Bed Bugs in Apartments: Why It’s a Problem
Congratulations! You Got Your First Apartment!
You’re all moved in and getting ready to go to sleep – but wait, what are those brown spots on your sheets? Looks like the moving blankets you used gave you bed bugs. No problem, you think to yourself. I’ll just get a DIY pesticide and take care of this. That’s a common first thought – but is it that simple? Unfortunately, the short answer is no.
Why Is This Such An Issue?
Bed bugs in apartments, condos, dorms, and other spaces where lots of people are living in close quarters to another and sharing walls can be a huge problem. As you probably know, bed bugs love tight, dark spaces. What you might not know is that they can get through walls by using electrical outlets, small cracks, or other spaces in the wall. So let’s say you call Bed Bug Barbeque and they come out to heat treat your apartment. When the bed bugs sense the room getting warmer they know they won’t survive if they stay where they are. That’s when they find cracks in your wall. They’ll use them to escape into your next-door neighbor’s apartment. Your neighbor will try to treat the infestation and the bugs will do the same thing – right back into your apartment and you’re back where you started, with bed bugs.
What Should You NOT Do?
First of all, going to Home Depot and grabbing a can of pesticide and trying to eliminate the bed bugs will not work. The reason this won’t work is because bed bugs are rather clever pests. They have access to a million hiding places in a living space, and it’s next to impossible for you to find and treat them all. Can you imagine spraying Raid directly into your electrical outlets? It’s just not a good idea. This is something you need a professional to come and do, rather than trying to perform DIY bed bug extermination. Your first course of action is going to be to notify your landlord within 72 hours of first noticing the bed bugs.
Whose Responsibility Is It to Get Rid of Them?
Landlords are required by law to provide habitable housing, and there is a chance (not guaranteed) that it’ll be your landlord’s responsibility to call a qualified exterminator and pay for their services in order to get your apartment back to acceptable standards. Ohio does not have any laws specifically pertaining to bed bugs, but landlord-tenant law does protect you if you were not the one who brought in the bed bugs. Unfortunately, if you did bring them in, you may end up footing the bill. However, in a multi-tenant building, it’s difficult to prove how they got in, and if that’s the case, it will be the responsibility of your landlord to get it taken care of, especially if they had knowledge of any previous bed bug problems in the building. Next, you’ll need to remove the bed bugs.
In order to prevent the bed bugs in your apartment from spreading into your neighbors’ apartments their units will need to be inspected. If bed bugs are found they will need to be treated as well. Typically, if treatment of adjacent units is necessary, it’s done by treating the units next to yours first and then treating your unit last. It’s best to treat bed bugs with a heat treatment rather than a chemical treatment because chemical treatments (in addition to producing potentially harmful and unpleasant fumes) don’t typically kill all of the bed bugs. It’s hard to get a chemical treatment to reach into every hiding place.
If you suspect bed bugs in your apartment, never fear! Let your landlord know and then give us a call. Our bed bug heat treatments are 100% eco-friendly with NO pesticides or chemicals. However, unlike most other natural bed bug control alternatives, our heat treatment is proven to be effective in killing bed bugs. You can call us at (216) 221- 1227 or contact us through our website for a FREE inspection today!