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Allie,

I really like the bed bug plan. It is concise and practical. Of particular interest is the recommendation for a twice a year inspection in buildings with a known bed bug infestation. In larger properties, particularly those with 100+ suites, our biggest problem continues to be with the residents who do not report to management about bed bug bites or sightings. I concur that everyone working within the building needs to be trained to recognize the common signs of bed bug infestation. When compared to the high cost of treating well established infestations, the cost of an inspecting and treating early stage bed bug infestations is a bargain.

As you consider additional topics would you look at CLUTTER. Clutter continues to be the number one reason why we fail in bed bug treatments. It is very easy to tell a resident that they must de-clutter. The problem is getting it done. Often times no one (including the resident's immediate family) wants to deal with the clutter (piles or bags of clothes, old papers, books, VHS tapes, stuffed closets, etc) for fear of taking bed bugs home with them. Perhaps we need a bed bug intervention. A team of people trained to work with residents to respectfully reduce clutter and assist the resident through the treatment process.

I look forward to your thoughts and comments.

John Gedeon, Jr.
General Pest Control Co.
Cleveland, OH

John,

Check out the hoarding post at http://stoppests.typepad.com/ipminmultifamilyhousing/2010/10/hoarding.html (or under the resident education on housekeeping category).

This addresses many of my thoughts on the clutter issue, but it is a topic I'm sure will come up again!

Thanks for your comment,
Allie

Allie,

Nice article! How do you think the industry is going as far as bed bug documentation? From what I can see, documentation is becoming as important (if not more) than the actual treatments.. I have been working with many properties that are proactive and their main concern is making sure everything is documented; from the first complaint to the final inspections after treatment.

Curious on your thoughts!

Ben Forstie

Bed bugs are probably the worst experience I've ever had.

Ben,

I think that the pest management professional's (PMP's) service report is crucial for any service for at least three reasons.
1. The paperwork covers the legal requirements of recording pesticide use.
2. It allows the PMP to keep a service history so that he or she (or a new PMP) can see what was done and build on the effort at the next visit.
3. It is often the main line of communication between the PMP and the property manager/resident. The service report should state not only what was found and done, but also what the property manager/resident can do between visits to take food, water, or shelter away from the target pest. It's also how the property manager can do quality control on the length and thoroughness of the service they are paying for.

IPM is a team approach to pest control and the PMP's documentation is crucial to making sure that everyone knows what has been done and what they are supposed to do.

We've been wanting property managers and residents to pay attention and take action on service report recommendations for years. With bed bugs they are really paying attention. Since the forms are being used, they are being improved upon. In addition to the service report, most PMPs have preparation checklists, follow up checklists, and fact sheets.

I encourage you to leave good documentation for all services, not just bed bugs. Cockroaches and mice trigger asthma, controlling them in our indoor environments is crucial. And we can do it with IPM.

That is so weird that bed bugs are making such a scene in the news these days. Bed bugs had almost become mythical creatures that you were simply used in a cliche saying. But it turns out that they are a very real problem to parts of the country. Thanks so much for the tips on how to remove bed bugs. Really appreciate it!

Hi there:

I am wondering if you are thinking that the form policy above would be distributed to residents. If so, you might want to run it by a plain language specialist as it is pretty academic.

Good suggestions, however, and good, informative site.

Thanks for the plain language suggestion!

We were intending for it to be read/modified by housing management, but I'll try to follow plain language guidelines when I revise it. We want the information to be accessible to everyone.

Thanks again,
Allie

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