Recently, Habitat Magazine published an interesting article, written by Tom Soter, detailing how Pride Property Management is implementing a new move-in/move-out policy in their buildings to ensure that their for-sale units are free of bed bugs.
These days, Alex Kuffel treats the warning he first heard as a child very seriously: “We used to say, ‘Sleep tight and don’t let the bed bugs bite.’ Bed bugs are a critical problem.”
We’ve all heard that before. We’ve also heard that boards and management must be proactive, and that they must wage an ongoing education campaign to be certain the residents know about bed bugs and how to cope with them. But Kuffel, president of Pride Property Management, is trying something that he thinks is fairly unusual: a move-in/move-out policy that meets the bed bug issue head on.
“A non-refundable $300 fee must… be given to the superintendent to have the apartment inspected by a certified bed bug inspector, for the presence of bed bugs within the apartment,” the April 2010 policy for the 120-unit Manhattan building says. “The apartment will be inspected prior to the move-in and then again after the residents’ contents have been moved into the apartment. In the event bed bugs are found after the resident moves into the apartment, the resident is solely responsible for all costs incurred with abating the bed bugs….” Read More Here
We at BBFS find this very interesting and encouraging, as we have been advocating Source Elimination as part of a larger Integrated Bed Bug Management Plan (IBBMP) since our inception in 2005. In order to successfully create and maintain a bed bug FREE environment in residences and corporate offices, property owners and managers must create a systematic process for 1.)removing existing infestations, 2.) establishing residual pest control treatment techniques and, 3.) practice preventative treatments for all incoming property (including: bedding, furniture, desks, clothing, electronics, etc.).
One way to create a Source Elimination step inside an IBBMP is to integrate fumigation using Vikane fumigant into your property’s delivery schedule. This can be accomplished by either requiring in-transit fumigation of vehicles/trucks OR use a Fume Cube on-site. For more information on creating a successful IBBMP program for yourself, contact BBFS at 877-9NO-ITCH or visit our website.
Wednesday, April 13, 2011
They’re back and they’re bigger than ever: After a decades-long hiatus, bedbugs have made a creepy-crawly comeback in hotels, office buildings, department stores — you name it — all across the U.S. In fact, according to a recent poll conducted by the National Pest Management Association(www.pestworld.org), 95% of the pest control companies surveyed reported a bedbug infestation within the last year — up an astounding 70% from more than a decade ago.
The pesky critters can induce itchy, red welts and enough anxiety to make travelers wonder if they should stay home. Luckily, there are plenty of precautionary measures to reduce the risks of an encounter while on the road. Sleep better at night by following these expert tips from the NPMA, the American Hotel & Lodging Association(www.ahla.com), and the New York State Integrated Pest Management Program (www.nysimp.cornell.edu).
With proper identification, a thorough room inspection, and careful packing and unpacking, you can stop worrying about sleeping tight — and letting the bedbugs bite.
What Do Bedbugs Look Like?
Wingless bedbugs range in size from 1 to 7 millimeters, are reddish brown, and flat and oval in shape. Fecal droppings (brown or black stains that look like pepper flakes), shed skins, and the tinier translucent eggs and nymphs (juveniles) are evidence of the live pest.
Pre-Trip Packing Tips
A hard-shelled suitcase has fewer folds and seams where bedbugs can hide. Pack your belongings — clothes, toiletries, shoes — in sealable plastic bags, and open only when accessing the items. Alternatively, consider wrapping your entire pack in a trash bag to stave off potential infestations during your travels.
Before Unpacking Your Luggage
Many travelers throw a suitcase on the bed or keep the bag zipped up on the floor in hopes of keeping out any wandering scourges. Instead, place your baggage — including any purses, backpacks, or camera bags — on a luggage rack or in the bathroom, where there are fewer nooks and crannies.
How to Inspect Your Hotel Room
Bedbugs like to lodge themselves into cracks, crevices, folds, and ruffles in areas frequently trafficked by humans. When you arrive, pull back the covers of the bed and inspect under the linens and pillows. Use a flashlight if necessary. Look in the seams and sides of the mattress, box spring, and frame, and then check behind the headboard. The majority of the pests away from the bed will be within close proximity: under and around nightstands and lamps, and in the pleats of upholstered furniture (a favored hideaway) and drapes. The bloodsuckers can also reside behind wall hangings, such as mirrors and paintings.
If You Suspect an Outbreak
Don’t take things into your own hands. If you squash one pest, it doesn’t mean that there aren’t others lurking in the crevices. Work with hotel management to find the best solution. When switching rooms, don’t accept one directly adjacent, above, or below the infested room, as bedbugs can easily hitch a ride to neighboring spaces via housekeeping carts, wall sockets, and luggage. Each property and brand has a different protocol regarding pest control. Many hotels will distribute bedbug fact sheets, assure proper treatment of affected areas, offer alternative accommodations, and launder your clothes for free. Unfortunately, sleep sacks can’t protect you from getting bitten; bedbugs can feed through the fabric or crawl through the opening of the sack as you snooze.
