"I think we're going to see things just like the New York situation," says Kells.
Shawn Christenson's building paid for an exterminator to spray chemical pesticides. Two treatments later, the smell—slightly sweet—hangs in the air of her nearly empty apartment. She slashed the cushions on her couch, chaise lounge and chairs to keep people from scavenging them, and threw them out—in total, $2,400 worth of furniture.
Now that her bedroom is overrun with bed bugs, Shawn Christenson's 13-year-old daughter sleeps on an air mattress in the living room
"This is where we live now," she says, staring down at a purple air mattress in the middle of the floor. "The only good part is you get less attached to material things."
In the meantime, they've stopped telling strangers about it. It makes people think the Christensons are dirty. Her daughter doesn't want anyone at school to know. But she won't move until her lease is up. In part, she's convinced she'll either bring the bed bugs with her or find them already infesting her new apartment.
"You don't know where you're going to go that's going to have them," she says, throwing up her hands. "Where do you go?"