Hundreds forced out of TX apartment complex due to bed bug infestation

Fort Worth, TX - (NBC) - Bedbugs are forcing hundreds of people out of a downtown Fort Worth, TX, apartment complex.

The critters have infested Hunter Plaza, a complex that is owned by the Fort Worth Housing Authority and caters primarily to the elderly and disabled.

The housing authority is relocating all 219 residents to new homes and getting all of their belongings fumigated.

Doris Haywood, a social worker with the agency, said it did all it could to keep eliminate the bugs.

"They're annoying, they bite, they live off human blood (and) animal blood, and they have a long life expectancy, and they multiply pretty quickly," said Haywood.

She also stated the bedbug problem began last spring, but even after hiring exterminators the bugs returned.

Resident Sherri Bass said didn't realize there was a problem until she was contacted by the housing authority.

"'Sleep tight, don't let the bedbugs bite' -- I thought that was just a saying," Bass says.

"I didn't know there was really bugs," she said.

Bass did not have bedbugs, but she saw what they did to a friend.

"He had them on his leg, and they looked like third-degree burns," explained Bass.

While Bass was happy about the relocation and her new apartment, Mary Sierin, was not.

"I'm very disappointed at the decision to permanently relocate us," said Sierin.

A resident for four years, Sieren said she didn't want to leave, but she said the housing authority staff had been very helpful. Haywood said she met several times with residents to keep them informed about everything that was going on inside their homes.

"A lot of them are excited; they are very apprehensive to leave here because they have been here many years," said Haywood.

A spokesperson for the housing authority said it's too soon to tell what will happen to Hunter Plaza.

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