Information and education are vital to preventing
an infestation of bed bugs or to catching it quickly. A proactive
and open dialogue about bed bugs will help to reduce the stigma that
surrounds an infestation and encourage tenants to be vigilant in
inspecting their unit and to notify staff of potential concerns.
There are some quick and easy habits that can help staff and tenants
to prevent and identify potential infestations.
While curbside finds such a furniture and household objects can be
tempting, there may be a reason that they have been discarded. Since bed
bugs often infest soft, upholstered furniture like couches and chairs
and can live in the joints of things like tables. Tenant should be given
this information and be encouraged to avoid bringing discarded furniture
and other items into the home.
If members of the household notice unusual bites on their skin or
stains on their bed sheets that could be blood, they should inspect the
mattress and bed frame for small rust brown or black stains. If they
find stains or bedbugs, or suspect that they have an infestation,
encourage them to notify the property manager or their staff immediately
so that an inspection can be completed.
If the unit has a bed bug infestation, tenants should be instructed
not to remove furniture without first wrapping it in plastic and marking
it as infested. Taking furniture through the common areas, like hallways
and elevators, unwrapped will spread the infestation and make it more
difficult to treat.
Clear away clutter! Bed bugs can hide in small cracks and crevices
so tenants should be encouraged to clean their unit, particularly around
where they sleep. Items that you would like to keep should be sealed in
boxes for a set period of time or left out to be treated depending on
your pest control operator's instructions.
Staff that enter tenants' units should be aware of where they set
down possessions, such as bags and coats, and should inspect items once
they have left tenants' units.
The non-profit should develop and circulate a bed bug policy that
how and to whom tenants should identify potential infestations;
the level and type of support available to tenants in preparing
their units; and,
whether or not and when the non-profit will compensate staff that
develop bed bug infestations at home that may have come from their work
at the non-profit.
Develop a list of community resources that can assist tenants that
may need support preparing their units for treatment.
The following are sample materials from ONPHA and from other members
that may assist staff to prevent the spread of bed bugs in their
portfolio. If your organization has information and / or resources that
you think others might find helpful, please contact Management