A bed bug invasion at a Dartmouth housing complex could chase residents out of their rooms while workers try to get rid of the tiny pests.

The Metropolitan Regional Housing Authority has been going through all 200 units of Alderney Manor looking for the bugs.

The tenants, mostly seniors, were told their apartments were going to be inspected. If the rooms have to be sprayed, they'll have to bag all their possessions and leave for two to four hours.

"You don't want to chase [bed bugs] from one apartment to the next, so we wanted to make sure exactly what we had to treat for," said John Fleming, with the housing authority.

Bed bugs don't carry diseases, but they do bite. They're also tough to get rid of.

Stewart Romans knows it all too well.

His apartment has been sprayed four times, and he found more bugs Monday. He has already trashed many of his belongings and what is left is in bags.

"It kind of makes it a little difficult when you have to tear your place apart and do your laundry, wash it and clean it," Romans said. "Of course, I've had to purchase a new mattress."

Bill Grady, another resident, has also had to throw out a bed. He says the bug problem isn't new.

"I guess about a year and a half ago, two years ago we started getting them in the building," Grady said.

Dave Holland, with Braemar Pest Control Services, says multiple treatments are necessary in many cases to get rid of bed bugs.

"A number of years ago, we had a number of different types of insecticides that would last very long. Now we have stuff that's meant to do its job, then it's no good," he said.

Holland says bed bugs leave behind a blackish-brown substance, so one of the easiest ways to spot them is by using white sheets.