Yikes! The other apartments in my building have bed bugs! What should I do?
If you hear that apartments in your building have bed bugs, don’t panic! Firstly, it’s not a given that your home has them (though it may be a matter of time), and secondly, these unwelcome critters can be eradicated simply and easily.
Bed bugs used to be thought of as a thing of the past, but in recent years there has been a resurgence. This increase is partly due to strains of this insect becoming resistant to the chemicals many used to control them and also because travel has become so common. Bed bugs love to travel and will hitch a ride in luggage and clothing without their hosts even being aware they are doing so. Wherever these insecticide-resistant bugs originated—and no one knows for sure—they have spread all over the world including the U.S.
So, what should you do if a neighbor has bed bugs?
Inspect Your Own Home
If they are already in your home, you’ll usually notice bites on your skin as the first sign. Bed bugs are really small, less than ¼ inch, and tend to only come out at night, so you are unlikely to see one in the early days of an infestation. Bare in mind, how people react to the bites of these parasites varies enormously. Some have little or no symptoms and may not even be aware there are bed bugs present, while for those who are allergic the bites can be itchy and alarming.
Inspect your bed(s) for spots of blood or dark or rusty-colored spots, and also inspect the wall closest to the bed, as they may hide (or even have entered through) crevices in the wall.
Don’t Visit Neighbors
It may be difficult to tell your children they can’t play with the other kids in the building for a while, or to decline a neighbor for a cup of coffee, but stop visiting neighboring apartments until the bed bug situation has been dealt with. This will help stop you from spreading bed bugs to other apartments or spreading them from an infected apartment into your own.
Tell Your Building Super or Manager
Next, make your apartment manager aware of the situation. Bed bugs don’t stay in one place for long and if your apartment has them neighboring apartments likely have them too, though the other tenants may not know or be prepared to admit that this is so. This means you can’t deal with them by yourself.
There are self-help remedies available but the only sure way to eradicate this pest is with professional help, especially in a multi-home building. Your apartment manager will need to enlist the services of an experienced pest control company who will be able to find out the extent of the problem and deal with it.
Inspect and Treat All Apartments
The only reliable way to eradicate bed bugs is with heat treatment. While chemicals will kill both adults and nymphs they come into contact with, eggs will remain unaffected, as will any out-of-reach bugs. Properly carried out heat treatment will destroy all stages of the life cycle and can leave the entire building bed bug-free. If you don’t think you can convince your entire building to pay for heat treatments, make sure you get a free inspection from an experienced company. They will be able to tell you which apartments or floors have been affected and the best way to move forward with treatment.
We’re Here to Help
AZEX Pest Solution is the most experienced bed bug heat treatment company in Arizona, so we’re well equipped to identify infestations and deal with them quickly. Many homes can be completely treated within a day and be inhabitable again that night. For more information or a free inspection, click here.