Bedbugs – Negligence That Can Literally Come Back to Bite You

bedbugsProperty owners invest heavily in renovating and adding furnishings and fixtures to make sure of reeling in tenants and keeping them hooked. However, though everything may seem fine to the naked eye, there’s always a chance that something too small to be spotted immediately is lurking around waiting to ruin your reputation and drive your tenants away. One of those threats is bedbugs.

Bedbugs are tiny insects which feed on human blood at night. They usually hide and fester in mattresses, furniture, clothing and bed linen, but they can also be found inside the walls and floors of an infested property. Even if you haven’t had bedbugs before, it’s about time that you be wary of these bloodsuckers. Read on to discover why you should take the time (and spend money) on eliminating and preventing bedbugs and how to do so.

Why You Should Be on the Lookout for Bedbugs

Growing up, you may never have seen a bedbug despite your parents wishing you goodnight saying, “Don’t let the bedbugs bite.” However, those bug-free times are gone. According to the National Pest Management Association (NPMA), 99.6% of pest management professionals across the U.S. have tackled cases of bedbugs in the last year.

Now you may shrug this off this statistic saying that you’re cleaning regularly and investing heavily in maintaining your rented units. However, what you probably didn’t know was that bedbugs don’t usually infest unclean areas; they enjoy lurking in the cleanest of rooms, especially in corners where no vacuum or dry cleaning machine can reach them.

If that doesn’t yet scare you or drive you to hunt for bedbugs, here’s another reason: a massive lawsuit. Newspapers have published many articles on landlords forced by the court to pay huge sums to their tenants in damages.

For example, a Maryland court ruled that the owner of an apartment on 1000 West Street pay $800,000 in damages to his tenant after her body experienced painful bites, scabs and welts. Another case from Maryland won the tenant $250,000 when she discovered that her son’s new bunk beds were infested with bedbugs.

If these cases aren’t enough to get you started on fighting bedbugs, here’s another. A female tenant ran away from her bedbug infested home leaving her things behind. This prompted her landlord to turn out her things, most of which were stolen by the time she came back. After filing a lawsuit against her landlord, she was able to get $150,000 in compensation for her lost and damaged possessions and an additional $650,000 in punitive damages to teach all landlords a lesson.

The Measures You Should Take

In order to avoid the aftermath of having bedbugs, you need to make sure that you don’t have these pesky critters. The first thing you should do is to regularly check for symptoms of infestation, such as fecal spots, white eggs and eggshells, skin castings, reddish stains on bed sheets or mattresses, and live bugs.

If you do find these, you need to confer with a specialist as to whether you should go for chemical or non-chemical treatments. However, whatever you do, don’t try handling this yourself; you may be great with everything when it comes to your property, but pest control should be handled by the pros. Finally, once you’re done making your property bedbug-free, make sure that it never gets infested again using preventative measures like regular bedbug inspections.

Every measure you take to get rid of bedbugs and keep them away will definitely benefit you. Therefore, if you can’t handle this process yourself, get a professional property management company to help you. This is one investment that will get you great ROI in the form of maintaining your reputation, protecting you from legal issues, and ensuring that your property is never vacant. So, don’t miss out on this opportunity when you can avail it.