This month’s EcoRaider Interview is with Robert Landry, Executive Director of the Glens Falls Housing Authority. Situated on the eastern edge of New York, Glens Falls is about 60 minutes north of Albany and three hours north of Manhattan.

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ECO: How Much Of A Problem Are Bed Bugs?

RL: They’re a big problem and in many cases everyone has the wrong impression of what bed bugs are. If you have bed bugs in the building everyone panics and in the community they decide they aren’t sending their mom or their dad to that specific senior housing facility. So there’s an overreaction and then the second problem is prevention. You can’t control where people go when they leave your buildings. It’s very easy to feel you’ve eradicated all of the bed bug and we’ve come to the conclusion as long as we provide education and detection that’s the best we can do. That’s what everyone does and that’s how you control bed bugs but just having them is a black eye that we all in this industry have to deal with.

ECO: How Did Bed Bugs First Become A Problem For You?

RL: Originally we hired a heat guy and that blew them throughout the building. So we put up a gallant battle and once we got them under control, our staff started using detection devices and monitors and we developed a plan where our maintenance people were checking for bed bugs more often. Do we still have bed bugs time to time? Absolutely. Do we still have hysteria in the building? Absolutely not. It cost us a lot of money in the beginning but I think we have a good plan and program in place.

ECO: How Did You Hear Of Ecoraider?

RL: A friend of mine in New York City has a pest control company and he gave me a lot of suggestions and he said to get EcoRaider until the exterminating company can get here since we aren’t in the middle of a big city. That has really worked and helped kill the bed bugs quickly. We’ve also used your newsletter to help educate our tenants to show them we have a protocol in place and that EcoRaider is a part of it. We have some used high capacity dryers now so we can take items to a special place to heat their clothes to eradicate bed bugs.

ECO: Where Are Most Of The Bed Bugs Found?

RL: The largest infestation was in the bedroom, second would be the living room area in most cases. The majority of bed bugs were found in bedrooms though and on whatever piece of furniture the residents frequent the most.

ECO: Are There Any Trends Regarding Bed Bugs?

RL: The trend that I’ve found is that bed bugs have been coming from primarily our active tenants who go out in the community every day rather than those who just go to the grocery store, for example. So we’ve sat down with those who frequent social clubs and those who frequent facilities that provide mental health services because both have people coming and going from areas that may have no pest management.