How to check for bed bugs in an empty home

How to check for bed bugs in an empty home/apartment!?

I’m hunting for a new apartment or rental home and I’m wanting to check them for bedbugs myself, because sadly not all landlords and realtors are upfront or honest if the pests have been an issue. I’ve had them in a past apartment I lived in and they were a nightmare. I know how to look for their signs on furniture and bedding, but what about in a completely empty living space? (I’d prefer an inexpensive but effective means. K9 searches are out unless I can have that done for free, and I know that’s highly unlikely.)

3 Answers

Here’s a couple of tips to help you determine if an apartment has bed bugs.

1. Check the This is a directory of reports from consumers.

2. Ask the landlord to write into the lease agreement that 1) the apartment and all adjoining apartments (next door, above and below) have been bed bug free for 12 months, and 2) if the apartment is found to have bed bugs, you have a right to break the lease. Or as an alternative, indicate that the landlord will pay for all treatment in your apartment and will inspect all adjacent apartments.

Note in the State of Maine, and in New York City a landlord must legally disclose if an apartment had bed bugs.

3. Leave a carbon dioxide based bed bug trap in the apartment overnight. Locate the trap in the bedroom or near a likely place bed bugs would hide. Return the next day and see if any bed bugs were caught.

You are asking all the right questions and any landlord should be prepared to answer them.

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This is a challenge because the landlord can always hide the evidence. I found bedbugs in a hotel room a few weeks ago and showed management the fecal blood flakes and dead bugs. They had the house cleaning lady remove the bugs and vacuum up the blood flakes to prepare the room for the next victims.

I don’t know what kind of access you have or how many apartments you are looking at. The best I can think of is to do what you already know and look for any obvious signs. If bed bugs aren’t feeding, they go dormant. You may not find any signs.

Try to talk with the neighbors in other apartments. Look up your apartment on the web. If everything looks clear, and you like the place, you can take precautions to discourage any bed bug activity.

You can get a mattress cover, sprinkle powders around the baseboards, cracks, bed, etc.

In summary, I would try to find out what you can about the apartment, do a visual inspection, and then place some preventative protection just in case.

I’m sorry you are struggling with these concerns. I am psychologically damaged over these little guys and I would feel the same way and have the same questions.

Can Bed Bugs Be A Depression Trigger?

Bed bugs or stink bugs feed on human blood, leaving bites, redness on the skin and causing a lot of problems. The bed bug bites disturb a person’s sleep, make them aggressive, nervous, reduce the level of concentration. But, in addition to this, bedbugs can cause really serious health problems and even depression. In this article, we are going to consider common facts about bed bugs everyone has to know. To learn more about how to detect a bed bug in your apartment, head to the Pest Control Hacks.

Why Are Bed Bugs Dangerous?

Bed bugs are active at night and find their prey by smell. This makes the insects crawl into clothes, beds, and different house rooms. Additionally, in search of food, these bugs can go on quite long distances compared to the size of their body: migrate through the ventilation system from apartment to apartment, and in the warmer months, they can go outside and enter windows into neighboring residences.

Bed bugs are rapidly migrating insects. During movements, the bug collects mud and dirt. At the same time, there can be all kinds of bacteria in the litter of insects. When a bug makes a wound in the skin during a bite, dirt, bacteria, and viruses can enter the bloodstream from the paws, body, or trunk of the bug. Any contact with human blood is a risk of infection. In addition, during its life cycle, the bug comes in contact with the blood of different people and transfers viruses from patients to healthy ones.

How to detect a bed bug in your house? Many experts state that the only method is to catch the insect. However, there are also a lot of secondary signs you can pay attention to:

  • specific traces (black dots) under the bed,
  • on the walls,
  • series of bites on the body (located in a row).

How To Detect A Bed Bug Bite?

During a bite, you do not feel anything. The reason is that the bugs inject a temporary analgesic under your skin, so you actually don’t feel that you are under attack.

