ANACONDA — Elderly and disabled residents at Hearthstone apartments in Anaconda are frustrated with an infestation of bed bugs that they say is a recurring problem.
“They spray and spray and spray and spray and for as many years as we’ve gone through this, we’re just frustrated. And I keep a pretty tidy apartment, but it’s still our fault,” says tenant Rayna Perrone.
Perrone says she has experienced at least five outbreaks since moving to the complex in 2011 and she and other residents say their complaints go unanswered by building owners Tamarack Property Management Co.
“I want to lay down at night and not see a bug on my bed. I want to not flip my son’s mattress up and find bugs because nobody else bothered to inspect. I want it to be taken serious. It’s not fun. It’s embarrassing. I feel ashamed. I feel targeted for having mental illness,” says tenant Mandy Maxwell.
Tamarack Property Management Co. owns several apartment complexes across the state of Montana and recently faced criticism for a similar bed bug outbreak in a Billings facility.
“There’s got to be something that someone can do for them because they are alone. They don’t have anybody to help them,” says Rebecca Faulkner, a home healthcare provider who works with building tenants.
In an email to MTN News, officials with Tamarack Property Management Co. say that it is up to residents to report bed bugs but, “unfortunately our prevention policies are not always followed. When bed bugs are reported or discovered in our properties, we have an established protocol to deal with them in a timely manner.”
But residents like Maxwelll say that despite their best efforts to keep their spaces clean, the problem persists.
“I want it to be fixed,” says Maxwell.