Water and fire damage can be covered through insurance. Non-paying tenants can be evicted. But bedbugs are a time-consuming, costly problem to fix, and can quickly drive you and your tenants up the wall. Bedbugs have been experiencing a resurgence since developing a resistance to many of the pesticides used to kill them. But, we don’t hear a lot about them now, so are bedbugs really a problem here and now or have they gone away? First, let’s talk about what causes (and doesn’t cause) a bedbug outbreak.
The most common myth surrounding bedbugs is that they come about when people are dirty, so the better your housekeeping, the less likely you are to have bedbugs. This is completely untrue. Bedbugs, unlike their fellow household pests, feed off of humans. Bedbugs don’t care if your property is dirtier than a landfill or cleaner than an operating room, if a person sleeps there, they are happy.
Are bedbugs really a problem in Portland though? There really isn’t one good answer. After a rash of outbreaks among low-income housing, management companies began installing “bedbug saunas” to kill any bedbugs before residents brought them in. This, along with increased awareness and information, has brought down the number of outbreaks. But, they have not gone away entirely. Just a few months ago, a complex in downtown had an outbreak. This means it’s still important to know how to identify a bedbug infestation and to have a treatment plan in place should you find yourself faced with one.
The biggest step you can take to prevent an bedbug infestation in your property is to educate your residents on prevention strategies. The Oregon Health Authority and Multnomah County both have resources available with advice on prevention and treatment, linked bleow.