(WKTV) - It's a pesky problem, particularly for seniors who are disabled or in poor health: bedbugs.
A complaint call from one of Utica's senior housing complexes sparked a survey of all three senior housing complexes.
"Ten percent of the senior complexes we found had some incident of bedbug infestation," said Municipal Housing Authority Deputy Director Robert Calli.
Calli says the MHA contracted with a pest control expert, which sprayed the infested units. In addition, some bedding had to be thrown out. Calli says education of tenants and staff is as important as physically treating the problem, and even more important when it comes to prevention. He says pest-control experts have conducted information-filled seminars on the pests and how to keep them out of your home.
"Be careful what you bring into your apartment," Calli said. "The slideshow presentation showed retail stores that had infestation based upon people trying on a piece of clothing, bring it back to the store and putting it back on the shelf, creating an infestation."
"Bedbugs don't discriminate. They're all over, whether it be in public housing, hotels, colleges and any other institutions, but 10% percent is really too many for us," Calli said. "What we've done is try to take a proactive approach, not only in treatment, but in terms of educating the residents."