Bed bugs in subsidized housing are finally being taken seriously.
This bed bug poster is displayed in the lobby of a large subsidized housing building. The same building previously was a disaster of untreated or ineffective treatment for bed bugs. This older brick, three stories, low-income building was bed bug heaven. Tenants complaints and requests for help to get rid of bed bugs went unanswered or the pest company would come in and spray something not labeled for bed bugs.
The residents received no guidance, or information about what pesticides were being sprayed in their tiny 10 x 8 foot rooms.
Many residents need help to deal with bed bugs.
We can’t ignore the reality that many tenants in subsidized housing have mental or physical health problems. These conditions may prevent them from being able to follow directions or comply with preparation for treatment. They may not recognize there is a bed bug problem. This makes eliminating bed bugs impossible in this situation.
The best they can do is mitigate, complete eradication isn’t possible. They will have to keep the bed bugs under control.
The organization that managed this building and a number of other large subsidized buildings joined our task force, sent their managers to Kentucky for bed bug training, and came back ready to treat the building correctly.
They then emptied the building and treated it floor by floor from the top down with proper bed bug control protocols and pesticides. They made the in house laundry free, gave tenants free trash bags and pest strips and did their best to educate a difficult population about what to do if they see bed bugs in their little apartments.
What were the results?
The building still has bed bugs and tenants come and go so there are always fresh infestations. However tenants know who to report to and response time is fast and appropriate. It’s an ongoing battle, just like for five-star hotels. But with fast effective response tenants can know that they can keep the infestations from growing completely out of control.
It’s not the solution we want but it is much better than the ineffective approach before they took action.