Atlantic City public housing: 1/3 of 800 units in four buildings infested with bed bugs

by nobugsonme on August 19, 2009 · 1 comment

in bed bug laws, bed bug legislation, bed bugs, bed bugs in public housing, new jersey

The Press of Atlantic City reports that there was a four month delay in treating bed bugs in four public housing buildings, even after bed bugs were detected in a third of the 800 units in Altman Terrace, Inlet Tower, Shore Park Hi-Rise and Charles P. Jeffries Tower, back in March.

Treatment did not begin until July.

And to think, we were shocked that Walt Whitman Houses residents in Brooklyn were made to wait a month for treatment by the NYCHA.

Four months seems like forever.

Emily Previti reports:

The bed bugs were quite bad, as far as the infestation levels, and nobody wants to wait a day, but it takes a few days just to get a dog out let alone take care of pest control. There’s just so much activity, [Michael Russell, vice president of marketing for Action Pest Control] said. “We were impressed by speed with which they moved. Amongst all other groups we’ve dealt with, the authority has been among the most pro-active.”

Shore Park resident Conchetta Caputo, 49, said building managers should have told residents upon confirming the presence of the pests and that eradication should have happened faster. In the interim, she suffered constant biting from bed bugs that she initially thought were mosquitoes that sneaked in the window in her living room, which lacks air conditioning.

[Jelani Garrett, acting director of the Atlantic City Housing Authority] attributed the delay to soliciting quotes from companies after Action conducted its initial sweep in late March and then finding the money to pay for the work.

(Emphasis mine.)

Why weren’t residents notified that their buildings were infested?

Garrett also admitted officials kept the information from residents to avoid sparking panic , but said the current round of extermination marks the beginning of regular checks and, if needed, treatments. The authority has not formally adopted a policy establishing that procedure, but doing so would be “a good idea,” Garrett said.

Action will be retreating in ten days, and subsequently if bed bugs are detected; they’ll also be bringing bed bug k9s in again in March for follow-up inspections.

See Bed bug eradication continues in Atlantic City public housing.

Related legislation:

NJ Senate Bill 2520 (introduced 2/2009) would require landlords of multi-unit buildings to eliminate bed bugs and to inspect buildings for bed bugs yearly (both at their expense).  NJ Senate Bill 2774 (introduced 5/2009) would require PCOs to provide a 30-day warranty on bed bug service to residential premises, which would require retreatment free of charge if landlord or tenant finds evidence of continued bed bug infestation.

1 parakeets August 20, 2009 at 8:12 pm

I’d play those odds–out of 800 trials, one out of three are going to be a hit? If it were a casino with that return, people would be flocking ….

On second thought, the second half of that opening “Atlantic City PUBLIC HOUSING” reveals a lot. If it instead were a casino hotel where a third of 800 rooms had bedbugs, things might be addressed in a different and far more timely manner.

I bet on the bedbugs.

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