Progress cited on Chorey Park bedbug issue

Published 9:48 pm Monday, December 2, 2019

A representative of the company hired by the Suffolk Redevelopment and Housing Authority to treat the bedbug problem at the Chorey Park Apartments said it has made progress in eliminating the bedbugs there.

Dennis Gray, general manager of Accurid Pest Solutions, said it has treated the apartments on three of the building’s five floors, and just one unit has shown a bedbug recurrence.

He said other than one apartment on the second floor, which had one live bedbug, it has not seen additional bedbugs in other apartments on the first and second floors.

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On those two floors, there has been bedbug treatment, devices put in to monitor the possible presence of bedbugs and a follow-up inspection, according to Gray. The one second-floor unit, which was re-treated Nov. 20, will be re-inspected.

The devices have an inner and outer ring on them, and if Accurid finds bedbugs on the inner ring, it means bedbugs are coming from the bed, he said, but if they are trapped on the outer ring, the bedbugs are coming from the apartment itself. The same scenario applies for the devices that are under chairs and sofas in the apartments, he said.

Gray said the third-floor apartments had been treated and had devices placed in them, and are scheduled to be re-inspected this week.

He expects no bedbug issues in those apartments.

“We anticipate that we will see the same scenario here,” Gray said.

He said Accurid expects to wrap up its bedbug treatments this month in the rest of the building.

After that, Gray said the authority would have “some leverage” should there be any new bedbug issues, citing a Kentucky State University study which he said states that bedbugs cannot live past 70 days without a blood meal.

“My recommendation is after we’ve completed treatment, we can calculate 70 days from the initial treatment (and) do a follow-up final inspection,” Gray said. “Once we indicate that those are clear, anything that comes in after we’ve done what we’ve been doing, we can assume at that point, because the science points in that direction, that those are new entries and people are bringing it in.”

After the board heard from Housing Operations Director Michell Layne in October about a proposed bedbug policy, the board was scheduled to vote on it at its meeting last Tuesday. However, after Virginia Legal Aid managing attorney Amy Disel Allman and SRHA Executive Director Tracey Snipes worked on changes to the policy and presented them to the board, members asked for more time to review them.

Among the additions and changes to the proposed policy:

  • SRHA acknowledges that early detection is critical in the prevention of bedbugs and agrees to provide regular, proactive inspection by well-trained and qualified personnel. SRHA agrees to keep records of these inspections.
  • SRHA will implement an Integrated Pest Management Plan including resident education regarding housekeeping, cleanliness, acceptable furniture, unit inspection and identification of bedbugs.
  • That if an inspection confirms the presence of bedbugs, SRHA will also conduct an inspection of the surrounding apartments above, below and to the left and right as applicable, and residents will get at least 24 hours’ notice of such inspections.
  • Adding a section regarding reasonable accommodations for residents who are disabled.

A vote on the revised bedbug policy is now scheduled for its January meeting, as the board has no meeting scheduled this month.

The policy as presented in October is on the SRHA website at