The bugs continue to bite you from 3 up to 10 minutes. This is how much one full feeding of an insect lasts. The bites appear as medium or large red (swollen or flat) spots on any part of the human body, including the most common places like face, neck, hands, and arms. The bites of domestic bugs are often confused with the bites of other insects. There are also cases when dermatologists confuse bug bites on the body with chickenpox or an allergic reaction. Although for experienced entomologists and pest exterminators, recognizing bedbugs bites is quite simple. That’s why, if you detected any of bed bugs presence signs, you have to call the pest survey. The faster you recognize the presence of parasites in the room. The more effective the fight against these insects will be.

Do Bed Bugs Bite Children?

Children are a special risk group. In apartments or in private houses where bed bugs live, it is the children who are the first to be attacked. This happens due to the fact that babies have more tender and thin skin, and their blood vessels are located very close. Externally, bug bites on kids look similar to adult bites.

But, if for grownups, this situation is not a problem and the bug bite can become almost invisible in the morning, for babies, it’s quite different. Children’s skin is very sensitive, and the bite of a bed bug will leave a mark for a long time. Moreover, the areola of redness around the bite will be bright red, large, and itchy. So the kids will scratch it and make the spot even bigger. To prevent that, try to apply the anesthetize treatment on the spot.

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Where Do The Bed Bugs Bite The Most?

Basically, the bug bites at night and in those places where the skin is the thinnest, and the blood vessels are located close to the surface. Parasites are primarily attracted to exposed skin, and only then they get under their clothes and continue to suck out your blood. To detect a bed bug bite, check your:

  • back and shoulders;
  • legs and arms;
  • neck and the back of the head.

Rarely enough bite traces appear on the face or stomach of a person.

Allergies and Depression

Everyone knows that bug bites often cause allergic reactions to the skin (redness, itching, exanthema), but few know that these insects can also stimulate depressive moods. Many people are seriously worried if they find bed bugs in their home. And the thing, as it turns out, is not limited to skin reactions, but sometimes goes too far, causing mental illnesses.

With sensitive skin type and a weakened nervous system, this leads to insomnia, nightmares, unpleasant memories of the infection period, excessive alertness (fear of re-infection), and even personality disorders. A study published by the American Journal of Medicine states information from three popular bed bug websites that mentioned 135 cases related to the psychological consequences of bed bugs infestations. The most common of them are:

  • Neurosis;
  • Obsessive thoughts;
  • Relationship problems;
  • Drug addiction;
  • Depression;
  • Inappropriate behavior, suicidal thoughts, or attempts.

Theoretically, a bug can also transmit hepatitis B if it pumps the blood of a sick person, then crawls to a healthy one. The bug can definitely be one of the causes of the bad mood of children: bedbugs are quite painful, and children are sensitive to this. They receive an allergic reaction, constant itching keeps them awake, children become irritable and cry a lot.

In addition, bed bugs can be mechanical carriers of intestinal infections, but this is the case if a person sleeps and eats in one place. They crawl on food, collect dirt at the baseboards, and carry it all on their feet. But this rarely happens, since bed bugs live under mattresses, behind paintings, under a carpet, and not next to food.

Bed Bug Law

Bed Bugs in a AirBNB

If you are like most people, the last place you expect to find bed bugs in a AirBNB while on vacation. You know that bed bugs show up in hotels and motels, but they can also show up in peoples homes. There are a variety of ways that bed bugs can make their way into a home—especially an apartment complex. Apartment residents, condominium residents and even single-family home residents can all discover bed bugs in their homes. AirBNB’s are simply a persons home they choose to rent out to travelers. Even more concerning is the fact that most owners do not have strict or effective pest control protocols.

Bed Bug Infestations in a AirBNB Apartments, Condominiums and Homes

Bed bugs get around. If you find them in your home, they could have gotten their in a variety of ways. These include:

In luggage. Bed bugs will often hop a ride in the luggage of a traveler. Once the traveler gets to a new destination, the bed bug will hop out and set up a colony in the new location.

On clothing. Bed bugs will also ride on clothing. Again, when they get to a new area that seems comfortable, they will leave the clothing and try to set up a colony.

From nearby rooms. If you live in a complex where you are attached to other homes, like in an apartment or condo, bed bugs could travel from one home to another.

