Bed bugs continue to plague Ridge apartment

Bed bugs are still plaguing the Sorrento Apartments in Maple Ridge as tenants look for answers

Kim Aeichele and her son Dakota

Kim Aeichele and her son Dakota

Bed bugs are still plaguing the Sorrento Apartments in Maple Ridge and residents there want the building’s management to do something about it.

Julianna Colonna moved into the apartment building nearly a month ago with her 13-month-old daughter Sophia and three-month-old son Isaiah.

Colonna said she wasn’t told the building had a history of bed bugs when she went to rent her suite. When it came time to move in, she says the carpets weren’t cleaned and the unit was a mess.

“You could tell the place had just been abandoned,” she said.

Within days of moving in, she says her children began to get bug bites. At first, Julianna thought it might be chicken pox, but soon found bed bugs in the crevice of her mattress.

Julianna’s mom Julia is livid her daughter wasn’t warned about the bed bugs.

“Who in their right mind would rent this suite to a single mom with two kids,” she said.

Kim Aeichele has lived at the Sorrento Apartments for nine years with her 16-year-old son Dakota and says bed bugs showed up in her unit two months ago.

Aeichele is on disability for fibromyalgia and arthritis, and said she has had to sleep with her pants tucked into her socks to avoid bites.

“I haven’t had a good night’s sleep in two months,” she said.

She wants the building’s property management company, Amacon, to fumigate the building from top to bottom.

“They fumigated all the units around me, so the bed bugs had to go somewhere, so they came here,” she said. “The last two months have been hell.”

David Sutherland, vice-president of residential properties for Amacon, which manages the Sorrento Apartments, as well as the Sunrise Apartments next door, said his company has spent more than $30,000 to spray the buildings in recent months.

“It’s swept through both buildings like a plague,” he said of the bed bugs.

Sutherland believed recent eradication efforts had eliminated the pest from the buildings, and was unaware of the current bed bug issues.

“We will be distributing a notice to tenants asking them if they have any bed bug issues, and will send out pest control if there’s a problem,” he said. “If this is still an issue, we’ll take care of it.”

Sutherland blames the bed bug problem in the building on low-income residents who have grabbed used or discarded furniture from off the street and elsewhere in the community, and brought it into their units.

Sutherland said the company has also spent $2,500 on a metal cage to protect the building’s garbage bin, to prevent people from grabbing infested furniture.

“It’s in our best interest to make sure there’s no bed bugs in our buildings,” he said. “No one wants to rent in an apartment with bed bugs.”

Serrina Green, a single mother with two kids living in the Sorrento Apartments, said her unit is bed bug-free at the moment, but is worried it could become infested.

“We can’t afford to replace all our belongings,” she said.

While some residents in the building want the District of Maple Ridge to step in, bylaws manager Liz Holitzki said the city’s building maintenance bylaws do not cover bed bugs.

“The bylaw refers only to the structure of the building, not the cleanliness or condition,” she said.

Bed bugs range in size from near microscopic to the head of a pin, and can live and breed in the smallest of crevices. They feed on human blood and are notoriously difficult to kill.

Any furniture that has been infested with bed bugs needs to sealed and disposed of properly to prevent any further spread, according to Peter Steinfort, owner of Care Pest and Wildlife Control.

Bed bugs like environmental conditions similar to humans, especially dark, humid areas, and can be found just about anywhere where there are people. They are nocturnal and attracted to body heat and exhaled carbon dioxide.

Tell-tale signs of bed bugs are dark brown or black fecal staining on mattresses, blood staining on sheets, and dead bed bugs themselves.

To kill bed bugs, there are a variety of chemical, and non-chemical solutions available.

Thermal remediation has proven to be particularly effective, and involves no chemicals. With this method, an apartment is sealed and heaters placed throughout to heat the apartment past the bed bugs’ thermal kill point of 50 C.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

The Maple Ridge Community Foundation is hosting a trivia night fundraiser on Hit TV. (Special to The News)
Connie Werzun has taken up photography classes, and tok this picture along the dikes at Jerry Sulina Park one night recently. Using a seven-minute exposure, “a photo taken at night looks like it was taken during the day.” (Special to The News)
SHARE: Night photo of mountain range appears as day

Send us your photo showing how you view Maple Ridge or Pitt Meadows, and it could be featured soon.

Raphael Baruh of Slavic Rolls creates one of his Eastern European desserts at the Maple Ridge food truck festival on Saturday afternoon. (Neil Corbett/The News)
Food Truck Festival in Maple Ridge this weekend

Pick the drive-through lane for the food you like at Albion Fair Grounds

Coyotes walk down a Maple Ridge residential street. (Special to The News)
Security camera shows coyotes walking down Maple Ridge street

A warning to Silver Valley residents to keep their pets indoors, says home owner

Coach Ray Wakeman and the Maple Ridge Lawn Bowling Club are looking for new members. (Neil Corbett/The News)
Maple Ridge club looking for lawn bowlers

Games have been modified for safety during COVID-19

B.C. Health Minister Adrian Dix and Premier John Horgan describe vaccine rollout at the legislature, March 29, 2021. (B.C. government)
1,262 more COVID-19 infections in B.C. Friday, 9,574 active cases

Province’s mass vaccination reaches one million people

Two-year-old Ivy McLeod, seen here on April 9, 2021 with four-year-old sister Elena and mom Vanessa, was born with limb differences. The family, including husband/dad Sean McLeod, is looking for a family puppy that also has a limb difference. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)
B.C. family looking for puppy with limb difference, just like 2-year-old Ivy

Ivy McLeod born as bilateral amputee, now her family wants to find ‘companion’ puppy for her

Emergency crews on scene after a small plane crashed in a grassy area on the northeast side of Boundary Bay Airport Saturday morning (April 10). A freelancer said the plane caught fire and one person was transported to hospital by BC Emergency Health Services. (Photo: Shane MacKichan)
1 taken to hospital after plane crash at Metro Vancouver airport

Plane appears to have suffered ‘significant’ damage, says freelancer

A vehicle that was driven through the wall of a parkade at Uptown Shopping Centre and into the nearby Walmart on April 9 was removed through another hole in the wall later that night. (Photo via Saanich Police Department and Ayush Kakkar)
Vehicle launched into B.C. Walmart removed following rescue of trapped workers

Crews cut new hole in parkade wall to remove vehicle safely

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Four members with Divers for Cleaner Lakes and Oceans were out at Cultus Lake on March 28 and 29 hauling trash out of the waters. (Henry Wang)
PHOTOS: Out-of-town divers remove 100s of pounds of trash from Cultus Lake

Members of Divers for Cleaner Lakes and Oceans hauled out 470 pounds of trash over two days

As of Saturday, April 10, people born in 1961 are the latest to be eligible for a COVID-19 vaccine. (Black Press files)
B.C. residents age 60+ can now register to get their COVID-19 vaccine

Vaccine registration is now open to people born in 1961 or earlier

A new saline gargle test, made in B.C., will soon be replacing COVID-19 nasal swab tests for kids. (PHSA screenshot)
Take-home COVID-19 tests available for some B.C. students who fall ill at school

BC Children’s Hospital plans to provide 1,200 kits to Vancouver district schools this April

Ruming Jiang and his dog Chiu Chiu are doing fine following a brush with hypothermia that saw several people work together to get them out of the Fraser River near Langley’s Derby Reach Park on March 25, 2021 (Special to the Advance Times)
Man finds men who rescued him from drowning in B.C.’s Fraser River

A grateful Ruming Jiang says he will thank them again, this time in person when the pandemic ends

Most Read