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No pestsBedbugs are a growing concern for apartment owners across the country.

To avoid lawsuits and lost rents, landlords need to take responsibility for eradication.  But what should you do when the bedbugs bite?

While it is tempting to use self-help remedies like insecticides, this is not widely recommended within bug control circles:

  • First, it is important before you do anything that you determine that you have bed bugs in the apartment, not another pest like fleas. Finding the source of the scourge is crucial to eliminating it.
  • If you do in fact have a bedbug infestation, consumer insecticides are largely ineffective against them. You may inadvertently encourage them to move into a different room or apartment.

One thing that does seem to work is a powerful vacuum, so long as you get all of the bugs.  Be sure to toss the bag out as soon as you are done.  Thorough steam cleaning of carpets and drapes, and washing walls and floors will help as well.

A tenant should wash affected bed linens (in hot water if possible) and consider placing vinyl covers over their mattress and box springs to seal the bugs in. There are a number of products on the Internet made just for this purpose.

Nothing short of a professional exterminator is likely to fully eradicate the problem.  Many experts suggest you start there, and devise a plan that may include natural pest control along with spraying. But you are probably in it for the long-haul, and you will likely need repeated treatment to stop the cycle of these insidious creatures.

Click here for information on landlord liability for bedbugs.

Click here to find out how to spot bedbugs.

Click here for more on natural pest control.

American Apartment Owners Association offers discounts on products and services related to your commercial housing investment, including real estate forms, tenant debt collection, tenant background checks, insurance and financing.  Find out more at

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