Handling Bedbugs Effectively Establishing Vital Protocols

Bedbugs are a fact of urban life, and a growing problem for residents in communal environments. As the bedbug epidemic mushrooms—1 in 15 New Yorkers had bedbugs in the last year, according to the New York City Department of Health—the likelihood of having bedbug encounters grows significantly each year.

Co-ops and condos are not immune, no matter the neighborhood. Before World War II, an estimated 30 to 40 percent of buildings in New York City had bedbug issues, and the current bedbug epidemic looks like it will reach that level.

Management companies and boards do not have a lot of time to discuss how to handle bedbug issues once these insects are reported or suspected of taking up residence. Having a protocol in place for dealing with bedbugs is vital to ensure a prompt and effective response. Providing residents a protocol, as well as educational material, shows them how seriously the issue is being taken.

A proper protocol includes proactive and reactive components such as prevention, early detection, response times, pre-treatment preparation, remediation strategies, and budgeting.

Prevention and early detection protocols include educating residents about bedbugs and their signs and inspections by bedbug detection dogs.


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  • What is co-op's defense? on Monday, September 8, 2014 11:39 AM
    Hi Jennifer, I am a borad member of a co-op building in the UES. We have a unit that has serious infestation and the owner, an old lawyer, is not cooporating with the treatment. This is the 2nd time in 2 years that his bed bug issue affected other units. 2 years ago, we had to get a court warrant to make him open his door for treatment. Likely he didn't follow instructions (treat his clothings and pack them away during treatment period), and problem resurges. This time, he rejects treatment initially until the board promises that the building will pay for the treatment. He eventaually agree to have his apartment treated, but he doesn't open his door. Mean while other units are being trated multiple times. What is the board's defense against a shareholder like him? Please advise. Thank you. Out of wits