Are your units occupied by more than just your tenants? New programs that significantly reduce hard-to-eradicate bed bugs among the country’s most at-risk residents have been developed.
There are benefits for a broad range of stakeholders. Early detection and intervention are core tenets of the program, but a key component of the program’s success comes from having a teamwork collaboratively with residents, property management, and professional pest control providers.
A two-year program was launched in a major urban affordable housing community in Philadelphia to address the rampant bed bug problem. Its effectiveness after the first year was confirmed and published in a recent article in Pest Control Technology (PCT) magazine.
Highlights of the published study results after one year include:
- Greater than 97 percent of residential units had no bed bug reintroductions
- Facility managers realized a bed bug-related expense reduction of more than 35 percent in year one, with greater savings expected in year two
- Facility residents and staff experienced a 40% reduction in contact time with pest management professionals.
Prior to implementing any proactive, preventative programs, the 470-unit affordable housing facility used for the study, reported over 80 bed bug incidents annually.
Affordable and sustainable models of control and prevention of bed bugs have been designed for affordable housing The residents of affordable housing are now primed to have their lives changed.
New approaches, incorporating an initial facility-wide screening and subsequent treatment of infested residential units, have immediately lowered the bed bug population. The installation of long-acting preventive measures property-wide ensures that the bed bug population stays under control.
According to the published PCT article, these measures have virtually eliminated bed bug incidents impacting residents and staff members. Residents are now living without the stress and stigma of bedbugs and their bites. No longer are residents losing time from work and spending money trying to self-treat with ineffective methods. The building manager has experienced significant improvement in operating efficiencies driven by the reduction in day-to-day disruption from tenant complaints and frequent service technician visits.
As older treatment strategies are not working, bed bug infestations continue to rise across the country, especially in community housing environments. This is unacceptable, especially for residents, whose ‘quality of life’ is being severely impacted.
“Philadelphia being one of the country’s most bed bug-infested cities did not sit well with us,” said Gus Carey, whose company is based just outside of the City of Brotherly Love. Carey was so disturbed by this that he donated more than $100,000 of ActiveGuard® Mattress Liners to the Philadelphia Housing Authority building complex.
“We are touched by the positive responses from residents and staff at the Philadelphia facility and so appreciate the support and encouragement of Philadelphia City Council member Mark Squilla and assistance of Entomologist Dr. Jim Ballard. Together a solution has been provided to a huge unmet need in an environment that desperately needs effective bed bug prevention. Novel strategic programs which have saved money while significantly improving quality of life for the residents and staff, will be replicated in affordable housing communities and other multi-occupant dwelling environs throughout the U.S.,” Carey concluded.
The author notes the additional support of several companies who have helped make the program a success. Corbett Exterminating, a professional pest control provider with expansive experience in affordable housing, implemented the program Leading pest control companies including Key K9, Rockwell Labs, Bayer Environmental Science, Target Specialty Products, and MGK made significant product donations and lent their professional time to support this effort.
Joseph Latino is the President, Allergy Technologies and has over 20 years of experience in science and pest control. He has devoted his career to developing and refining comprehensive and strategic bed bug surveillance, treatment and posttreatment control programs. Latino has held high-level positions at several U.S. and international companies and institutions in the health and sciences fields. He is a registered speaker for the New York State/ New Jersey Departments of Environmental Control. Joseph is doctorally trained in biochemistry and holds a Master of Philosophy from CUNY Graduate Center in New York and a Bachelor’s degree in both Biology and Chemistry from Brooklyn College.
NARPM Residential Resource | July 2021 Issue | Volume 32 | Number 7