Just about every piece of fabric Gloria Paul owns is in a plastic bag. Paul has closets full of bags of clothing that need to be cleaned and the pillow she uses is just a blanket wrapped in plastic. Last month Paul found bed bugs in her apartment at Toomey Abbot Towers near Syracuse University and she's still disinfecting everything from the curtains to the sofa cushions.
"You wake up the next morning and you have all the spots and stuff on your body. So you know you've been bitten," said Paul.
The Syracuse Housing Authority owns and operates the Toomey Abbott Apartments. Crews cleaned Paul's apartment and she hasn't seen any bedbugs for more than a week but three other bedbug cases have been confirmed in the building. Paul is scared the bugs could come back to her apartment at any time. She wants the housing authority to inspect and clean all the neighboring apartments as well as hers.
"I think they're all over by now. It took them a month to come and find the bed bugs here and you know how those things multiply," said Paul.
The housing authority says they are ready to eliminate the bugs as soon as they get a report but can't force their way into apartments.
"I think that many of the tenants would like us to go in and fumigate the whole building but we don't have the right to do that. We can only respond as requests and work orders come in for an infested apartment," said Syracuse Housing Authority Executive Director Bill Simmons
Paul says she is waiting to take most of her clothes, blankets and towels out of plastic bags until she is sure the bugs are gone.