Lugar Tower, a public housing development in Indianapolis, has a bed bug problem. They’ve spent $60,000 to get rid of the building’s bed bugs, but the bed bugs are still biting.
. . . for more than two years they have been dealing with a bed-bug infestation so bad that the city housing authority has spent $60,000 — and counting — and enlisted a team of researchers from Purdue University to try to get rid of the pesky critters.
The Indianapolis Housing Authority is on the right track in that it has enlisted an entomologist for advice to help them get rid of bed bugs in Lugar Tower:
Purdue entomologist Tim Gibb, who is among the researchers working with the housing authority, said strides have been made at Lugar by dousing areas with chemical and organic pesticides — infested rooms are sprayed monthly — and also educating residents.
Each new tenant, said Indianapolis Housing Agency chief Bud Myers, needs to learn bed-bug precautions: no bringing in outside furniture or bedding, and telling management as soon as there is a sign of the creatures.
Educating residents and staff is essential to prevent reinfestation and to stop the spread of bed bugs.
I hope the building is performing rigorous inspections of all units attached to those that are known to be infested. Myers estimates that 10-15 of the 225 units are currently infested (though the problem has been going on in the building for two years). If they are not aware of all currently infested units, and so all infested areas are not treated properly, then the problem will not go away and will keep spreading.
Also, monthly sprays of infested units may not be enough. PCOs often tell us that 2-week follow-ups are ideal. Two years is a long time; aggressive treatment of known-to-be-infested units as well as thorough inspections of units where tenants aren’t complaining of bed bugs are crucial in eliminating this problem.