MANATEE COUNTY, Fla. (WFLA) – A Bradenton woman is seeking a permanent solution to an issue she says she’s been dealing with for more than a year.
Eighty-two-year-old Katherine Wieder says she started getting bug bites around February 2020. She believes the small bugs were gaining access to her second floor condo through an areca palm tree outside her home.
The 82-year-old says she’s hired pest crews, cleaners and even spent time at a nearby hotel as her house was fumigated. The issue improved but wasn’t fully resolved. She still found the small bugs coming through her windows and making their way into her cabinets and even the refrigerator.
“They were all over the place,” Wieder said. “I had my windows and screens cleaned, I had insecticide put in the tracks of my windows, I have had everything I could think of done,” continued Wieder.
The resident contacted her HOA and the complex’s management company for help. She said they trimmed the tree, but refused to let her cover costs to remove and replace it.
“The solution would be removing the tree and replacing it with something that doesn’t grow against the building. I would be willing to do that at my expense and I told them that,” said Wieder. “I tried doing it according to the rules and regulations and it didn’t help me. I had to take matters into my own hands and hired someone at my expense to trim it all the way down so at least I would have reprieve for the summer,” she continued.
The woman felt no one was hearing her out, so she called 8 On Your Side.
“It has just been ongoing for so long and I have never found a solution. I have reached out in every way I can to try and get this resolved and I haven’t been successful,” said the 82-year-old. “It has been extremely stressful and this is not the way I planned my retirement years.”
8 On Your Side called and emailed the HOA and the complex’s Sarasota County-based management company.
Argus Management officials told us they’ve tried working with Wieder multiple times in the past. They say they have trimmed the tree and have had pest companies come out on multiple occasions. A board member told 8 On Your Side the pest companies they hired found no proof of an insect infestation.
An Argus Management official explained the woman violated documents of the association by cutting the tree and she would be held responsible for its replacement. The plant to replace the tree will need to be approved by the board.
Wieder says that was the solution she was seeking in the first place.
“It is unimaginable why I wasn’t allowed to remove that tree and replace it at my expense. Especially since I am at the end of the community where nobody sees it,” said the condo owner.