Bedbugs in a building within the year---dealbreaker?
September 18, 2019 2:29 PM   Subscribe

About to sign a new lease but it says that there were bedbugs on the 5th floor within the last year (I'm looking at an apartment on the 2nd floor). Yikes. It says eradication measures were taken. Otherwise, this apartment is pretty good for me. Not perfect, but pretty good. Thoughts?
posted by internet fraud detective squad, station number 9 to Home & Garden (10 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
I would probably take it -- that is, I know there have been bedbugs in my (large) apartment building in the last ten years and they didn't spread past the initial apartment. One factor to think about is whether the apartment you're looking at is stacked vertically above the affected apartment. Two floors of vertical separation is a lot, but two floors plus a horizontal offset is even better.
posted by LizardBreath at 2:36 PM on September 18, 2019

I think every apartment building has them sometimes nowadays, and what counts is whether there is ongoing appropriate policy and technique to control them. This would probably look like consistent scheduled professional treatments, and a clear policy telling you as a tenant what to do to prevent bringing them into the building, and what to do and not do if you see one or suspect bites.
posted by fritley at 2:37 PM on September 18, 2019 [1 favorite]

Is there any chance you could get a bedbug dog in there before you commit? I know it's not cheap, but having bedbugs is much more expensive. And stressful.
posted by bilabial at 2:43 PM on September 18, 2019 [4 favorites]

This would be a purely gut call for me based on whether I really liked the apartment and whether I thought a discount had been baked into the rent for it. It's roulette. As much as the clothes moths I'm battling traumatize me, I'm 100000000000x happier to have them than bedbugs.
posted by praemunire at 2:44 PM on September 18, 2019

I would want to get some further abatement written into the lease in case they come back. Not that it'll necessarily be used, but that you'll have committments from them if the need comes up. Monthly pest spraying in the common areas maybe?
posted by rhizome at 2:49 PM on September 18, 2019

Yeah, I think I'm going to take it because the price is low and I honestly do not own anything or plan to own anything (would feel different if I had lots of furniture or clothes) & will move in about a year. Plus it's in a different area of a (huge) building.

I will put my bed on a metal frame, though, just in case. Thanks!
posted by internet fraud detective squad, station number 9 at 3:00 PM on September 18, 2019

Can you get a little bedbug test off the internet and set it up overnight before you move any significant furniture in? This way, if your apartment has bedbugs you'll know BEFORE you have to freeze/heat treat everything, and you can get the landlords to bring in the heat treating people, etc.
posted by Miss T.Horn at 3:10 PM on September 18, 2019 [7 favorites]

Great idea!
posted by internet fraud detective squad, station number 9 at 3:22 PM on September 18, 2019

Bedbugs are easy to kill with diatomaceous earth, and any other apartment you look at could have them and have just not reported it. Take the apartment.
posted by bile and syntax at 6:09 PM on September 18, 2019

Definitely get an appropriate frame and put your bed up on powder trap isolators. They are cheap, effective, last forever, and don't use poison. If we would all do this, all the time, we would have a world covered in bedbug killing machines. If we ever travel or hang out in public places or take public transportation or have guests, we will all occasionally bring a bedbug home. When it eventually finds its way toward our sleeping bodies, wouldn't it be nice if it gets trapped and dies?
posted by fritley at 1:29 PM on September 19, 2019 [2 favorites]

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