YUBA CITY (CBS 13) – Denise Smisor says she woke up covered in painful bed bug bites after spending the first night in her new apartment.
“I started looking and immediately found them all over the place,” Denise said.
Denise captured video on her cell phone of a bed bug crawling on the carpet in her bedroom. She also took photos of dried human blood and bed bug feces she found along the baseboards.
When CBS 13 interviewed Denise at her apartment, we too caught bed bugs on our camera.
“I was disgusted. How did they not know that there were bed bugs here?” Denise told CBS 13.
Despite what she saw when she pulled back the molding, Denise said her property manager specifically promised her before she moved in there were no bed bugs.
“They lied to me,” Denise said.
UC Davis Entomology Professor Lynn Kimsey examined Denise’s photos and says they prove a bed bug infestation has been growing for months.
“I would call it a massive infestation.” Kimsey said.
Tenant’s rights attorney Mitch Abdallah said the law protects renters from filthy conditions.
“They have to have an apartment or a house…that’s free of vermin or insects,” said Abdallah.
Considering Denise lived in her apartment for one day, she says she wants out.
Denise said she told her property manager: “You told me there were no bugs. Just give me my money back and take me out of the lease. I want my stuff cleaned and I’ll leave – and they didn’t.”
After CBS 13 directed her to put her request in writing, the property manager emailed Denise and said, “The owner has agreed to let you out of your lease.”
Once Call Kurtis reached out to Trident Properties, Denise said they agreed to clean all of her belongings – plus pay her $1000 for all of her troubles.
Denise was also paid for some bedding and a hotel stay.
Trident properties had no comment, other than to say: “The matter regarding Denise Smisor has been resolved.”
Before moving into a rental apartment or home, check out the baseboards, the carpet and electrical outlets – and dark places bed bugs might be hiding in during the day.
If you spot pests before moving in, let your landlord know. If they don’t do anything to resolve the issue, you can report it to your county’s health department.