Bedbug infestations occur in all 50 states but are especially prevalent in urban areas where high-density living is more common. While hotels, dorms, and senior care centers are likely to see signs of the tiny blood-sucking pests, apartments and other multi-family buildings are not exempt.
Landlords and property managers are responsible for providing habitable housing for their tenants, and severe bedbug populations can make any dwelling decidedly uninhabitable. Multi-family housing can possess unique challenges with regards to bedbug control and eradication. Landlords should be aware of these four phenomenons that can introduce bedbugs in apartments and other multi-family buildings.
1. High Tenant Turnover
Apartments with high tenant turnover experience frequent move-ins and move-outs. This type of tenant turnover provides an easy way for bedbugs to enter apartment units. Bedbugs can easily hide in personal belongings like mattresses, clothing, bedding, and upholstered furniture. Tenants may not be aware they have bedbugs until signs of an infestation become obvious:
While bedbugs do not present a health risk to people, their bites can become infected from scratching.
2. Vacationing Tenants
Bedbugs do not distinguish income levels and are happy to take up residence anywhere. Some property managers preside over high-end properties with clientele who like to travel frequently. In these cases, residents who like to travel are likely to bring home more than just pricey souvenirs and great selfies.
Bedbugs are more common in high-end establishments and inns than you think as up to 68% of hotels have them. Hotel guests accidentally bring home bedbugs with them at the end of their vacation. Consider the many areas inside a hotel bedbugs may hang out before they latch onto your clothing and luggage:
Keep in mind that bedbugs prefer to harbor within items made of wood and fabric over plastic and metal.
Additionally, frequent travelers can pick up bedbugs outside of their hotel room too. The bugs can be found in airports and trains that provide soft upholstery seats for visitors.
3. Lax Unit Inspections
An important role of landlords is to perform an inspection after a tenant vacates a property. However, lax inspection protocol or failure to inspect each property means a missed opportunity to catch a bedbug infestation before it can spread to other units.
An absence of furniture and belongings is the ideal time to check for signs of bedbugs and halt their progress to neighboring apartments. Bedbugs usually spread to adjoining units as well as units immediately above and below. Their preferred travel routes through walls include light switches, electrical outlets, plumbing holes, and other tiny cracks.
4. Used Furniture Acquisition
One quick and easy way for budget-conscious tenants to furnish a new apartment is to decorate with secondhand furniture and other household items. Common sources of used furniture include family and friends as well as thrift shops and yard sales.
Unfortunately, previously owned belongings like furniture, bedding, and mattresses are more likely to harbor bedbugs. An item can appear free of adult insects and their tell-tale reddish-brown spots but harbor eggs and nymphs, which are nearly invisible.
A female bed bug can lay two to five eggs daily, which hatch around 10 to 15 days later. Because eggs can sit undetected for up to two weeks before they hatch, people inadvertently introduce the pests into their home via infested, used furniture.
Routine prevention practices are important in order to eradicate bedbugs and their potential to create a frustrating infestation. Talk to the experts at No Bull Bed Bug Control for ways to prevent a bedbug takeover at your multi-family housing site.