Tag Archives: freeze bed bugs

Bed Bug Heat Treatment Causes Problems for NYC Co-Ops

Heat treatments are frequently touted as an effective way to get rid of bed bugs, but they often fail to live up to the hype, as events at a Manhattan co-op so painfully illustrate. When a resident of a 22-unit NYC co-op discovered bed bugs, he arranged to have his unit heat treated. Afterwards, he reported his apartment to be bed bug-free. But the heat treatment hadn’t actually annihilated the bed bug infestation, it had just forced the insects to scurry next door or, in this case, upstairs into the apartment directly above his

As an exterminator told the upstairs neighbor who inherited the bed bug infestation, heat treatments aren’t usually effective at exterminating bed bugs in apartments or co-ops. “It rarely gets hot enough to kill them and they just travel up through the walls to another location.” Instead of ending the misery, ineffective or inexpertly applied bed bug treatments simply spread the misery. (Click to read Tom Soter’s first-person account of his co-op bed bug woes on Habitat.com.)

Bed bugs are good at hiding and when motivated they can move pretty fast. That’s why it’s so difficult to kill these pests in multi-unit buildings. Moving through air ducts, wall voids, electrical and plumbing conduits, bed bugs simply relocate to avoid heat or pesticides. Cryonite offers another option; one that exterminates bed bugs without spreading infestations. Cryonite is the perfect solution for NYC co-ops. Get the details on our website.

How Cold Does It Have to Get to Kill Bed Bugs?

Bed bugs are sensitive to extreme temperatures. When correctly applied by an expert bed bug exterminator, both high heat and freezing cold can and will kill bed bugs. In both cases, a certain temperature must be reached and maintained for a specific period of time to guarantee the death of these insects. However, a recent study indicates that bed bugs may be better that previously believed at protecting themselves against low temperatures.

Like many insects, bed bugs have the ability to shield themselves against injury from cold temperatures by lowering the freezing point of their body fluids. As reported by the Entomological Society of America, a new study has been able to document bed bug behavior at various low temperature exposures and durations, providing pest control professionals with reliable bed bug control data.

Study results validate the instantly lethal effectiveness of Stern’s Cryonite bed bug extermination system. Researchers found that at temperatures below 5 F., bed bugs at all stages of development died within 3.5 days. Decreasing the temperature, shortened the necessary exposure time to guarantee 100% extermination; although some bed bugs were able to survive short exposures to below zero temperatures down to minus 13 F. Our Cryonite system uses a carbon dioxide “snow” super-cooled to a temperature of minus 110 F. which instantly freezes and kills bed bugs at all stages of development, including eggs.


HUD’s New Guidelines For Public Housing Authorities In the USA Part 2 Of 2

Continuing from Wednesday…

If bed bugs are found, treatment must be completed to the unit and all of the surrounding units as well.  PHAs may offer special services to tenants such as inspecting furniture, non-chemical treatment of furniture prior to moving into a unit, the use of bed bug detection devices or mattress encasements, but tenants are not required to use the services.  All special services must be incurred at the expense of the PHA.

Public Housing Agencies cannot deny residency to tenants who have had previous bed bug experiences.  Preferential treatment may not be provided to tenants based upon their response to the question regarding exposure to bed bugs.  Any person who lives in a HUD owned Public Housing Unit cannot be charged for bed bug eradication services.  All costs for bed bug eradication must be covered by the PHA.

Recognizing that tenants have some responsibility in controlling bed bugs, tenants must also take an active role in avoiding and eliminating the pests.

In the regulation, “tenants are strongly encouraged to immediately report the suspicion of possible bed bugs in a housing unit or other areas of the property.”  This should be a REQUIREMENT, not an encouragement!  Bed bugs spread very quickly.  It is imperative that pest control professionals be called at the first sign of a bed bug infestation.

Tenants will not be reimbursed for bed bug infested items so it is important for them to cooperate and aid in the eradication process.  When bed bugs are concerned, tenants, PHAs and pest control professionals must all work together for full eradication.

Public Housing Agencies and Pest Control Professionals are encouraged to keep abreast of the new HUD guidelines by reading Notice: PIH-2012-17 provided by HUD.

HUD’s New Guidelines For Public Housing Authorities In the USA Part 1 Of 2

Any confusion as to who is responsible for a bed bug infestation within any public housing facility may now be put to rest.  The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) has created new bed bug protocol that will protect the tenant and the landlord that will go into effect immediately.

It has been recommended that Integrated Pest Management (IPM) plans be implemented to help control bed bugs as well as other types of household pests and HUD is strongly encouraging Pubic Housing Agencies (PHAs) to incorporate a good IPM plan.  According to HUD, the procedures include:

“Raising awareness through education on the prevention of bed bugs.

Inspecting infested area, plus surrounding living spaces.

Checking for bed bugs in luggage and clothes when returning home from a trip.

Looking for bed bugs or signs of an infestation on secondhand items before bringing the items home.

Correctly identifying the pest. Keeping records indicating dates and locations where pests are found.

Cleaning all items within a bed bug infested living area.

Reducing clutter where bed bugs can hide.

Eliminating bed bug habitats.

Physically removing bed bugs through cleaning.

Using pesticides carefully according to the label directions.

Following up on inspections and possible treatments.”

In the new guidelines, PHA must respond to complaints of bed bugs within 24 hours and discuss what measures will be taken to get rid of the pests with tenants.  Inspection of the unit in question, as well as the units above, below, and on the sides must also be performed within three business days.  If bed bugs are not found, re-inspection must be completed periodically over the next several months.

Please check back on Friday for the conclusion.

HUD Helps Victims Of Bed Bugs Part 2 Of 2

Continuing from Monday…

• If a unit is suspected to have bed bugs, but no bugs are found, O/As should continue to re-inspect the unit/s for several months.

• When bed bugs are found in a unit, that unit, as well as the units surrounding it, must receive treatment for the pests.  Treatment can be in the form of heat, freezing, using mattress encasements, vacuuming, steaming, and interception devices.

• O/As may ask for financial help from HUD to treat bed bug infestations in a dwelling.  O/A’s should submit a request via the “Reserve for Replacement” or “Residual Receipts” accounts at HUD.

• O/A’s can help keep the incidents of bed bug infestations low by offering tenants bed bug mattress covers, monitoring devices, or other detection tools.  The O/As may not charge a tenant for the use of any of these products.

• To protect the building, O/As may voluntarily offer to inspect a tenant’s furniture before they move in and inspections of luggage when a tenant returns from a trip out-of- town, and inspection of any used furniture before it is brought into a building. The O/As may not charge a tenant nor can they require a tenant to be subjected to any of these services.

• Tenants that have had a bed bug problem at a previous residence cannot be denied residency based upon that history.

• The cost of bed bug eradication cannot be passed along to the tenant.  The O/As must incur the costs associated with the bed bug infestation or ask for financial assistance from the “Reserve for Replacement” or “Residual Receipts” accounts at HUD if necessary.

• Tenants should immediately report any bed bug sightings to the O/As so that treatment can commence before the infestation spreads throughout the building.

• Tenants should expect the O/As to perform treatment within 5 days of calling to report the bloodsuckers.  If not possible, tenants should be kept aware of when the pest control professional will provide treatment.

• Tenants must cooperate with all bed bug treatment efforts and OA’s can offer assistance free of charge if needed.