Although the occupant responsible for
the bed bug outbreak is obligated to
fully cooperate with the exterminating
service during and after inspections/
treatments, as a real estate manager,
you will be faced with working alongside the occupant in order to successfully eliminate bed bugs and monitor
their spread to the rest of the property. Start by educating the occupant
on what bed bugs look like, where
they are likely to hide and methods
of eliminating them. By delegating
responsibility to the occupant(s) to
bear the costs associated with re-infestation, you are also incentivizing
them to be vigilant about proactively
treating the problem.
While being firm about the parameters of treatment, also keep in mind
that a bed bug infestation is invasive
and time consuming for the occupant, and also has a negative psychological connotation. To ease their
sense of fear, you could consider
mentioning their unit may have gotten bed bugs from an outside source,
such as a friend’s/relative’s house,
hotel or caregiver. n
Permission given by BASF Pest Control Solutions
USE THE FOLLOWING TIPS TO IDENTIFY AND ELIMINATE BED BUGS
• Inspect luggage to prevent the spread of bed bugs to the new room.
If found, the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene
advises hotels to wash and dry all bedding, curtains, rugs, towels and
bathrobes on the hottest cycle.
• Immediately move guests to another, non-adjacent room and close it
off to other guests. If possible, close off adjacent rooms so they can be
inspected as well.
• Call a pest management professional (PMP), who will be trained to
thoroughly inspect the premises, prescribe the right treatment option and
carry out the work.
• Ask your PMP questions such as what products are being used, what
your role is in follow up and how you can prevent infestations from
• A PMP may do the following to prepare the room(s) for treatment:
> Remove pictures and other wall hangings
> Detach wall fixtures
> Remove electrical face plates
> Remove drawers from cabinets and dressers
> Remove headboards
> Lift and turn box springs and bed platforms over for a thorough
> Carefully inspect upholstered furniture
> Examine wheels, casters, posts and legs of all furniture
> Pull carpet back from the wall to carefully inspect
> Remove curtains to be heat-treated in a dryer, steam cleaned or
spot-treated with product
To read a related article on bed bugs by Greg Martin, view the Nov/Dec 2009 JPM® article entitled “Don’t
let the Bed Bugs Bite” online at www.jpm-ditital.org.
Greg L. Martin, CPM Emeritus ( firstname.lastname@example.org), is vice president of Draper and
Kramer, Inc. [left]
John L. Bieg, CPM ( email@example.com), is an assistant vice president of Draper and Kramer,
Draper and Kramer, Inc., is a property and financial services firm in Chicago.