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Dear Landlord/Property Manager from PJB

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  1. P Bello

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    Posted 4 years ago
    Tue Aug 11 2015 16:10:13
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    Dear Folks,

    In dealing with a BB victim I was asked to write a note to the LL. Perhaps such a note might help others as well.

    Here's a "generic version" of same for your review:

    Dear Landlord/Property Manager,

    As you may know bed bugs and other pests can be problematic in housing facilities of all varieties. While it is common that local municipal codifications require that the domicile being let is vermin free, the maintenance of a pest free abode may become a complex issue when bed bugs are concerned.

    The cost of bed bug remediation is certainly a concern for all. However, what may be of greater concern is the misinformation and lack of suitable knowledge required in order to successfully eliminate and manage bed bug infestations on a long term basis.

    As a consultant who provides technical pest management assistance and advice for Landlords and Property Managers I am well aware of the various aspects related to bed bug management. As such, my recommendation for all Landlords and Property Managers who are concerned and dealing with bed bug issues are as follows:
    > Educate yourself about bed bugs from credible and reliable sources prior to making bed bug management decisions. Note that there are numerous resources available online including, but not limited to, universities, health departments, chemical manufacturers and others.
    > Please stop telling your residents to dispose of, or throw out, their furniture solely due to the presence of bed bugs. Note that you would not throw away your dog or cat simply because it has fleas and that this furniture may remain serviceable once the bed bugs have been successfully eliminated via various means.
    > In most situations it is best to hire an experienced and competent pest professional to deal with your bed bug elimination however, your responsibility does not end simply with the hiring of a pest control company. You and your residents are best served when you suitably educate yourself, hire and manage the efforts of a suitable pest professional.
    > Note that no one deserves to live with bed bugs and that living in a bed bug infested abode can be a horrible experience and your best efforts are needed to eliminate bed bugs from your resident’s home.

    Once a bed bug infestation attains a foothold and is allowed to progress at your property who actually may have started the infestation is of little concern when you’re then dealing with infestations in multiple units. Left unmitigated, residents often times move out and may even abandon their property thus leaving you with an infested unit and no resident. What’s most important is establishing a cost effective bed bug management program for the long term benefit of your property, your staff and your residents.

    Please feel free to contact me with any remaining questions or concerns.

    Yours in pest management,

    Paul J. Bello, President
    PJB Pest Management Consulting, LLC

  2. jim danca

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    Posted 4 years ago
    Tue Aug 11 2015 17:01:49
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    I tell the property management people that I work for to immediately tell the tenant: "Please, do not set off any bombs or foggers!"

    PCO and inventor of a bio active bedbug trap
  3. theyareoutthere

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    Posted 4 years ago
    Wed Aug 12 2015 0:28:36
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    Jim has a good point about providing some links to educational sites with specific information.

    I have concerns about the bedbug riders being added to many leases which require the tenant to pay all costs for its bedbug treatment and adjacent units. I've read a few, and am surprised they hold up.

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  4. P Bello

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    Posted 4 years ago
    Wed Aug 12 2015 8:16:56
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    ". . . has a good point about providing some links to educational sites with specific information."

    TAOT, perhaps you posted this in haste however, Jim had nothing to do with the composition of the generic letter posted above.

    Jim, while the use of aerosol fogger type products for BB control has long been decried on this forum, it's an irrelevant to why this letter was provided as a resource for use by residents who are dealing with a bed bug issue.

    For the benefit of the those folks who are in the midst of battling bed bugs in their home or apartment, let's keep things on topic.

