Bed Bug Relief Coming for Fairfax County Resident

Jin Prugsawan's skin is mottled with bed bug bites. Her 10th floor apartment in the Circle Towers Apartments is littered with plastic bags of clothing. Bed bugs can't cling to the slick surface.  The mattress stands against the wall, covered in bedbug resistant plastic. But Prugsawan's bedbug battle may be nearing an end.

Apartment managers and pest control specialists toured the George Mason University senior's unit Thursday and agreed to her demand that heat treatment -- more expensive than chemicals -- be used to zap the bugs. Prugsawan is moving out after graduation and spray treatments that can take weeks to work wouldn't have guaranteed her belongings would be bed bug free in time. Prugsawan went public with her plight on Wednesday, contacting the Fairfax County Health Department.

"I'm really satisfied with the result," said Prugsawan. "What we wanted from the start was to get heat treatment so they'd be eliminated completely."

Prugsawan was the second 10th floor resident to report bed bugs to the health department in the past few weeks. And a third tenant, who hasn't called authorities, had bed bugs crawling across his carpet Thursday.

A spokesman for Circle Towers issued a statement defending their response:

"We treated the affected apartment within the first 48 business hours of being notified. Shortly after the treatment, a thorough inspection performed by pest control professionals confirmed that the problem had been eliminated. ... Any suggestion that there is a major pest problem at our Circle Towers community is contrary to the truth."

Fairfax County Health Department officials say while they can't force landlords to take action, they will follow up on the two residents who have complained. They sent a letter to Circle Towers urging them to deal with the bed bugs and to check other units. Some other tenants on the 10th floor said no one from apartment management has come to their door checking to see if they, too, had a bed bug problem.

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