SANTA MARIA, Calif. - 87 year old Karl Winkelhardt says the blood stained sheets on his bed reveal how bad a bed bug problem he has in his studio room at the Laz-E-Daze Apartments on North Broadway in Santa Maria.
Like most of this fellow tenants, Winkelhardt lives on a fixed income and pays $920 a month rent to live at Laz-E-Daze.
"Anybody who has a problem here we try to stay on it because we deal closely with the city, with the county", says Ed Galanski who is the Laz-E-Daze landlord.
Galanski says he spends hundreds, sometimes thousands of dollars in pesticide and extermination treatments in his rooms.
"Depending on what they have", Galanski says, "if it's a bed bug issue, it requires heat treating which is the number one way to get rid of that stuff, we go with that, if its just minor then we try to spray things first, we get it all done, we get it taken care of."
Galanski says often bed bugs and other pest-related issues are caused by visitors that tenants allow in their rooms, including the homeless, which is apparently the case with Karl Winkelhardt who's had his room heat-treated twice for bed bugs.
"At first we let them know that we'll take care of it", Galanski says, "but if its an ongoing basis then we have to take a look at the tenant and decide that maybe this is not the right place for him if they can't take care of themselves."
Laz-E-Daze is a former senior independent living facility but is now open for rent to the general public.