(MOBILE, Ala.) A Mobile couple is suing a local apartment complex after they say their toddler was attacked by bed bugs for nearly a year.
The Leaird family says it's apartment at Regency Gates on Grelot Road was infested by the red insects.
The Leaird's say they couldn't afford to move because the complex wouldn't let them break their lease.
3-year-old Emma Leaird is full of energy, always smiling.
But earlier this year that wasn't the case.
"I have red bug dreams," said the toddler.
From February 2011 to January of this year the Leaird family lived at Regency Gates Apartments in Mobile.
Olivia Leaird says her daughter was tortured by bed bugs.
"They bite and they crawl on the windows and the refrigerator," said Emma Leaird.
"When your child is suffering in pain and scared and won't even sleep in her own bed, that's emotional torture," said mother Olivia Leaird.
She says she first noticed the bed bugs on her ceiling. Then she found them on her daughter's bed guardrail and started noticing bites on her toddler's body and face.
"They were red and raised. She would scratch them and they would get infected," said Olivia Leaird. "We talked to the apartment complex and they said they would come in and do a heat treatment. I found out shortly there after that they just turned our heating system up and opened the oven door."
Now the Leaird's live in a new apartment at different apartment complex.
The ordeal has been financially taxing.
"This is our living room but it's new, we had to replace everything when we moved. We left everything because we were scared," said Leaird.
On Wednesday the family's attorney filed a lawsuit against Regency Gates. The company refuses to comment because of the pending lawsuit.
"I don't want anybody else's child to have to go through this," said Leaird.
The family's attorney is Thomas Campbell. His law firm recently settled a similar bed bug case in Birmingham against an apartment landlord for $325,000.