PCOC - Fall 2015 - (Page 14)

Is Bed Bug Heat Treatment for Multi-Unit Housing? By Dini Miller Ph.D. and Molly Stedfast, Department of Entomology, Dodson Urban Pest Management Laboratory, Virginia Tech Multi-unit housing is a trillion dollar industry in the United States, and this industry suffers the greatest financial impact from bed bug infestations. While media outlets like to focus on bed bugs in hotels and movie theaters, they are strangely silent about the hundreds of thousands of bed bugs living and breeding in apartment communities. Yet, it is from these housing facilities that bed bugs are brought into hotels, schools, theaters, taxi cabs, gyms, spas and retail outlets. There is a long list of the reasons why apartments are particularly plagued with bed bugs. But the major contributing factors include: Residents not reporting bed bugs until the infestation has grown and spread; managers being grossed out by bed bugs and ignoring them as long as possible; managers being eager to pass their bed bug problems off to any pest management company, experienced or not; and apartment managers having very little bed bug knowledge, so they accept any treatment that is offered and provide no oversight to determine if the treatment worked. Typically, multi-unit housing managers do not even ask their pest management company what is being used to kill the bed bugs. Bed bug ignorance is largely the reason why multi-unit housing has paid, and continues to pay, astounding amounts of money for bed bug remediation. Apartment communities that paid little or nothing for bed bug control in 2002, now pay $100,000-$500,000 a year for bed bug treatment. In 2011, the National Apartment Association surveyed its members and found bed bugs to be the single greatest topic of concern. This concern is due to the costs and, both in reputation and financial, associated with bed bugs. At Virginia Tech, we began delivering bed bug training programs to the apartment management industry in 2008. Local and regional apartment management associations have become our regular client groups, requesting bed bug training for housing and facilities managers. www.pcoc.org / Fall 2015 14 One of the most commonly asked questions we hear from apartment managers is "Which is better, chemical treatment or heat? This sounds like an easy question, but it is not. The question tells us that these managers have bed bug experience, but they are still looking for the "one size fits all" answer. So let's quickly dispense with the chemical question and focus on the "can of worms" that is "heat." Bed bugs are highly resistant to essentially all of the insecticides used for their control. That being said, if we spray a liquid formulation directly on the bed bug, we can still get good kill. But can we expect to kill a resistant bed bug that walks across the residues of a liquid product applied last week? No. Yet, even without any residual http://pcoc.org/

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of PCOC - Fall 2015

President’s Message
Martyn’s Corner
PCOC 2015 Pictorial Highlights
German Cockroach Control: Are Baits the Silver Bullet?
Is Bed Bug Heat Treatment Hot Enough for Multi-Unit Housing?
Federal Update
Insurance : Get the Facts Before They Get You: Accident Investigations & Employee Safety
State Capitol Report Do You Feel the Sunshine?
Firm Profile North American Home Services
Index to Advertisers

PCOC - Fall 2015