How Bed Bugs Spread in Multi-Unit Buildings – A bed bugs only survival and life force are blood meals. So, that means they have to find a blood to stay alive. A big problem is they will go great lengths to find that meal.


With regular blood meals, they continue to reproduce. Within a few months, you now have a good start of an infestation.


Since bed bugs eat every five to seven days or so, you may experience random bites here and there during these early stages. But as infestations build, you may begin to experience bites daily.


A bed bug will lay on an average of two to five hundred eggs in their lifetime. They don’t lay them all at once but over weeks and months throughout their lives. They always have to obtain a blood meal in order to keep laying eggs.


How Bed Bugs Spread


Once the newly hatched eggs become breeding adults, [this takes 21-39 days], numerous amounts of bed bugs build. They begin to stretch out over areas when a harborage or colony gets full. You then begin to see small clusters of bed bugs along edges of often-used resting places. This could be a mattress edge, box spring, easy chair or couch.


You may move a blanket or article of clothing resting on one of these areas to another part of your home. Thus, the name “hitchhiker” is commonly used for bed bugs. Or, you can have one crawl on you while you are resting, only to go with you wherever you go.


This scattering forces them to forage for a blood meal and will go great lengths to find one. In large bed bug infestations, they will move along carpet edges or behind baseboards or electrical outlets.


Multi-Unit Properties


One of the biggest problems for infestations occurring in multi-unit properties is bed bugs being forced into wall voids. This happens when a single unit is treated and surrounding units are ignored and not inspected. Sometimes, the source of the infestation may be a surrounding unit.


Here’s how it starts: Let’s suppose unit [3B] has a significant bed bug infestation. They tell the property manager and treatment is scheduled.


Many property managers don’t want to let any other tenant know about such infestations and keep it a secret. To avoid bed bug extermination costs, they may send in their own maintenance people. Unfortunately, they are inexperienced in how to get rid of bed bugs.


Furthermore, they may not understand the way bed bugs spread and are ignorant to their possibilities.


When the treatment is done, the bed bugs may move away from the chemicals or heat and wind up in the wall voids. A professional treatment will have taken this into consideration and provided a barrier. Some bed bugs may come back out when the coast is clear and some may move into a surrounding apartment.


Those that are in wall voids, may lay eggs, that when they hatch, will forage for a food source. This may cause them to move upstairs, downstairs or across the hall.


Before long, a surrounding unit may begin to experience bed bugs. That was just a brief explanation as there are many components to take into consideration with bedbugs.


Same Ole – Same Ole


When another tenant complains, a cookie cutter process is done and bed bugs are forced to spread to more units. Before long, whole buildings may be taken over because proper protocols in the best way to kill bed bugs were not followed.


Regular Inspections are Mandatory


bed bug starburst

bed bug starburst

The best treatment for bed bugs to avoid this is a well-informed community first.


How Can You Detect Bed Bugs Early Enough to Put an End to This?


Early bed bug detection is the key and most essential component to stopping infestations from occurring. Infestations don’t occur overnight, they take time to build. The things is, you must understand all you need to know about bed bugs and apply proper protocols. Then watch the results!


Measured by skill, achievement, and experience in the industry, MassBedBugBusters can design a proactive protocol of regular inspections. The key note here is regular inspections.


Because so many people are not affected by their bites, months may pass and infestations may build without anyone knowing. Having regular inspections catches early stages of bed bugs before infestations can build. This simple but very important process, helps many properties avoid ever having serious infestations. This alone can save you a tremendous amount of money for extensive treatments and the spreading of bedbugs to surrounding units.


If you own or oversee management for multi-unit properties, please feel free to reach out to us. We are always here to help! 508-713-8267