Residents report bed bugs in Lake Wales Gardens

- After a long hard day, it feels great to be able to jump into bed, lay your head on your pillow, and finally
chill out. But a woman who lives at Lake Wales Gardens, and is afraid to give her name for fear of retribution, says she is not nearly as lucky.

"It's quite terrifying," she told FOX 13. "You don't want to climb into your bed because you're going to wake up with bites."

She and other tenants at the government subsidized apartment complex say bedbugs have invaded and it's driving them nuts. Half a dozen tenants have complained to Lake Wales Code Enforcement, but the problem may be bigger than that.

One tenant said, even though her apartment has bedbugs, she is afraid to report the issue to management for fear of retribution. A spokesman for the company who owns the complex, Cornerstone Properties out of Indiana - said that's an unfounded fear.

"I feel like they should shut this whole place down," Rachine Williams-Flax, another tenant, said. "Everybody should move out until they're done cleaning it up."

Williams-Flax says she has been bitten, and it's annoying, but she is concerned it might become a medical problem if her 6-month-old son is bitten.

"I don't want my baby getting bit because it's a newborn. You can have allergic reactions when it bites you," Williams-Flax said.

A company representative says Cornerstone has called in a nationally known pest control company which is spraying individual apartments. He also says the situation is being blown out of proportion.

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