In Response To This Post About Bed Bug Reporting, I Received The Following Message From A Unit Owner:
“Reading it reminded me of advice posted in a NYC hotel room years ago: after traveling, put your suitcase in the bathtub for 24 hours. Do not put your suitcase on the bed or any surface on which you will sit or sleep. The one time I violated this advice, I ended up with bedbugs in my bed and unknowingly spread them to every place I set until our exterminator got rid of them.”
This is great advice, and in fact there is a lot of information out there these days about bed bugs. Taking the time to learn about them and how they spread can help you avoid them. There is no silver bullet. We are all at risk everywhere we go. People who have bed bugs at home, are very likely spreading them to others on the bus, in restaurants, at the doctor’s office, theaters, their friends house, and more – ANYWHERE they go.
Following is a great article from Healthline.com, about how this pest spreads, and more:
Also, I encountered this YouTube video online from an ABC Local news report:
More below regarding recent events, and the Association’s bed bug control efforts.
If this sounds familiar, it is because we are all but reposting this from a past article.
Park Tower’s assessments include robust funding for pro-active monitoring and inspection services for most household pests, and perhaps most importantly roaches and bed bugs. Residents receive notices for weekly inspections floor by floor for pest control efforts throughout the year. Two floors a week for bed bugs and two floors every other week for regular household pests such as roaches.
We also coordinate, schedule and follow up on any problems our team finds, or which are reported by residents. In fact, many problems are reported to us initially by residents, and that is a really important part of any successful pest control effort in a community such as Park Tower. Sadly, very recently we’ve come across problems where there were OBVIOUS conditions that the residents could see for themselves and should have been reported. More than once our team has been told something like “Yeah, I saw a few, and was planning to reach out.” What make it worse is there was a serious problem in a neighboring unit we could have learned of sooner. Conditions were allowed to become bad in one unit, so much so it ended up spreading to a neighbor. We learned of this when the neighbor reported the problem.
Fortunately, we are equipped and funded by the Association to get on top of these situations quickly. Most traditional exterminating services are available to residents at no additional charge as part of an ongoing process to prevent insect problems in the building. More extensive infestations, or treatment for pests not covered by that contract, can be arranged for a fee. Only properly licensed and insured companies shall be used to conduct extermination inside the unit.
However, this service should not be taken for granted. Reporting a pest problem to the Management Office immediately, is vital. If reported immediately, the chances are much higher we can avoid the conditions worsening and keeping the problem from spreading into other units. The sooner we can act, the less time, money, resources and hassle.
And keep in mind, in the event it is determined that treatment is needed for any pests, including bed bugs, is necessary, it is not just our time involved. In many cases, residents will need to coordinate cleaning, preparations and/or disposal of personal property (i.e. furniture, clothing, personal belongings, etc.) with the treatment being performed in the unit, so as to protect against a re-infestation of any pests, especially bed bugs.
Residents also must comply with any requests for inspection and extermination, thereby helping ensure health and safety for all residents and the Park Tower community. When pests are identified, this means surrounding units and other locations where the condition might spread will also have to prepare for inspections and possible treatment. So, this creates a hassle and inconvenience for all of impacted neighbors.
Finally, there are possible penalties. Failure to report a problem and cooperate in the inspection or treatment of the unit for pests, including bed bugs, may result in a fine.
It should also be noted, pest control treatments by anyone other than a properly licensed and insured pest control operator is prohibited and frankly a waste of time and money. For all contractors working in the building, a minimum of $1,000,000 of general liability coverage and $500,000 of workers compensation coverage is required. And we would never recommend residents try to attempt exterminating themselves. Most over the counter solutions are NOT good for multi-unit or high rise locations like Park Tower. Pests like roaches and bed bugs typically just spread to other locations. Professional treatment is essential.
Bed Bug Inspections and Treatment
A recent case involved bed bugs, so we wanted to highlight our procedures for such events.
As a part of the association’s effort to control and prevent the spread of bed bugs, and consistent with Section 7-28-840 of the Chicago Municipal Code, inspections shall be scheduled in units and common areas throughout the building. Inspections will typically be conducted by a trained and certified canine scent detection team, but owners can opt to have a human inspection as an alternative.
Proactive inspections will be scheduled and conducted twice per year per unit. Participation is voluntary. Unless otherwise requested in writing or being present when the inspection team knocks, “no-admit” units will not be inspected. Other unit owners and residents may opt out by notifying the office after receiving the notice or before the date of the inspection.
Upon scheduling of moves-out and moves-in, inspections shall be scheduled. Move-out inspections shall be conducted within 14 days of the scheduled move and prior to any scheduled move-in. A second canine inspection shall be conducted within 7 days after a move-in. For protection of incoming residents and to help protect unit owners and the association from liability, any necessary treatment shall be conducted before a move-in.
If physical evidence of bed bugs is found in any unit, or conditions in any neighboring unit warrant, treatment shall be scheduled within 7 days. Unit owners and residents shall cooperate with any request by the association to schedule and conduct such treatments. A licensed and insured pest control operator will be responsible for conducting treatments and determining if treatment in neighboring units, also known as “box-in” treatments, are necessary. No treatment of any kind will be allowed by unit owners/residents who are not properly licensed and insured.
The association will schedule treatment through its certified inspection team or pest control operator of record. However, the unit owner may choose a company that meets the following criteria:
Often times, proper treatment for bed bugs will include extensive in-unit preparations. Unit owners and residents shall comply with any instructions to prepare the unit. If preparations are deemed insufficient by the pest control operator, a follow up treatment may be scheduled.
Bed bug treatment will be considered successful after passing a follow up inspection. Typically this will be scheduled within 30 days following treatment. If physical evidence of bed bugs is found, retreatment will be scheduled.
Consistent with the City of Chicago Bed Bug Ordinance, Unit owners who rent and their tenants shall also have the following specific responsibilities:
Cost of Bed Bug Inspection and Treatment
The cost of bed bug inspection and treatment services conducted by association vendors is subject to change. Therefore, these services will not be listed on the Park Tower Fee Schedule. Interested unit owners/residents should inquire directly to the Management Office for the current anticipated cost of services.
The cost of all proactive and “box-in” inspections conducted by a trained canine scent detection team is included in the regular assessments. The cost of canine inspections for moves is included as a part of the registration fee paid by all new residents. The cost of scheduled treatments and all other inspections is the responsibility of the individual unit owner, except as noted below. Where “box-in” treatments are deemed necessary by the pest management company, the association is responsible for treatment. Should the unit owner/resident opt for human inspections as an alternative to the canine team, the unit owner is responsible for any difference in cost.
Park Tower Condominium Association will pay for up to one bed bug treatment per unit per year under the following set of circumstances:
The association will not pay for services provided by another vendor. The cost of any missed appointments for inspections or treatments will be the responsibility of the unit owner. This includes units not fully prepared in advance, or for inspectors and exterminators turned away at the door. If the vendor shows up, the association will still be charged, and any expense shall be passed on to the individual owner.
This policy may change by resolution of the board if there are necessary procedural changes or financial conditions that warrant consideration.
To review all our Rules and Regulations, including other Pest Control Procedures, we encourage residents to review the Park Tower Rules and Regulations Handbook. This is available in the PT Condo Library: https://www.ptcondo.com/rules-regs/