Increasing numbers of PMPs are realizing the importance and advantages of a pro-active approach to bed bug management in multi-family housing. Dr. Rick Cooper’s groundbreaking “markrelease-recapture” study, conducted in 2014, demonstrated the extent and speed of movement of bed bugs between apartments in multi-family housing. This study confirmed what many PMP’s had suspected for years, treating just one apartment in multi-family housing is not an effective strategy, regardless of the products utilized.
Unfortunately, housing managers have been far more reluctant to accept this, preferring to cling to a reactive approach in their flawed attempts to save money on pest control. Not only does this result in higher pest control costs over time, it also drives bed bug infestations in their properties. This approach is also detrimental to PMPs who are frequently blamed for the perceived failure to bring bed bug issues under control. Fortunately, current knowledge on bed bug behavior and movement, inspection and monitoring methods, minimal resident preparation requirements, and the availability of new products with long-term residual efficacy, provide PMPs with the opportunity to offer a more effective, proactive approach to bed bug management, while reducing the overall cost of annual pest control.
Offering a pro-active service contract requires customer education to ensure that housing managers understand the following key points:
Once these points are understood, the benefits of a more holistic pro-active approach will become clear.
An economic and effective pro-active service contract utilizing the long-term (up to 3 months) residual efficacy of Aprehend® is outlined below:
An initial inspection provides management with a full understanding of the infestation status and facilitates accurate costing of the contract. However, for quarterly follow-ups, simply apply Primary Aprehend barriers in all apartments. This takes less time than inspections, and is more effective, as it ensures that any bed bug introductions cannot lead to infestations between services.
When calculating contract pricing, estimate technician time to conduct the initial inspections (approximately 10 mins per 1 bedroom apartment), application time for Aprehend® (15 mins for medium to heavy infestations, 5-10 mins for all other apartments), cost of goods (3 oz Aprehend® for pro-active and low infestations, 5-8 oz for medium to heavy infestations). Initial inspection and treatment can be done during the same visit. Annual contract cost will include quarterly applications for all apartments (10 mins per apartment, plus 3 oz Aprehend).