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Tenant Upset with Wenatchee Apartment Manager Over Bed Bugs | Columbia Basin

Dominick Bonny is a columnist and contributor to Source ONE News 

It wasn’t long after Maria Gomez and her family started moving into their new home at the Park View Apartments in Wenatchee on March 23 that her kids began to notice little red bite marks on their arms and legs.

“My 15-year-old was panicking and screaming,” Gomez said.

It was bed bugs, and as the family of five looked around the apartment they noticed live bugs crawling on the walls and carpet. They also noticed the tiny corpses of bed bugs that had been trapped in paint.


Gomez took photos and video footage and then the family left and spent the next two nights in a hotel. During that time Gomez said she repeatedly called and left messages on the Park View tenant emergency line about the situation.

“They wouldn’t answer the emergency number,” she said. “We didn’t even stay here that night.”

On Monday morning the apartment manager, Louis Taylor, got in touch with Gomez and arranged for an inspection of the property by a pest control technician from Sprague Pest Solutions. His name is Nick Simmons, and he did a walk-through with Gomez later that day and treated the apartment for a bed bug infestation.

In his report, Simmons wrote that the apartment had been vacant since last November with no previous history of insect activity. Bed bugs can survive without a host for five months or more, according to The Scientific American.

He also wrote that Gomez said they had been dealing with bed bugs before they moved in.

“The tenant also stated they had been dealing with bed bugs at their previous place of residence a week prior to moving in,” Simmons wrote. “It is likely these bed bugs were brought in on furniture when moving and not previously in the unit.”

Gomez denies saying any such thing.

“I did not say we had bed bugs at our last residence,” she said. “That is not true.”

She said that her family is being blamed for bringing the pests into the unit and pressured to use their renters insurance so Park View, and its parent companies 11 Residential and Pacific Living Properties, can pass the extermination cost onto her.

And to treat a three-bedroom apartment for bed bugs isn’t cheap. The amount due on Simmons’ invoice was $1,115.


That’s in addition to the $400 deposit and the $698.79 Gomez and her husband paid to move in on March 23. She said the apartment manager told her to file a renters insurance claim to cover the cost, but Gomez doesn’t want to do that.

“If I do that I’m taking the blame and we’re admitting we’re responsible,” she said. “I don’t think we should be blamed. It’s really unfair.”

Gomez said Taylor admitted they have dealt with bed bugs at Park View before, but not in her unit, and that the tenants had their renters insurance cover the cost of extermination. Gomez said Taylor is trying to bully and take advantage of tenants who don’t have many alternatives, and that’s why she’s speaking out.

“If I let it go they’re going to do it to other people,” Gomez said.

Gomez’ husband is an agricultural worker and in addition to working 40 hours a week herself, she is enrolled in night classes at Wenatchee Valley College. She is studying to become a medical assistant.

I reached out to Taylor on the phone and asked her about the situation, but she declined to comment on the matter.

“I don’t have business that I attend to with reporters, but thank you for calling,” she said and hung up.

So I followed up via email:

Hi Ms. Taylor,

It seems as if our call got dropped. Here are my questions about unit (redacted) and the bed bugs. I am working on a story about this issue, which I will publish tomorrow. So if you would like to comment please get back to me no later than 10 am tomorrow.

Ms. Gomez said she did not tell Mr. Simmons or anyone else that her family had been dealing with bed bugs at their last place of residence. She says they did not bring bed bugs into the unit.

She also sent me some photos she says are from the unit that show bed bugs painted over. I’ve attached one for your reference.

Gomez said you told her to file a renter’s insurance claim to pay for the treatment. Is that true?

How much does it cost to treat a three-bedroom apartment like Gomez’? And does Sprauge Pest Control handle all of Park View’s pest control services?

In the last year, how many Park View units have been treated for bed bugs?

Thank you for your time.

Later that day I got a call from Latasha Connor with 11 Residential, who gave me the contact info for Tom Daniels, a partner and the vice president of operations of that company. I called and left a message for Daniels but have not heard back.

Pacific Living Properties has an “F” rating, according to the Better Business Bureau.

I also called and spoke to the manager of the hotel the Gomez family stayed at for those two nights while they were waiting for Taylor to get back to them. His name is Steve Tramp, and he’s the general manager of the Comfort Inn in Wenatchee.

He said no one has complained about bed bugs and no staff have noticed or reported any bed bug activity since the weekend of March 23, and said they take bed bugs very seriously, as should all hoteliers.

As for the Gomez family’s next steps, Maria is refusing to pay the invoice she believes is Park View’s responsibility. She has reached out to the Chelan-Douglas Volunteer Attorney Services and has been assigned an attorney.

I’ll stay in touch with Maria and monitor this story.

This is an article Source ONE News Contributor Dominick Bonny. You can read more of his work here.

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