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Franklin Couple Struggles with Brown Recluse Infestation -- Mikayla Lewis

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FRANKLIN, Tenn.-- A brown recluse spider infestation is how one Franklin couple was welcomed into their new apartment.

Tom Baum and his husband Dr. Mario Lehenbauer moved into a bigger apartment at Wyndchase Aspen Grove last month with their two kids and dog.  They expected more space, the couple didn't anticipate roommates.

Tom Baum  says, "After we got settled, set everything up, Mario noticed a spider in the guest bathroom."

 It was a brown recluse known to be dangerous and it wouldn't be the last time the couple saw one.

Baum says, "That kind of started a series of events where we started looking a little bit more and from that day forward we started finding brown recluse, exponentially in some cases and we reported it to our apartment complex."

Throughout the last few weeks, Baum says the apartment office called an exterminator out to the unit--after he insisted because he pays a pest control fee each month and already put down several bug traps.

 U.S. Pest Protection didn't treat the unit but general manager,  Blake Richardson say,  "Brown recluse treatment isn't a onetime treatment, so serious infestations can take months, even a year to get rid of."

Tom Baum says the neighbor below is still experiencing a brown recluse infestation after nearly 3  years.

Tom Baum says, "To find out this was an existing condition in the apartment that they let us move in here knowing that this could be a problem and the moment we report it, not treating it as if that problem. We felt like we were betrayed."

The leasing office wouldn't answer Fox 17's questions. We reached out to the legal department  in which we're still waiting for a response.

Tom Baum says, "The peace of mind, you know you're paying a lot of money for an apartment that you don't feel comfortable in so ultimately I feel like that is part of the lease, what I am paying for and when that's gone... I am overpaying."

Baum says the apartment complex is allowing them to get out of their lease, without any early termination fees. The couple is seeking compensation for the extra moving costs, though.

U.S Pest Protection tips:

-Place 3-4 sticky bug traps along walls in each room of your home

- Eliminate any clutter on and off the floors

- Do not keep cardboard boxes around, which brown recluse spiders love. Use plastic bins with lids to store items in.

Fox 17 will keep you updated on this developing story.

Follow Mikayla Lewis on Twitter @MikaylaFox17.

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