Complex Will Pay to Treat Bed Bug Problem

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OVERLAND PARK, Kan. -- A young couple found bed bugs in their apartment and they wanted help from their apartment complex to pay for the $850 treatment to get rid of the pesky problem.

FOX 4 has learned the Retreat of Shawnee apartments will treat the couple's unit and all the other units in the building free of charge. Management says after talking to their exterminator they decided it would be best to be proactive.

Shane Hicks moved into the Retreat of Shawnee in May of 2011. His wife, Michelle Hicks, joined him four months later.

"We noticed some marks on my wife's arm that looked like mosquito bites," said Shane Hicks.

At first Michelle thought it was a rash caused by a switch in laundry detergent. But then she realized it was caused by bed bugs.

The couple says they contacted apartment management and an inspector came out to look at the problem. The couple says they got rid of their bed, bedding, headboard and box spring after the inspector found bed bugs and eggs. Then the Hicks say the inspector came back and told them that everything looked good.

Then, a short time later, the Hicks say the bed bugs were back. They don't know if they brought the bed bugs into the apartment or if they were already there when they moved into the apartment. But they hope that a contract, called the Bed Bug Addendum, is changed for future renters.

"They expected us within that addendum to enter into the apartment, and in entering into the apartment, to identify whether or not you see bed bugs," Michelle Hicks said.  "As if they would just be crawling across the walls."

"Bed bugs are tiny creatures that lay even tinier eggs," said Shane Hicks. "You can't come into an apartment and say, 'Hey, I see a bed bug.'"

The Hicks hope the Bed Bug Addendum will change to have an inspection done by a professional before renters move into the apartment complex.

Again, apartment management decided to pay for all of the units in the Hicks' building to be treated for bed bugs free of charge.

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