugs.

Collins could not be reached for comment.

Vlad Serban, a graduate student living in the condominium complex, said he first noticed signs of the pest last April. Serban said he had to vacate his apartment to prepare for treatment.

“I noticed bites and they got more and more,” he said. “I asked what was going on and we heard that (bedbug infestation cases) were going on through the building.”

A-Alert Exterminating Company used a cocktail of chemicals to exterminate the bugs, Connelly said. Following the chemical treatment, the company followed up with two canine inspections to seek out bedbug hot spots in the building.

The size of an apple seed, bedbugs live off of blood and spend their days hiding in mattresses, bedsprings, other furniture and cracks around the house. Fertility, hardiness and resistance to chemicals make bedbugs difficult to exterminate, Connelly said. The bugs reproduce within a few months of birth and can last more than a year without feeding.

Serban said exterminators would spray chemicals around his condominium Tuesday.