During the NAR Mid-Year Legislative Meetings, the NAR Property Management Forum invited Lyn Garling, Program Manager for the Penn State Integrated Pest Management program, to speak about the bed bugs and the growing impact on property management and real estate in general. We tweeted a great deal of Garling’s tips for detecting and mitigating bed bugs in commercial and multi-family properties and since we have become fascinated (somewhat in horror) over the growing “perfect storm” of bed bug infestation in the United States. The Environmental Protection Agency’s staff were very helpful in recommending Garling to NAR as a speaker and they recently sent us another primer from the Pest Control Technology Magazine, titled “The History of Bed Bug Management: Lessons from the Past” by Dr. Michael Potter which was initially published in Entomological Society of America Bulletin back in April 2011. While Dr. Potter’s article may be in the “more than I needed to know” category, we can tell you this – what you don’t know about bed bugs can indeed hurt your business. States have begun passing legislation to address the burgeoning problems of bed bugs (see IREMFirst for what’s happening and where.)
Here are our top five tweets from the Mid-Year Session to give you an idea of how much we have to learn about controlling this pest problem and how it impacts your business:
#1 Bed bug bites are NOT reliable evidence that your property is infested. First time bites can take 10-14 days to manifest. Where was your tenant 2 weeks ago?
#2 Heat is the achilles heel of bed bugs. Pesticides do not work! Garling brought a petri dish of dead bed bugs and mentioned that she had to microwave them twice to kill them.
#3 Keep a cool head and watch your wallet. If you remember the early days of mold, there are a lot of companies that would love to take large amounts of your money and promise to make the problem go away.
#4 Bed bugs can’t run, hop or fly but they can live up to one year without feeding. Leaving a space vacant for any length of time won’t solve the problem.
#5 Get past the gross and get an education. Here are some reliable resources (including a recent REALTOR Magazine Online Webinar with Lyn Garling herself!):
- Listen to a recent hour-long webinar with Lyn Garling herself sponsored by REALTOR Magazine Online!
- National Pest Management Association offers tips to commercial businesses on pest management, prevention tips, hiring a pest professional and many articles
- The Environmental Protection Agency beg bug website
- And finally, a website that Garling recommended: http://www.bedbugcentral.com
Oh, and the first person who can tell me the song and band we “tongue in cheek” used for the title and tells us in Comments will receive some cool NAR Commercial swag in the mail!
- Bed Bug-Sniffing Dogs are the Latest Weapons in Bed Bug Detection (prweb.com)
- July is Here and So are the New York Bed Bugs…and Ticks Too? (bedbugfumigators.wordpress.com)