Bedbugs can be found in clean apartments, rented by nice people, in good neighborhoods. They live on blood, not dirt and grime. Most commonly, they travel in luggage or used furniture and then infest their new home. One female will lay up to five eggs a day, over a lifespan of almost a year. They can survive for nearly that entire year on only one meal, if temperatures remain cool. Anyone can get bed bugs in their home.
Treating an infestation will be bad enough, but it will be ten times worse if your rental property appears on the bed bug map, at the left. You cannot simply rely on calling a pest control company after someone reports a problem. Yes, the bed bugs will be dead, but your reputation will be on life support.
Prevention is the best policy.
Step One: Educate tenants about how to avoid picking up “passengers” when travelling, staying with friends, or buying used furniture. In addition, let them know what to do when they return home, to get rid of “stowaways.” HERE is a great brochure I found. You can reprint it for your tenants.
Step Two: Look for signs of bed bugs when you do your regular inspections and pest control. You might see adult bugs, molted skins, or fecal matter. HERE is a great article, with photos, that tells you what to look for.
Yes, bed bugs are scary to think about. But, education and vigilance will keep them at bay.