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Preventing and Eliminating Bed Bugs in Utah Apartments

By Thorn Team • Aug 31st 2022

Whether your bed bug issue is new or existing, getting rid of bed bugs in an apartment building can present some very frustrating challenges.

To protect your apartment or apartment building from bed bugs, aim first to understand bed bug behavior and biology. Bed bug management is a multi-step process involving not only control and elimination, but also education and prevention.

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Lucky for you, the bed bug experts at Thorn Pest Solutions are here to help you understand the bed bug issue in your apartments. We've helped loads of apartment managers, landlords and tenants get rid of bed bugs and keep them away, and not just in our home state of Utah. We're Here to Help you wherever you are!

Bed Bugs in Apartments

Here at Thorn, we get loads of questions about bed bugs in apartment buildings throughout Utah, and we help resolve bed bug issues far beyond.

  • How did I get bed bugs in my apartment or apartment building?
  • Can pets spread bed bugs from one home to another?
  • Why do the bed bugs keep coming back?
  • What are the most effective bed bug treatments?
  • How do bed bug dog inspections work?
  • Is it even possible to get rid of bed bugs completely?

Dealing with bed bugs can be exhausting and unfortunately, there's no short supply of weird and conflicting information floating around the internet. What should you do, sleep in a plastic sleeping bag? Hose your home down with essential oils? Before continuing with any Google-provided solutions, we're here to help make sense of your bed bug problem.

The History of Bed Bugs in the U.S.

Bed bugs (Cimicidae) have lived closely beside humans for a very, very long time.

As far back as we have written record, bed bugs have been present and happy to feed on humans, but they were nearly eradicated in the U.S. during the 1940s due to widespread use of an insecticide called DDT.

As time went on, DDT became more heavily regulated due to health and environmental risks and the 1980s and 1990s became the calm before the impending bed bug tsunami.

In 2002 the federal government began to recognize and discuss the impacts of bed bug activity on public health. Twenty years later in 2022, bed bugs are now on their way to becoming a full-blown epidemic.

The Current State of Bed Bugs in Utah

While bed bug rates continued to climb throughout the 2000s, the state of Utah had seen a decline in bed bug populations before COVID. Disruptions to the inspection and treatment for bed bugs has caused post-COVID bounce backs of bed bugs.

In single family homes, bed bugs are much easier to eradicate. Even in busy hotels, bed bugs are dealt with quickly and are not typically seen in huge numbers. It is in apartments and other multi-family dwellings where we continue to see the most severe bed bug infestations.

Getting Rid of Bed Bugs in Apartment Buildings

Most chronic bed bug issues are found in apartment buildings. This is due to:

  • high turnover (people moving in and out)
  • lots of people stacked close together
  • lack of reporting from tenants
  • bed bugs' ability to spread from unit to unit

Couple these issues with other cultural factors that naturally drive bed bug issues, like:

  • World travel
  • Mass transit
  • Used furniture
  • Thrifted clothing

Considering all these factors, it's easy to see how bed bugs readily spread throughout our modern, travel-heavy, thrifting-obsessed society. Apartment buildings just add another layer of favorable conditions for bed bugs.

5 Ways to Get Rid of Bed Bugs in Apartments

Regardless of location, solving a bed bug problem will never be as simple as spraying a chemical treatment and moving on. Getting rid of bed bugs in apartments (or elsewhere) will require several steps and ongoing effort from everyone to keep bed bugs gone for good.

This may seem overwhelming, but it doesn't need to be. We can break bed bug treatment down into smaller and more attainable steps.

Bed bug control should be thorough, but it doesn't need to be stressful!

1. Have a Bed Bug Plan for Your Apartments

If you own a multi-family dwelling, your building is automatically at risk for recurring bed bug issues.

Landlords and property managers need to be proactive. Have a written plan of action ready to go in case bed bugs make an appearance in your building. Don't overload yourself! This plan does not need to take years to formulate, but should include the following:

  • A resident education plan
  • How to respond to reports of activity
  • Prevention of spread
  • Elimination of known infestations
  • Instructions for how to manage re-location requests

SOME QUICK ADVICE FROM THORN: Having a bed bug plan may seem unnecessary, but it's not! While nobody wants to talk about it, there are legal risks that come along with bed bug infestations in apartments, and most lawsuits that rule in favor of the tenant are won because the issue wasn't handled properly by management. Having a bed bug plan protects your tenants, but it also protects YOU, the building owner or manager.

If you need help formulating a well-rounded bed bug plan for your apartment building, please don't hesitate to reach out to us at Thorn! Our CEO is also the president of the Utah Pest Management Association, and we have extensive bed bug know how. Whether you're located in Utah or elsewhere, we're happy to help you come up with lasting bed bug solutions for your property.

