PUBLISHED ON October 28th, 2010
Eden’s IPM Consultant and Bed Bug Specialist, Cody Pace was quoted in the Daily Journal of Commerce by Real Estate Editor Marc Stiles.
September 16, 2010
Real Estate Buzz: Bedbugs keep some property owners awake
By MARC STILES Real Estate Editor
Just talking about bedbugs makes us start scratching and we bet you’ll be itchy, too, after you’ve read this.
We’ve all been hearing that the hard-to-get-rid-of pests are back. Now there are news reports that it’s not just hotels and apartments that are being invaded, but offices, stores and other commercial spaces.
Infestations of the blood-sucking insects have been reported in New York City at the offices of the Brooklyn District Attorney, Elle magazine and Google, as well as a Times Square movie theater and some retail stores. Forbes.com reported the critters also have been spotted at a public library in Denver and a dentist’s office in Nashville.
Earlier this year, a suvery by the pest control company Orkin and the Building Owners and Managers Association found that 10 percent of bedbug reports nationally came from commercial properties.
“The numbers you saw [in that survey] are about right in Seattle,” said Rod Kauffman, president of BOMA Seattle King County. Pest control companies say “we’re approaching the point where it could break out and be more significant.”
Two years ago, Eden Advanced Pest Technologies of Seattle got a bedbug call about once every other month. Today, the company has two teams that work full-time eradicating bedbugs.
“The increase has been exponential,” said Cody Pace, an associate certified entomologist at Eden. “It’s huge.”
Bedbugs haven’t been an issue for decades. Experts say a combination of factors — increased travel, changes in pest control methods, and a lack of awareness and vigilance among the general public — led to the increase.
Pace said most of Eden’s calls involve residential properties. The problem for owners and managers of commercial space is that the tiny, nocturnal bugs are adept hitchhikers that can easily catch a ride from home to the office and stores.
Bedbugs are a nuisance. Their bites can cause itchy welts, and it can take two or three treatments to get rid of them. They are not known to spread diseases, but infestations can cause severe anxiety.
Pace said that some of his bedbug customers suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder. Bedbugs “basically just take over people’s lives,” he said. Some folks withdraw and become depressed. They stop going out to stay home and clean, even though health experts say bedbugs are not a result of poor housekeeping. As the Public Health — Seattle & King County website states, “Anyone can have bedbugs.”
For building owners and managers, preparation is key. “There’s nothing worse than being caught off guard,” Pace said. Knowing what bedbugs look like and what to do if your space is invaded will reduce the stress of an infestation.
BOMA Seattle King County and Eden are planning a seminar for office building owners, managers and tenants. The date hasn’t been set, but Kauffman said the workshop likely will be during the first half of November.
If you’re itching to get a jump on bedbugs before then, check out Public Health’s bedbug web page. Go to kingcounty.gov/healthservices, click on “environmental health” and scroll down to “Bedbugs: Do I have them?”
OK, let’s all check the cushion on our office chairs now.