When You Get Home
Even just a few of these critters can start a full-blown infestation, should you inadvertently carry them back to your abode. Conduct a thorough inspection of your suitcase outdoors or in the garage, away from furniture and sleeping areas. If you live in an apartment, use your balcony, bathtub, or shower (bedbugs have a harder time crawling up smooth surfaces and are easier to spot against light colors). In the worst-case scenario, keep the suitcase out in the hallway. Pay special attention to pockets, linings, and seams. Then thoroughly vacuum or steam clean the bag before stowing it away. Wash all of your clothes — even those unworn — on a high-heat setting, and dry for at least 30 minutes. This will kill any previously undetected bugs.
New York’s largest and oldest pest control firm, Assured Environments, is launching its first official marketing campaign in 76 years. An internet campaign focusing on a variety of the company’s products and services will support the television initiative.
As New York’s largest and oldest pest control firm, Assured Environments has built its business on superior service and word of mouth advertising. Now the 76-year-old firm is launching its first official marketing campaign, replete with an engaging television commercial that began to air this week, July 25, on cable networks in New York and New Jersey. An internet campaign focusing on a variety of the company’s products and services will support the television initiative.
Assured Environments is proud of its ability to become New York’s leading pest management firm without aggressively marketing itself. The company could have easily continued to operate this way, but the need for consumer education has prompted the company to advertise. As its Director of Marketing, Evan Rosenblum explains: “The summer season is when bugs are the most abundant and in some cases are more than just a nuisance and can become a grievance to people. And unfortunately their gripes are extended when they hire exterminators that sell them a bill of goods and nothing else. Our campaigns are focused on one thing: education. The first line for defense against any pest is information and we want people to find experienced pest control experts to perform the job correctly, such as Assured Environments who have been providing such services in New York since 1934.”
The TV commercial is a depiction of bugs having a video-conference and ultimately discovering that Assured Environments, their only real threat in New York and Jersey, has infiltrated their ‘secure’ location and now they are really in trouble. “It provides us with a way of conveying our expertise and professionalism while also adding a little humor into the mix to perhaps alleviate the nerves of people who may be dealing with what could be a very stressful bed bug or other pest issue,” says Rosenblum.
There have been many cases where the experts at Assured Environments have been called upon to solve pest-related problems that less-experienced competitors have failed to resolve. This is a troubling situation because consumers are left paying the price for other companies’ lack of expertise, Rosenblum says. Assured Environments specializes in providing pest management services to help residential and commercial clients get rid of bed bugs, roaches, flies, spiders, ants/termites, mice, birds and bats. Over the years, it has demonstrated that it has the experience and expertise to adequately address clients’ pest problems, particularly bed bugs.
Bed bug infestation is a growing problem all across the United States, prompting Congress to introduce the Bed Bug Management, Prevention and Research Act of 2011 earlier this year. Recently, Assured Environments introduced two new solutions to help consumers combat their bed bug problems: the do-it-yourself Bed Bug Annihilator product and professional bed bug preparation service. The Bed Bud Annihilator—which is currently available for back order—is an affordable, portable heat treatment chamber that anyone can use to eradicate bed bugs. The chamber heats up to 122 degrees Fahrenheit in up to 30 minutes and kills bed bugs in as little as 60 seconds. The Bed Bud Annihilator, which can hold up to 25 items at one time, is safe to use on clothes, electronics, small appliances, equipment and even books. Assured Environments’ effective bed bug preparation service includes inspecting the client’s premises, removing and cleaning items to get rid of bed bugs, and storing the items off site while the structure is treated for bed bugs. The service, which is conducted by certified technicians, is designed to save customers a significant amount of time, money and hassle. Assured Environments’ Bed Bud Annihilator and bed bug prep service, along with its new advertising campaign, are making it easier for consumers to eliminate bed bugs from their environment.
Assured Environments is a full-service pest management company that has differentiated itself in the marketplace not only by its service, but also by its expertise. The company’s staff includes entomologists, certified technicians, and a bed bug canine detection team. It is also distinguished by its environmentally-friendly approach to pest control. Assured Environments offers Green Shield Certified services, which incorporates eco-conscious practices that are the least disruptive to human health and the environment. This allows the company to provide more effective pest control without the use of unnecessary pesticides. Consequently, Assured Environments is regularly hired to provide pest management for LEED-certified buildings.
To learn more about Assured Environments’ affordable and effective pest management solutions, visithttp://www.AssuredEnvironments.com or contact Evan Rosenblum at 646-783-5138.
