A Fact We Have to Deal With
At the MAHC annual educational conference in Jacksonville, Florida, a session was given on bedbugs. Just the subject we all want to deal with, right? But one that is a reality that many Cooperatives as well as rental properties, nursing homes, group homes, hotel, motels, and other multi-unit properties are dealing with all over the world.
This session was packed with people trying to get facts to help them make decisions concerning the problem. As well, as we deal with the nuts and bolts (or people and pests) it is necessary to understand what States, Cities, and Government Agencies are doing to mandate certain requirements as to treatment, training, and policies concerning the issue.
A lot of information was given out as to how to identify a problem as well as a brochure developed by the State of Michigan to give members, a pamphlet of information to distribute to members to educate them what to look for and how important it is to report problems, and a CD was given to all participants to use for staff training and policy writing for each property. This CD contains over 50 pages that were also from a policy that the State of Michigan has adopted to use for training personnel about the bedbug problem.
The two important elements that we wanted class participants to take away from the session, was that it is absolutely necessary to get a written policy in place concerning how the property handles the invasion, what form of prevention is to be used, how to educate the residents and inform them of the property guidelines as to reporting, preparing, and possible payment of the services needed to eradicate the bedbug problem. The other necessary element is that you must educate the staff as to their role in being able to inspect, identify, and help eradicate any problem. So everyone attending left with the tools to combat the two areas of concern: policy and education!
The Department of Housing and Urban Development is preparing to include in its REAC inspection process any disclosure by the property of any bedbug infestation your property has had as well as the inspector will ask if any units that are selected to be inspected have had a problem and may choose to not enter that address.
If you are subject to a Management Review by your agency, either HUD or state agency, you will need to have documentation of training for employees and residents, documentation of units where there was or is a problem, as well as documentation from your pesticide provider as to what treatment has taken place.
Again, the task at hand is to use as much as possible an “integrated Pest Management System” that includes inspection, education for members, types of treatment, training for employees, and documentation for anyone that requires it.
Marlene Dau, President of Tailor Made Property Services, Inc.