These structure are more than likely to have bed bugs spread though them more easily than a single family unit. The reason is the closeness of the units and the number of people in the complex. Also they can travel from unit to unit by various openings in the wall and under the common wall between units. One area of particular concern is the Hot Water heating pipe that goes from room to room. The basic setup is a 1" pipe usually going through a 2" hole. This is a large opening the bug can crawl through from unit to unit or room to room. We need these spots closed off before treatment due to the fact if the bug can escape the heat, they can survive. It is recommend to apply Diatomaceous Earth in these areas and then seal the holes with Spray Foam. We recommend to seal the wall to the floor by removing the baseboard, applying silicone along the gap where the wall meets the floor and applying a light dusting of the Diatomaceous Earth before putting the baseboard on. All this is for is to prevent movement from unit to unit and therefore reducing the spread. Another conduit through the building is the water pipes and drain pipes in the building. It is also recommended to seal these holes as well.
Allot of this is for an education purpose and though our process we come across various items that are good to pass along. Education is the big point here and the more we learn the quicker we can respond and treat the situation properly. Here is an scenario we ran into. Treatment of 25 rooms was done to a hotel and all was good for about 6 months. The first treatment was done in May and all was good through the summer and when fall came around, 3 particular rooms kept getting bugs in them every 2 months. It was hard to believe that people could always bring them back into those 3 rooms. A close inspection of the room found mouse dropping behind the baseboard and we traced the problem to a large hole under one of the common walls for electrical service. The hotel arranged to seal this hole, first by packing with steel wool and then spray foaming it in place. The steel wool prevents the mice from chewing the foam and gaining access. These 3 rooms were treated again and the problem was solved. Further investigation on the Internet confirmed that mice can transport the pest through the structure.
Another point I would like to make is the way the Chemical companies are doing their treatment. They must obviously know their product spreads the bug through the complex. This is why they are treating a total of 9 unit to treat one single unit. They are HOPING to trap the bug !! Seems odd as we can treat the one unit and not spread them through the building, provided this is the only unit affected. We are at a facility now that 3 months ago had 28 room that required treatment. I went to talk with the manager and found out that actually they had 6 rooms that had confirmed bed bugs. They had already committed to the chemical treatment and proceeded that route. So 28 units went through the Chemical process procedure of washing and bagging ALL clothing and moving ALL furniture to the center of the room etc. etc. etc. Now I get a call 2 1/2 weeks ago and we have to go to the complex to treat the ORIGINAL units that had the bugs. Expensive live and learn process as we were originally HALF price to do the treatment due to the fact we only had to treat the affected units.
Thermotech does believe our process is effective and more environmentally friendly as way to control these pests and make the whole process easier to deal with. One Time, Chemical Free process seems like a better solution than trying and hoping to trap the bug.