It’s Time to Talk Bed Bugs

By Robert Freedman, senior editor, REALTOR® Magazine


You might have read in your newspaper that bed bugs are back. Yes, they returned a few years ago. Thanks to increased global travel and increased mobility in general as well as changes in pesticide use the bugs of “don’t let the bed bugs bite” fame have returned to the spotlight. The difference now is that they don’t just migrate to beds; they migrate to any place where they can be close to human contact so they can feed. Remember, the definition of bed bug is “blood-feeding parasite.”

Earlier this year NAR and the Institute for Real Estate Management (IREM) hosted a bed bug specialist at the NAR Midyear Legislative Meetings & Trade Expo in Washington for a primer on how to detect bed bugs, what to do to get rid of them, and how to prevent them in the first place.


To help as many NAR members as possible get the benefit of that session, we’re hosting the speaker, Lyn Garling of the Integrated Pest Management Program at Penn State University, in an hour-long webinar that will cover the same material as her conference presentation. The webinar is free and will include links to brochures and other resources that can be printed out as reference material.

For property managers, particularly those handling multifamily properties, the importance of knowing about bed bugs is clear. But sales associates could benefit as well, because bed-bug migrations aren’t limited to apartment buildings; they can be a problem in for-sale single-family houses. If one of your listings has them, you’ll want to know what to do. The fact is, a bed bug infestation won’t necessarily leave when the bed leaves; infestations can be found in carpets, cracks in walls, and crevices in floors. When the bugs move in, they move in for the long-term.

Register for the webinar today.

Bed Bugs: Know Them, Eliminate Them

When: Thursday, July 28, 3 p.m., Eastern Time
Where: Your desktop
Length: one hour
Who: Lyn Garling, Penn State University Integrated Pest Management Program
Cost: Free


Robert Freedman

Robert Freedman is director of multimedia communications for the NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS®. He can be reached at

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  1. Keep up the good work!

    One of the most important things you can do is to learn about bed bugs. In the near future the US is going to have a serious problem with bed bugs and everyone needs to know about them.
    Realtors especially because of the law suits that will accompany bed bugs. Who’s responsible???
    BBX Eliminator has a training module for realtors and businesses that can address the issues concerning bed bugs that includes legal ramifications.
    We also have the logging paperwork needed to address this problem.
    Best to all.
    You can contact us at 1-888-9-NOBEDBUGS or 1-888-966-2332

  2. Frank the BedBug Chaser again and I saw this in Pest Management & Green Lodging. There is now an economical way for hotels, exterminators or anyone for that matter to use clean 100% Chemical Free & Green electric heat to get rid of bedbugs

  3. Agree with Denise Donovan’s comment above, bed bugs are bound to become a way of life (like mosquitoes or wood ticks) at the current rate of engagement by the general populace…

    The sooner landlords, sellers, and businessmen understand this the sooner things can start to be sussed out…

  4. Nia Crown

    My concern is with the property Managers that know what is happening but their Company is moving people in knowing the condition of the property and will not fumigate the apartment. Most people are under the impression that it’s because they keep a dirty house.

  5. bed bug survivor

    I survived an outbreak of bedbugs in my couch. I believe I brought them home on a new purse from a superstore, which I set now and then on the couch. I only saw 3 actual bugs, 1 crawled on me while watching tv late one night.. After I figured out what they might be, I stood couch on its end. I learned online to encase it in big plastic sheeting with edges folded and clamped. I then used Raid Fumigators (smoke, not foggers) every week for 3 weeks inside the bag. Left it there for 2 months. I didn’t want to throw out couch to matching set. It worked. The smoke is easier to get in the places they can hide…
    It’s been a year so finally feel safe and less stigmatized. Couldn’t even tell my friends…Ugh..

  6. Bed Bugs hitch a ride on moving vans traveling in the blankets they wrap furniture in. Maybe I read that here? It’s great information.

  7. Bb

    Bed bugs are all over NY.

    They keep coming back no matter what technique or spray u use.

    Best to call a bed bugs exterminator to get rid of these pests.


  8. Bed bugs are small wingless insects and sometime you can say them as the dirty paradise. So if you have bugs reside on your mattress, furniture’s or anywhere, kills them to make you safe.

  9. Charles Fowler If, you can kill the eggs at your bed, that is the key. If you determined heat treatment is too dangerous or expensive, now what ? The big picture is you have a ranch, your’re raising Bed Bugs and using your bed as a corral. First, spray your bed or encase the bed to kill the eggs so you won’t be overwelmed. Second, Make sure there are no problems with your bed. Nothing about your bed can be allowed the touch the wall or floor but the caster wheels. Third, the new corral for the Bed Bugs is a dim light going 24/7 where the Bed Bugs can be drawn to and removed with masking tape. Fourth, you spray the ceiling-wall line on two of the most distance walls from the dim light to move the Bed Bugs toward the light ,. Notes: Do not spray near the dim light or any other location, that will create a barrier to keep them from coming to the light. This dim light is most likely for life. As new Bed Bugs arrive at your home they will go to the light. Bed Bugs are drawn to you like Bees by your Co2. A fan moving air near your bed will mix your Co2 evenly in your bedroom, making it hard for Bed Bugs to find you. Every other day a light spray on your bed caster wheels will protect you. Those in the Bed Bug business won’t be needed anymore. Please beware of baised replies from them.This method seems to be the “Silver Bullet” for Bed Bugs. This lure will provide detection, control for the home and car. The poorest people will be able to handle their infestions.This DIY project can be done for a very small cost of parts. This is a very “Green” method.For all living places and whole house treatment, the hallways will become giant traps. The lights are there, a $5.00 dimmer switch is needed and spray. Lightly place DE on hall traffic areas where people put their foot down. Careful: My new kitten made a mistake, near the light. I moved the litter box there. Later I found a live Bed Bug in it. When the Bed Bugs stop coming to the light they’re gone, for now. If you have total control, you’ll have complete relief.The Dim lights double for night lights and Bed Bug Control.

  10. Bedbugs usually enter your home by being carried on your clothing, or inside your bags and furniture. The most common places for bed-bug infestations are: hotels, restaurants, lodges, cinemas, auditoriums, nightclubs, buses, trains and taxis. You may have a super-clean home but bed-bugs are avid travelers, tiny, Sneaky and difficult to detect. Bedbugs can’t and don’t fly. So where do bed bugs come from? Well, they hitch-hike their way into coats, shoes, bags, suitcases and second hand furniture (especially upholstered sofas and beds): entering your home without a ticket or passport and breeding and spreading steadily.