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Insects: 5 Things Renters Should Look Out For


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Bed Bugs
Pestec technician Carlos I. Agurto walks with Ladybug, a Beagle trained to sniff out bed bugs, as they inspect a bed in an apartment with bed bugs in San Francisco.
Pestec technician Carlos I. Agurto walks with Ladybug, a Beagle trained to sniff out bed bugs, as they inspect a bed in an apartment with bed bugs in San Francisco.
Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

There's a chance that you may never have heard of bed bugs until a few years ago. Starting around 2010, New York City became the center of a massive bed bug epidemic. It has since started moving into other parts of the country, particularly in places where lots of people sleep, like dorms, hotels, hospitals and even apartments. Many of these bed bugs have proven resistant to traditional pesticides.

What exactly are bed bugs? They're small, parasitic insects that bite your skin and suck your blood, often leaving an itchy rash. They're nocturnal and like to hide in tight spaces. They do not transmit diseases to humans, but are notoriously hard to get rid of.

If you think you have bed bugs, and your apartment complex management is lax in handling the issue, you need to take immediate action. Odds are, your neighbors have bed bugs too because the creatures spread easily throughout buildings. You need to get in touch with the people who live near you and implore them to treat their units also. Clean up the clutter around your apartment, vacuum it thoroughly, wash your linens and clothes, and set off pesticide bombs. Steam cleaning is also pretty effective at killing them. If all else fails, you can always move.


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