Bed bug invasion in NJ senior complex

November 11, 2009 3:02:24 PM PST
A bed bug invasion had some New Jersey residents worrying they were going to be forced out of their homes. The bed bugs were found at 31 Early Street in Morristown in a building dedicated to seniors. But as it turns out, only one resident may be forced to leave.

"To think that someone would threaten to shut down this building and put a group of seniors at risk, it's ludicrous," tenant Julia Kersey said.

She and several other tenants were hot over rumors the 100-unit senior citizens building was being evacuated because of bed bugs. The Morristown Housing Authority says that was never a plan.

"There is no truth to this story, and I'm very upset because...our residents are all gathered out here, and they're scared," Vera White said.

"We have one tenant in this building who has a serious infestation of bed bugs in her unit," Marion Salley said.

They blame the rumor on the tenant in 1H, Barbara White, whose apartment the Housing Authority says is the source of the bed bugs.

"We went to exterminate her unit yesterday, and she would not allow entry," Salley said.

Outgoing Morristown Mayor Donald Cresitello knows White and, this afternoon, took issue with the blame game.

"We have other people suffering in the building," he said. "I don't like the comments being made that this particular person may have carried them from another unit."

White says she has no bed bugs and refuses to let them spray her apartment because of her medical problems. But in the middle of agreeing to disagree on the cause, the solution may cost White her unit.

Salley says she can't abate the problem in the building and that the Housing Authority will be forced to pursue legal action.