Bowling Green Towers: residents organize to demand proper bed bug treatment in low-income building

by nobugsonme on March 1, 2008 · 1 comment

in bed bugs, bed bugs and people with disabilities, bed bugs and the elderly, bed bugs in low-income housing, kentucky

Three weeks ago, building management of Bowling Green Towers — a low-income housing building in Bowling Green, Kentucky that houses elderly and disabled tenants whose rent is subsidized by the government (via HUD) — claimed the building had only “four” units infested with bed bugs. You can read an earlier story we did on this here.

Apparently there was at least one professional bed bug treatment a few weeks ago. But bed bugs have now apparently spread more widely.

According to this article from WBKO News on Thursday, one man thinks they started in his unit (though it would be interesting to know how he knows; people are often wrong about this):

“The bed bugs started in my apartment and was not dealt with right away and the bed bugs started migrating to other apartments on that side,” explains Bowling Green Towers Residents’ Association Vice President John Baize.

“From what I know, it’s on five different floors now,” adds Bowling Green Towers Residents’ Association President Debbie Bell. “I believe it started on the A tower and it spread four floors on that tower and then spread to B tower on one of the floors.”

I don’t know how many units are known to be infested today — it’s now three weeks after the first treatment — but Debbie Bell, President of the building’s Residents’ Association, told WBKO news (in a second article on Friday) that “five floors” are now infested and that every unit on those five floors is to be treated:

“With the bedbug issue, we are having exterminators come out on a regular basis, and they will be spraying all the apartments, all the affected floors,” Bell explains.

I hope they also pest control operators professionally inspect the floors above and below those five affected ones.

Apparently, the tenants’ group met with Kentucky Housing Corporation, which runs the building, between the times the two articles appeared on Thursday and Friday, according to these two sources.

No matter how many units on those five floors are now known to be infested with bed bugs, this seems like good progress, and a reminder that tenant organizing can go a long way towards getting real help from landlords.

The reporters said traditional methods did not work, but I suspect that what appears to have not worked in this case was that (a) spraying must be done repeatedly at approximately 2 week intervals until all bed bugs are gone, and (b) all affected units must be treated (and this requires all units adjacent to, above, or below affected units to be professionally inspected, in every bed bug case).

Thursday’s story also has associated video content.

1 bugbasher March 2, 2008 at 8:19 am

This is the greatest testimonial to what can be done when people come together and fight as one.I hope to see more stories like this in the near future and hope one day it won’t be neccessary to have to fight to get what we all deserve : BB free living areas!

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