Moving home is both stressful and exciting; it’s a new start, after all! But one thing that’s guaranteed to make it more stressful and less exciting is discovering your new space has bed bugs – yuck!
But this can and does happen quite often. Over the last 20 years, the bed bug problem has multiplied and the number of cases of infestation isn’t dropping. Your new apartment or house probably doesn’t have bed bugs, but you do need to try and make sure – your first night there is not the time to find out!
So what steps should you take to find out if these unwelcome visitors are already inhabiting your new home?
How to Detect Bed Bugs Before You Move In
- Renting: find out your legal position. It is nearly always illegal to rent out a home with a known infestation and many local laws also require a landlord to give full details of previous occurrences of bed bugs, sometimes whether the prospective tenant has asked or not. But this is not universal. Some states have no requirement for a landlord to disclose past bed bugs, so feel free to ask and if there has been an occurrence of bed bugs in the home or apartment building, ask them to treat the home before you move in.
- When you view the property do your own inspection. Bed bugs love nooks and crannies so that’s where to search. You’re not just looking for adults – think the size and color of an apple seed – but eggs (white specks) and feces too. Remember these bugs aren’t put off by cleanliness or attracted by dirt; whatever the apartment or house looks like, however well presented and maintained, that’s no guarantee there are no bed bugs.
- Consider having a pest professional inspect the home before purchase. If you’re buying, consider having a pest professional come to inspect the home when you have other home inspections. You are within your right to ask for treatment before you get the keys. If you can’t do this, the best thing to do is have a cautionary treatment before you start moving your things in – heat treatments typically only take a few hours so you won’t have to wait long!
- Consider a canine inspection before you move in. By far the best way to find out if there are bed bugs in your new property is to get a canine inspection carried out by a trustworthy pest control company. Dogs have humans beat hands down (or should that be paws down?) when it comes to detecting the presence of bed bugs.
Not so long ago most of us were only worried about termites in our homes but times change. Bed bugs may not be as damaging to your home or wallet, but they certainly aren’t something you want to live with!
It is sensible to make every effort to ensure your new house or apartment is pest-free before you move in. It is not just the bites either. Psychologically, knowing you have bed bugs can be devastating. While cures are available, prevention is better every time. To find a suitable pest professional or canine unit near you, click here.