In furniture. One of the most common ways bed bugs move into a home is through used furniture. That free or cheap couch you found on Craigslist may be carrying bed bugs, so check it before bringing it into your home.

How to Detect Bed Bugs in a AirBNB Home

If you suspect you have bed bugs in your AirBNB, you should be able to detect them if you search. Tips for detecting bed bugs include:

· Check your bed. If you woke up with bed bug bites, chances are they are in or around your bed. Use a flashlight to search every nook and cranny on your bed, including the mattress, sheets, frame and headboard. You will need to look at the top, bottom, seems and anywhere else they could hide.

· Check your sheets. You may find bed bugs on your sheets, or their waste. Bed bug waste looks like rust-colored flecks.

· Check your furniture. Bed bugs also like furniture, so pull out all the cushions, check the seams and be very thorough.

· Check your baseboards. They can also hide in the baseboards along the walls.

How to Tell if You Were Bitten by Bed Bugs in a AirBNB

Bed bug bites usually look like mosquito bites in size and shape. Everyone reacts differently to the bites. You may only see raised red spots, or you may itch violently. Typically the bites itch. They may appear in a row as the bug fed repeatedly in a line.

What to Do if There are Bed Bugs in a AirBNB

· Talk to management. If you live in an apartment, you should contact management immediately. They should have procedures in place to address infestations and keep them from spreading.

· Call an exterminator. Even though you do not own the property. It may be a good idea to have a professional pest control expert come and inspect the property before you leave. Without confirmation that bed bugs are the cause of your injuries, it is difficult to file a claim.

· See a doctor. If you are having serious reactions to the bites, get medical care.

Do You Have a AirBNB Bed Bug Case?

Depending on your circumstances, you may have the option of taking legal action based on your injuries. If your apartment management was negligent and it lead to your infestation, you might have a case. Or, if you know that the bed bugs came from a hotel or motel that you stayed at, you might also have a case. The best way to determine your options is to speak to a bed bug attorney.

Please contact us now to determine if you have a bed bug injury claim.

Common Types of Bugs in Apartments

About the Author:

Loren Estes

Loren Estes became a licensed wildlife rehabilitation professional for the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife in 1998. She cares for wildlife native to Kentucky. In her spare time, Estes also lectures and volunteers for various nonprofit organizations involved in animal care and adoption.

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The basic structure of an apartment building can be very inviting to many types of bugs. Once inside, it’s easy for bugs to travel from one apartment to another when several units are connected by common walls and hallways. While there are many species of insects that make their homes indoors, some of the most common varieties of apartment-dwelling bugs are the centipede, earwig, silverfish and the cockroach.


The centipede is a yellowish-brown arthropod that measures about 1 inch long. It’s distinguished by 30 pairs of long slender legs and a set of antennae that protrude out in front of its head. Centipedes prey on other insects and spiders, and while their habitat is normally outdoors, they also dwell in damp areas of apartments such as bathrooms or kitchens. If you can diminish the numbers of other insect varieties in your apartment, you will decrease the likelihood of seeing centipedes.


The earwig is a brown, beetle-like bug with enormous pinchers on its back end. These insects feed on both plant and insect matter, and use their pinchers for defensive purposes. Mature earwigs measure 1 inch from end to end and have small wings. Earwigs often live against outside apartment foundations, occasionally finding their way inside under doors or through open windows. The best way to keep earwigs to a minimum inside your apartment is to seal or use weather stripping on all doors and windows.


Almost alien in appearance, the silverfish is gray and coved in tiny scales. This insect measures three-fourths of an inch, not including the long antennae on its head or the three long tails that resemble legs at the end of its body. Silverfish have long life spans and may live anywhere from two to eight years. These bugs can be found in kitchens, bathrooms and basements, feeding on things like flour, oats or molds. The silverfish is fast-moving and prefers high humidity levels of between 80 and 90 percent and temperatures above 70 degrees. These insects enter apartments from cracks under doors or windows, so weather stripping and sealants can minimize their occurrence indoors.