About Assured Environments
Assured Environments is a family-owned business that has been serving individuals and businesses since 1934. The company offers a variety of services to help customers get rid of all types of insect, rodent and bird infestations. Assured Environments is a recognized leader in the pest control industry, presenting at prominent seminars in the United States and China; training top pest management companies in China and Japan; and providing consulting services for a German film crew. Based in Manhattan, Assured Environments provides services to clients throughout New York, New Jersey and Connecticut.
Director of Marketing
Bedbugs, the parasitic insects whose infestation levels have reached near epidemic proportions in New York City, were discovered in schools at an unprecedented rate this year, according to totals released by the city Department of Education.
There were 3,590 confirmed cases of bedbugs found in schools this year, a rate that more than tripled the 2009-2010 totals. The DOE did not release which schools were treated for bedbugs.
The city is battling back without the help of specialized exterminators. A troubled no-bid private contract with a bedbug pest control company was terminated in November, leaving just over a dozen employees in the DOE pest control unit to fight the growing case load.
The increase is significant, but not a complete surprise. The upsurge actually began during the 2009-2010 school year . In February, I reported that through just five months of the 2010-2011 school year, there were already 1,700 confirmed cases , far surpassing the previous year’s total of 1,019.
A DOE spokeswoman said most of the confirmed cases weren’t large infestations, but isolated incidents where one or two bedbugs were found on a student who brought it to school from an infested home.
“Every time we find a single bedbug, we are required to report it,” said the spokeswoman, Marge Feinberg.
School buildings aren’t ideal for large infestations because bedbugs prefer to burrow in heavy fabrics – mattresses, box springs and couches – and feed in the nighttime. But as infestations have turned up in other public spaces where people gather – theaters, retail clothing stores and office buildings – the school system has become another transfer point for their spread.
The big spike doesn’t necessarily reflect the actual rate at which bedbugs are coming into schools. It could also represent heightened awareness by teachers and staff about what to look for.
In response to the rise of bedbugs last year, the DOE issued new bedbug guides to instruct school staff on how to handle them when they are found on a student. In March, the DOE made it easier to report bedbugs .
But the Bloomberg administration, which has increasingly relied on contractors for pest control needs, has lagged on finding ways to effectively eradicate the problem.
The DOE currently pays three private extermination companies – Bluesway Pest Control, Verrazano Exterminating and USA Exterminating – to treat non-bedbug pests, such as cockroaches, termites and bees.
But no bedbug contract is in place right now, Feinberg said. The last contract, which was awarded for $99,999 (any city contract worth less than $100,000 does not require competitive bidding) to a company called Joe’s Pest Control, was terminated after exterminators used illegal pesticides in an infested school .
Feinberg said the DOE released a request for pest control services for bedbugs and hoped to have contracts soon.
Article printed from GothamSchools: http://gothamschools.org
URLs in this post:
 began during the 2009-2010 school year: http://www.nytimes.com/2010/09/25/nyregion/25bedbugs.html
 there were already 1,700 confirmed cases: http://www.nbcnewyork.com/news/local/Report-Highest-Rate-of-Bedbug-Cases-Ever.html
 made it easier to report bedbugs: http://gothamschools.org/2011/03/31/politician-claims-victory-in-citys-school-bedbug-policy-change/
 exterminators used illegal pesticides in an infested school: http://brooklyn.ny1.com/content/top_stories/128468/brooklyn-school-tormented-by-bed-bugs-seeks-to-replenish-lost-supplies
Original Post (By Teri Rogers and Margot Slade): Read it HERE
If you are moving, you may be understandably concerned about picking up bed bugs in transit.
Yet whether out of cost worries, denial or ignorance, New York City moving and storage companies have been slow to adopt procedures that cut down the risk of in-truck transmission. So we were intrigued to hear that Moishe’s, the 30-year-old local moving company, recently announced a prevention program.
Among other things, the company has stopped wrapping furniture in blankets, which are an easy and obvious means of conveyance for bed bugs. Instead, furniture, mattresses and objects are wrapped in moving-quality, tear-resistant plastic bags sealed with heavy-duty tape. That diminishes the risk of picking up bugs from the truck and also the chance that bugs will wander into the truck from infested furniture. (No special precautions are taken with moving boxes, however.)
Moishe’s is also doing monthly canine inspections of each truck, and then fumigating trucks that come up positive.
So is this enough?
We asked entomologist and pest management expert Gil Bloom of Standard Pest Management in Queens. After calling up Moishe’s with a few questions of his own, he seemed reasonably satisfied.
“Unlike any other company that I know of, they apparently do have an organized, systemic way of addressing the issue,” said Bloom, recently named #1 bed bug warrior by NY Magazine and deeply involved in the city’s efforts to battle bed bugs.
If you’re really concerned, Bloom notes, Moishe will perform a canine inspection of your truck the day before for an extra fee.
For ultimate peace of mind–and for anyone moving away from a bed bug issue–get the truck fumigated with all of your belongings inside.
“That way you pretty much know you are safe from transporting anything,” says Bloom.