What to do if there are bed bugs in your apartment

Abell Pest Control

You just moved into your new apartment, and you wake up itching and scratching. You realize that your apartment has bed bugs! It can be hard to determine the source of bed bugs at first. You may feel paranoid and wonder if you brought them or if the apartment already had them. Regardless, you've got a chaotic situation. Follow these tips if this has happened to you.

Let your landlord know

The first move you need to make is letting your landlord know, Nolo Law stated. Even if the bed bugs traveled with you from your old apartment, he or she needs to be made aware of the problem. Bed bugs travel quickly, so they may be in your apartment one day and in three other tenants' apartments the next. To avoid the entire apartment complex from being infested, you need to give him or her the head's up. Its your landlord's responsibility to hire pest services professionals to handle the problem, since it's his or her property. The landlord should also give you notice of when the exterminator is planning on arriving. Certain states also have specific laws regarding your and your landlord's role in a bed bug infestation.

Prepare before the exterminator inspection

Normally, most pest management companies will inspect places that seem like the source of the problem, such as an old mattress, Virginia Tech University noted. They'll also closely inspect drawers, cabinets and shelves. They may box or take note of the source in their investigation to determine the origin of the infestation. Mapping may help the pest management company determine whether a particular rental unit became infested, which the landlord can ask the tenant to pay for.

What you can do

As a tenant, you play a role in getting rid of these pesky insects too. Since bed bugs are tricky, an extermination process alone can't get rid of the bed bugs.

  • Clean up. The first thing you need to do is get rid of all the clutter in your apartment. Even if you just moved in and have boxes everywhere, it needs to be organized properly.

  • Empty shelves, cabinets and drawers. Bed bugs could be using your favorite sweater or box of cereal to hide.

  • Wash all bedding and clothing. Tenants should be sure to throw all clothes and bedding into the washer and dryer after discovering an infestation. For items you know are clean, seal them in a clear plastic bag.

  • Destroy the rest. Throw out all infested items in a separate sealed bag. If your mattress is infested, that also has to go. Don't keep any item that you're certain has bed bugs.

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