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Hundreds of Richmond apartments infested with bed bugs

RICHMOND, Va. (WTVR)–An air mattress is what one Richmond woman chooses to sleep on after tossing out her old bed and furniture because of bed bugs.

“I don’t have any living room furniture; no couch, because of bed bugs,” says Angela Conley.

And she says she won’t get any new furniture until she knows the infestation is really gone–from the apartment complex.

Those bed bugs forced Conley into a newer apartment within Gilpin Court after her last unit became severely infested with the little bugs.

“Every time I sleep on a bed, I’m thinking I’m going to get bit,” says Conley.

She’s bed bug free now, but Conley tells CBS 6, the problem appears to be growing around her. She says neighbors and several friends in other Richmond Redevelopment and Housing Authority properties recently spotted bed bugs in their homes.

CBS 6 obtained documents which reveal more than 300 RRHA housing units throughout the city were infested with bed bugs at last check. Conley believes it’s because RRHA didn’t act soon enough to keep them from spreading.

“They said they really couldn’t do anything to get rid of it,” says Conley.

CBS 6 tried to speak with administrators on camera at RRHA headquarters about this issue.

The housing authority wouldn’t face our cameras, but instead, e-mailed a statement which reads in part, “RRHA engaged in 100 percent canine inspection of bed bugs at all RRHA units and provided the necessary treatment and remediation.”

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We contacted the State Health Department to find out if they were concerned about these bed bugs invading neighboring communities.

A state entomologist says no, calling beg bugs more of a nuisance than a health threat.

“They haven’t been proven to transmit any diseases,” says David Gaines.

Despite that, Conley says, she’ll keep fighting them off herself until the problem is completely fixed.

“We have to try to get rid of it ourselves. But, it’s hard. You know?” says Conley.

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