neighbor brought in bed bugs, help!

By Jamie Ahrens

I have lived in my apartment for almost 2 years.  I live in a 4-plex apartment, 3 of 4 four apartments have been occupied by the same people for my entire stay here.  I have never had an issue with any type of bug until 6-7 months ago I had a neighbor move into the empty apartment on the opposite side of my bedroom wall (which is her bedroom wall as well).  About 4 months ago I was sleeping and woken up by something crawling on me, freaking out I smashed it, later researched it (after flushing it) and come to find it was a bedbug.  I call my landlord, tell her I think I found a bed bug, she tells me since I flushed it I need to find another one.  Okay no big deal, I rip my apartment to shreds, pull everything apart, away from walls, etc and no signs of bedbugs.  Put diatomaceoous earth down anyways, buy some mattress covers just in case. 

2 months after this I’ve woken up with about 20+ bite marks on my legs (all of which I have taken pictures of), all in patterns of 3-4 just like a bed bug leaves.  Again, I pull everything apart, diatomaceous earth applied everywhere again, and find 2 dead bed bugs.  I call my landlord, tell her I have proof (20+ bite marks and dead bugs and upon searching also blood stains).  And the landlord tells me that still isn’t enough proof, she wants live bugs, she basically wants an all-out infestation before she will do something.  The mattress cover tore, so I decided to try one of the more expensive ones, bought "bed bug traps" to put under my bedposts, which have collectively cost me around $200 that I really don’t have extra on hand.

I am now in the range of 40 bites (usually just 1 or 2 sets appearing at a time) I am still finding small blood stains (even with washing my bedding twice a week thanks to this).  I am still reapplying diatomaceous earth after every vacuum (in hopes to prevent this from turning into the infestation she wants).  Then I found a live bed bug.  Called my landlord at 8 this morning, no answer and no returned call as of 1 in the afternoon. 

I can only assume that this new neighbor brought these in with her as the problem did not exist for a year and a half prior to her moving in here.  The landlord has pretty much refused to do anything about this.  I’m a college student working part time, I don’t have the money to hire an exterminator, or to move, or to buy new furniture if it comes down to that.  I’m incredibly angry and disgusted and really don’t know where to go with this from here.  Do I sue for her refusal to stop a problem or to replace my furniture and fund my moving to somewhere different and risk spreading this elsewhere?  I’d like to know what my options are here, and what the law says her responsibilities are to protect me from something someone else obvsiously brought in here.

Edited on: Saturday, January 14th, 2012 2:09 pm

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