Manchester bed bug outbreak is hard to kill
"I think sometime last week we did the whole building, the inspections, because we were getting some reports, there seems to be a flare-up and we want to quell those as soon as we can," said Dick Dunfey, executive director of the Manchester Housing and Redevelopment Authority, which manages the building.
Pest control, he said, is dealing with bed bugs at two other MHRA high-rises: eight units at the Thomas B. O'Malley Apartments, 259 Chestnut St., and 12 apartments at the Christo Kalivas Apartments, 175 Chestnut St.
The housing authority manages about 1,400 housing units, and Dunfey said those in high-rise buildings are more susceptible to getting bed bugs than garden-style units because people are living in closer proximity.
"The whole building is infested," LaBrie said.
Dunfey said treating the entire building isn't how it's done.
"That would be a tremendous, exorbitant cost if you treated the whole building if you had one unit with bed bugs," he said. "Bed bug problems, they don't go away. You can't eradicate them. You can eliminate them temporarily."
The MHRA spent $119,600 last fiscal year and about $230,000 the previous year, he said, adding that the housing authority hired a full-time pest control technician who's dealing with bed bugs full time.
Tim Soucy, the city's public health director, said his office averages five to 10 calls a week from people living in triple deckers to high-rise buildings reporting suspected bed bugs.
"Usually when you have a high rise, it's important to look at units adjacent, above and below if you're trying to do any remediation," Soucy said.
"If you keep scratching, you have an increased risk of infection," Soucy said. "The infection is not coming from the bite itself. It's coming from the continuing scratching."
Dunfey said MHRA offers to heat treat people's couches and also provides special mattress covers, but it doesn't offer free furniture replacement.
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