Bed Bugs Found in Central Towers Apartment in Dover
Thursday, April 12, 2012

DOVER - Officials of the Dover Housing Authority say they are being proactive in their approach to combating bed bugs, though an infestation has been confirmed this week in a Central Towers apartment.

May Glovinski, deputy director for Dover Housing Authority (DHA), said bed bugs are a problem dealt with week to week in the 458 public housing units they manage as well as an additional 45 at Addison Place and that efforts are ongoing to rid the residences of these blood-sucking insects.

Earlier this week at Central Towers, both a visual and a K9 inspection were conducted and confirmed the bugs had returned.

"We're aware of that and we're following our normal protocol," she said. That normal protocol includes trying to stay ahead of any infestation before it becomes a problem.

May said the residents there are not displaced, but that they will need to vacate their residence for a period of time during a yet-to-be scheduled date for Atlantic Pest Solutions to come in and rid the apartment of bed bugs by means of a heat treatment as high heat will kill the bugs.

To prepare, the residents will be asked to declutter, place linens in a dryer for a period of time and then place the linens in a bag so they won't be contaminated. All closet doors and drawers will need to be opened for the heat to penetrate the entire apartment and kill the bugs.

"Your dryer is your friend," she said when it comes to tackling the problem with clothing and bedsheets and other linen.

May said taking what the company thinks is the best approach is part of dealing with the first sign of any bed bug problem.

"This is not an uncommon occurrence for us. We've been dealing with this for a while now," she said.

She also noted the insects can be picked up anywhere and that education has become a priority for DHA in reaching the public. Atlantic Pest Solutions, she said has been helping with that effort by holding seminars for Garrison City residents.

"Education here is the key. There's a real panic mode people go into when they hear of them," she said.

One of the issues that keeps the bugs coming back is that people often feel there's a stigma attached to having an infestation in their residence and don't report it right away. To this end, DHA has taken to conducting quarterly inspections, going through a random selection of apartments in the city each month so that by the year's end, every apartment has been scanned for the bugs.

A K9 unit is used in these inspections since they can detect the bed bugs within about five minutes, she said, and track them by scent. A visual inspection by a human can take up to three hours and is only about 40 to 60 percent accurate, May explained.

"We feel like we've really gone over the top in taking a proactive approach," she said.