How did bed bugs get in my apartment

Bed Bugs in Apartments: How They Got In and How to Get Them Out?

Avatar of author Ismael Girard
Ismael Girard
min read

Ever noticed a sign of bedbugs in your apartment and wondered, "How did they get in"? You're not alone.

These tiny annoying pests are experts at hitching a ride into our homes, turning our nights into nightmares. 

In this text, we'll investigate together the following:

✔️ Detecting bedbugs in an apartment

✔️ How bedbugs enter our apartments

✔️ What actions to take after finding bedbugs in your unit

✔️ The role of bedbug exterminators

✔️ How to keep bedbugs away from your apartment

Stay tuned, as we get a better overview on how to deal with bedbugs in rental units.

Common Signs of Bed Bugs in Unit Rentals

bedbugs in apartment lobby

Knowing the signs to look for is an essential aspect of identifying these pests. These include:

  1. Bites on skin: Usually small, red, and itchy, the bites appear in areas exposed during sleep. But, not everyone shows bite symptoms.
  2. Dark or rusty spots on your bed: This could be bed bug fecal matter.
  3. Cast skins or shell: Shed during the molt process, these maybe found around their hiding spots.
  4. The unique smell: There's a slight sweet and musty odor.

But, if the infestation is high, you might spot bed bugs hiding in various regions in your apartment, including walls, upholstered furniture, and in the apartment building. During such a situation, make sure to hire a pest control professional.

Subtle signs might be misleading, making it great to undertake a detailed inspection. Checking the mattress, box spring, and other potential hiding spots can activate immediate action depending on the findings.

For example, where plastic vacuum bags show evidence of these pests, disposal should follow immediately.

How Do Bed Bugs Enter Apartments?

Bedbugs find their way into apartments in several ways, and it's a misconception that they only reside in cluttered environments; indeed, there are well-documented cases of bed bugs in clean homes. Here are some of the most common in rental units:

  • Neighbors' apartments: Bed bugs can easily move from one unit to another in an apartment building through walls and electrical outlets. They can also crawl under doors, especially if you live in a multi-story building.
  • Furniture: Used furniture can harbor bed bugs.
  • Personal belongings: Bed bugs can attach themselves to clothing, luggage, and other personal items. This chance increases after visiting a place infested.

The Weight of Apartment Block in Spread

Apartment buildings tend to be more vulnerable to bedbugs invasions than single-family homes. This fact shouldn't surprise you, as the number of units and the volume of foot traffic increases the risks — naturally. These are significant reasons for bedbug infestations in densely populated areas.

The close proximity of units also makes it easy for bed bugs to travel across. An apartment infested with bed bugs inflicts a domino effect, with the tiny insects swiftly spreading, making getting rid of them a gargantuan task.

An interesting thing to note is that bed bugs can stay long in wall cavities, transforming apartment blocks into perfect hubs. This can lead to more important invasions apartment-wide.

What to Do After Finding Bedbugs in Your Unit?

Tackling bedbugs requires a systematic approach, especially in rental blocks. Immediate action like using effective bed bug killers helps disturb the bedbug lifecycle, hence, reclaiming your apartment.

1. Identifying Bed Bug Presence

Deducing the source of bedbugs tends to be the first step. They usually hide in hard-to-reach spaces. So, make sure to keep an eye out for signs of their presence, which usually include:

  • Blood spots on your bedding or mattress
  • Exoskeletons or cast skins
  • White eggs roughly the size of a speck of dust.
  • Red bites on your skin

2. Notifying Your Landlord

Upon notification, landlords often initiate a comprehensive inspection of the entire apartment building, because of the propensity of bedbugs to spread from one unit to another. This initiative ensures the whole property is free from bedbugs, not just your individual unit.

Tenant and Landlord Cooperation

The battle against bed bugs in apartment buildings takes two: both the tenant and the landlord. This collaboration forms an essential pillar in managing such problems. By working, learning, and acting together, tenants and landlords can effectively keep pests away, ensuring a comfortable living situation for all involved.

