Remember the 160-unit Hacienda high rise in Richmond, California?
We suggested last month that one bed bug spray treatment probably would not be enough to get rid of bed bugs in this affordable housing complex. And sadly, we were right.
The backstory on this is that tenants council complained to the city about bed bugs in April and were given piecemeal treatment of “a handful of units” back in May; the management said it knew of 11 units infested with bed bugs, even though 63 tenants had signed a petition asking the city to get rid of bed bugs.
Finally, in the last month, the city came through with a plan and funding to get the entire building tented and fumigated — with what, we do not know. The article says “A large tent is scheduled to be cast over the 160-unit Hacienda high-rise Friday morning, and crews will spray the building with a pesticide.”
Tenants begged the city to tent and fumigate the building rather than spray individual apartments, as it did in May, to ensure the pests are killed for good. The Housing Authority agreed and moved ahead with the plan.”Once they got started, they really haven’t wasted any time getting on top of it,” said Dolores Johnson, president of the tenants council.
The Housing Authority is tallying up expenses and doesn’t know what the final price tag will be, [Manuel Rosario, deputy director of the city Housing Authority] said, but booking the hotel rooms for tenants to stay several days will cost more than $60,000. Each family also is receiving a per diem for food. The amount varies, but can run in the hundreds of dollars per unit.
That $60,000 price tag only covers the hotel stay for tenants!
The article notes that some units are infested with fleas and others with bed bugs.
Interestingly, the move-out plan included having residents’ dogs and cats bathed upon evacuation:
In the rear parking lot, pet owners handed their dogs and cats over to groomers waiting in a mobile pet-grooming van. Candace Kidd, lead dog stylist for Aussie Pet Mobile in Marin County, used a plant-based product to wash the animals. Groomers found at least one dog with bedbugs hidden in its fur.
“They (bedbugs) are very similar to fleas,” said Dave Ely, owner of Aussie Pet Mobile. “They’re a bloodsucking insect. They get on you, and at night, they munch on you.”
I hope the plan goes well, and that tenants are educated about how not to take bed bugs to other places (like hotels or family members’ homes), and that tenants and staff are also educated about how to avoid bringing bed bugs into the building again in future.