Unwelcome guests

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NEW GLASGOW — In the last 18 months, Camilla Marshall has been dealing with something she wouldn’t wish on anyone. Last May she found herself itchy and scratching all over.

It was after Eastern Mainland Housing Authority came in to inspect her apartment in the seniors complex where she lives that exterminators found out she had bed bugs. Marshall had to get rid of her headboard, footboard, mattress, box spring and a book shelf as well as her couch and a reclining chair.

“I spent five and a half weeks sleeping on the chesterfield living out of Sobey’s bags,” she said. “They do come in and check and spray but (a fellow tenant) keeps bringing in furniture.”

Recently, Marshall said that five apartments, not including hers, as well as the common room all had to be treated for bed bugs. She noted that two chairs have been taken out of the lounge and all the furniture in the room has been treated.

She is getting desperate for the infestation to be capped and has reached out for help to several people or organizations. Among these, she said she has called the Department of Health, Human Rights, the tenancy board, the Ombudsman as well as the Eastern Mainland Housing Authority.

“I have been here in the same apartment for 22 years, why should I move?” she said. At its worst, Marshall said she was going through a box of 100 Band-aids in a month.

Marshall is hoping things can be resolved soon. She believes another resident in the complex is responsible for bringing in the pests. She said she would like to see him either have his apartment cleaned and forbidden to bring in new furniture or to have him removed from the building.

“We’re at our wit’s end. What can we do and who’s going to listen to us,” she asked.

A call to Eastern Mainland Housing Authority was not returned by press time.

Camilla Marshall shows some of the bite scars she has from bed bugs, a year after she was bitten.

(Brimicombe photo)

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