    Thanks much !

    pjb

  5. jim danca

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    Posted 4 years ago
    Wed Aug 12 2015 8:56:02
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    Keeping things on topic? My point is if a unit with a lot of bedbugs goes vacant in a multi unit building, there is usually going to be migration into adjacent units. Depending on the way the building is constructed, a unit that shares a bedroom wall could get the most amount of bedbugs from the infested unit. Immediately informing tenants not to use aerosols is a priority. I'm finishing a building where the infected unit was an upstairs one bedroom apartment and bugs were in both the bedroom and living room. The bugs first migrated to the unit down below. The landlord thought the dispersal was contained to the unit down below. After six weeks, some of the bedbugs eventually showed up in the upstairs unit that shared a bathroom wall with the infected unit. Fortunately the tenant immediately informed the landlord.

  6. P Bello

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    Posted 4 years ago
    Wed Aug 12 2015 10:13:54
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    Jim,

    Sorry but this is absolutely "off topic" and is a different subject that should be addressed on a separate thread.

    The generic letter provided above is written in response of and for residents who are being subject to poor bed bug management procedures and policies in the buildings where they reside as per the letter above.

    It has NOTHING to do with the use of aerosol foggers, self treatments or any of the various unrelated subject matter you have raised in your two posts.

    As such, if you're looking to discuss these issues for the benefit of the forum readers, kindly start another suitably titled thread where these issues can be better presented and discussed.

    Thanks much !

    pjb

  7. Nobugsonme

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    Posted 4 years ago
    Wed Aug 12 2015 10:51:26
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    Hi Paul,
    You provided a letter from yourself, a consultant, with advice for landlords on what to do re: bed bugs, for tenants to share with landlords. (Good idea by the way!)

    It seems like Jim's point is you could also tell the landlord to advise tenants not to use foggers.

    You can ignore this or disagree and insist that your letter is best as is, which is perfectly valid, but I don't think Jim's initial response is irrelevant or off-topic, unless I completely misunderstood his point.

    It would be off-topic if we now launched into a digressive discussion about foggers. But I don't see that happening. The second response from Jim is a response to your response to his first comment. However, If anyone wants to discuss foggers further, they should start a new thread.

    I started and run the site but am "not an expert."
  8. P Bello

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    Posted 4 years ago
    Wed Aug 12 2015 11:18:55
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    Dear NBs,

    Clarification:

    1. This letter is presented as a resource from the resident's point of view in dealing with a LL/Property manager where the BB program response is not effective and includes "questionable practices".

    2. The letter is intended to help point the LL/PM in the right direction with which they can better educate themselves about bed bug control for the benefit of themselves, their building and their residents. It underscores the various independent and credible resource from which they can attain decent bed bug information.

    3. It has nothing to do with a PCO, such as JD or any other, advising a LL/PM folks to tell residents to not use foggers as this is a separate and unrelated issue.

    Further, the reason this was posted was because I've been assisting on two situations where the LL/PM is insisting that the resident discard/throw away their bed. In BOTH situations these beds are in decent condition with many years of useful life remaining. All that is necessary is that an experienced and competent pest professional conduct suitable bed bug elimination work in these apartments. With multiple units infested for many months now, the removal of furniture will do nothing to eliminate the bed bug problem long term in these situations.

    Under these parameters and circumstances, I do not see how this additional comment can be viewed as being "on topic" here.

    pjb

  9. BigDummy

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    Posted 4 years ago
    Wed Aug 12 2015 11:35:59
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    I smell a tickle fight brewing...

  10. P Bello

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    Posted 4 years ago
    Wed Aug 12 2015 12:02:37
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    Ya know, after two days in a row of handling situations where these Moms are crying on the phone over their BB situation and this morning's call was from a 90+ yo WWII vet and his wife who are being told that they must throw out their relatively new bed as well. I kinda-sorta take this stuff seriously.

    witnessed horrible situations first hand, BBs have never been a laughing/joking matter to me and never will be.

    The joke here, if there even is one, are the folks that continue to provide and/or follow poor advice.

    We need to do our collective best to stop this from happening to these good people yet, in my experience, I don't see this happening any time soon.

