Bed bugs — and pests in general — are never fun to deal with in rental properties. But when it comes to income loss, prevention is worth the effort.
Landlords may see more infestations in the fall. There are 3 why reasons this happens:
High Density Dwellers
The bulk of students return in September. Student renters are susceptible to bringing home bed bugs from school libraries, dorms, classrooms, fraternities and sororities, that according to pest control experts at Terminix. Students also are most likely to bring in abandoned or secondhand furnishings, spend their days in densely populated areas and often visit messy communal spaces.
“College campuses are very interconnected, making a single infested futon a significant threat,” said Tom Jeffords, regional technical specialist at Terminix.
Many residents are coming back from vacation. Bed bugs love to migrate, and pest treatments vary from one country to the next. In the height of vacation season — August — hotel workers get swept up in a sea of overnight travelers, so pest control may take a back seat. Luggage, clothing, and even reading materials are common vehicles for bed bugs filled with wanderlust.
Colder nights bring all sorts of bugs and rodents indoors. As temperatures drop, these pests are most likely to seek haven in heated spaces.
The Top Cities for Bed Bugs
Each year, Terminix reveals the worst cities in the U.S. for bed bugs. Major college campuses in these cities play a role in the ratings.
The top 15 cities reporting bed bugs this year are:
Los Angeles, Calif.
Dallas-Forth Worth, Texas
San Francisco-Oakland-San Jose, Calif.
Oklahoma City, Okla.
New York, N.Y.
Plan of Attack
Fortunately, there are ways to reduce the likelihood of a bed bug infestation, or mitigate the spread of these costly infestations:
Tom Jeffords recommends that renters, especially college students, invest in a bed bug-proof mattresses, pillow and box spring cover. That’s good advice for frequent travelers, too.
Tenants should report any signs of bug infestations as soon as possible, and landlords should act immediately before it spreads.
Don’t underestimate a bed bug’s tenancity. Inspect books, particularly used books, and those borrowed from the library.
Keep clothing off the floor. Wash used clothing before wearing it.
Don’t pick up discarded furniture.
When away from home, don’t leave jackets, backpacks or clothing on the floor. Do the same thing at home.
Avoid stacking luggage, backpacks or jackets in a heap with others.
Don’t attempt to treat a bed bug infestation on your own. Tenant or landlord DIY pest control is not only ineffective, it is dangerous as other tenants may become exposed to toxic chemicals. Call a professional pest control company. Terminix offers a proprietary carbon dioxide product called RapidFreeze® solution, which is a good option for apartments because it is fast, effective and nontoxic. For more information, visit Terminix.com.
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Disclaimer: The information provided in this post in not intended to be construed as legal advice, nor should it be considered a substitute for obtaining individual legal counsel or consulting your local, state, federal or provincial tenancy laws.