Mosquitoes flying around

Pest-Free Homes Equal Happy Tenants: How to Get Rid of Bed Bugs in an Apartment Building

March 24, 2023

By Daniel Baldwin, BCE, CCFS, CP-FS

Bed bugs feed on the blood of humans and other mammals, typically biting people while they’re asleep. These bugs leave behind red welts and itchy bite marks that can cause irritation or allergic reactions. A bed bug infestation in an apartment complex can spread rapidly as these insects easily travel from one unit to another, looking for blood meals and hiding spots. Read on to learn the signs of a bed bug infestation and how to get rid of bed bugs in an apartment building.

What are bed bugs?

Bed bugs are small brown insects without wings that hide during the day and come out at night to feed. Their only food source is blood, particularly the blood of humans. These pests bite and suck blood as their host sleeps.

Bed bug crawling on the sheet

What is the lifespan of a bed bug?

Bed bugs live about two to four months, on average. They look for a blood meal every five days and are most active at night. They can live for weeks, even many months, without eating. 

Apartment dwellers may not see signs of bed bugs as the insects go from unit to unit, but eventually, one apartment that is infested can spread across multiple units over time.

How common are bed bugs in apartment buildings? 

Discovering bed bugs in an apartment complex is a common occurrence. For more than 20 years, bed bugs have posed a significant issue for apartments in the United States. The insects thrive in apartment buildings because they have easy access to food and plenty of hiding spots.

Can bed bugs spread through an apartment building?

It only takes one tenant to inadvertently cause bed bugs to spread through an apartment complex. A person may unknowingly bring bed bugs home in luggage or other items like repurposed furniture or hand-me-downs, after which the insects travel from room to room. 

How do bed bugs travel in apartment buildings? 

Bed bugs travel from unit to unit in an apartment building in several ways:

  • Through walls, light switches, electrical outlets, and cracks.
  • Through air ducts and HVAC vents.
  • Crawling across plumbing pipes and electric wires that connect units, even if a crack is only as wide as a credit card.
  • From another apartment that’s being treated for bed bugs. They escape into wall voids, looking for new hiding spaces in other units. Because of this, it’s crucial to treat the infected unit and all of the units around it. 

Signs of a bed bug infestation in an apartment building 

Bed bugs are tiny creatures who are good at finding hiding spots. If you suspect a bed bug infestation in a unit you rent, start by physically inspecting areas where people spend most of their time. 

Signs to look for are:

  • The bugs themselves
  • Blood stains
  • Dark excrement spots
  • Cast skins
  • Musty odor
  • Eggs, tiny white specks that are easy to spot with a flashlight

Bed bugs, Bedbug eggs, blood and larvae on a timber bed slate

Use a flashlight and make sure to check your:

  • Mattresses
  • Seams of upholstered furniture
  • Bed frames
  • Box springs
  • Headboard
  • Cushions
  • Carpet edging
  • Baseboards
  • Cracks in walls
  • Peeling wallpaper
  • Electrical outlets

And remember, check your living room, dining room, kitchen, and clothing. Bed bugs are commonly found near beds but can infest your entire home.

How to stop a bed bug infestation in an apartment building 

Getting rid of a bed bug infestation in an apartment complex is nearly impossible without professional pest control intervention. However, there are some things you can do to prevent bed bugs from entering your apartment complex.

How to prevent bed bugs in an apartment complex

You can help keep bed bugs from entering your apartment building by doing the following:

  • Carefully inspect any used furniture, especially mattresses, before they’re brought into an apartment.
  • Discourage tenants from accepting used furniture, especially beds and mattresses
  • Seal all cracks in walls and near plumbing.
  • Contract a pest company to treat your home and prevent future infestations of bed bugs from occurring.

Pest control services 

The professionals at Hawx Pest Control are here to help. We inspect your units thoroughly for any signs of bed bugs and outline the treatment steps, and our friendly experts use state-of-the-art tools and high-quality products to treat your bed bug infestation. In addition to treating your current infestation, we’ll set up a preventative plan with you to deter future infestations. Contact us today for a free estimate.

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