North Park apartment residents battle bed bugs

SAN DIEGO - Some upset residents called Team 10 after they said their apartment building in North Park has become infested with bed bugs.

Residents of the 16-unit complex on Louisiana Street said the infestation started in one unit and spread to at least 13 others. Tenants showed Team 10 Troubleshooter Cristin Severance bed bugs in the laundry room, trash can and washer at the complex.

"It's creepy. I feel like bugs are crawling everywhere," said resident Karen Kash, who told Team 10 there are bed bugs in her home. "I can't sleep at night. I broke out in rashes, my eyes swelled shut."

Resident Phil Harris said he has bed bugs in his apartment as well, adding, "It's just hell. You don't get any sleep."

According to residents, a couch from one of the infested units was thrown away behind the complex in an alley. They said the man who owned the couch is blind and elderly.

"Somebody threw his sofa out Friday," said Kash, who put a sign up warning people not to take the couch home.

"Well, I wanted to warn the neighbors," Kash said.

The tenants have told the landlords, and some tenants were given drug store pesticides.

However, Harris said they need a professional to come in and spray the entire building.

Harris told Team 10 that the landlords, Steve and Louis Monaco, sent several tenants letters informing them that they must pay to get rid of the bed bugs or they may get a 60-day eviction notice.

Team 10 called the landlords and went to their home, but no one answered the door.

"It is his responsibility; we have human hygiene problems," said Harris.

The tenants said they won't stop fighting until the Monacos do something.

They said many of the people who live at the complex are elderly, cannot afford an exterminator or do not understand what is going on.

Attorneys told Team 10 the tenant that brought the bed bugs to the complex bears some responsibility.

Ultimately, attorneys said, the landlord is responsible for making sure the building is habitable for the innocent tenants.

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