Our Pest Control and Bed Bug Prevention Procedures
Upscale Furniture’s sole mission is to provide the highest quality brands with the best customer service and convenience for our rental furniture and housewares, as our slogan states, “Where Quality Meets Affordability”. Hence, we cannot control the circumstances, cleanliness or handling of our furniture when it is in the possession of our approved renters. As we have been serving our customers for nearly a decade, we can attest that the majority of our customers have enjoyed and treated their rental furniture and housewares with care and respect, hence many become loyal repeat-customers over the years. Many of our clients are property managers or realtors looking to stage model apartments or homes for sale, thus they are looking for high quality, stylish and clean furniture and accessories to ‘dress-up’ their spaces.
Recently we had an incident where bed bugs was reported by a former disgruntled employee, so a health department official spent over five hours sifting through every corner of our warehouse, and didn’t find any pest infestation including bed bugs. The Health Department employees also interviewed the owners and managers of Upscale Furniture to review their pest infestation protocols, and our company passed with flying colors regarding the inspection and our protocol. The former employee was dismissed for misconduct and unfortunately their dismissal was the motivation behind his report and negative review. Although this unfortunate incident occurred, we view every incident as a learning experience, thus we felt it a good time to publish our procedures to build our customers’ security and trust by informing them of our company’s high standards and procedures.
During the past ten years, we have had only three incidents of bed bugs or other pest infestations in rental furniture being retrieved from our renters’ residents, and in each of those cases, the infestations were discovered either prior to or during the initial loading of the furniture pickup onto the truck. So how do we prevent pest infestations at our warehouse and how do we handle when one is discovered during pickup? We have a four-point inspection at all stages of pickup and delivery to the warehouse and various steps to prevent infestations:
- BEFORE PICKUP: When the Upscale Furniture crew arrive at the residence for pickup, they do an inventory of all items to be picked up, and then conduct a thorough inspection of all the furniture, linens and housewares for damages and pest issues. If the items are found to be in good and clean condition, they are then loaded onto the truck. If there are pest issues, typically bed bugs or fleas, the crew leader and crew will immediately leave the apartment. Then the crew leader will notify the community leasing office, the resident and the Upscale administration to report the pest issue. The furniture will NOT be picked up until the entire apartment, including the furniture and all housewares have been treated by a professional pest control company. Only upon receiving a full report that the issue has been resolved will Upscale pick up the furniture.
- DURING TRUCK LOAD: If the pests are not discovered on the initial review and are discovered during the loading of the truck, the truck and all of its contents will be quarantined. Once the infestation has been placed on the truck it is MANDATORY for all furniture and the truck to be treated by a professional pest control company outside of our warehouse upon return. The truck and its contents will remain in the parking lot of our warehouse until the professional pest control company provides a report of a clean bill of health and free of all pests.
- BEFORE UNLOAD AT WAREHOUSE: Even if there are no pests detected during the pickup or loading onto the truck, the furniture and all housewares are again fully inspected during the offloading process, outside of the warehouse before they are unloaded into the loading area. Should there be ANY signs of pest infestation during the offload or unload inspection, the offload process is immediately terminated (or never started). The truck is secured/locked, with all of the furniture on the truck, and the Pest Control company is contacted for treatment/inspection of the truck and the furniture. It should be noted that both the box truck and the cab are inspected/treated for the pest infestation whenever there are any signs of pest infestation.
- STAFF INSPECTION: In all instances above, the crew leader and the crew will thoroughly inspect themselves for any signs of the pest on their clothing/body before returning to the truck and to the warehouse. It is important for the crew leader to provide the Upscale Administration team with specific details of where the pest has been found – on their clothes and/or body, furniture item & location of that furniture in the apartment, etc. If there are infestations on the pickup, the loading or offloading, all personnel on the truck and all who have been in contact with the furniture, must immediately vacate the warehouse or never enter the warehouse. Each individual should do a thorough inspection of their clothing and personal belongings for any visible signs of pests, then the individual should be thoroughly “sprayed” by the leaf blower outside of the warehouse as an extra precaution. Should there be any signs of pest infestation on the individual, it is imperative that the individual remains quarantined from the warehouse & all Upscale employees. They will have to shower and change clothing before they are permitted into the warehouse. All clothing worn during the pickup and offload will have to be destroyed.
- TRUCK & CONTENTS INSPECTION: The standard operating procedures of the pest control company is that they treat the truck & the furniture with certain types of pest elimination spray. The truck/furniture remains quarantined for a minimum of 14 days, at which time the Pest Control company comes back out to inspect the status of the truck/furniture on the truck. Upon verification that the pest infestation has been eliminated, the furniture items are offloaded OUTSIDE of the warehouse, thoroughly vacuumed & cleaned, and inspected again by the Warehouse Operations Manager. Should the furniture pass inspection, it is then placed in the proper location of the warehouse. It should be noted that the company policy is to destroy/throw out (at the local dump yard) the specific furniture items that had the pest infestation, especially beds and bedroom furniture.
If you have any further questions or would like a copy of our Furniture Pickup Protocol, please contact our office during operating hours and we’d be happy to answer any questions. We work hard to provide the highest quality furniture and rentals for our customers, and we are continually reviewing and updating our procedures to maintain the highest standards in our industry. We train our crew leaders and crew regularly to understand our procedures, and thus be well prepared for any incidents. Our customers’ safety, comfort and convenience are of the utmost importance to our company and our continued success.