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

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.

Just Posted

Maple Ridge pair denied stay of extradition

Two facing charges in India from 2000

Maple Ridge returns to B.C. Supreme Court to address tent city safety

Order to better identify those living in the camp who do not have housing or shelter.

Girl, 6, lured from elementary school, sexually assaulted: Vancouver police

Police are seeking dashcam footage from nearby Sexsmith Elementary School in South Vancouver

Cram the Cruiser event this Thursday

Ridge Meadows RCMP raising donations for Friends in Need Food Bank

Flames start December with two wins

Teddy Bear Toss night this Friday

Ridge hospital foundation helps with mental health

Donates a possible $500k for youth wellness

B.C. Liberals call for outside audit of Speaker’s office

Auditor General implicated in Darryl Plecas accusations of impropriety

Three victims of ex-ski coach Bertrand Charest suing Alpine Canada

The victims are also seeking $150,000 each in punitive damages

Trudeau names four new senators, filling every seat in the Senate

Trudeau has appointed 49 senators since becoming prime minister and will have the chance to appoint more in 2019

B.C. member of parliament takes feds to task on opioid crisis

‘Too many families are tragically losing parents, siblings and children to the opioid crisis.’

Heart attack raises questions about boarding BC Ferries in health emergencies

Quadra Island man recovering after being airlifted to hospital in Victoria

Judge gives Michael Cohen 3 years in prison

Judge William H. Pauley III said Cohen deserved a harsh punishment for crimes including tax evasion

Humboldt Broncos, cannabis, Fortnite: Here are Canadians’ top Google searches for 2018

When celebrities died or Canada Post went on strike, Canada turned to Google

B.C. billionaires worth 5,845 times average middle-income household

Economists argue for changes to Canadian tax system benefitting rich

Most Read