Longmont Apartment Complex for Low-income Seniors Has Been Fighting Bedbugs for Almost a Year
An 80-unit Longmont apartment complex for low-income seniors has a bedbug infestation its management has been fighting for nearly a year.
Lynn Wing, a property manager for Mountain View Plaza at 1350 Collyer St., said the building’s ownership started treating for the insects in the spring.
Residents have grown frustrated the problem hasn’t been eradicated in a more timely fashion.
“It’s getting to the point where it’s starting to get out of hand,” said Earl Stearns, a 69-year-old resident of the building .
But Boulder Area Rental Housing Association Vice President Todd Ulrich said that while a year for most properties is longer than it should take to eliminate a bedbug infestation, there could be circumstances at Mountain View Plaza that could have reasonably prolonged the issue.
He said the size of the building, and the fact that some residents might be resistant to temporarily relocating, or might not have anywhere else to live short-term, could be preventing building-wide fumigation and treatment.
“It sounds like it’s a challenging extermination project,” Ulrich said.
There are two methods used to kill bedbugs: spraying chemicals, and, the more effective method, according to Ulrich, heating rooms to more than 120 degrees using special equipment.
Wing said an exterminator is coming in the first and third week of every month to inspect any units in which residents have reported bedbugs, and examines an entire floor of the building during the second and fourth weeks of each month.
“We have brought in an expert who trains the residents on how to keep from getting bedbugs, or if you get them, what do you do,” Wing said. “I feel like we’re on track and making headway.”
So far, the chemical method has been used in every part of the building, but the heat method has not been used in every unit, Wing said, because it wasn’t recommended by the exterminator.
Bedbugs have become more prominent across Northern Colorado and the country in recent years, according to Ted Crowell, a customer service specialist with Windsor-based extermination business EnviroPest. He said the company performs two to three extermination treatments per day across Northern Colorado.
The University of Colorado in Feburary 2018 closed off the library in the Leeds School of Business for thermal treatment of the area after a student discovered a single bedbug.
Of the situation at Mountain View Plaza, Crowell said, “If it’s been going on for a year, it’s probably not the same bugs from a year ago. They always have the potential to be reintroduced. ... They don’t spread out through an entire building and just take it over without negligence.”
Ulrich encourages any renters to notify their property manager immediately if they spot bedbugs in their home and to request professional extermination.
“Self-extermination is not a good idea,” Crowell said.
Sam Lounsberry: 303-473-1322, firstname.lastname@example.org and twitter.com/samlounz .