You'Ve Rented Your First NYC Studio Apartment, Now Take Precautions Against Bed Bugs
If you've signed the lease for your first NYC studio apartment, then you are probably elated. However, you should take some precautions so that your stuff doesn't end up infested with bed bugs. Once you move into the apartment, set up your bed, and fill your dresser with clothes, it might be too late. So, it's best to figure out ahead of time and then, if there is an issue with bed bugs, deal with it. Here are some precautions to take during your first week in the place.
Get A Mattress Enclosure and Keep It On
If you are bringing your current mattress with you, then you should get a bed bug proof mattress enclosure. Put it on your mattress before it goes into transit. There is a risk that the moving van has bed bugs, so mattresses should be wrapped at your current place.
If you are planning on buying a new mattress for the studio, you should wait a while. You want to make sure the place is bedbug free. Get a cheap air mattress in the meantime. After a week or so, you can go ahead and order your new mattress.
Air Tight Containers For Your Clothes and Linens
Place all of your clothes and linens in airtight containers. You should have them sealed up in bags if you are planning on hanging them in a closet.
You are going to need sheets and pillowcases for your bed. The reason you want a bed bug pillowcase is that bed bugs can get inside the pillow. You won't be able to see them with a flashlight if they are inside. You will see them crawling on the pillowcase. You can get a bed bug proof pillowcase, but you should use your regular sheets. You are going to inspect the sheets and room during the upcoming week so you want something that will showcase any potential bugs.
Towels And Bathrobe
You will need to keep these items out. Only take out what you need for the first week. You are going to inspect them, so you don't want too many items to have to check.
Books and Papers In Airtight Boxes
You should also place books in airtight boxes. Bedbugs can hide inside the pages and you won't be able to spot them.
Check The Room With A LED Flashlight
Of course, if you end up with bed bug bites, then you know you have a problem. But even if you don't get bit you should be on the lookout. Use a flashlight to check over your sheets, towels, and anything else that can harbor the bugs. This guide from the EPA will help to identify them.
If No Bed Bugs Are Present
If after a week you don't see any signs of bed bugs, then you can unpack. If it turns out you missed any in the upcoming weeks, don't worry as it's not the end of the world. The section below will tell you what to do.
If Bedbugs Are Present
First, you should contact your landlord. In NYC the landlord is responsible for dealing with bedbugs. If they refuse, you should contact HPD by dialing 311. They will then deal with the landlord.
The exterminator will come to your apartment and most likely use a chemical called sulfuryl fluoride. This is an extremely effective pesticide that will kill the bed bugs.
After the bed bug treatment you can take your stuff out and live comfortably.