One of the hardest places to eradicate bed bugs is in apartment complexes. Whether it is a low-rent 4-plex or a high-rent high-rise, bed bugs can become a very persistent nuisance. Milberger Pest Control has been in the business for over 80 years and in that time, we have seen a lot, including fear, embarrassment, months of inconvenience and relocation. The most common reason apartment complex infestations are difficult is due to the increased places for these tiny parasites to hide.
In the pest control industry, it is common for technicians to share stories, especially the horror stories. We learn from what others have done and that allows us to solve our customer’s issues faster and more effectively. When it comes to bed bugs, one of our favorite cases to learn from occurred in Manhattan, NY.
In September of 2001 Vivian, a 70-year-old woman, was forced to move from her high-rise apartment due to the structural damage It had sustained during the 9-11 tragedy. Unfortunately, her relocation was not smooth or easy. Vivian had to move many times before she ended up at a permanent apartment. Unbeknownst to her, this apartment was infested with bed bugs. She didn’t notice the bed bugs, she noticed the bites.
After a thorough search Vivian found and captured the insects she thought to be the culprit. She did an internet search and discovered she had bed bugs. She also read about how bed bugs like to hide and hitchhike to spread. Due to all her moving, Vivian’s apartment was full of unpacked boxes. Ashamed of the number of boxes and clutter in her apartment, she refused to tell the landlord about the problem for fear of being blamed for bringing in the bugs.
Informing the landlord is normally the first course of action when finding bed bugs, or any other pest in multifamily housing. However, elderly tenants like Vivian are often apprehensive that their landlords will become hostile toward them – they fear eviction or having to throw out life-long possessions or worry that they will be forced to pay to solve a problem they did not cause. Most tenants do not actually know their rights as each state has their own rules on these issues.
Here is what you need to know if you live in multi-family housing:
Get information! Contact Milberger Pest Control, your city officials and state government to find out what your rights are.
Tell your Landlord! No matter what kind of pest you encounter, the problem can (and probably has) spread from unit to unit. If only your unit is treated the pests can move to a safer place and return when the coast is clear.
Take personal action! Remove excess clutter, put encasement on your mattress and box springs to keep the bed bugs off them, put all of your clothing in tightly sealed plastic bags and run them in a dryer set on high, and launder your bedding weekly.
Don’t waste your time or money on store bought products like dusts and foggers, which can be dangerous to you, children and pets. Bed bugs elimination is best done by a professional using EPA-registered pesticides labeled specifically to control bed bugs. If you want more information about bed bugs or the products Milberger Pest Control uses to exterminate them, please contact us directly (816) 761-1313