Researchers See Link in Hoarding and Pests

Researchers See Link in Hoarding and Pests

With funding from the Northeastern IPM Center, the Boston Housing Authority (BHA) led a team of researchers to look closer at levels of clutter and incidences of pest infestations. After reviewing nearly 9,000 inspection forms and control reports and surveying 1,619 units, they found that among the five percent of residents with hoarding issues, pest visits were more than doubled.

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September 16, 2015

With funding from the Northeastern IPM Center, the Boston Housing Authority (BHA) led a team of researchers to look closer at levels of clutter and incidences of pest infestations. After reviewing nearly 9,000 inspection forms and control reports and surveying 1,619 units, they found that among the five percent of residents with hoarding issues, pest visits were more than doubled, as reported on the Northeastern IPM Center.

BHA coordinator John Kane trained his staff to use a “clutter image rating scale” (CIR) during housekeeping inspections and identified clutter issues, including improvements.

The team developed a plan to help residents assess situations, set goals, enhance motivation, reduce harm, plan safety measures, organize, solve problems, and to sort and make decisions. Staff also provided resources and referrals. Residents with hoarding behaviors who participated in weekly intervention training reduced their CIR scores by one point or more.
 
The BHA researchers plan to assess this case management model and intervention plan. They also will conduct staff training and offer a webinar in collaboration with the Center’s StopPests in Housing Program to train a wider audience on reducing hoarding in affordable housing.
 
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Source: NE IPM Center