When you move into a new apartment or rental house, you start all over–new paint, new appliances, maybe even new carpets. Everything looks beautiful and pristine, almost like no one has ever lived there before.
But it is possible that someone is still living there and you just don’t know it.
Bed bugs are difficult to eradicate on your own or with pesticides, and easy to overlook when you’re excited about finding the perfect new place. Here are some bed bug tips for renters to help you avoid having a bed bug problem in your new residence:
Ask the Landlord about Bed Bugs
Bring someone with you when you meet with your landlord so that there is a witness to the fact that you asked and what his or her answer was in case of a problem later. And don’t be shy. It’s a question every potential tenant should be asking: have there ever been bed bugs in this building?
Get a Bed Bug Inspection
This might sound like an extra expense when you are spending a lot on moving, but it could save you a lot of trouble later on. If you don’t want to tell your landlord you are having the place inspected, bring your inspector along as a friend when you are doing a final look around before you sign the lease.
If you don’t want to bring in an inspector, be sure to do a thorough inspection yourself before you sign on the dotted line. Check baseboards, inside drawers, behind anything hanging on the walls.
Don’t Keep the News to Yourself
In multifamily housing, if one apartment has bed bugs, they all could have them–now or in the future. Bed bugs are not your fault, so don’t be embarrassed. Do make sure that the landlord and the other tenants have been informed in writing. Having bed bugs doesn’t mean you’re dirty or a bad housekeeper. It’s just something that happens. A lot. But your landlord is responsible for treating the infestation. Nip them in the bud! Communication is essential.
Tell the Health or Housing Department
And file a claim. Authorities need to know, too!
Take Pictures of the Bed Bugs and Your Bites
As much as you want to forget all about it, you need to have a record of your infestation and its effects. Also make sure your doctor puts the incident in your medical records.
We sincerely hope that you never encounter a bed bug, at home or anywhere else!
And best wishes in your new home!