I haven’t written a blog on bed bugs in a long time and I am not sure I would have done one now, but……….
Recently there was a piece on NPR about a young man’s experience with bed bugs, which lead me to start thinking about them more in depth. I don’t hear much about the little critters anymore, so I wondered if they are still running around causing havoc.
Here is what I found out about the pesky bed bug!
Let’s start with some general bed bug facts. There was mention of bed bugs in Ancient Greece, in 17th century England, and in the 1930s in the United States. Why go back that far; to point out that they have been around for a long time and are still going strong.
Bedbugs are social animals and travel with humans. This has not changed in hundreds of years.
Bedbugs are cross-cultural; they don’t care where you are from or the status of you savings account. Bed bugs don’t discriminate against locations either; they will meet at an expensive hotel or happily track you down while you are living on the streets. Since they are so sociable, they will simply jump on your clothes and go anywhere you go.
According to my research, there doesn’t appear to be any place in the States, or in the world for that matter, that doesn’t have bedbugs.
Imagine!!! Bed bugs have invaded your building.
So, how do you as a manger handle this invasion?
Here a few suggestion:
First, start by educating your staff and tenants. Many tenants are afraid to admit they have bed bugs because they are embarrassed. As a manager you need to make sure that your tenants know there will be no retaliation against them if they have bed bugs. Tenants must also know that they must follow directions given to them from management regarding the bed bugs. If the tenants choose not to, they may be held financially responsible.
Your staff needs know how to recognize a bed bug and how to treat a tenant whose apartment may be infested.
Second, you need to know how to treat bed bugs. Over the counter products do not work. You need to use a company that can demonstrate their success in this field.
Go online to do some research, the person who comes in to spray the bugs in the building once a month may not be the person you want to get rid of your bed bugs. One place you might want to check out is HUD’s site on integrated pest management: https://portal.hud.gov/hudportal/HUD?src=/program_offices/healthy_homes/healthyhomes/ipm
Pestworld.org is also a good site to go to for information.
Here are some of their ideas on prevention:
- Vacuum suitcases after returning from a vacation.
- Check your bedsheets for telltale bed bug blood spots.
- Consider bringing a large plastic trash bag to keep your suitcase in during hotel stays.
- Carry a small flashlight to assist you with quick visual inspections.
- Never bring second-hand furniture, especially mattresses and box springs, into a home without thoroughly examining for signs of a bed bug infestation. You might consider having a pest control professionally inspect the furniture, as it can be difficult to detect an infestation if you are untrained.
- Regularly inspect areas where pets sleep for signs of bed bugs.
- Bed bugs are elusive creatures, so it is imperative to seek professional pest control to address an infestation.
Do some proactive work.
- Set up monthly checks
- Again education your tenants with meetings and flyers with tips on prevention.
- Do some brainstorming as a team; I am sure you can come up with other great ideas.
- Try to control the situation the best you can
Here is the link to the story from NPR, I hope you enjoy it as much as I did:
Until next time!