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Bed Bugs In Your Apartment – What Should You Do

The old adage of “Sleep tight and don’t let the bed bugs bite” may hit too close to home if you think you have a bed bug infestation. Bed bugs are tiny bloodsucking pests that can lay up to 500 eggs in their lifetime. An infestation could infiltrate your entire home and cause health issues such as allergic reactions, anxiety, and insomnia for you and your family members. If you suspect you have bed bugs in your apartment, take immediate remedial steps. Read this guide to learn more.

Signs of a Bed Bug Infestation

People commonly believe that only messy living conditions are breeding grounds for bed bugs. That is not the case. Bed bugs can live anywhere, and they can travel too. These pests get comfortable in your home with their new source of food—you! There are several signs that may indicate you are living in an apartment with bed bugs.

  • Bug bites – Bed bugs feed on you while you’re asleep. Their bites often appear in clusters or in lines on your body.
  • Itchy skin – Bed bugs stimulate a histamine response, causing itchy skin that may result in allergic reactions such as rashes, hives, or blisters.
  • Black stains – Small black marks on your sheets or mattress (look at the seams!) may be bed bug waste.
  • Dead bugs – If you find dead tiny brown, oval, wingless insects, you can be certain there are live bugs present, too.
  • Shed skin – Bed bugs have a moulting process. When they feed consistently, they shed their exoskeleton to have room to grow into adulthood.
  • Eggs – Bed bug eggs can be seen, but you must know what to look for. They are tiny white or yellow casings about 1 mm long that can be found along the seams of your mattress.

 

 

Can Bed Bugs Travel in an Apartment Building?

Yes! On foot, they may not get very far, but they have other forms of transportation. Not only can bed bugs travel in used furniture, thrifted clothing, used mattresses and luggage, but they can also travel inside an apartment building through small spaces such as electrical outlets, apartment walls, or even the smallest cracks. If other units around your apartment or condo are infested with bed bugs, chances are you have them too.

Are Bed Bugs the Landlord’s or Tenant’s Responsibility?

The landlord is responsible for bed bug remediation. If you notice any signs of bed bugs in your apartment, the first step is to contact your landlord to alert them of the situation. Trying to attempt a DIY solution may seem tempting, but it can result in a bigger infestation in your apartment.

The bed bug guide from the Government of Quebec and by-laws from the City of Montreal state that it is your landlord’s duty to contact a qualified bed bug exterminator to remedy the situation. This falls under the landlord’s responsibility because of the municipal ordinances per Quebec article 1910 of the Civil Code, which state a landlord must provide a habitable living environment. An apartment with bed bugs is definitely not habitable housing!

When an appointment is scheduled for bed bug treatment, the responsibilities of both parties are as follows.

Tenant Responsibility

  1. Clean up – Clear your space from clutter in preparation of getting rid of bed bugs. If your landlord is using Thermapro as their preferred bed bug exterminator, we will provide you with preparation instructions for our effective chemical-free heat-based bed bug removal process.
  2. Give access – Your landlord must give you 24-hours or more to prepare your apartment. Once your unit is ready, you must provide access to your home so the exterminators can start on their job.
  3. Contact Health Department – Your final step should only occur if your landlord refuses to help you with your apartment’s bed bug infestation. You must contact a health inspector to act as a witness to the health code violation.

Landlord Responsibility

  1. Reach out – Contact your tenant to provide them with sufficient time to clean up their home. This means providing them a 24-hour window or more, and instructions on the process.
  2. Provide access – Once your tenant has cleared their unit, make sure you are there to provide access for the extermination company. To get the infestation under control, we recommend that you provide access to other adjacent dwelling units and common areas in the building to determine the scope of the bed bug infestation.
  3. Communicate with your tenant – You should inform your tenant(s) about the intervention happening in their apartment and keep in touch with them throughout the extermination process.
  4. Formal notice – If your tenant refuses to give you access or resists remediation of the infestation, you must submit a formal notice, which may state that they are required to accept bed bug treatment if they want to keep their tenancy.

Who Should Pay for the Treatment?

If you have an apartment with bed bugs, your landlord is required to pay for the extermination by professionals. A landlord refusing to provide and pay for pest control will be in breach of the warranty of habitability.

Final Thoughts on Bed Bug Extermination in Apartments

Bed bugs can spread quickly and become a huge issue afflicting all areas of your apartment and other units as well. Remember, if you find signs of bed bugs in your apartment, don’t assume that they will eventually die off on their own – they don’t! DIY attempts are futile against these hardy pests. Because your landlord is required to deliver and maintain a dwelling in a fit and habitable condition, he or she must help you get rid of bed bugs by hiring a qualified bed bug exterminator.

Thermapro offers bed bug extermination services in Montreal and surrounding areas using thermal remediation, an effective chemical-free treatment. Because we are bed bug specialists, we will perform a thorough inspection of the apartment building to identify the areas to be treated and propose a plan to permanently remediate your bed bug problem. Request a free estimate today or use our online form to get in touch.

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