How can I make sure there are no bedbugs in a building I move to? A friend had to sell her condo due to this.

Asked by Mary, Arlington, MA Fri Aug 31, 2007

Help the community by answering this question:

+ web reference
Web reference:


Rita Thieme’s answer
Rita Thieme, , Upton, MA
Sat Sep 1, 2007
Yikes! What a thought!
However, if the unit does have bedbugs, the seller would be legally responsible to inform you of that fact.

I would suggest that you ask the seller to prepare a "seller's description of property" document which they sign and you sign. If you are fearful of bedbugs, ask them to add an addendum regarding bedbugs to that report. Then, if it turned out there WERE bedbugs, you could come back to the sellers and demand compensation.

Meanwhile, I would contact an exterminator and ask him/her how to eradicate bedbugs from an empty home. It might not be an expensive proposition, and if it gives you peace of mind, then do it regardless of what the seller reports.

Good luck,
0 votes
Peter Mohyls…, Agent, Destin, FL
Fri Aug 31, 2012
Bed bug infestation is very easy to detect visually. They are tough but not impossible to completly remove. An empty house makes it easy to control. An Inspector can find them, If in doubt have it treated and then sleep soundly.
1 vote
#1, , San Francisco Bay Area
Fri Aug 31, 2007
Hard to tell they are there until you get bit. This will give you an idea of the critter you are dealing with

Here are a few sites to visit to get rid of them

And of course you can always call Orkin
1 vote
Rebecca Riop…, Agent, Arlington, MA
Fri Aug 31, 2012
Hi Mary,
If you are wondering how you can find out in advance of purchasing, the answer is simple. Have a pest inspection done as part of your home inspection contingency. This is quite common and may cost a few hundred more to have this done by a pest expert, but it's worth it if this is something that is of major concern to you. It's important to note that the inspector can only access the unit you are looking at and the common areas of the building. They will not be able to inspect other individual units.

If a problem is found by the pest inspector, you can use this as a negotiating point in the sale. You may be able to walk away if your offer is written properly, or you can ask the seller pay for the extermination.

Feel free to contact me for more information on how offers and inspection contingencies work.
0 votes
Jennifer Fiv…, Agent, Red Hook, NY
Thu Aug 30, 2012
That is a tough one. It would require testing the entire building and even then someone could come back from a trip at anytime and bring a bedbug in.
0 votes
Charles Gins…, Agent, Arlington, MA
Thu Aug 30, 2012
lie on the floor or better yet a bed
0 votes
Ruthless, , 60558
Fri Aug 31, 2007
Arrrggg I'm itching just thinking about it. The Midwest (Chicago) just had an unknown outbreak of itch mites from trees. I have some bites for almost 3 weeks now.

Anyway, talk to NEIGHBORS.

The health department didn't discover our problem, the people in the waiting rooms of hospitals figured it out.
0 votes
The Hagley G…, Agent, Pleasanton, CA
Fri Aug 31, 2007
A professional extermninator can help.

Other ideas:
Inspect antiques and secondhand furniture thoroughly before bringing them into your home.

Change linens at least once a week, and wash in hot water of at least 115 F.

Vacuum around the home at least once a week, paying special attention to areas surrounding bed and furniture posts.

Caulk holes in the floor and walls.

Discard any old furniture, including bed frames and mattresses. Use sprays, such as dichlorvos, permethrin and malathion, around cracks and crevices in your home.

Good luck!
Web Reference:
0 votes
Search Advice
Ask our community a question

Email me when…

Learn more