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How to check for bedbugs in potential new apartment

(6 posts)
  1. westend

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    Posted 7 years ago
    Sun Oct 2 2011 12:57:35
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    Hi,

    I do not have bed bugs, nor have I ever had them. I would like to move to a new apartment or townhouse in a new area. I live in a heavily infested area right now so am a bit obsessed, but the area I would like to move to by the looks of the bed bug registry map is not infested at all.

    Besides asking the landlord if they have ever had a problem with bed bugs, what is the best way to check a potential new apartment or townhouse for any bed bug problems?

    When the place is empty and before I move my stuff in, where exactly in the rooms would I check or how would I check for them?

    Thank you!

  2. BuggerBeater

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    Posted 7 years ago
    Sun Oct 2 2011 14:46:56
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    I would check in all the classic spots such as under the baseboards. Run a playing card along and see if anything comes out. Fecal spots may also be visible. If there's a carpet, try to pull it up to see if there's anything along the edges.

    If you're really obsessed about it, I'd get it in writing from the landlord stating that there haven't been any bedbug cases in the building. If it turns out there were, they'll be liable for your losses and psychological duress.

  3. Nobugsonme

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    Posted 7 years ago
    Sun Oct 2 2011 16:58:16
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    It might be tricky to detect them before moving in, especially if the place has been painted. If they're there, they might be hiding out in the cracks. You might consider running an active monitor like the bed bug beacon for a week before you move in, if possible. It would give them a chance to be lured out and caught, and even though you might have a legal fight to get deposit/rent back, it would be better than moving in and then finding out.

    I started and run the site but am "not an expert."
  4. AshamedandScratching

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    Posted 7 years ago
    Mon Oct 3 2011 10:20:25
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    If you have a friend in that area who's moving, take over their apartment!

    That's how I did it.

  5. NYCbugfree

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    Posted 7 years ago
    Sat Oct 8 2011 13:28:14
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    I had an incident where I moved out my current apt on a friday to a bedbug infested apartment and moved right back to my old apartment that Sunday because a landlord failed to tell me about an infestation 6 months prior which is against the law. I actually found the signs just through having some sort of knowledge about bedbugs and having friends who had them. I finally got it out of him but had it not been for that, he would have NEVER told me. Btw, the place was still infested. Second day there my daughter woke up with a bug on her pillow which sprouted a whole 6 month panic as to whether or not we brought them with us.

    First thing to check is the bedbug registry. Second thing to check is baseboards. Are they caulked up? Are the light fixtures caulked up? Does it look like it was professionally done? If so it was done for a reason and you need to find out if the neighbors were treated. Dont be afraid to knock on a neighbors door and ask. If the apartment is empty look along the baseboards. Often bedbugs come in through the baseboards of large buildings and you can find remnants of droppings there. In the apt I moved into I noticed the baseboards were sealed as were the light fixtures. There was also a smell. But I wouldn't go on that alone. It was a smell that I thought was due to a cat and no matter how much I mopped it wouldn't go away. I wish I had looked for these signs BEFORE I moved in but the landlord straight out lied to me when I asked him and I stupidly believed him. It wasnt until all my stuff was in that I found all of the above signs and I wish I had looked for them BEFORE I moved in. What a nightmare!

  6. Nobugsonme

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    Posted 7 years ago
    Sat Oct 8 2011 19:20:40
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    NYCbugfree - 5 hours ago  » 
    I had an incident where I moved out my current apt on a friday to a bedbug infested apartment and moved right back to my old apartment that Sunday because a landlord failed to tell me about an infestation 6 months prior which is against the law.

    Just for clarity for people not in NYC -- there's a new law here that the landlord has to attach a form to all new leases stating if there have been bed bug cases in the building (not just the apt.) in the last year. You can read more here.

    Obviously, they have to provide the form whether or not there have been bed bugs. Based on an informal poll among my friends who've looked for apartments since it was instituted, lots of landlords are not doing this. This is a red flag. In a case I am aware of where the person moved in anyway, at least one such building was also reported on the bed bug registry.


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