12 OYS: Renter fuming after kerosene used to kill bed bugs, she says

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News 12 at 6 o'clock / June 17, 2014

12 On Your Side

AUGUSTA, Ga. (WRDW) -- Sonji Brantley said she is fuming over a fume problem. "I just feel like this was unfair. We should have been put at the top of the list for emergency. We should not have had to go through this," said Brantley. She said she inhaled toxic chemicals inside her apartment.

"They came in to spray for bed bugs, to exterminate for bed bugs, and this was almost going on two weeks, and the fumes from the machine got all over the apartment," said Brantley.

She said maintenance at Fox Den Apartment off Wrightsboro Road used a chemical that smells like kerosene to treat her carpet for the pests. We arrived to find a pile of carpet sitting outside.

"If you smell it, you can smell the chemicals in it," said Brantley. Workers were inside putting down new carpet. James Bass said he shares the apartment too.

"The fumes were (strong) where you can't hardly breathe. Either you're going sleep with the windows open, or the fan on to try and keep the smell down," said Bass. Minutes after 12 On Your Side showed up, we were ordered to leave the property. Bo Thomas is with Advanced Services pest control, and said treating bed bugs can be difficult.

"Bed bugs are really tough. They are hard to find. They get in really small places," said Thomas. He said there are lots of industry standard chemicals that are made specifically to kill bed bugs, but kerosene is not one of them.

"I would not recommend anybody to use kerosene for any kind of insect control. I would be real careful with anything that's flammable," said Thomas.

As for Brantley and Bass, they said it should not have taken so long to fix the toxic problem. They finally getting to it. I guess because somebody from your office called them, "said Bass.

To clarify. Advanced Services has nothing to do with this problem. We spoke with them because they are experts in knowing what chemicals to use, or not use to get rid of pests.

Meanwhile, we left a message for the corporate office, but never heard back regarding whether kerosene was used in Brantley's apartment.