Bedbug battle continues in cities
Bedbugs are not going away. As noted in this Govpro.com item, the Chicago public school district recently treated its headquarters for bedbugs. In Philadelphia, a police station that houses 500 officers as well as the 2nd and 15th police districts is infested to the point that the local Fraternal Order of Police lodge is demanding that the whole building — not just individual holding cells — be treated by an exterminator.
Cities are relying on regulations as they wage war against bedbugs. In New York City, the Bloomberg administration, through regulations passed by the city council, is mandating new steps that landlords must take to combat bedbugs.
Under the rules, building owners must inspect and treat apartments next to, above and below any unit that has bedbugs. They also must notify all tenants when bedbugs have been detected and distribute a plan on eradicating them. Property owners who decline to take care of bedbug infestations will be required to get a licensed exterminator to fill out a sworn affidavit indicating the problem has been handled.
The city’s Department of Health has been authorized to cite landlords who ignore bedbugs and report them to the city’s Environmental Control Board, which can issue fines. In the past, only the Department of Housing Preservation and Development could issue violations to landlords for bedbugs.
In a last-ditch move, New York City would sell liens on properties whose owners ignore those fines. “The intent of the New York City law is to protect potential buyers and tenants from acquiring an apartment with a recurring bedbug problem,” said Jonathan Frisch, vice president of sales and marketing at Brooklyn, N.Y.-based Atlantic Paste and Glue, Professional Pest Control Products Division. The company supplies the pest management industry with a variety of pest control products.
“For landlords who are now faced with compliance, they can take the opportunity to demonstrate a proactive position. ‘Yes, there was a problem but here’s what we did about it,’” Frisch told Govpro.com. “Initiating a bedbug monitoring program, for example, allows property owners to reassure their residents that not only was the problem eradicated but, more importantly, that the issue is being tracked on a regular basis to identify new activity early on. This will go a long way in showing residents that management has it under a good measure of control.”
Professional pest control operators have weighed in on the subject on the Govpro.com site. “You can monitor and treat until the cows come home, but the problem will continue to grow unless and until we come up with sufficient materials or methods that provide long-term, proactive protection to prevent infestations,” wrote H Day Case, sales and marketing manager at Sacramento, Calif.-based Pest Control Center, Inc.
Pest Control Center is a family-owned company that has been serving the greater Sacramento region for 23 years. Case edits a blog on a variety of pest-related topics.
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