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The American cockroach can grow to approximately 1.5 inches long, and both young and grown roaches are brown. Females may be seen with egg sacs attached to their ends and they lay eggs monthly for almost a year. Roaches prefer high humidity and are found throughout sewer systems that enable them to enter apartments through drains in bathrooms and kitchens. Once indoors, they will move from apartment to apartment through walls, floors and ceiling spaces. A roach can squeeze through a crack as thin as a dime, making them a difficult bug to exterminate.

How to Avoid Bed Bugs in Hotels

DC Photo/ Getty Images

  • B.A., Political Science, Rutgers University

Bed bugs were once a pest of the past, but they’ve made a remarkable comeback in recent years. Just a few hitchhiking bed bugs in your luggage can start a full-scale infestation of these bloodsucking insects in your home.

What Do Bed Bugs Look Like?

Adult bed bugs are oval in shape and brown or reddish in color. Immature bed bugs tend to be lighter in color. Bed bugs usually live in groups, so where there’s one, there’s likely to be many. Other signs that bed bugs are present include tiny black spots on linens or furniture (excrement) and piles of light brown skin casings.

4 Common Myths About Bed Bugs

The mere thought of bed bugs might be enough to make your skin crawl (literally!), but it’s important you understand a few things about these pests and their habits.

  1. Bed bugs don’t transmit diseases and aren’t generally considered a threat to your health. As with any insect bite, bed bug bites can be itchy, and some people’s skin may be more sensitive than others.
  2. Bed bugs are not a product of filth. They will inhabit even the cleanest of homes. Don’t assume your house or your hotel room is too clean to host bed bugs. If there’s something for them to eat (usually you), bed bugs will be just as happy in a 5-star resort as they will in a cheap motel.
  3. Bed bugs are nocturnal. That means they’re only going to show their faces at night when it’s good and dark. Don’t expect to walk into a hotel room in broad daylight and see bed bugs crawling up the walls.
  4. Bed bugs are really small. Adult bed bugs are visible to the naked eye but you’ll need a magnifying glass to spot their eggs. Because they’re so tiny, bed bugs can hide in places you’d never think of looking.

Fortunately, there’s plenty you can do to minimize your chances of bringing bed bugs home from your next vacation or business trip.

What to Research Before You Go

Before you hit the road on your next vacation or business trip, do your homework. People are quick to share their travel experiences online, especially when it comes to bed bugs in hotel rooms. Websites like Tripadvisor, where customers post their own reviews of hotels and resorts, are invaluable resources to see if your hotel has a bed bug problem. You can also check out, an online database that tracks reported bed bug infestations in hotels and apartments. The bottom line – if people are saying they’ve seen bed bugs at a certain hotel or resort, don’t stay there on your trip.

How to Pack to Avoid Bed Bugs

Use sealable sandwich bags. This way even if you do end up in a room with the pests your belongings will be protected. Get yourself a good supply of large baggies (gallon sizes work great), and seal everything you can inside them. Clothing, shoes, toiletries, and even books can be zipped up tight. Make sure you seal the baggies completely, as even a tiny opening can allow a wandering bed bug to get in. When in your hotel room, keep the baggies zipped shut unless you need access to an item inside.

Use hard-sided luggage. Cloth-sided luggage offers bed bugs a million hideaways. Hard-sided luggage doesn’t have folds or seams where bed bugs can hide, and it closes completely, with no gaps so the pests can’t penetrate your bag’s interior.

If you must use soft-sided luggage for your trip, lighter-colored bags are better. Bed bugs will be virtually impossible to spot on black or dark-colored bags.

Pack clothing that is easy to launder. Avoid packing clothing that can only be laundered in cold water. Washing in hot water, then drying at high heat, does a good job of killing any bed bugs carried home on clothes, so you’ll want to choose garments that can be easily debugged when you return.

How to Inspect Your Hotel Room for Bed Bugs

When you arrive at your hotel or resort, leave your luggage in the car or with the bellhop. Should you walk in and find a room teeming with bed bugs, you don’t want your belongings sitting in the midst of the infestation. Don’t bring your bags into the room until you’ve done a proper bed bug inspection.

Bed bugs hide during daylight hours, and they’re quite small, so finding them takes a little work. It’s a good idea to carry a small flashlight when you travel since bed bugs will likely be hiding in the darkest crevices of the room. A LED key chain makes a great bed bug inspection tool.