2. Inspect for Bed Bugs

Maybe your building has had repeated bed bug issues, or maybe you want to be hyper vigilant when it comes to keeping bed bugs out of your apartment building. Either way, it's a good idea to implement periodic inspections to make sure bed bugs aren't present.

If there are no active issues in your building, you could probably get away with a once per year inspection at your building.

If you have had recurring bed bug sightings in your building (big or small) this frequency should be bumped to once every 3-6 months, with quarterly inspections generally being enough to stay on top of more serious problems.

Keep in mind: not all bed bug inspections are the same.

Visual inspections performed by a licensed pest professional are a great tool, but bed bugs are cryptic and if chemical treatments have been applied, bed bugs may be forced further into hiding and not make an appearance.

To confirm the presence of bed bugs, a bed bug canine inspection is worth looking into. Bed bug dogs work with a dog handler to sniff out and detect the presence and location of bed bugs. Once bed bug harborage areas are found, control measures can be applied to these hiding spaces to ensure treatment is effective.

Canine Bed Bug Inspections in Utah

If you live or work in Utah and you find yourself in need of a bed bug dog inspection, look no further than Thorn Pest Solutions.

Here at Thorn, we have been utilizing bed bug canines for over a decade and our dogs wag their tails at the chance to come and sniff every available nook and cranny for bed bugs.

Have any questions about bed bug dogs? Don't hesitate to reach out, even if you don't call Utah home.

3. Educate Your Tenants

During the 1980s and 1990s, bed bugs were a moot issue, and we were all living in a state of DDT-induced ignorant bliss. People all but lost their ability to easily recognize bed bugs because they just weren't around much.

Now in 2022, we don't have that luxury. Everyone should be taking steps to make sure we know what to look for when it comes to bed bug activity.

In apartment buildings, this means it's important to make sure your tenants are educated about bed bugs and their activity.

Start small. Have a pizza night and encourage your community of tenants to come learn about bed bug identification and prevention. After all, few things are more enticing than pizza!

You could also opt for sending out flyers or mailers or include education packets in your "move-in" paperwork. Ensure your tenants understand the importance of identifying and reporting issues quickly.

SOME QUICK ADVICE FROM THORN: The #1 problem landlords, property managers and pest control companies run into when it comes to controlling bed bugs in apartments is lack of reporting from tenants.

Tenants fear reporting bed bug issues for many reasons, like feeling embarrassed, being fearful of getting charged or worse, getting kicked out.

Don't let your tenants live in fear! If your tenants feel fearful, they'll never come forward to report a bed bug issue. Make sure tenants know that if bed bugs pop up, the building will pay for it.

Yes, you read that right: the building should pay for bed bug inspection and treatment.

If the goal is eradication of bed bugs in your apartment building, you need the teamwork, co-operation and communication of your tenants if you want to be successful. This will only happen when they feel 100% comfortable coming forward to report activity.

4. Find the Right Bed Bug Control Company

There are a lot of pest control companies out there. If you're dealing with bed bugs, it's essential to make sure your pest company has experience (and success!) in solving bed bug problems in apartments.

While you're shopping for bed bug control, ask lots of questions and don't be fooled!

Residential bed bug control is very different than apartment bed bug control. Just because a company got rid of some minor bed bug issues in a few single-family homes doesn't mean they have the skills and experience necessary to eradicate bed bugs in a multi-family dwelling.

If you're not sure what questions you should ask your bed bug control company, do a little research and make a thorough list of questions before you call.

5. Update Your Lease Agreement

Look over your lease terms and make sure tenants are required to:

  • Report bed bugs immediately
  • Provide access for inspections and services

Be very clear about your expectations and make sure that if bed bugs pop up, tenants are prepared to help the treatment process, not hinder it.

Thorn: Utah Bed Bug Exterminators

Landlords and property managers don't want to deal with here and there bed bug sightings; they want total eradication!

If your apartments are in Utah, Thorn Pest Solutions can help you get back to a bed bug free apartment building.

Give your tenants the gift of their own home-sweet-home, and give yourself the peace of mind that comes with knowing that Thorn is in your corner, making sure your bed bug issue doesn't become a bed bug nightmare.

About Thorn

Thorn is a Utah local pest management company. We are a QualityPro certified company which is a prestigious accreditation awarded too less than 3% of the pest management companies in the US.

Contact Us Today

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About Thorn

Thorn is a Utah local pest management company. We are a QualityPro certified company which is a prestigious accreditation awarded too less than 3% of the pest management companies in the US.

Contact Us Today