POPLAR BLUFF, MO (KFVS) - Poplar Bluff Housing Authority officials say pesky bed bugs may never completely evacuate one public housing apartment complex.
While they're working to do everything they can to get rid of the bugs, residents say it's a problem with which they're all too familiar.
"They're just coming in from everywhere, making homes where they can," Twin Towers resident Stephanie Wetton said.
"You can't hardly see them then they bite and scratch," Twin Towers resident Arby Nixon said.
Even though many residents like Wetton haven't had them in their apartments, they say, basically everyone in the building has dealt with the problem.
"They're two floors down from mine. I'm on the 15th floor," Wetton said. "We had to package everything up in plastic bags and cover the bed in plastic. Whatever is exposed has to be covered."
However, residents say authorities are fighting back.
"They do what they can to get rid of them. They do a good job here, they really do," Wetton said.
It's an ongoing battle, one that not only the Housing Authority is fighting.
"Lodgings, rescue missions may be dealing with it, dormitories, almost anywhere that a person lays down and sleeps," Chris Grider with the Butler County Health Department said.
Contrary to popular belief, Grider said bed bugs aren't a result of bad housekeeping or dirty homes.
"These are carry-ins, they're things that someone is bringing in in their luggage, in their purses, in their clothing, in their bed mattresses they're buying," Grider said.
Once they're there, they're a pain to get rid of and easy to spread.
"They hide very well and they hide in nooks and crannies. You know, a bed bug is anywhere from one millimeter to seven millimeters in size, about the size of the face on a penny," Grider said.
As for folks at Twin Towers, they're wishing these creepy crawlers would go away for good.
"It's just like anything, you know, someone says lice, you just want to scratch, you know," Nixon said.
Officials with the Housing Authority say, of course, the main goal is to completely get rid of bed bugs, but as with any multi-tenant building, with people constantly moving furniture in and out, that may not be possible.
Grider said, parents beware, bed bugs are so easily transferred that students accidentally bring them to school and send them home with other kids.