Recently, a two-person bed bug treatment crew was sent to a senior apartment complex in Highland Park, NJ. Although bed bug infestations are common in any high density housing, they are especially frequent in senior housing. Unfortunately, tenants in these buildings are often unaware of these infestations in their early stages for many reasons from poor visual acuity and not noticing the bugs or signs of an infestation like bed bug fecal stains to taking various medications that happen to suppress the itch of bed bug bites. As a result, often, we are not notified until the infestation is severe.
With this bed bug treatment, as we usually do, we start by inspecting for activity in the bedroom, focusing on the mattress, box spring, and surrounding areas. Bed bugs do not venture far from the hosts between blood meals and they usually hide in cracks and crevices nearby. Also, they want the host to be stationary while feeding. That’s why those with bed bug infestations usually wake up in the morning with a new set of bites. Here, to our surprise, we did not find any activity in the bedroom.
With bed bug inspections, it is essential to be as thorough as possible and never assume that bed bugs can’t be hiding somewhere because often they are! We not only inspect and flip mattresses and box springs to insect very square inch, but we also inspect all upholstered furniture like sofas and chairs, and we even inspect the drapes and take pictures off the wall. If there is a potential bed bug hiding spot, we’ll check it out. Here, since we came up empty in the bedroom, we moved to the living room. Sure enough, it did not take us long to find where the bed bugs were hiding. Apparently, this resident napped and frequently slept on the living room couch, and the bed bugs patiently waited for her to come. Here, we found a “treasure trove” of bed bug activity — live bed bugs, nymphs, eggs, and fecal/blood stains in almost every seam and fold of the couch.
We vacuumed every nook and cranny of the couch and then applied a residual product to those same areas. We are confident that, with the infestation localized to the couch, this will resolve the problem. However, bed bugs are resilient insects, and we always return for a two-week follow-up to re-inspect for activity and apply additional treatments as necessary. We won’t stop treating until the bed bugs are gone and the residents are free of bites.