To beat bedbugs, landlords and tenants must unite

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CAA invites multifamily housing owners, managers, tenants to Bedbugs 101 panel discussion

Now that Halloween is over, let’s face it. Vampires aren’t that scary.

More frightful fangs can be found in many California apartments. They belong to the elusive bedbug, an insect that makes countless tenants’ and landlords’ skin crawl.   

Mike Nemeth CAA Strategic Communications Manager

Mike Nemeth
CAA Strategic Communications Manager

While these wingless parasites do feed on blood at night, they’re a far cry from the immortal undead. Property owners, managers and residents can beat this bug — if they work together.

To that end, the California Apartment Association will host a panel discussion called Bedbugs 101, from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. Nov. 18, at Concord City Council Chambers.

The panelists will discuss ways to deal with bedbug issues swiftly and tactically. The alternative can be costly in more ways than one.

Just this month, 24 multifamily residents sued the owners of a Concord apartment complex, alleging bedbug infestation and other problems.

It’s too early to say how this case will turn out, but one thing is for certain: Bedbugs can be managed and potentially exterminated.

You must move quickly and know your enemy.

You wouldn’t try to take down Dracula with lead bullets, would you? You’d need a sharp stake – or an unhealthy dose of direct sunlight. Heck, you might even hire a vampire slayer.

Look at bedbugs the same way. Get a licensed pest-control professional — someone experienced at ridding apartments of these welt-producing parasites. Be ready for multiple visits to infested units, where successful extermination may require pesticides,  steam cleaners — and even bedbug-detecting dogs.

Residents must do their part, too. Some examples:

  • Check for “hitchhiking” bedbugs on clothing and luggage after travel.  
  • Reduce clutter where bedbugs could lurk.
  • Wrap mattresses and box springs with zippered covers that bedbugs can’t penetrate. This can keep them out of your mattress, where they just love to nest.

Remember, these insects embody resiliency. They can survive in cracks and crevices for many months without a single blood meal.

Let them die hungry. It’s time for tenants and property managers to take the offensive and terminate the bedbug nightmare for good.

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Tagged: Contra Costa