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Education and Prevention

Integrated Pest Management involves the efforts of the PHA staff, the PHA residents, and the pest contractors used by the PHA.

The PHA shall make strong efforts to positively engage its residents through outreach and by providing the residents with the education needed to prepare them for their role in the implementation of the integrated pest management program.

Insects and rodents get into the unit through cracks and crevices, and on items brought in from the outside. Therefore, it is important that maintenance and contractors fill cracks around doors, windows, and water pipes. Items brought in from the outside such as grocery bags, boxes, and outdoor furniture should be examined by residents for roaches and their egg sacks.

Sanitation is essential to insect and rodent control. All food should be stored in tight containers and spills wiped up. Dirty dishes, pots, and pans should never be left in the sink or on the table overnight. Keeping the apartment clean and orderly can eliminate many of the dark, secluded places where roaches and rodents like to hide. Stacks of newspapers and magazines, boxes, stacked wood, and weeds provide both food and shelter for roaches and rodents. Such accumulation must be avoided and eliminated.

In an effort to survive, both insects and rodents will migrate from areas being treated into untreated areas. It is, therefore, necessary to treat all units within a building perimeter at one time. Failure to treat an entire building is counterproductive to control efforts.

Housekeeping practices that result in providing food, shelter, or breeding grounds for pests of any nature will be brought to the attention of management immediately upon observation by PHA staff. Residents whose housekeeping practices include excessive stacked or stored materials, dirty dishes and dirty kitchen cabinets or appliances, or food particles on floors will be advised of additional unit inspections. If the condition is not corrected after two (2) inspections, the resident and all household members of a responsible age will be asked to attend housekeeping classes. If all efforts by the PHA fail to result in sanitary housekeeping by the resident, the resident's lease will be terminated.

The PHA will integrate baiting into its roach control program. When a baiting program is practiced, the apartments must not be sprayed with chemicals or the baits will become ineffective. For a baiting program to be effective, residents must keep the apartments clean. The contractor will place baits under the range and refrigerator and inject bait gel in crevices where roaches live and travel.

When developments are treated for infestation, all units will be treated. Exceptions will be made for those residents who:

  1. Have a current medical statement prohibiting spraying;
  2. Maintain a clean apartment; and
  3. Provide evidence that they treated their apartment within 24 hours of the planned extermination.

Another type of infestation is bedbugs. Bedbugs are attracted by exhaled carbon dioxide and body heat, not by dirt and clutter; they feed on blood, not waste. However, severe infestations may be contributed to poor housekeeping. Bedbug infestations originate through travel. They are usually transported on used furniture such as bedding, upholstered couches, and chairs. They may also be brought in on suitcases, boxes, and belongings. Because they are small, transport may go undetected. Bedbugs usually hide in mattress seams, tufts, and crevices. They may also be found in bed frames, headboards, and footboards. Some other common areas of infestation are carpet edges, inside wood furniture, under loose wallpaper, pictures, inside phones, wall mounts, and televisions.

Some pre-treatment measures include reducing clutter, vacuuming with a suction wand and immediately removing the vacuum bag from the premises, washing linens in hot water (over 120 degrees Fahrenheit), and steam cleaning carpets, upholstered furniture, and mattresses. Although these measures may be helpful it is almost impossible to get rid of these pests without professional extermination.