5 Signs That You’ve Got Bed Bugs!

Image of a Bed Bug (Ick)

BED BUG RESOURCES FOR LANDLORDS AND PROPERTY MANAGERS

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Tenants and Landlords Must Work Together to Eradicate Bed Bugs

Bed bugs have been an aggravating pest for rental properties recently. As temperatures drop in the winter and the heat gets turned up, the time is right for bed bugs to become a problem. They are most at home in cozy, warmer climates like heating ducts, electrical outlets, bedding and warm electronics. These are perfect places for the tiny creatures to colonize and multiply.

An article by John Robinson in Property Management Insider gives 5 ways to tell if you have bed bugs.

1. Unexplained Blood Stains on Bedding

Blood stains resulting from a bed bug bite are often visible on lighter-colored sheets and pillow cases. The stains are typically dark or rusty spots of excrement. But these signs of an infestation won’t always be found on bedding, because bed bugs are highly mobile and move fast. In addition to bedding, stains can be visible on furniture, clothes, and even walls.

2. Bed Bug Poo

Unlike blood stains, fecal spotting tends to be black or dark in color. The stains are from partially digesting blood and clustered in groups in areas that bed bugs inhabit. The spots will smear if wiped with a wet rag. Evidence of fecal spotting is usually visible in their typical hideouts, like along mattress seams, box spring edges, and corners.

3. Bed Bug Clusters

Bed bugs are small, oval parasitic insects that are light brown or reddish-brown in color but are hard to spot. Nocturnal in nature, they feed and move quickly. As they multiply, bed bugs tend to hang out together until overcrowding forces them into other areas. They are fantastic hitchhikers and can end up anywhere, including phones, purses, backpacks, clothing, etc. Look for them along mattress seams, box spring edges and corners, and baseboards.

4. Line Bites – Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Bites are not initially felt because of a natural anesthetic in the saliva of bed bugs. Often, it is difficult to distinguish bed bug bites from other insect bites, like those from mosquitoes. One sign, however, is that bites sometimes appear in a line of three, known as “breakfast, lunch, and dinner” by disease experts. Bites create small red welts that become itchy and eventually blister. Bed bug bites can occur anywhere on the body, including the face.

5. Bed Bug Shells

Throughout their life cycle, bed bugs will shed their skin – or molt – five times before becoming an adult. The discarded shells look like clear, empty exoskeletons and can be found in box springs, wood framing, inside books, telephones, radios, and carpet.

You Have Bed Bugs! Now What?

According the EPA,

Achieving complete control can take weeks to months, depending on the nature and extent of the infestation, and everyone will need to cooperate and do their part.

Here’s what tenants should do:

  • Report the infestation to your landlord or property management company
  • Stop the infestation from spreading – isolate and seal
  • Prepare for treatment – preparation limits retreatments
  • With your landlord, kill the bed bugs with safe, effective and legal methods
  • Monitor, retreat when necessary, and prevent future outbreaks through prevention

Property Manager Resources for Bed Bug Outbreak

The EPA gives the following tips and resources for a bed bug problem.

  • Involve residents in the process. Their cooperation is vital to success.
  • Evaluate adjacent units for possible infestations.
  • Encourage and help residents to prepare for control.
  • Implement your action plan for bed bug management.
  • Actively monitor treated units to ensure that all of the bed bugs have been killed.

Brought to you by Propertyware – Cloud-based software for property management.

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