– A GROWING PROBLEM IN HOUSING
It is in the interest of all property managers for housing associations and private landlords to make sure their buildings are bed bug-free. Depending on the country and insurance policy, the cost of a bed bug problem can fall on the property manager or the individual living in the flat. In properties with a high turnover of residents such as student accommodation, a way of taking responsibility and being proactive is to install bed bug skirting boards.
Where bed bugs hide and spread
In 90% of cases, a bed bug infestation begins in and around a bed, but it can also occur where you spend a lot of time like in a sofa or wheelchair. If bed bugs are established by the bed, you need a professional pest control company to exterminate them, as this is nothing you can clean away. A critical point is the skirting boards where you frequently find them. A quick bed bug treatment is essential so the bed bugs don't spread between rooms or flats.
The cost of treatment
It can be very expensive to treat infested property. Not addressing the problem, however, can only make it more costly for you later. Once bed bugs start spreading between flats, they can be hard to get rid of and the cost of treatment increases. Not to mention the cost in reputation for you as a property manager or private landlord when affected by an infestation. That's why knowledge and how to work preventatively can be a worthwhile investment. According to HomeAdvisor, on average a studio or 1-bedroom flat can cost between 300 – 900 USD per visit, while heat-treating a 3-4-bedroom property can amount to 800 – 2,500 USD, and for large homes with severe cases it can cost 4,000 USD or more. (https://www.homeadvisor.com/cost/environmental-safety/bed-bug-treatment).
Measures to prevent bed bug infestations
One of the most important things to do is to educate your residents about bed bugs. Encourage them to report any suspected bed bugs. Be considerate towards anyone reporting a bed bug problem. If residents are scared to be held responsible for any infestation, they may try to treat the infestation themselves and make it worse. This may lead to the infestation spreading and becoming more difficult and costly to treat. As landlords can't take responsibility for the actions and behaviour of every individual renting their property, installing bed bug skirting boards can be one of the few preventive measures you can take.
Safe and effective solutions
Installing bed bug skirting boards with Nattaro Safe® in a rented property is a proactive measure that lasts for a long time and can make it more difficult for an infestation to spread to surrounding flats and reduces the cost of treatment. As a property manager, it's also possible to place Nattaro Safe® bed bug tape behind existing skirting boards, as protection if your property is prone to recurring bed bug infestations.
In the case of an established infestation and following heat treatment, a pest control technician may focus on the resident's bed and place a mattress cover and Nattaro Safe® bed bug tape around it. As a quality control and safety measure, Nattaro Scout® detection traps can be placed in the room, and also in surrounding flats, to ensure all bed bugs have been removed.