The sulfur in an unlit match will cause the bugs to flee. Run an unlit match along the seam of the mattress to bring the bugs out of hiding.

Where to Look When Inspecting a Hotel Room for Bed Bugs

Start with the bed (they’re called bed bugs for a reason, after all). Check the linens thoroughly for any signs of bed bugs, especially around any seams, piping, or ruffles. Don’t forget to inspect the dust ruffle, a common hiding place for bed bugs that are often overlooked.

Pull back the sheets, and inspect the mattress, again looking carefully at any seams or piping. If there’s a box spring, check for bed bugs there as well. If possible, lift each corner of the mattress and box spring and inspect the bed frame, another popular hiding place for bed bugs.

Bed bugs can also live in wood. Continue your inspection by examining any furniture or other items near the bed. The majority of bed bugs live within close proximity to the bed. If you are able, inspect behind the headboard, which is often mounted on the wall in hotel rooms. Also, look behind picture frames and mirrors. Pull out any drawers, using your flashlight to look inside the dresser and nightstand.

What to Do If You Find Bed Bugs in Your Hotel Room?

Go immediately to the front desk and ask for a different room. Tell the management what bed bug evidence you found, and specify that you want a room with no history of bed bug problems. Don’t let them give you a room adjacent to the room where you found bed bugs (including the rooms above or below it), as bed bugs can easily travel through ductwork or wall cracks into adjoining rooms. Be sure to repeat your bed bug inspection in the new room, too.

While You’re Staying at the Hotel

Just because you didn’t find any bed bugs, doesn’t mean they aren’t there. It’s quite possible your room could still have pests, so take a few extra precautions. Never place your luggage or your clothing on the floor or bed. Store your bags on the luggage rack or on top of a dresser, off the floor. Keep any items, not in use sealed in baggies.

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How to Unpack From Your Trip and Kill Any Stowaway Bed Bugs

After you check out of the hotel, you can take steps to keep any undetected bed bugs from following you home. Before you put your luggage in the car to head home, place it in a large plastic garbage bag and knot it tightly closed. Once you get home, unpack carefully.

All clothing and other machine washable items should be laundered immediately in the hottest water allowable. Clothes should then dried on high heat for at least 30 minutes. This should kill any bed bugs that managed to stow away.

Freeze things that can’t be washed or heated. Items that cannot be exposed to water or heat can be frozen instead, although this takes longer to destroy the bed bug eggs. Keep these belongings sealed in baggies, and place them in a freezer for a minimum of 5 days.

Electronics and other items that cannot survive such temperature extremes should be inspected thoroughly, preferably outdoors or in a garage or other area of the house with limited carpeting or furniture.

Inspect your luggage, especially soft-sided pieces. Check the zippers, lining, pockets, and any piping or seams carefully for signs of bed bugs. Ideally, you should steam clean your soft-sided luggage. Wipe down hard-sided luggage and check any fabric inner lining thoroughly.

How to Detect and Avoid Bed Bugs in Hotel Rooms

What’s one of the first things you do when you enter a hotel room after a long day of traveling? Throw your luggage on the bed and sit down? Or flop down onto the bed to rest? According to Jim Dill, Extension Educator at The University of Maine, the bed is the last thing we should be touching when we first walk into a hotel room.

You’ve probably heard of bed bugs — small, blood-sucking parasites that feed on mammals and birds. Adult bedbugs are reddish-brown in color, with flat, oval-shaped bodies that are 4-5 millimeters in length. Bedbugs are attracted to warmth, and they usually feed at night, making a hotel bed the perfect spot for them to settle in. These little creatures can be found almost anywhere, so whether you are staying at a hotel for the night, moving into an apartment, or renting a beach house for a week, your safest bet is to check the bed right away.

