The property managers for an elderly housing building in Asbury Park, NJ have contacted with Cowleys to perform a building-wide bed bug inspection twice yearly. It’s a tremendous undertaking, but one that’s well worth it, especially for those apartment complexes that have had bed bug issues in the past. Periodic bed bug inspections in senior housing is critical for a variety of reasons. Tenants in these buildings can have poor mobility, poor eyesight, and sometimes even diminished mental capacity to relax that there is an infestation in their unit. Because many are on anti-inflammatory medications for medical issues, they may not even be aware that they are being bitten. Also, there apartment units can have clutter issues, so there are more potential bed bug harborage areas.
With these inspections, we left mattresses, boxsprings, couches, and other furniture. Bed bugs will hide in seams and on the bottom of furniture. Rarely do they stay in plain view. During these inspections, we often find bed bug problems that the tenant was unaware of, especially when the infestation is in its early stages and the insect populations are low.
When inspecting these units, we always inspect the bed and the areas around the bed such as nightstands and beside furniture. Bed bugs feed exclusively off human blood, and they prefer to stay near their food source between their blood meals. As such, we concentrate on those areas of the apartment where the tenants either sleep or nap. Our objective is to identify problems and get things under control before an isolated bed bug problem becomes a major building-wide nightmare for the tenants and property management.
Should we find a bed bug issue, we immediately set up a treatment plan for the resident. Any plan starts by instructing the resident as to how to properly prepare their unit for treatment. Clutter removal and other pre-treatment tasks are essential for our treatment to be effective. If the tenant is unable to do the preparatory work, the property manager must locate family members or other resources to help. Cowleys has extensive experience with bed bug infestations, especially in high density living arrangements like apartment buildings and nursing homes. We have a five-week treatment plan protocol. We perform an initial servicing followed by two follow-up visits, one after two weeks and a second after another three weeks. During these follow-ups, we re-inspect and perform additional treatments as necessary.
With these periodic bed bug checks during the year, we are able to keep problems under control before they become a serious issue.