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How to Check for Bed Bugs Before Moving Into an Apartment

Whether you rent or own your apartment, moving into a new property only to discover it’s infested with bed bugs is a real and unfortunate scenario that can occur. Thankfully, there are steps you can follow to help you find bed bugs before you move in or sign on the dotted line. Today, we’ll tell you all about checking for bed bugs in an apartment, and we’ll also answer your other common questions on the subject.

How Do You Find Bed Bugs Before Moving Into an Apartment?

A person nervously covering their head with a pillow
We will cover some actionable things you can do to minimize the chances that your next home doesn’t have an existing bed bug problem. However, since you do not have the property yet, the simplest thing to do is arm yourself with information. Understanding what to look for, who to call, and steps to take will help you identify red flags that may indicate the possibility of a bed bug problem.

If you’re considering a new place to call home, the following information may be helpful:

1. Speak to your prospective landlord

Asking your landlord whether there have been any previous bed bug infestations may be a good place to start.

If there was a bed bug infestation in the past, ask how they resolved the problem and what steps were taken to ensure the issue is now cleared up. This information will help you establish if the infestation case was managed effectively, and should it recur, what the landlord would likely do to take care of it.

2. Talk to your (potential) new neighbours

An excellent resource for information on a property is the experience of other current tenants! Make a friendly introduction of yourself with your potential new neighbours and ask them if they have experienced any issues regarding bed bugs.

Remember: Once established, bed bugs can reproduce and travel through a property in a relatively short time. This means that your neighbour’s bed bug problems can quickly turn into your problem as well.

3. Do an online search

It is also good to search the property online and read reviews to see if bed bugs are mentioned.

Even if there’s no mention of bed bugs, you can still learn helpful information about the property and your potential landlord. This may help forecast future potential conflicts between you and the landlord in regards to your standard of a healthy environment at home.

4. Perform an inspection to find bed bugs yourself

Checking mattress seams for signs of bed bugs
After doing the research and asking your landlord and neighbours, you could consider politely asking the property owner to give you an opportunity to do an inspection yourself. Alternatively, you could also ask if they would allow you to hire a pest control professional to conduct an inspection on your behalf

If you feel comfortable doing the inspection, you will need a few tools. You should also prepare yourself with knowledge of what to look for. Here is a list of tools, as well as some helpful information to help you do a basic inspection for bed bugs:

Tools that help you find evidence of bed bugs

  • Flashlight
  • Magnifying glass
  • Narrow tool (to force bed bugs out of cracks and crevices)
  • Plastic bags (for capturing and discarding bed bugs if you find any)
  • Paper towels
  • Vacuum cleaner (with a crevice attachment)
  • Bucket of soapy water and a sponge

Performing an inspection for bed bugs

Often, there are signs of bed bugs that don’t require a deep inspection to spot, as follows:

  • Bloodstains on bedding sheets and pillowcases
  • Bed bug excrement looks like little rust spots on sheets and walls
  • In severe cases, you may notice a musty odour

Suppose that you don’t notice any of the previously mentioned things when viewing the property. Should you book conduct a more thorough inspection? The advice here would be, if you have any other indicators that an inspection is warranted, it may be worth the investment of time or money.

Remember: Bed bugs are notorious for remaining undetected until the infestation is at a more severe stage.

How to Perform the Inspection

Begin your inspection in the bedrooms. If furniture is present, check the seams on mattresses and any crevices in the bed frame and any other dark areas where bed bugs could hide.

If there isn’t any furniture, you can still check along the baseboards, walls, and doors. Don’t forget to check behind pictures or anything else hanging on the wall. This includes cracks in the drywall and behind torn wallpaper.

You may want to continue your inspection throughout the rest of the home once you’ve finished in the bedroom. Focus on small, dark spaces, as bedbugs prefer these locations.

Bed Bugs and Apartments: FAQ

Can bed bugs travel from one apartment to another?

Unfortunately, the answer is yes.

Once their numbers have grown, bed bugs reproduce rapidly, and subsequently, they don’t tend to stay in one space. They often migrate to other places when the population outgrows the available space.

They can travel through cracks and crevices in the walls connecting two apartments, as well as along pipes and virtually any other way your apartment connects to other apartments in the building. They may also hitch a ride on clothing or pets. That’s why, in most cases, if bed bugs are found in one apartment, it is often recommended to inspect and/or treat the whole building.

How quickly can bed bugs spread?

Part of what makes bed bugs so problematic is how quickly they spread. Every property and situation is unique, but an infestation can spread from one apartment to another in as little as a day or two. Once one or a few have migrated to a new area of your property, bed bugs’ feeding and reproduction cycle can manifest into an infestation of that new area.

What should I do if I find bed bugs in an apartment?

If there is an existing infestation of bed bugs in the building, you may want to consider waiting until the problem is resolved by the property manager or choosing a different place to rent.

If you’re already living at the property, it is recommended that you hire a professional to deal with the problem. Or, as a tenant of a rental property, alert your landlord immediately and have them call a bed bug exterminator to help with the situation.

Are you a property owner dealing with a potential bed bugs situation for tenants?

If you are the landlord, it is important to act quickly to preserve the health and well-being of your tenants, as well as your reputation. If you or your tenants suspect a bed bug infestation at one of your properties, we recommend reaching out to us or another pest control company. It is best to choose a professional with a reputation for reliably managing bed bug infestations.

If you have any questions about bed bugs in Edmonton and surrounding areas, Edmonton Exterminators is here to help!

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