There’s a lot to be said for apartment living. Affordable rent, cost-free maintenance, and easy access to the kind of amenities that make living in an apartment of condo an attractive alternative to buying a house. But apartment living also has some disadvantages. No, I don’t mean noisy neighbors and tight parking spaces. I’m referring to pests and pest control. Specifically, bed bugs.
Are Apartment Buildings More Likely to Have Bed Bugs?
Bed bugs depend on human hosts for survival. Therefore, they’re naturally attracted to places that have lots of people. It’s one of the reasons hotels and motels are so prone to bed bug infestations. The same thing holds true for apartment complexes. Unlike single-family homes apartment buildings are home to a great number of people. Those numbers attract bed bugs and give them ample opportunity to feed and breed.
In addition to the human factor there is the structure of apartment complexes to be considered. The shared walls and common spaces make it easy for bed bugs to move amongst the units and spread throughout the complex. So how can you protect yourself from bed bugs when living in an apartment?
Bed Bugs Won’t Discriminate
Before we go any further it’s important to understand that bed bugs can show up anywhere. Their presence is no reflection on the home or its residents. Sometimes people make the mistake of believing that bed bugs are a sign that the home is dirty. But cleanliness, for all its virtues, doesn’t prevent bed bugs from choosing a host and setting up a colony.
When it comes to bed bugs proximity is everything. These pests will set up shop wherever they find suitable hosts, regardless of whether it’s a high-end condo or a working-class apartment complex.
4 Steps to Help Protect Your Apartment from Bed Bugs
If you live in any multi-unit building, whether an apartment or condo, it’s important to know how to handle a potential bed bug invasion. Remember, if one apartment has a bed bug infestation the whole building has a problem. You need to take steps to make sure those bed bugs don’t migrate into your home.
- Inspect Your Apartment – Even if you aren’t being bitten by bed bugs you may still have the beginnings of an infestation on your hands. If you learn that a fellow tenant has reported bed bugs in their apartment you need to inspect yours thoroughly. Check your furniture (sofa, bed, dressers, closets) for signs of bed bugs. Look for small blood stains, shed caste skins and black fecal stains.
- Inspect Your Belongings – If there are bed bugs in the complex you run the risk of tracking them into your own apartment. Check your personal belongings to make sure you haven’t picked up and strays. Avoid setting shopping bags, purses, or backpacks on the floor outside your door. Especially if your entrance connects with a hallway or other common area.
- Avoid Contact with Infested Areas – If a neighboring unit has bed bugs it’s best to avoid contact with that apartment until the building as been cleared by a professional pest control service. It’s not a matter of being rude to your neighbors. You are only trying to avoid picking up any stray bed bugs and bringing them into your own apartment or that of other tenants.
- Remain Diligent – If you learn that bed bugs have turned up anywhere in your apartment complex you should contact the landlord or property manager immediately. Arrange for a professional inspection of your own apartment to ensure that it remains free of pests.
Remember, you share walls with your neighbors. When an apartment is being treated it is possible for some bed bugs to migrate to nearby units. Remain diligent and perform routine inspections of your own apartment to ensure that you remain bed bug free.
Apartment Living and Bed Bugs
A bed bug sighting can send shock waves through an apartment complex. But if you remain calm and take some preventative measures you can minimize your risk of bringing these pests into your home. Keep alert and stay in contact with your landlord or property manager until you get word that any bed bug infestations have been properly treated and eliminated.
Published by Scott Palatnik
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