Residents of the federally subsidized Stonequist Apartments will finally get the professional exterminator they have been asking for to remove bedbugs from the 176-unit complex.
Dennis Brunelle, chairman of board of commissioners for the Saratoga Springs Housing Authority, said the authority is “actively accepting and reviewing bids for extermination services to address the bedbug issue at Stonequist Apartments.”
For the past several months the authority has attempted to deal with the problem of bedbug infestations in some of the apartments in-house, using authority staff with guidance from an Albany entomologist.
City officials and Stonequist residents have urged the authority to hire a professional exterminator to deal with the bedbugs.
Brunelle said in a prepared statement that the authority wants to select a winning bidder in the coming days.
“Due to the sensitive and urgent nature of the issue with bedbugs, the housing authority will be implementing an immediate corrective action throughout the entire building,” says housing authority executive director Edward Spychalski in a letter to Stonequist residents.
“We will start an accelerated, comprehensive Integrated Pest Management (IPM) plan beginning late in the week of Feb. 6 with housing authority personnel and an extermination firm [with which] we have contracted,” Spychalski said.
Accounts Commissioner John Franck said at a City Council workshop meeting last week that he strongly urged the authority to hire a company that could deal with the bedbug problems in a comprehensive manner.
Franck had invited representatives of the Orkin pest management company to the Jan. 31 council meeting.
Kenneth Watkins of Orkin, who had been called to Stonequist in December by a resident, said the company would inspect the entire building for free and then present the Housing Authority with a recommendation on how to rid the building of the problem.
Dr. Paul Okosky, the city health officer, said he understood that at least 12 apartment units had bedbug problems in recent weeks.
Watkins estimated that Orkin could set up a program of treating 68 units at Stonequist per month with insecticide on a rotating basis so that all 176 apartments would receive four applications in 12 months for a cost of about $25,000. It was unknown Friday whether Orkin is bidding on the extermination contract with the housing authority.