The Federation of New York Housing Cooperatives & Condominiums recently held a roundtable seminar for board presidents and board members at the New York Hall of Science in Queens. The October 24th event attracted around 50 people and panelists discussed a number of timely issues, including pest control, new rules for lead paint, graffiti, laundry and storage systems, chemical water treatment options, and mandated energy audits.
Don’t Bug Me
The hot topic of the day (not including the Dunkin’ Donuts’ coffee and bagels) was the recent resurgence of bed bugs in city buildings. Jim Skinner of A&C Pest Management in East Meadow spoke about the problems associated with eradicating the nearly microscopic insects, which are making their appearance nightly in many a co-op and condo building.
In the 1930s, said Skinner, one in every three homes had bed bugs, and harsh chemicals that are not allowed today were used to get rid of them. Today, the bugs are back with a vengeance, and a variety of treatments -- ranging from chemical sprays to steam to canines to intense thermal radiation -- are used to rid an infestation.
The newest and most effective treatment, said Skinner, involves thermal radiation. The affected room is heated to a temperature of 135 degrees, which effectively kills the bed bugs and their eggs. Trained dogs are brought in afterwards to certify that the bed bugs are dead, he said.
Bed bugs, he explained, are hard to find, although telltale signs are black dots or droppings in and around the mattress and bed covering and little specks of blood from their feedings. They regularly move from place to place to stay hidden and like warm places to nest. They can walk 100 feet in one night, and females can lay 5 to 7 eggs at a clip.