Complaints about bed bug infestation are on the rise across the country. In New York City, the complaints have more than doubled within a year, especially in rental apartments. These pests can now be found in apartments, rooming houses, and homes as well as retail stores, dormitories, office buildings, movie theatres- literally anywhere people gather.
Bed bugs are flat, reddish-brown, small and oval wingless insects. They feed on human blood. They are about 1/4 inch when at the adult stage. Nymphs are smaller and appear lighter and almost clear in colour when unfed. These insects crawl extremely fast and do not fly or jump.
Signs of a bed bug infestation
The first sign is red itchy welts on any skin that was exposed when sleeping. Other signs are small black or rusty-coloured spots on pillows, mattresses or bed linen. These are blood spots and bug droppings. You can also see eggs, cast skins, and live bed bugs.
What to do if your apartment building is infested with bugs
If you think that your apartment building is infested with bed bugs, inform your building manager. If possible, capture it and place it in a leak-proof container with a little rubbing alcohol.
When arrangements for treatment are made, you can also clean and organize to reduce clutter in the areas to be treated, move furniture to ensure that all parts of the room are accessible, launder clothes and linen, use pest-proof covers on mattresses and box springs, and empty closets, dressers, and bedside tables.