Bedbugs can lay one to five eggs in a day, and more than 500 eggs in a lifetime. Their hatchlings are so small that they can pass through a stitch-hole in a mattress. If you are officially grossed out at this point, here’s the good news: Jim Dill has put together a video to help us look for and detect bed bugs during our next hotel stay before we climb underneath the covers. If the possibility of these insects feeding on your blood while you sleep is enough to freak you out, you’ll want to check out the video below:

How To Check For Bed Bugs – Signs Of Bed Bugs

It is a rare thing to detect bed bugs in the apartment until they bite someone. The thing is that these insects are active only during night time. Almost always someone from the family members and even the whole family begin to suffer from constant biting. Firstly, people consider it to be mosquitos or an allergic reaction and do not think about checking for bed bugs. The question is how do you know you have bed bugs? In order to make sure that bed bugs are your sleep disturbers, you must find their signs in the dwelling.

How to check for bed bugs? This is not an easy task, but if you know where to look for the insects and how to distinguish them from other parasites, you can do it quite quickly. In fact, there are always signs that you have bed bugs in the apartment.

Despite their name, bed bugs do not live on beds but make their nests as close to the places where people sleep and stay (bedrooms and living rooms) as possible. Furthermore, the bugs prefer to live in groups, quite numerous ones. Thus, sometimes to spot these insects it is enough to remove bed sheets and covers and carefully inspect the furniture. However, it is possible to notice insects’ presence in the apartment even before checking for them. The signs of bed bugs turn helpful in such cases.

Signs of Bed Bugs Presence

  • Bed bug bites signs. When this parasite bites, it injects the special ferment into the wound. This liquid produces an analgesic effect and prevents blood from clotting. In a while, the skin near the bite starts to itch, becomes red, and swells. Moreover, the bites of these insects are typically located in the form of “chains” of 2-4 punctures. It is quite a specific sign that helps distinguishing these parasites from the others.
  • Bed bugs smell. A special gland of insects’ body exports the secretion that allows parasites to find each other and communicate in the nests. It smells like poor-quality cognac or fermented raspberries. The smell helps to identify where the bugs’ nests are.
  • Bed bug infestation signs. Solid small grains of dark brown color that look like tiny dots and smell like poor-quality cognac, and chitin after shedding are the other signs of bedbugs presence in the apartment.
  • Insects’ feeding. The signs of bed bugs on the mattress are also useful while checking for bed bugs. In fact, the special secretion injected by the insects prevents blood from clotting. Thus, droplets of blood are perfectly visible on the bed sheets, onthe light ones in particular.

Are There Bed Bugs?

Bed bugs body shape helps to identify this exact kind of household pests. The distinctive features of bed bugs are a wide flat belly of yellowish-brown or light-red (typical for fed parasites) color with 6 legs, and a small head with a proboscis. The parasites can vary greatly in size and color depending on the age and the degree of blood saturation. Typically, an insect is 3-4 mm long, but after feeding its body can reach the size of 9-10 mm, and its color can change from lateritious to dark brown.

Basing on the following features you can easily distinguish bed bugs from other parasites:

  1. bed bugs differ from cockroach larvae in coloring: bed bugs have a monochromatic one. The larvae of black cockroach are larger than bugs, and the larvae of red one have a light brown spot on cephalothorax;
  2. unlike adult cockroaches, bed bugs do not have wings;
  3. bed bugs differ from household ants in the density and width of the body, size (bed bugs are larger), and living activity (bed bugs are nocturnal insects).
  4. bed bugs are twice bigger in size than fleas and bed lice. Fleas and lice rarely reach the size of 2 mm. Moreover, bugs cannot jump.

Checking For Bed Bugs

You are already familiar with bed bugs signs and their distinctive features. Nevertheless, you should know where they can live as well. Humans are the main source of food for these parasites. Thus, you should start checking for bed bugs from the furniture in bedroom and living-room.

The parasites prefer to settle between the mattresses, in the corners of the bed frames, on large bed joints, and the biggest seams. Moreover, bed bugs also can live:

  • in wardrobes;
  • in bedside tables;
  • under the carpets on the floors and carpets on the walls;
  • in the parquet cracks;
  • behind floor moldings;
  • behind the paintings and furniture that is close to the walls;
  • on bookshelves;
  • in household appliances;
  • in radiators;
  • in flower pots.

It is not easy to get rid of these parasites; thus, it is important to know how to check for bed bugs as soon as you notice their presence in your apartment.

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