CHICAGO (CBS) — You might want to put down your breakfast. The Morning Insiders have a story that will make your skin crawl.
An apartment in south suburban Lansing has been overrun by pests, but the tenant says it’s not her fault.
CBS 2’s Tim McNicholas discovered the phone call she made that got results, and it wasn’t to her landlord or an exterminator.
Lisa Becker’s apartment is crawling with uninvited guests; some already dead, some scurrying to their demise at 3002 Bernice Ave.
Becker and her son go through a lot of tissues squash the bugs, but they can only handle so much.
“Sometimes I see three, and sometimes I see two,” her son said.
Various bugs have pestered Becker on and off for three years. She said SCL Management has made some efforts to kill the bugs, but the problems kept coming back, and in the past few months the situation got worse.
Becker claimed a mouse appeared in her apartment last week.
CBS 2 spotted more roaches in her building’s hallway, and the laundry room two floors below Becker’s apartment.
“It makes me feel uncomfortable,” Becker said.
She wound up calling the Lansing Building Department. The commissioner contacted the property manager, and then an exterminator got on the case.
It turned out an untidy tenant below Becker had an even worse pest problem.
Management moved that person out, and the exterminator treated the apartment below Becker’s, but she said “It caused the infestation to get worse, and everything to move up.”
That’s when Becker contacted CBS 2. We called the building commissioner again, and within hours the exterminator returned to work on Becker’s unit.
The exterminator said he already planned on going back.
“It’s actually a little bit of a weight off my shoulders now, so maybe I can actually sleep a little bit better tonight,” Becker said.
Becker said the maintenance crew started to seal up some of the cracks in her walls, and the exterminator said work also is being done on the unit below.
The Lansing building commissioner said, in buildings with a few apartments or more, it’s on the landlord to take care of the pests.
“I want it to be over and done with,” Becker said.
The commissioner said he’d follow up to make sure the bugs go away for good. CBS 2 will do the same.
CBS 2 reached out to building management and didn’t hear back.
Becker has withheld part of her rent for the past two months due to the bug problem, but that might not be the best idea.
For a list of dos and don’t when it comes to nasty apartment conditions, check out our handy guide.
Meantime, another woman who complained about pests in her apartment got some satisfaction after CBS 2 got involved. Angela Blakely told the Morning Insiders the conditions in her Arlington Heights apartment were “beyond horrendous,” due to an infestation of gnats, ants, roaches, and spiders.
After her story aired, her landlord let her out of her lease with no penalty. She packed up and moved on to a new pest-free home.