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.