    Have a nice day and be thankful that you're not going to be bitten tonight.

    pjb

  11. Nobugsonme

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    Posted 4 years ago
    Wed Aug 12 2015 14:19:32
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    P Bello - 2 hours ago  » 
    1. This letter is presented as a resource from the resident's point of view in dealing with a LL/Property manager where the BB program response is not effective and includes "questionable practices".

    2. The letter is intended to help point the LL/PM in the right direction with which they can better educate themselves about bed bug control for the benefit of themselves, their building and their residents. It underscores the various independent and credible resource from which they can attain decent bed bug information.

    I think it's clear from my post above that I understood that.

    I also think Jim did too which was why he was implying you should add something to your letter suggesting those LL/Property managers tell tenants not to set off foggers.

    This is not such a far-fetched notion, since you tell the landlords/managers in your letter,

    "> Please stop telling your residents to dispose of, or throw out, their furniture solely due to the presence of bed bugs. Note that you would not throw away your dog or cat simply because it has fleas and that this furniture may remain serviceable once the bed bugs have been successfully eliminated via various means."

    So, in relation to this, I could see how "tell tenants not to set off foggers" could be seen as a relevant addition. And for this reason, that first comment doesn't appear to be off-topic.

    You are welcome to completely ignore Jim's suggestion and not add it to your letter, but insisting that I remove his post from your thread is ridiculous since this is a forum and people can certainly post a comment or suggestion related to the topic at hand. The first post from Jim was on topic for the reasons I explained above.

    Keeping threads "on topic" does not mean retaining only material that the person who started the thread agrees with.

    Let me reiterate that you writing a letter for a tenant to give landlords/property managers is a great idea.

    Finally, the possibility exists for you or other experts to post material such as this as a FAQ, which would preclude any discussion in a forum setting, and I hope you will consider that. However, I don't publish FAQs of material which is also published in the same form on the internet in other places. (That upsets Google and can get sites penalized for duplicate content.)

    Such FAQs may later have notes added to the bottom which are credited to other experts, which you may not agree with (and I think you know this, since you have asked me to add your suggestions to posts by other experts in the FAQs before), so that's worth keeping in mind.

    I hope this clarifies things!

    Please direct further questions or comments to my email or PMs (if you really prefer them).

  12. Richard56

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    Posted 4 years ago
    Wed Aug 12 2015 14:58:31
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    Jim's concern about the improper use of "foggers" is well taken, but I see Paul's point that it's "off topic" in the sense that the proposed letter is intended "as a resource from the resident's point of view in dealing with a LL/Property management" and not to give management specific treatment-oriented advice, other than they "should hire an experienced and competent pest professional to deal with your bed bug elimination".

    Richard

  13. P Bello

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    Posted 4 years ago
    Wed Aug 12 2015 15:09:19
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    Yes, that's EXACTLY the point Richard.

    Thank you, someone who understands logical/linear thought !

    Remember that this letter is intended to "open the eyes" of LLs/PMs who are running a poor BB management program and need to get on track with proper methodologies.

    And, at least one of these has supplied foggers to their residents rather than hire a decent pro.

    Thanks again !

    pjb

  14. Richard56

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    Posted 4 years ago
    Wed Aug 12 2015 15:15:21
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    pjb:

    Thank you, someone who understands logical/linear thought !

    As one writer to another (http://www.amazon.com/The-Bed-Bug-Combat-Manual/dp/1467036463)
    I also understand the thought that goes into a document/letter's intent and the writer's instinct to protect that intent. Been there, done that many times!

    I see no harm or ill intent in Jim's post, which is factually correct, I just don't see that thought as part of Paul's letter, and I believe that is all Paul was saying.

    Richard

  15. Nobugsonme

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    Posted 4 years ago
    Wed Aug 12 2015 15:29:18
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    Richard56 - 4 minutes ago  » 

    I also understand the thought that goes into a document/letter's intent and the writer's instinct to protect that intent. Been there, done that many times!
    I see no harm or ill intent in Jim's post, which is factually correct, I just don't see that thought as part of Paul's letter, and I believe that is all Paul was saying.

