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How to Prevent Bed Bugs in an Apartment

When bed bugs get into a single unit in an apartment building, they can and will migrate to neighboring units. They crawl through cracks in the walls, outlets, light switches, and more. Shared laundry facilities are also notorious for spreading bed bugs around an apartment complex.

To prevent bed bugs in your apartment, keep these common sense tips in mind:

  • Stay vigilant and know the signs of bed bugs
  • Notify your property manager or landlord of any bed bug problems immediately. Pest control is often their responsibility, but not always
  • Use a mattress cover on your mattress
  • Practice situational awareness when traveling
a man in an apartment reads about ways to prevent bed bugs

Can bed bugs spread from my neighbor's unit to mine?

Unfortunately, it’s very common for bed bugs to move from one unit to the next. Bed bugs can crawl through wall cracks, outlets, light switches, meaning that once they have access to the apartment complex they can go wherever they want.

If you notice your neighbor has a bed bug problem, notify your property manager or landlord immediately. Then, stay vigilant. Use a mattress cover on your bed. Be on the lookout for signs of bed bugs on your bedding, or bite marks on your skin. The earlier you detect them, the easier the problem will be to solve.

Will my landlord pay to get rid of bed bugs?

The landlord is usually responsible for extermination costs, but there can be exceptions. If it can be proved that the tenant introduced bed bugs to the apartment, the landlord or superintendent may try to avoid paying for it.

Every state has its own law that covers whose responsibility it is to hire an exterminator, and in general, these laws state that it’s the landlord or property owner – not the renter. However, every situation is different and sometimes it can be a struggle to get someone to take action.

If you have a renter’s insurance, your policy will most likely not cover anything related to bed bugs.

How to avoid bed bugs in your apartment

Unfortunately, there’s no 100% surefire way to avoid bed bugs. The best way to deal with the possibility of bed bugs is to know the warning signs and act quickly if they’re discovered. 

If you’re experiencing bites, have noticed stains on your bedding, or have spotted actual bed bugs, contact your property manager or landlord as soon as possible. In an apartment building or apartment complex with many units especially, the only way to get rid of an ongoing infestation will be a professional bed bug exterminator.

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