You wake up one morning with itchy bumps on your skin. Then you see the small brown or red dots on your sheets. Upon closer inspection, you watch a small, flat bug scurry into the crevices of your mattress as soon as the light hits it. At this point, you know that you probably have a bed bug infestation. What do you do about it?
Why Are Bed Bugs a Problem?
A couple of bites on your arm in the morning may not bother you too much at first. That experience is just the beginning, though. The more the bugs multiple, the more bites you and your family are likely to get. Sometimes people are allergic to the bites. When this happens, the small bumps can become painful welts.
Once bed bugs decide to make your home their own, they can be extremely hard to get rid of. Plus, the fact that they can survive 6 to 12 months without a host can heighten the problem. A can of bug spray is not going to scare them away. These pests are masters at finding places to hide. Because of their flat body structure, they can fit into even the tiniest crack. Reporting them to the property manager’s office so that professional extermination can begin as soon as possible is the best course of action.
How Do Bed Bugs Get Inside Your Condo?
All that bed bugs need to live is a human or animal on which to feed. This is why your mattress is one of the first places you should look, especially if you are not its first owner. They can hitch a ride into your home on clothing or any other textiles. The shirt from the secondhand shop that seemed like such a bargain may end up costing a lot in extermination fees. If you go on a trip and your hotel room is infested, you may bring bed bugs back to your condo in your suitcase. Even if you’re very careful about what you bring into your home, they can still travel from your next-door neighbour’s unit through the crease where the wall meets the floor.
What Do You Do When You Suspect an Infestation?
The first thing you should do is let your property manager know. Even if you haven’t actually seen any of the critters yourself, if you have unexplained bumps or see spots of blood on your sheets, you have enough clues to warrant a bed bug inspection. Typically, landlords cover the cost of pest control, as ridding your home of these pests is essential to maintaining a habitable living environment. Your lease may contain exceptions for cases in which it can be proven that the problem occurred due to your negligence, though.
If the exterminators confirm that you do have a problem, you must follow their instructions carefully. The technicians will likely have several tasks they need you to do. Before they arrive, you need to prepare your home for the treatment. Get rid of as much clutter as possible: empty shelves, cabinets, drawers and other places with crevices where bed bugs could be hiding. Vacuum your floor and empty the bag into the dumpster immediately. Wash and dry all bedding and clothing, and store them in airtight plastic bags. Throw out affected items such as mattresses that cannot be cleaned.
You and your family must vacate the condo while it is being treated. If the extermination process goes as planned, it usually takes less than 24 hours. While it may seem like a hassle, it is important for the technicians to be thorough so that there are no bugs left alive.
Ridding your condo of bed bugs is an arduous task that requires willful cooperation between you and your property manager. If you suspect you have an infestation, our expert staff at Truly Nolen is here to answer all your questions.