NMHC/NAA Viewpoint EPA should evaluate the obstacles to developing next-generation pesticides. Because new pesticides are not likely to be introduced in the near term, the Federal Government should use its national laboratory system to expedite testing of existing pesticide products for their safety and efficacy in treating bed bugs.

Bed bug incidents remain a concern for multifamily property owners and residents, with the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) all considering bed bugs a pest. While bed bugs are not believed to spread disease, they can impact residence quality and spread if not addressed.

Pesticide resistance and bans, as well as increased international travel, have resulted in a resurgence of bed bugs in the U.S. Controlling the spread of bed bugs has become a significant challenge for many industries, including multifamily. While apartment firms are actively deploying the Integrated Pest Management (IPM) programs recommended by EPA and HUD to identify and minimize infestations, property owners continue to explore more effective prevention and treatment strategies.

HUD released Notice H 2012-5 Guidelines on Addressing Infestations in HUD-insured and Assisted Multifamily Housing in 2012, detailing expectations for property IPMs and principles for bed bug prevention. The Notice also directs property owners to see the following resources for further information and guidance:

NMHC/NAA will continue to call for expanded research efforts to develop solutions to control bed bugs. We are also working to identify best practices and other options to assist owners in dealing with catastrophic bed bug infestations. In addition, we are partnering with regulatory officials to ensure that actions through notices, rules and regulations are consistent with our industry’s observed best practices for bed bug management.

States differ in their treatment of multifamily properties experiencing bed bugs. To learn more about your jurisdiction, visit EPA’s Bed Bugs Laws and Regulations website.