How Do I Know If There Are Bed Bugs In My Rental Properties?

How Do I Know If There Are Bed Bugs In My Rental Properties?

According to Wikipedia, bed bugs are parasitic insects that feed exclusively on blood.  They have been known as human parasites for thousands of years.  The name “bed bug” is derived from the preferred habitat of the insect: warm houses and especially near or inside of beds and bedding or other sleep areas.  They are mainly active at night, but are not exclusively nocturnal.  They usually feed on their hosts without being noticed.

Bed bugs can be a challenge for rental property investors.  The treatment can be expensive, and often you have to repeat the treatment to ensure that they are gone.  Early detection, and prevention, can help save a lot of problems down the road.

How Do I Know If There Are Bed Bugs?

To get rid of a relatively small population of bed bugs, or test to see if you have any present, you can build an inexpensive trap with the following items:
•    two to three pounds of dry ice
•    Plastic pet food bowl
•    Insulated beverage cup
•    Masking Tape
•    Fabric
•    Talcum powder

Testing for bed bugs is best done in the evening because bed bugs prefer the dark.

Use a large pet food bowl of the type with sides that prevent it from tipping over.  Apply fabric to the sides of the bowl with tape, giving the sides a rough surface for bed bugs to climb. Turn the bowl over, creating a moat or channel in which the bed bugs can fall. Rub talcum powder on the insides of the moat so the bed bugs cannot escape.

On the upturned bottom of the bowl, place the large insulated beverage cup. Using gloves to protect yourself from the cold, fill the container one-half full with dry ice. Leave the top open. DO NOT close the container or the dry ice could build pressure up as everything warms up and gas is released. Turn off all the lights and leave the room for an hour or more.

The CO2 gas sublimating, or converting directly from solid to gas, from the dry ice will attract the bed bugs. The bed bugs will crawl up the outside sides of the bowl and be trapped in the moat.

Knowing if you have bed bugs is the first step to being able to quickly remedy the problem.

Bren Koger

Facebook: bren.koger
Twitter: @brenkoger

Article: How Do I Know If There Are Bed Bugs In My Rental Properties?

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