DES MOINES, Iowa — Residents of a low income apartment complex in Des Moines who have filed a lawsuit against the city aren’t the only ones in the area dealing with bed bugs.
On Wednesday, 55 residents of the Royal View Manor apartment complex filed a class action lawsuit against the City of Des Moines claiming the city isn’t doing enough to combat a bed bug infestation.
At Springer Home Professional Services in Des Moines, managers say over the past five years killing bed bugs has become a major part of their business. The company has dealt with them at schools, health care facilities, and an increasing amount of private residences.
Managers say the bugs are most common in early winter when people are traveling for the holidays and late spring as kids come home for college.
Bed bugs are often spread at low income housing units due to the use of second hand furniture and clothing. A good eye test to see if a mattress or couch has been infested is to look for brown stains.
“In their digestion process, they leave a lot of stains on things like bed linens,” said Eddie Holman, General Manager at Springer Home Solution Services.
Getting rid of the bugs completely is virtually impossible according to Holman.
The bugs can reproduce in just a couple of weeks, lay dozens of eggs each week, and can live for up to 300 days.
“The bed bug is a hitchhiker. They can attach to clothing. They can get inside automobiles. People are becoming more mobile and it’s just a process of bed bugs getting into a home, reproducing, and they reproduce quite fast,” said Holman.
Holman adds that controlling bed bugs requires more than one visit. Springer will often visit a home or building regularly for up to a year to control the pests.