For the apartment buildings served by Cowleys, we recommend bed bug inspections at least twice a year, especially for complexes with units that have had bed bug issues in the past. Many property managers request proactive bed bug inspections. Often, tenants fail to timely report these infestations and what could have been a localized infestation in one unit has morphed into a major multi-unit infestation. Bed bugs easily hitchhike from one host to the next and, although these infestations can happen anywhere, they are especially problematic in high-density housing.
We service many senior apartment buildings, and bed bug infestations are quite common and often are more entrenched. Why? The elderly, for a variety reasons, do not notice the signs of bed bugs in their early stages because of vision issues and limited mobility. Many are physically unable to lift up their mattress an box spring to check for bed bugs or the tiny fecal stain spots they leave behind. Also, many are unaware that they are even being bitten. Not everyone experiences welts and itching from their bites. It has ben reported that up to 30% of the population does not show signs of bed bug bites. Also, seniors on corticosteroid medications often have no reaction to the bites as well.
Bed bugs are parasites that feed exclusively on blood, and prefer human blood to other animals. When not feeding, they prefer to hide near their host in dark cracks an crevices that they can wedge themselves into. To determine if there is a bed bug problem, an inspection requires lifting and moving mattresses, chests of drawers, sofas, and other heavy pieces of furniture since the bugs will hide in out-of-the-way places. They are hardly ever out in the open in plain view.
Recently, I found a bed bug issue in a senior housing building that we service in Oceanport, NJ. At first glance, the apartment was clean and orderly, showing no signs of bed bug activity. Bed bug infestations have nothing to do with sanitation issues, but if there is clutter, there are more potential hiding spots for these pests, and make it makes the infestation more difficult to treat. Here, we found bed bugs after lifting up the mattress and box spring.
Once we find a bid bug issues, we immediately perform a knock-down treatment to hold the tenant over until we can schedule a full initial servicing.We do everything we can to treat any affected apartments in question as soon as possible after the inspection in oder to contain the infestation. These periodic bed bug inspections have become important monitoring tools for us and the apartment managers to stay on top of this troublesome infestation.