When bedbugs are present, neither you nor your resident is likely to rest easy. News stories have emphasized bedbugs in hotels, but high turnover rates in apartment complexes and senior living communities mean these properties are also susceptible to infestations. If not dealt with quickly, these pests can cause problems for retention rates and your reputation.
How Bedbugs Get Into Units
Just because the apartment was bedbug-free before the move-in doesn't mean it will stay that way. Bedbugs can find their way into a resident's home by latching onto luggage, purses, gym bags, bedding, clothing, and used furniture.
Signs Of An Infestation
Bedbugs are flat, oval shaped, wingless insects, and reddish-brown in color. Bedbug bites leave itchy, red welts on the skin, but that is only one sign of a possible infestation. To verify the problem is bedbugs, look for:
• Live bedbugs about the size and shape of an apple seed
• Black or dark fecal spots on fabric or sheets
• Rust/red-colored stains on fabric or sheets
• Tiny white eggs or eggshells
Bedbugs Don't Just Live In Beds
Bedbugs are small and commonly hide in these areas:
• Bedding, pillows, and mattress seams
• Upholstered furniture, especially under cushions and along seams
• Around, behind, and under baseboards
• Window coverings, curtains, and draperies
• Behind nail or screw holes
• Between carpeting and walls
• Inside smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors
Eliminate Bedbug Habitats
Even if a resident has moved out, bedbugs can stay behind. According to the EPA¹, there are some easy ways to help eliminate bedbug habitats before the new tenant moves in. During unit turns:
HD Supply Facilities Maintenance has a variety of bedbug control products, like sprays, powders, foggers, mattress encasements, and more, to help make sure units are pest-free before your new resident moves in. If your property has a serious infestation, hire a pest control professional to eliminate the problem.
Create A Bedbug Policy
A lease addendum and email/online reminders are effective ways to communicate your policies to residents. Include rules like reporting bedbug sightings immediately and encourage residents to comply with pest control efforts.
Being proactive can help make bedbugs feel unwelcome at your property. Taking preventive measures like caulking cracks and crevices, checking areas where bedbugs can hide, and creating rules for residents to follow are all positive steps you can take to help reduce the risk of a bedbug infestation.