As a property manager, your to-do list is likely long and unending. While the thought of another task may seem daunting, adding bed bug prevention to it may help you actually avoid problems in the long run. Even if you’ve been lucky enough to escape this dreaded pest problem until now, it doesn’t mean that your properties won’t eventually suffer an invasion.
In fact, bed bugs are on the rise around the country. According to the National Pest Management Association (NPMA), one in five Americans has had a bed bug infestation in his or her home or knows someone who has encountered bed bugs at home or in a hotel. While state laws vary, in some U.S. cities, landlords are deemed responsible for the treatment of bed bug infestations in rental properties. If you’re still not convinced that doing something about bed bugs should be on your to-do list, take a look at these reasons why property management professionals should be concerned:
Bed Bugs Can Creep Into Your Properties
Bed bugs are easily transported via people, as well as in luggage, clothing or boxes. Tenants (and their guests) may even bring bed bugs back with them from business or personal travel. Bed bugs can also crawl into your properties through tiny cracks and crevices from infested buildings that are immediately adjacent to yours.
Bed Bugs Bite
These ectoparasitic insects typically live in cracks and crevices close to where humans are resting. They then feed on the blood of those humans, typically while they’re sleeping. For some people, bed bugs can cause itchy and sometimes even painful bites.
Bed Bugs Are Elusive and Hard to Spot
Many people can’t recognize bed bugs, which makes it easy for infestations to start. Adult bed bugs are typically very small - only about the size of an apple seed. Bed bugs who have recently fed may have a longer abdomen. Newly hatched bed bug nymphs are even smaller and generally translucent. Most bed bug infestations are found in beds, headboards, mattresses, box springs, furniture, pictures and in baseboards adjacent to beds. They can also hide in cracks, crevices, and folds and tucks in and around these areas.
The Sight and Signs of Bed Bugs Are Revolting
In addition to the bites they may leave behind (which can look like other bug bites), other signs of bed bugs can include small, brown fecal spots on bedding and small cryptic blood smears on sheets. Translucent bed bug eggs may be found in the cracks and crevices of beds, couches, sofas, chairs and other pieces of furniture where people rest. Bed bug nymphs may also leave behind shed exoskeletons.
Bed Bugs Are Hard to Control
On top of hiding well, bed bugs can be difficult to control and are resistant to most pesticides. Even after infested beds and furniture have been treated, populations may still be living under carpets, in walls or in other areas that are hard to access. One product or technique on its own is not likely to be effective against bed bugs infestations.
Bed Bugs Can Hamper Productivity
Dealing with bed bugs and tenant complaints can be time consuming. If an infestation strikes, your staff could be called away from other critical duties to handle problems.
Bed Bugs Can Harm Your Property’s Reputation
In today’s social media world, it doesn’t take long for news of bed bug infestations to get out. In addition to alarming current tenants, prospective tenants may also be dissuaded from considering your properties if there’s a threat or rumor of bed bugs.
What You Can Do
Partnering with a commercial pest control company that has experience in treating bed bugs is your best line of defense against this potential property management issue. For example, Terminix® Commercial offers customized bed bug service that can detect infestations early. This can help professionals treat and control bed bugs quickly. Terminix uses multiple control methods which may include steam, physical removal with HEPA vacuum and/or targeted application of pesticides, among other treatment methods.
Strike bed bug worries off your to-do list by getting a free estimate for bed bug treatments and a commercial pest control plan for your properties. You and your tenants deserve to rest easy.