Legal Aspects of Bed Bug Management

The legal side of bed bug management in apartment complexes generally lands on the landlord's table. In Canada, landlords bear the responsibility of providing a habitable, bed bug-free living space.

  1. Duty of Landlords: Landlords are required by law to hire professional pest control services for bed bug treatment in buildings they own. They may also be responsible for follow-up treatments to ensure complete eradication of the issue.
  2. Notification: Landlords must inform tenants about the bed bug situation in the building, including any previous issues and the steps that have been taken to control them.
  3. Apartment Readiness: Ensuring that the apartment unit is ready for the pest control service also falls under the landlord’s duties. This includes making sure all areas, especially the ones hard-to-reach, are accessible for inspection and treatment.

While bed bugs remain a common threat to apartment living, with thoughtful tenant and landlord cooperation, they do not have to be a permanent problem.

How to Bed Bug-Proof Your Apartment?

Bed bug-proofing involves concrete actions designed to minimize the chance of an infestation taking off. Initially, reducing clutter reduces the number of hiding places bed bugs can call home. Hence, we advise keeping a clean and clutter-free environment.

Handling furniture is crucial when proofing an apartment. Try encasing mattresses and box springs with specifically designed protective covers, which act as effective barriers trapping bed bugs.

Also, it's best practice to vacuum regularly, particularly around baseboards, beds and furniture. Post vacuuming, it's a good idea to place vacuum bags into a plastic bag and dispose of them outdoors - you certainly wouldn't want those critters finding their way back in!

Note that sealing cracks and crevices throughout the property can significantly shrink space for bed bugs to hide. This includes gaps around pipes and electrical outlets.

The Role of Professional Bed Bug Extermination

Maintaining the momentum of this conversation on getting rid of bed bugs, let's plunge into the role of professional bed bug extermination. Making property pest-free is not an easy task, especially when the problem revolves around bed bugs in an apartment building.

Inspection and Identification by Professionals

Right off the bat, let's clarify one thing: professional inspectors bring expertise in identifying these small, brown insects.

Bed bugs, though visible to the naked eye, often find refuge in the minutest places that are challenging for untrained eyes to inspect. Well, just know that our professionals detect everything!

Using specialized tools, they'll scrutinize your furniture and even walls for signs of these unwelcome guests. These inspections not only determine the severity of the infestation but also detect early signs, ensuring the situation doesn’t escalate.

Treatment Methods and Their Effectiveness

After conducting a thorough inspection, pest control professionals employ multiple treatment methods, each designed to solve a specific aspect of the problem.

These can range from applying insecticides to every possible hiding place to using heat treatment in the infested area. The right combination of treatment methods can effectively eliminate both adult bed bugs and their eggs.

Remember, extermination doesn’t mean spraying insecticides randomly around the apartment unit. A precise, targeted approach is essential. That’s where a pest control professional steps in, blending science with experience to manage this unnerving situation.


After understanding the journey of bed bugs into your apartment and the proactive steps for prevention and management, let's hold the idea that bed bugs can be controlled with timely and targeted action.

Early detection is vital. Cast skins, eggs, small bites, and spots of blood on mattress or furniture are surefire indicators of bedbugs. And the sooner we detect their presence and start the management process, the better chance we have at successful treatment and prevention of a full-blown infestation.

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Frequently asked questions

How effective are mattress encasements in preventing bed bug infestations?

Mattress encasements are highly effective as they trap bed bugs inside, preventing them from feeding and breeding, thereby breaking the life cycle and aiding in pest management.

What temperature kills bed bug eggs during laundry?

Temperatures of at least 120°F (49°C) are required to effectively kill bed bug eggs, which is achievable through high heat settings in washing machines and dryers.

What specific signs indicate a heavy bed bug infestation in an apartment?

A heavy infestation might be indicated by the presence of live bed bugs in various stages of their life cycle during daytime and bed bug excrement across multiple areas, not just on bedding.