In the past, Hoffman Exterminating in Mantua, N.J., stayed away from bed bug work in affordable and multi-unit housing complexes.

“If you don’t get the results, then the pest control company is on the hook,” explained Vice President Robert Schwenker, who cited the high risk of bed bug reintroductions and retreats in this sector. Nor does the company want to get paid to put a bandage on the problem; it wants to solve bed bug problems to improve residents’ quality of life, he said.

The ATAHC Program provides this opportunity. “If you can get the results from the very beginning and you’re not returning, it’s a win for the complex and it’s a win for the pest control operator,” said Schwenker, who is “ready to push the go button” on a project using the ATAHC protocol.

Data results and referrals from the demonstration will open doors to new clients. “This project from Philadelphia has given us a story to tell,” said Schwenker, who also sees the potential to bring a modified version of the preventive program to hotels, casinos and other commercial properties in his market.

But because fewer remedial bed bug treatments are needed, pest control companies may earn less revenue using the ATAHC protocol at an account. “We absolutely have lost income from instituting this program,” admitted Charles Cerbini of Corbett Exterminating’s work at the Philadelphia housing complex.

He said it’s more important, however, to eliminate residents’ bed bug misery. “That in itself is its own reward because that’s what we’re here for; we’re here to get rid of problems.” Cerbini expects to make up for the lost revenue by gaining new multi-unit housing clients using the ATAHC protocol.

ATAHC’s preventive strategy introduces a paradigm shift to the industry. A clear benefit of the program is it allows for the PMP to better deploy their technical staff, facilitating scheduling and saving in labor expense.