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Bedbugs: A quick primer for renters

The thought of bedbugs can make your skin crawl. Many different stories have been in the news about people who go to movie theaters or hotels and come home with these tiny critters that make you itch madly. Those stories might lead to your avoiding the areas where bedbugs could live.

But, have you thought about what you would do if you find out that you have bedbugs at home? This is a disheartening and difficult situation to live with. Here are some points that you need to know about bedbugs:

A problem for renters

Bedbugs are a problem for some renters, especially those who live in multifamily units. These tiny bugs don't fly. Instead, they crawl, even up walls, to get to where they need to go. It is often difficult to spot bedbugs when an infestation first begins because they are so tiny. The female bedbug can lay thousands of eggs, but each of these is only around the size of a speck of dirt.

Another issue with bedbugs is that they can fit into tiny spaces. An entire colony of bugs can live in an area that is the equivalent of the thinness of a credit card. They can live in clothing, on mattresses, in cracks and on furniture.

Bedbugs rely on blood to survive. They need to have a meal prior to each time they shed during their life. Many people think that bedbugs are a sign of an unclean home but this isn't the case. They don't have anything to do with cleanliness. You can have a spotless home and still have a bedbug problem.

The good news is that bedbugs don't transmit disease. They are more of a nuisance because of the severe itching they cause.

Where landlords come in

Landlords need to have proper pest control methods in place. It isn't always possible to prevent bedbugs because they often come into a home attached to something else. When a landlord is given notice that there is a bedbug infestation in a dwelling, he or she will need to take swift action to find a pest control solution to minimize the risk of the bugs entering other spaces and to eradicate them from the locations where they are present.

Many different ways of controlling bedbugs are found online. Some of these, such as do-it-yourself remedies, aren't likely going to work in a multifamily dwelling. Landlords should hire a professional company that can come in and get the problem taken care of so that bedbugs don't make life miserable for the renters.

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