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Bed Bugs

Reporting an Infestation

  1. Inform property management (owner, landlord, or management company) of the infestation; this should preferably be done in writing.
    • If no action is taken within 10 days call 311
  2. Call 311 to report the untreated infestation to the Urban Biology Division
    • Insect infestation complaints are only taken for residents of the City of Albuquerque
      • However, we would be happy to answer any general questions regarding insect infestation.
    • It is important to leave good contact information for the necessary follow-up on your report
    • Please allow up to 72 business hours for initial contact from someone in our division
  3. Review the following links for steps to take in the mean time
    • Bed Bug Fact Sheet
    • Sample Bed Bug Treatment Preparation Checklist
    • Protocol for Moving Residents

The City of Albuquerque takes bed bug reports/complaints for large apartment complexes, small four-plexes, tri and duplexes. We will also take reports on group homes, community centers, as well as hotels and motels.

The City of Albuquerque does not perform pest control services.

Single unit homes (rented or owned) should contact private pest control (We do not recommend or endorse any particular service). Our office would be happy to answer any questions that you may have about bed bugs, call 311 and request a call back and review our frequently asked questions.

Determining an Infestation

  1. Check for live bed bugs
    • Inspect seams of mattresses and box springs, cracks and crevices of bed frames and surrounding furniture (side tables, dressers, etc.).
      • Inspect couches, chairs, and other furniture
      • Check along baseboards and behind electrical switch plates
    • Bed bugs do NOT live on their host but near their host.
  2. Look for bed bug spotting
    • Bed bug fecal material will be visible as small black spots on furniture and bedding.
  3. Look for dead bed bugs, shed skins, and eggs
  4. Be aware of any unidentified bites

Bed Bug Bites

  • Bed bug bites look like bites of other blood-feeding insects, such as mosquitoes, fleas, biting gnats, or mites. But, the presence of unexplained bites along with other signs of infestation can be an early indication of infestation.
  • Bed bugs usually bite exposed skin of people at night while they are sleeping.
  • Many people develop an itchy red welt or localize swelling within a day or two. Some people have little or no reaction and still other people can have delayed reaction.
  • Perform an inspection of your home and look for evidence of bed bugs.

Health Concerns  

  • Bed bugs are not known to transmit disease.
  • Bed bug bites may cause an inflammatory response (redness and swelling). Common allergic reactions can include the development of large welts, greater than 1cm or larger. In some cases, blister-like eruptions have been reported and anaphylaxis may occur in patients with severe allergies.
    • Scratching the bites can lead to a secondary infection.
  • Bed bugs infestations may also have a psychological impact. Some people have reported significant reductions in their quality of life as a result of the discomfort, anxiety, sleeplessness, embarrassment, and isolation that may occur as a result of a bed bug infestation.  In many cases, the psychological impact is far greater than the physical impact of a bed bug infestation.

Bed Bug Prevention

  • Inspect secondhand items for bed bugs before bringing them into your home.
  • Avoid curbside or discarded items.
  • Conduct preventative inspections of your home or while traveling.
  • If exposed to a potential bed bug infestation follow the exposure checklist
    • Before entering your home, change clothing and place it into sealed bag or immediately place into the dryer on high heat for 30 min.
    • Personal items should be inspected carefully.
    • Take a shower.  Ensure that hair and body are thoroughly washed.
    • Bed bug exposure checklist

Tips for Travelers

  • Think prevention
    • Become familiar with what bed bugs look like and where they hide
    • Inspect your room before bringing in your belongings
    • Keep luggage off the floor using the luggage rack and hanging clothing
  • Already been exposed?
    • Notify the management as soon as you suspect a problem. If you've stayed at multiple places, notify all of them as the bites don't always appear on the first day.
    • If you are no longer traveling, check your belongings because the bed bugs may be traveling with you. If in doubt clean everything.
    • If you are still at the place
      • Ask to see their bed bug policy and IPM Plan. If they don't have one, request that the room be inspected ASAP and that you be provided the results.
      • If you are provided with another room while the original room is being inspected, ask for plastic bags to put all of your belongings in until you get the results back from the inspection.
      • If the inspection reveals bed bugs, then keep all items in tightly sealed bags until they can be laundered, washed by hand, heated or frozen. There is no need to discard anything.

Remember: Bed bugs are great hitchhikers so it may be impossible to track down where they came from. Bed bugs have been found in homes, apartments, hotels, motels, health care facilities, dormitories, shelters, and schools. They have even been found in movie theaters, laundries/dry cleaners, furniture rental outlets, office buildings and different modes of transportation.