    No, actually, Paul has also flagged Jim's post above asking that I delete Jim's comments from this thread because they are "off-topic".

    This is why I replied, to Paul, above,

    You are welcome to completely ignore Jim's suggestion and not add it to your letter, but insisting that I remove his post from your thread is ridiculous since this is a forum and people can certainly post a comment or suggestion related to the topic at hand. The first post from Jim was on topic for the reasons I explained above.

    Keeping threads "on topic" does not mean retaining only material that the person who started the thread agrees with.

    While I have clearly stated that Paul is welcome to ignore Jim's suggestion and not alter his letter in any way, as should be obvious, that does not make Jim's initial comment "off-topic" nor warrant any deletion of his post from this thread.

    My comments are not the result of a lack of understanding logical or linear thinking (Gee thanks, Paul!), nor a lack of understanding of the primacy of a writer.

    However, when writers post to discussion forums, the inevitable result may be... discussion.

  16. Richard56

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    Posted 4 years ago
    Wed Aug 12 2015 16:04:13
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    NB:

    However, when writers post to discussion forums, the inevitable result may be... discussion.

    Yes!

  17. loubugs

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    Posted 4 years ago
    Wed Aug 12 2015 16:39:01
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    A mixture of quotes from Paul, Richard56, Nobugs, JD

    I see no harm or ill intent in Jim's post, which is factually correct, I just don't see that thought as part of Paul's letter, and I believe that is all Paul was saying.
    Remember that this letter is intended to "open the eyes" of LLs/PMs who are running a poor BB management program and need to get on track with proper methodologies.
    And, at least one of these has supplied foggers to their residents rather than hire a decent pro.
    Jim's concern about the improper use of "foggers" is well taken, but I see Paul's point that it's "off topic" in the sense that the proposed letter is intended "as a resource from the resident's point of view in dealing with a LL/Property management" and not to give management specific treatment-oriented advice, other than they "should hire an experienced and competent pest professional to deal with your bed bug elimination".
    My comments are not the result of a lack of understanding logical or linear thinking (Gee thanks, Paul!), nor a lack of understanding of the primacy of a writer.
    I almost wasn't going to say anything, but I also see no harm in Jim's post about foggers; in fact, Paul, you just pointed out that that at least one of those LL/PM supplied foggers to their residents. So it is appropriate to include in your letter to them.
    I think logically, in linear but also 3 dimensions.

    Professional entomologist/arachnologist. I consult on all matters dealing with insects and arachnids, including those of natural history and biology to pest management and forensic entomology investigations.
  18. P Bello

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    Posted 4 years ago
    Wed Aug 12 2015 17:07:07
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    I think we're missing the point in that this is a LL/PM who, up to now has been unwilling to take the existing BB situation seriously.

    Yes, I'll agree that there are many additional items which might be included in such a letter however, the intent of this letter was in response to the demand that folks must discard their beds and sofas in order to have a successful BB elimination effort.

    Clearly, the fogger issue is not of prime concern and would not warrant mentioning in these situations given the known facts.

    Informing a LL, who in the past has provided foggers, insecticides, sticky traps and other items such that residents are left to "self treat", that this is a bad idea or should not be done, is slippery slope depending upon the individuals you're dealing with.

    Of course, care must also be taken such that the residents are not placed in further jeopardy due to the situation at hand. This is so because some LLs may not be as receptive as others.

    It is what it is.

    pjb

  19. loubugs

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    Posted 4 years ago
    Wed Aug 12 2015 17:14:16
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    I think we're missing the point in that this is a LL/PM who, up to now has been unwilling to take the existing BB situation seriously.
    Clearly, the fogger issue is not of prime concern and would not warrant mentioning in these situations given the known facts.
    The letter is not boilerplate and can be modified for each recipient. The LL/PM should not be putting the residents in further jeopardy due to supply of improper information, improper insecticides, bad procedural information, etc. Hopefully by learning something, that LL/PM will provide a better place to live. If they look at costs alone and are only driven by costs, they will never get rid of the bed bug infestations. Educate their workers and tenants.

