Chorey Park bedbugs a mostly dead issue

Published 9:24 pm Thursday, January 30, 2020

Bedbugs at the Chorey Park Apartments are starting to become a dead issue — literally.

Michell Layne, the housing operations director for the Suffolk Redevelopment and Housing Authority, updated commissioners Tuesday on the work by Accurid Pest Solutions, which has been treating the bedbug issue since they approved a $100,400 contract with the company to do so last September. The company’s general manager, Dennis Gray, was scheduled to be at the meeting, but was unable to attend, Layne said.

Layne told commissioners that every apartment in Chorey Park has been treated, and they all have monitors in them to monitor the possible presence of bedbugs. The devices have an inner and outer ring on them, and have been placed under beds in each apartment. Bedbugs on the inner ring mean they are coming from the bed, but if they’re found on the outer ring, they are coming from the apartment itself, according to Accurid. The devices are also under chairs and sofas in the apartments.

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SRHA Executive Director Tracey Snipes said Accurid had treated all 100 apartments at Chorey Park by Dec. 23. All of the apartments had been “treated and abated” of any active bedbugs at that time, according to Snipes.

However, she and Layne noted there have been two cases in January where live bedbugs have reappeared.

In one instance, she said, a resident admitted to using non-approved chemicals to try to treat the bedbugs. She said he tried to self-treat the problem without reporting it.

“That was part of the training, that’s the class, that was one of the conditions of when they got the money that they weren’t supposed to do certain things,” Layne said, “and he did, so he has an issue again.”

Each resident received $500 to help them during the treatment process.

Said Snipes: “We have given additional training to the residents involved.”

In the other instance, Layne said the authority has been unable to determine how bedbugs reappeared in the person’s apartment.

“However, I’ve already inspected it, we’ve already contacted Accurid, and there will be treatment by the end of this week,” Layne said.

Layne read from an email she said was sent to her by Gray about the issue.
“Reinfestation of bedbugs is common and expected in some cases,” Layne read from the email. “The top reasons bedbugs are introduced into a unit is the acquiring of used furniture and/or clothing, allowing an infested individual to visit you (or) you visited an infested individual. We have indeed had two reinfestations. However, I am more than optimistic that we will maintain control of the reinfestation because it was found quickly and retreatment was swift, not allowing the bedbugs to spread.”

Layne said Gray would be available for questions at the board’s February meeting.

The board also received an update to the bedbug policy that Snipes and Virginia Legal Aid managing attorney Amy Disel Allman worked on. Commissioners had been scheduled to vote on the new bedbug policy in December, but they wanted more time to review the changes before a vote. A vote on the new bedbug policy is scheduled for their February meeting.

Commissioner Jeffrey Robertson asked if Accurid would be coming in to handle any future bedbug issues. Layne said the company would.

“I think they’ve done a pretty good job,” Robertson said.