LAS CRUCES, New Mexico - A group of Las Cruces residents is complaining about an infestation of bedbugs in a west Las Cruces apartment complex.
"You have those little things crawling all over you at night," said a female resident, who has lived at Desert Palms Apartments for two years. "It’s horrible."
"We definitely know it's a problem," said Jeff Curry, who works for JL Gray, the company that owns the low-income housing complex.
Curry said, oftentimes, residents will dispose of furniture, like an infected mattress, and other residents may take that furniture from the dumpster into their units.
"We feel terrible for the tenants who have to deal with this," Curry said. "Especially, the tenants who don't bring them in, but have visitors and have the bedbugs migrate."
In addition to the bedbug problem, some residents claim the complex also has a problem with roaches, fleas and mice.
"You wake up and you’re itching," said the female resident. "It is a really, like, dirty feeling."
Pest control can be expensive, but Curry said the apartment complex has taken over the expense. Cleaning a studio starts at $180, usually requiring three treatments. The greater the size of the unit, the more costly the treatment.
"We don't know where it started," Curry said.
Amale resident said the problem made him want to leave the complex, but that he can't afford to live anywhere else.
"If we could, we definitely would," he said.
The resident said that since he moved in, he's been "constantly spraying insecticide" and bagging up his sheets and clothes.
"They bite," he said. "They bite, alright.”
"We have to spend a lot of money and try to attack it," Curry said. "And try to knock it all the way back down."
However, as old tenants move out, and new tenants move in, Curry said many bring in used furniture that could be infected.
"As the population turns over, as people move out and new people come in, then you have to start over," Curry said.
ABC-7's New Mexico Mobile Newsroom could not find a resident to speak out without being granted anonymity. All tenants who spoke to ABC-7 expressed fear of eviction if they were identified.