Vail Daily letter: Bedbug nightmare | VailDaily.com

Vail Daily letter: Bedbug nightmare

Jennifer Rosenberg Vail, CO, Colorado

The Environmental Protection Agency has convened an emergency meeting about the bedbug “epidemic.”It’s so bad in Ohio that people are sleeping in the streets: http://news.yahoo.com/s/time/20100818/us_time/08599201150900.In New York City, one in 10 people has battled bedbugs: http://www.nydailynews.com/ny_local/2010/08/16/2010-08-16_untitled__bedbugs16m.html.A very wealthy family caught bedbugs in Aspen and brought them home: http://nymag.com/news/features/65733.Forty percent of bedbug epidemics are taking place in businesses. In New York City, department stores are infested. Abercrombie & Fitch, Hollister and Victoria’s Secret all have been closed due to infestations. Even Bergdorf Goodman hired bedbug dogs to patrol the store: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/08/16/bedbug-problems-hit-store_n_683165.html.I am so paranoid about it because the Vail Valley is not prepared to deal with this. It comes from travelers.The valley is already teetering on the precipice of financial disaster (hotel and real estate sales) and can hardly afford an epidemic or the press it will generate. So what are the valley’s hotels and residential building managers proactively doing to prepare for this eventuality? Are housekeepers trained to spot bedbug infestation, and if so, then what’s being done about it? Is there a requirement for a hotelier or building manager to tell other occupants of an infestation? And if not, why?If you don’t remediate an entire building, you cannot rid a building of the bugs. And if they can survive in an airplane’s cargo hold on long-haul flights – they surely can survive a Vail winter (only high heat kills them). To remediate a one-bedroom is now averaging $2,000, which doesn’t include replacing all furniture and clothes.Homeowners or renters insurance does not cover losses from pestilence, and there is no rider that you can buy for this. So this makes for a very strong case for homeowners associations to look at their regulations concerning vacation and short-term renters. I bet that there’s much less risk in renting year round than to 10 different people per season. The more visitors you have to your building, the greater the odds that someone will bring an infestation with them.Eagle County – what are you doing to prepare for this?Jennifer Rosenberg Edwards