Bed Bugs Force Man Out Of Tulsa Apartment

Monday, April 13th 2015, 11:24 pm
By: Tess Maune

The city of Tulsa's Housing Authority oversees a complex where one tenant said insects have forced him out of his apartment.

The majority of tenants at Pioneer Plaza are disabled, some of them elderly and all of them on fixed incomes.

Michael Burden hasn't been able to work for a few years and lives off only about $1,000 a month. He moved into the complex and said he enjoyed living there, until bed bugs moved in.

“My folks used to tell me, said when we'd go to bed, 'Goodnight, don't let the bedbugs bite,'” he said.

Burdan never thought he'd really have to heed that advice.

“I'd buy spray and spray my bed down every night before I'd go to bed and everything,” he said.

He's lived at the apartments for close to a year and moving in was a proud moment for the disabled grandfather after relying on the Salvation Army or his family for a place to stay.

“I've always supported them, I don't like them having to do for me,” Burdan said. “It was kind of nice having my own place again for the first time in a while.”

But a few months ago, that warm fuzzy feeling turned into something different.

“I'd wake up in the middle of the night and I'd be digging, clawing,” he said.

At first Burdan said he didn't realize bed bugs were the problem, so he sprayed the place down; but when his grandson went home with multiple bug bites, his daughter got concerned.

It wasn't long after that when Burdan said he complained to the property manager.

He said he never heard back, so his family insisted he move out.

“He may have a place to go, but those other people may not. That's why it's such a big deal to me. He can move out, but those other people, they're stuck and they have to live in it,” Amanda Blake said.

Housing Authority President Chea Reddit said there have been four reports of bed bug problems, but none from Burdan.

She said, "We don't want anybody to live in any kind of infestation and we have spent a great deal of time and money to keep that from happening."

Burdan is staying with his daughter for now, but still paying for his place at Pioneer Plaza.

The Housing Authority said it will go in to Burdan's apartment as soon as possible to exterminate, then will go back in again in ten days.