Public Housing Associates and Technicians find Immense Value in Global Bed Bug Summit
Lawrenceville, NJ – The affordable housing industry came out in great numbers to attend National Pest Management’s (NPMA) Global Bed Bug Summit that was sponsored by BedBug Central. The event, which was originally created by BedBug Central 10 years ago and passed onto NPMA, had over 500 attendees.
“We were thoroughly impressed with the turnout for the Affordable Housing Track at Summit this year,” said BedBug Central’s President Robert DiJoseph, whom was the sponsor for the Global Bed Bug Summit. “The affordable housing industry really took ahold of the agenda this year and found great value in attending.”
Property Manager Diane Percival of Property Management Inc., based in Casper, Wyoming attended because she had won a free registration to Global Bed Bug Summit through a silent auction with the affordable housing organization Rocky AHMA.
Percival who has had limited experiences with bed bugs explained that she encountered her first one just prior to attending Global Bed Bug Summit and was excited to learn more about how the treat and control infestations.
“I haven’t had a lot of experiences with bed bugs but I was really excited to come to Global Bed Bug Summit and learn more on how we can treat them,” Percival said.
Tonya Mitchell-Weston CEO of the Housing Authority of the County of Warren in Pennsylvania who has had an extensive history with bed bug infestations explained that initially she had no plans on attending the event but that quickly changed.
“I was not originally attending, however, when I had my meeting with my pest management professional (PMP) and they explained that they weren’t coming, I knew I had to attend,” she said. “They weren’t giving us any improvement with our bed bug infestations so I knew I had to come and get as much out of the Global Bed Bug Summit as I could in order to help improve our community.”
Both Percival and Mitchell-Weston agreed the Global Bed Bug Summit was incredibly valuable for them and their communities.
“I’ve learned so much since I attended,” Percival said. “I never knew bed bugs could go through walls but now I am going home with the knowledge that I need to help educate my employees and our residents on ways to help treat and detect early on.”
“I’m glad I attended because I learned so much,” Mitchell-Weston said. “I learned about the history of bed bugs and how they moved to get where they are at today, which was completely valuable. Then learning about bed bug litigation scared me. I don’t want to be sued for something that we have been trying to fix but we just haven’t found success yet.”
Mitchell-Weston and Percival also said they had a few big takeaways that are coming back home with them.
“The one tip I’m taking with me is the ‘no prep’ methodology from Dr. Cooper,” Mitchell-Weston said. “It just makes total sense to me. Here we are asking residents to do these prep lists and move items all over and yet we are moving the bed bugs everywhere. It never made sense to me on why we did that but we definitely won’t be doing that anymore.”
Monitoring and early detection was what made an impact for Percival for her housing complex.
“I’m very interested in the bed bug traps and how they can detect infestation early-on as well as if bed bugs are still present after treatment,” Percival said. “At my property I am going to make sure we can use these tools for early detection and catch the bugs before the infestation can get out of control.”
The general consensus from affordable housing attendees was that the Global Bed Bug Summit opened their eyes to the potential for actually eliminating bed bug infestations as opposed to simply controlling them in their complexes.
“After attending, I feel like there is hope for complete elimination,” Mitchell-Weston said. “I’ve always been told that you’ll never get rid of bed bugs and that they will always just be an ongoing issue but at Global Bed Bug Summit, you learn that you can eliminate them when you do it correctly.”
Mitchell-Weston and Percival explained that with all that they had learned, they can’t wait to come back in 2020 for the next Global Bed Bug Summit and bring back even more representatives from their properties.
“This time I was alone but next time I’m bringing my maintenance supervisor, the maintenance technician who assists our PMPs and a property manager with me,” she said.
Mitchell-Weston explained that she hopes to see a great deal of housing authorities in attendance at the next Global Bed Bug Summit because the amount of knowledge received was immensely valuable for her and her community.
“The bed bug issue is with housing authorities,” she said. “Every housing authority that I am familiar with has major bed bug infestations, so they need to be here.”
The next Global Bed Bug Summit is tentatively scheduled for 2020. Details will be announced at a later date.
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