Recently, I conducted a series of bed bug inspections in apartment units located in a senior-only apartment building in Toms River, NJ. Although bed bug infestations can happen anywhere, they are especially common in high density housing where there is high pedestrian traffic. Bed bugs hitchhike on people and their belongings, so the more crowded an area, the higher the likelihood of a hidden bed bug finding its way there. Senior apartments are especially problematic because of delays in reporting. Seniors may have limited physical mobility, poor vision, diminished mental capacity, or may even not even be aware that they are being bitten. As a result, the infestations are often missed in their early stages while they are still localized. To prevent this scenario, the property manager of this complex has us conduct bed bug inspections every four months.
In each apartment, we thoroughly inspect the beds (mattress, box spring, and frame) and sofas, recliners, and any upholstered furniture where bed bugs may be hiding between their blood meals. Bed bugs feed exclusively off human blood and stay close to their human hosts. They also prefer to feed when we are sleeping or at rest, so they are commonly hiding in and around bedding and wherever we nap or rest.
As demonstrated here, these proactive bed bug inspections are valuable. Here, while inspecting one of the units, I flipped over the mattress and immediately found an adult bed bug. This bed also had storage bins and many slat board, so there were numerous hiding places for the bugs to squeeze into. With slat bed frames, it is especially important to thoroughly treat all of the cracks and crevices. By catching this infestation in its early stages, we are able to treat it while the infestation is still localized and has not spread to other units.