One issue for apartment and shared housing dwellers is that no matter how careful you are, you can still end up with bed bugs if your neighbors aren't as cautious. Fortunately, there are steps you can take to protect your apartment from bed bug invasions from the neighbors.
1. Use Furniture Monitors
Furniture monitors are small dishes that slip underneath the feet of your bed and other upholstered furniture. The dishes have a built in moat that surrounds the furniture leg without getting it wet. Add soapy water to the moat and any bed bugs will drown before they make it to your bed. Monitor the dish frequently and schedule a bed bug treatment if any bed bugs ever end up in it.
2. Vacuum Correctly
Carpet is another safe haven for bed bugs, but you can help prevent them by vacuuming frequently. When you do vacuum, make sure to get all carpets, rugs, and along the baseboards. After you are done, remove the bag and place it in a plastic bag. Then, take it out to the garbage immediately. Bed bugs can survive the vacuuming process, so you need to get them out of the house before they can escape the vacuum bag.
3. Cover All Openings
Bed bugs make their way into your apartment from the neighbors via openings in the wall. Caulking along the baseboards helps seal up the most common gap used by the pests. Further, install outlet covers on all electrical outlets that aren't in constant use. Bed bugs can actually travel through the conduit tubing and outlets in the walls. If there are any other gaps in your walls or around door frames, use caulk to seal them up.
4. Bag and Elevate Clothing
Don't let your closet become a bed bug magnet. Clothing should be hung in a way so it is not touching the floor or the wall. Use monitors under the feet of dressers so bed bugs don't get into your clothing drawers. Any clothing not currently being worn, such as your off-season clothes, should be stored in vacuum sealed bags or in plastic storage containers with tight fitting lids.
5. Launder With Care
Shared laundry rooms are another hot spot for picking up bed bugs in an apartment. When doing your laundry, load directly from the basket into the washer. When you are done, empty straight from the dryer and into your basket. Don't use the public folding tables or laundry carts, especially for clean clothing. Instead, fold your laundry in your apartment and promptly put it away
Contact a bed bug control service if you need more assistance.