The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) performs many functions. They are the gatekeeper of policy information, clarification, announcements, and procedure decisions. They also provide useful information for residents, property management personnel, and pest management professionals on managing bed bug infestations. Recently developed policy changes give stricter rules as to how bed bug infestations must be handled in HUD Insured and Assisted Multifamily Housing building/units/homes throughout the United States.
Despite the fact that bed bugs are not known to spread disease, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) consider bed bugs to be a “pest of significant public health importance.”
Three new notices that must now be followed have been released by HUD. Here are some of the interesting highlights from Notice H 2011-20.
• Owners and Management Agents (O/As) are encouraged to develop and follow an Integrated Pest Management Program (IPM). The goal is to prevent bed bug infestations as well as have a program in place when there is a bed bug infestation occurrence.
• O/As should consider a tenants complaint of bed bugs to be an urgent matter. Tenants should be contacted within 24 hours by the O/As and an inspection of the property should occur within a reasonable time period.
• O/As should inspect a dwelling to determine if bed bugs are present using a variety of detection tools such as bed bug sniffing dogs and visual inspections.
• The O/As should have the affected unit inspected within three calendar days by a licensed pest control operator, or keep documentation as to why those services could not be completed within the recommended time frame.
• At the minimum, any unit above, below, and on both sides of the suspected bed bug infested unit must also be inspected for bed bugs.
Please check back on Wednesday for the conclusion.