The Housing Authority of New Haven is planning to use Temp-Air heating technology to treat bed bugs in public housing, with the ambitious goal of entirely eliminating bed bugs from all public housing units “within six to nine months.”
The According to the New Haven Independent says,
On Wednesday morning Housing Authority of New Haven (HANH) officials scheduled a pre-bid conference for contractors who would like to provide it with the Temp-Air-40kw Mobile Heat Treatment System and training in order to elminate bed bugs throughout city projects.
This equipment has already completely eliminated bed bugs at the Tower One and Tower Two senior developments, according to HANH Chief Operating Officer Renee Dobos,
“It’s a quick kill,” said Lee Purvis, the HANH staffer in charge of the project.
HANH officials said they haven’t experienced a spike or invasion of bed bugs. They want to get ahead of any new problem that might develop.
HANH did a pilot on eight apartments already. It worked, officials said. Each thermal radiation machine costs about $50,000; the HANH hopes to buy two.
Within six to nine months, Dobos said, all affected apartments in the system should be cleaned.
They plan to use two Temp-Air EBB-40kw Mobile Heat Treatment System units (which cost $50K each).
HANH says it can treat 3-4 efficiency apartments in one day, whereas they have been treating ten apartments a week with traditional bed bug treatment methods.
Let’s be realistic: it will not be possible to fully eliminate bed bugs forever from every apartment (because they will be entering new units even as they are being eliminated in others). Anyone can bring bed bugs back in at any time.
However, with the technology and skill in-house, the HANH seems to have a good chance of maintaining multi-unit housing that is as bed bug-free as possible.
I suspect these methods will make a huge difference to the lives of tenants, who should soon be spending a lot less time living with bed bugs, and who won’t have to worry as they have in the past about bed bug prep, or discarding items.
The cherry on the cake? It sounds like HANH thinks the city will save money too.
I was glad to see that HANH says its policy is to treat adjacent units, even if they find no signs of infestation. (This is smart but seems to be rare; Boston is even more rare in their policy of forcing all landlords to inspect the entire building, and treat all units which are horizontally and vertically adjacent to an infested one.)
I hope that this plan is successful. Because no one should have to live with bed bugs. It especially breaks my heart when elderly and disabled people are doing so.
I hope other cities will consider this option too.
You may also be interested in earlier, and often less positive stories about bed bugs in New Haven.