Bed bug Registries – are they worthwhile?
The bed bug registries are commonly used by tenants to seek an apartment that is bed bug free. And a common reason for tenants to seek out a bed bug registry is because they have personally experienced them. And in their hope to move away from a “bad” building they simply move their bugs to another building – preferably one that does not have a bed bug registry complaint. That is a very nice method of ensuring maximum dispersal of bed bugs.
Bed bugs have become very common pests and there is no such thing as an apartment block that has never had a bed bug. The difference between good buildings and bad buildings is the methods used for eradicating the bugs and the prevention and education measures instituted by the landlord. If you want to know something about the state of bed bugs in a particular apartment block you can do three things: firstly check the back lane – if is full of mattresses do not move in. Secondly, ask the caretaker about prevention and education measures for bed bugs. If there is no policy the likelihood of infestations somewhere in the building is high. Thirdly check the general condition of the building. If the building is dirty and in poor condition it is highly unlikely the landlord would address bed bugs in a meaningful manner.
The least reliable method of checking to see if a building has bed bugs is the bed bug registry. I have personally been involved intreating 30 unit apartment blocks with 80% infestation rates with zero hits on the registry. On the other hand I know of buildings with very few cases of bed bugs and has 3 hits on the registry. So which building is safer? The main difference between the two buildings is how grumpy the tenants are about the bed bugs and their technical savvy for documenting their problems.