Billy Tesh, Pest Management Systems, Inc., spoke about
“Bed Bug and their Challenges”
Bed Bug University—2014 Bed Bug Summit
Multi-Housing Bed Bug Infestation
Billy began by explaining that our industry must identify the clients’ needs and know the bed bug issues. The topic he covered dealt with multi-housing infestations. Billy tries to gather information on past attempts at control and why these attempts may have failed. By interviewing the residents and staff he can begin to see gaps that may have caused treatments to fail. Basically, if you know the big picture and can determine the level of infestation you are ahead of the game.
An 11 story multi-family brick & steel building with 206 rooms as well as common areas. Rooms are either one or two bedrooms. There are laundry rooms on each of the floors. Activity space and the administrative offices are on the ground floor. Upon inspection there were varied levels of infestation found throughout structure.
K-9 Inspection and Detection
A k-9 inspection was done and when k-9 alerted it had to be “qualified” by handler visually seeing bed bug or evidence of bed bugs. Approximately 85% of the apartments were found to have a bed bug infestation. Previous treatments had been fragmented and tenants were losing faith in ever being able to get rid of all the bed bugs.
Bed Bugs Prevention
Training sessions were initiated to train management and maintenance staff as well as a meeting to train all residents. Residents were informed of their responsibility in the treatment process. They had to declutter their home and to prevent reintroductions they were asked to use great caution in social interactions until treatment was completed.
Once tenants began the declutter process there was a follow up training which went floor by floor to ensure that all tenants had understood what was expected of them and if they understood what decluttering means.
Plans had to be put in place for residents who either physically or mentally could not declutter their home. The apartment managers had to have a plan on how to deal with any tenants that needed to re-enter unit during the treatment process or tenants that had special needs on day of treatment.
Heat Treatments For Bed Bugs
Safety had to be maintained throughout the process. It was determined that with the high infestation and poor tenant compliance heat treatment would be used to eradicate the bed bug infestation in the multi-dwelling unit. It was also decided to throw away badly contaminated items prior to heat treatment.
Due to lack of electrical receptacles it was necessary to bring in generators for heat equipment. They used 16 heaters and fans. There was around 600 feet of power cable as well as a junction box, lots of electronic monitoring gadgets and a lot of labor were involved. After heat treatments were completed they followed up two months later to determine the success of treatment. Overall there was a 90% reduction and within one year they had 98% effectiveness. There were a few cases believed to be reintroduction possibly due to social interactions, used furniture and noncompliance. Teaching residents about bed bugs resulted in quicker identification of bed bugs and tenants feeling comfortable with reporting issues. This resulted in decreasing the spread from unit to unit.
Post treatment they maintained a 6 month k-9 inspection program with the complex. This story helps us to see all the different things that need to be taken into consideration when dealing with a multi-family bed bug infestation.
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