Bed Bug Battle: Cedar Rapids Man Tries to Smash Infestation

By Jill Kasparie, Reporter

CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa - A Cedar Rapids man takes his bed bug battle to the public.

After living in an apartment infested with bed bugs for more than a year, George Halfhill has had enough. He said the other three units in the building on 15th St. SE also have bed bugs.

"I am just flabbergasted," Halfhill said.

When enough is enough, Halfhill takes action. He put a sign out his window that reads "bed bugs 2 + years, help." People are starting to take notice.

"I put the sign out asking for help from this community in combating this. It's a community thing and needs to be fought that way," Halfhill said. "If these landlords are going to be renting properties in this area, they need to work with us."

He said all four units in the building are coated in bed bugs.

"We have hundreds of them all over," Halfhill said.

At night, the bed bugs come out and in the morning George says his family has red bites all over. He wrote a letter to the city identifying the problem. The housing inspections department said it has notified the landlord that he has until July 15 to prove he's hired pest control.

"The landlord is moving in people without disclosing the fact that the building is infested with bed bugs," Halfhill said.

Ruby Perin with Linn County Public Health said landlords are not required by law to tell tenants about a bed bug infestation.

"There are certainly some states that have taken action to change their landlord/tenant laws, in association with bed bugs so there have certainly been more states that have been more proactive," Perin said.

Halfhill said he's just ready to get a good night's sleep, but with the sheer number of bugs, he doesn't think that will happen any time soon.

KCRG tried repeatedly to get ahold of the landlord, but he didn't return any calls.
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