Bedbugs at Building for the Blind

Another bedbug infestation

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    NEWSLETTERS

    NBCNewYork
    Selis Manor

    For the last eight years, Karen Lapchynski has been living in a studio apartment at "Selis Manor", at 135 West 23rd Street in Manhattan.

    It's a building that serves the blind and visually impaired. But over the course of the last three years, Karen says she's had unwelcome company: bed bugs!

    "I had bed bugs all the way from the bottom of my feet to the top of my face," Karen told NBCNewYork.

    Lapchynski became blind nineteen years ago because of a genetic condition. She says her home has been fumigated several times, most recently three weeks ago.

    She points out "I've had to throw out two couches...two aerobeds, and it looks like this one is gonna have to go too."

    Lapchynski, who once worked as an auditor of nursing homes, says "I'm ashamed to have people come in here to be honest".

    We contacted the building owner, and spokesman Tony Savarese of "Associated Blind" admitted that there have been bed bug problems in the past.  But he says Associated  Blind has spent $85,000 over the last three years to address the problem, which he believes is now "under control."

    He claimed that there are "no new reports" of bed bug infestations in the building.

    Savarese also said the building is trying a new exterminator in two apartments "in the next couple of weeks," hoping to resolve any lingering problems once and for all.

    That exterminator has been recommended by building residents.`

    Lapchynski says she hopes renovation work in the building set to begin in January will help prevent any future infestations. She told us "things need to be done to make it a positive happy place for blind people."

    The building's owner reminds residents that the on-site manager is always available to handle any concerns or complaints.