  20. P Bello

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    Posted 4 years ago
    Wed Aug 12 2015 17:41:45
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    I agree Lou, this is an example from specific situations.

    However, the jeopardy of which I was referring extends beyond BBs as some of these folks live in fear of their LL/PM who are already not cooperative/responsive to the existing BB situation. It is common to hear that residents are threatened with eviction when "labeled" as being problematic. In some situations services are delayed or withheld. Surely none of us would know what this might be like unless we've experienced it ourselves.

    As stated above, this letter was written on behalf of the residents to the LL/PM in order to get them moving in the right direction regarding BB control. In my view we need to tread lightly in these situations.

    Have a nice day, thanks for your comments !

    pjb

  21. Nobugsonme

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    Posted 4 years ago
    Wed Aug 12 2015 18:26:48
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    P Bello - 1 hour ago  » 

    Informing a LL, who in the past has provided foggers, insecticides, sticky traps and other items such that residents are left to "self treat", that this is a bad idea or should not be done, is slippery slope depending upon the individuals you're dealing with.
    Of course, care must also be taken such that the residents are not placed in further jeopardy due to the situation at hand. This is so because some LLs may not be as receptive as others.

    That's understandable to me now in the context of the letter you wrote for this individual landlord.

    However, we have heard of landlords who told tenants to throw out couches, etc.

    And yet you tell the landlords,

    > Please stop telling your residents to dispose of, or throw out, their furniture solely due to the presence of bed bugs. Note that you would not throw away your dog or cat simply because it has fleas and that this furniture may remain serviceable once the bed bugs have been successfully eliminated via various means.

    So if this were used for a different landlord, one who had told residents to throw things out, this advice would presumably cause offense and make the landlord feel they were dealing with a troublemaker.

    In that light, why is the "tell tenants not to use foggers and bombs" advice different from the "tell tenants not to throw out furniture" advice?

    As Lou said, it may need to be adapted for each individual landlord, in order to best educate and cause the least offence.

  22. KillerQueen

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    Posted 4 years ago
    Wed Aug 12 2015 18:39:07
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    I slit a sheet - a sheet I slit - upon a slitted sheet I sit.

  23. theyareoutthere

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    Posted 4 years ago
    Wed Aug 12 2015 18:39:16
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    I thought Jim had a good point about foggers, but see that this was specific to a specific situation. I do think that if you post something like this, which everyone seems to think was a good idea....it wouldn't be unexpected that people may say "Hey, what about adding this? What did you mean by that?". That was my intent in asking about if you thought this letter would work with the standard bedbug rider used by the major publicly held landlords.

    Regarding a landlord, particularly a large, publicly held landlord with a PORTFOLIO of rental properties, is that the following language in the posted letter could be construed as the tenant missing the point if said tenant had signed a bedbug rider which permits the landlord to "finger point" to responsibility:

    "Once a bed bug infestation attains a foothold and is allowed to progress at your property who actually may have started the infestation is of little concern when you’re then dealing with infestations in multiple units."

    This letter, in my humble not off topic opinion, is suitable for less sophisticated landlords, but may be ignored or, worst yet, used against the tenant in reconciliation court by a sophisticated landlord with highly paid attorneys. I know you are an expert witness and may disagree.

    May I recommend something in the middle? Take this sort of letter to a not for profit tenant rights group in your state as a starting point, along with a copy of your lease and any other documentation you have. Then, the letter could be adapted to the tenant's particular state and particular situation?

    On topic discussion is not meant to offend the OP.

    TAOT

    P.S. Is KQ on topic?


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