Cape Girardeau woman says apartment was infested with bedbugs - KFVS12 News & Weather Cape Girardeau, Carbondale, Poplar Bluff

Cape Girardeau woman says apartment was infested with bedbugs

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The bed bugs were still crawling actively in the plastic bag she'd placed inside a medicine bottle to keep them from getting out. The bed bugs were still crawling actively in the plastic bag she'd placed inside a medicine bottle to keep them from getting out.
Frala says other tenants noticed the same thing, but were scared to come forward. Frala says other tenants noticed the same thing, but were scared to come forward.
Cindy Frala says she started noticing problems immediately after moving into her Clark Street apartment, including cockroaches and bed bugs everywhere. Cindy Frala says she started noticing problems immediately after moving into her Clark Street apartment, including cockroaches and bed bugs everywhere.
Holloway says the Safe House is working to get Frala new furniture and clothes and she feels her concerns are real. Holloway says the Safe House is working to get Frala new furniture and clothes and she feels her concerns are real.
Frala says she took concerns about the pests and a faulty cook stove to her landlord and she says he never took care of the issues. Frala says she took concerns about the pests and a faulty cook stove to her landlord and she says he never took care of the issues.
CAPE GIRARDEAU, MO (KFVS) -

Bed Bugs, cockroaches, and faulty appliances. What are your rights when your rented home or apartment has issues and you feel your landlord isn't doing anything to help?

We talked to one woman with quite a story about her Cape Girardeau apartment.

Cindy Frala says she started noticing problems immediately after moving into her Clark Street apartment, including cockroaches and bed bugs everywhere.

She says other tenants noticed the same thing, but were scared to come forward. As a domestic violence survivor Frala says she's not.

Frala met us at the Safe House with a bag of live bed bugs she says she saved from the apartment. She has since moved out with the help of a community organization.

"A couple of them I caught biting me," said Frala.

The bed bugs were still crawling actively in the plastic bag she'd placed inside a medicine bottle to keep them from getting out.

"They're about the size of ticks," said Frala. "I'm not the only one that has them. The people upstairs from me had bed bugs months ago and then another unit had them really bad."

Frala showed us pictures from one of her neighbors with bed bugs bites on her arms. Frala says she wasn't just infested with bed bugs but cockroaches too.

"It's disgusting and embarrassing," said Frala with tears in her eyes. "I would have to have a cup beside the tub and when I'd be taking a bath I'd have to scoop roaches out of the water."

Frala says she took concerns about the pests and a faulty cook stove to her landlord and she says he never took care of the issues.

"He just kept saying he'd get to it but he never did," said Frala.

So Frala filed a complaint with the city. The head of inspection services confirms several violations found in Frala's apartment including insect infestation. In the meantime, Frala moved out. She says most of her belongings had to be thrown out. A survivor of domestic abuse, everything Frala owned came from the Semo Safe House.

"I think it's just sad and disappointing because she's worked so hard and we worked hard to get her everything that she needed," said Becky Holloway, Frala's case worker.

Holloway says the Safe House is working to get Frala new furniture and clothes and she feels her concerns are real.

"More tenants started reaching out and we'd hear them when Cindy would call us," said Holloway. "I was very alarmed that there were disabled women that could not leave and they were sitting there with bed bugs."

Frala says her friends and neighbors deserve better.

"It is very important that I stand up," said Frala. "There are a lot of people that are scared, they are terrified of losing their place and being homeless."

Frala says other tenants are afraid if they speak out the problems will come back on them.

Tim Morgan, director of Inspection Services, tells us a letter went out to the landlord in the mail Thursday. The letter is a listing the violations and what can be done to solve the problem.

Meanwhile, we also tried to get in touch with Cindy Frala's former landlord. We are waiting to hear back.

The city says if an individual tenant files a complaint, they can go in and inspect that unit. From there it would be determined if the problems are indeed violations, and who or what would be responsible for the problem.

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