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Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Bedbugs start bugging train passengers

MANGALORE/CHENNAI: It is a pestering problem that Indian Railways is unable to put a lid on despite its best efforts. While sighting of cockroaches or rats in trains is accepted as normal, what regular business travellers who prefer AC coaches must contend with is bedbugs who are on the prowl in the darkness.

Ensconced in the linen and blankets given to passengers travelling on AC two and three-tier coaches, bedbugs become active once lights go off and passengers hit the sack. Cimicidae or bedbugs are small parasitic insects and refers to species that prefer to feed on human blood. Almost invisible to human eye, these bugs, once they have fed on human blood, bloat to the size slightly smaller than the sac of a mosquito in a similar state. The most commonly infested places are the mattress (98.2%).

Enduring these bedbugs on board AC coach A2 of 12686 Mangalore-Chennai Express on Wednesday last, Ramesh Chandran, regional head of a leading cosmetic company, was not bemused.

"I prefer to travel by AC coach as I can reach my destination fresh and get on with my work on arrival there," he said, adding that bedbugs gave him a harrowing time. "One cannot go to work in a fresh frame of mind having spent the night without sleep," he said. Similar was the complaint of H P Mulki and his wife Snehaprabha, who travelled from Chennai to Delhi in AC coach recently. "We had to endure cockroaches, rats and bedbugs and the whole journey was a nightmare," he said.

This is not a phenomenon restricted to Southern Railway alone. Even J L Shenoy, a retired engineer who travelled to Mumbai recently on Konkan Railway, endured these pests. "It is stressful to travel in these conditions," he said.

Acknowledging that early detection and treatment are critical to successful control of pests, V J Accamma, chief public relations officer of Southern Railway, told TOI that they have been getting lots of complaints. "I am from Kottayam and travel often to Chennai and know the problem firsthand," she said and urged the Railways to take action against departmental staff or contractor concerned for shoddy linen maintenance.

James Sebastian, PRO, Palghat division, said primary maintenance of each train is vested with respective railway stations. The case of bedbugs in the AC coaches of trains 12686/65 will be investigated and action will be taken, he added.

Friday, January 27, 2012

Bed Bugs Crawl to Billings

By Sarah Gravlee


"We used to get 2 to 3 calls a year, and now we're getting 2 to 3 calls a week," Schiesser said.
He added bed bugs have been a problem is other parts of the country for years, and he thinks travelers are bringing the pests to the Magic City. "I've seen some cases they're so bad they're crawling in the hallways, piled up in the corners."
Schiesser said buildings with multiple bedrooms cause the most problems, buildings like college dormitories.
"They are creepy, and they're not fun to look at," said Jeff Rosenberry with MSU-Billings. "We certainly don't want to let the bed bugs bite."
While both MSU-Billings and Rocky Mountain College have had brushes with bed bugs, Rosenberry said MSUB is pro-active in preventing the bugs from spreading.
"Twice a year we do preventative spraying in every room, all 390 rooms," Rosenberry said. They also train dorm staff members what to look out for and are in the process of buying seamless, bed bug resistant mattresses.
Schiesser recommends everyone look at the edges of their bedding for small black spots. He says if you think you might have an infestation, you should call an exterminator as soon as possible.
Local health officials and exterminators said it appears area hotels have not been affected by the spread of bed bugs, as the majority of the cases are in private homes.

Bed bugs! New York's Ritz-Carlton hotel has some unexpected guests

By Ellen Connolly

Pesky bloodsuckers: Confirming the discovery, the Ritz hotel management said 'bedbugs are inevitable'ritz
One of New York's swankiest hotels, The Ritz-Carlton, has had some very unwelcome guests - bedbugs.
Hotel management confirmed it found the bedbugs in one of their rooms on Sunday following a complaint from a guest.
A worker at the hotel, where a midweek room can start at $695 and soar to $4500 for a suite, said that a guest in Room 1005 produced a specimen of the pesky bug, a wingless six-legged bloodsucker before checking out on Sunday.
Pesky bloodsuckers: The general manager at New York's Ritz Carlton confirmed a bedbug had been found in one of its rooms, adding 'bedbugs are inevitable'

Hotel management said it subsequently called an exterminator to rid the room of the creepy crawlers.
Guests in rooms next to the infested area, as well as those above and below it, were transferred to other accommodations and hotel workers received bedbug training, reports the Times.
'Bedbugs are inevitable,' said Scott Geraghty, the hotel’s general manager.

'They’re brought in by guests and come in on luggage or things of that nature.'
He said the problem had been remedied.
A worker at the Ritz, Rosanna Polanco, a room attendant, told The New York Times she was asked on Monday to service the room next to 1005 but was not told about the bedbugs. She found out only when she encountered a worker from Ecolab Inc., a company that supplies cleaning products and pest elimination services.
'He was the one who told me: ‘Be careful. There’s a lot of bedbugs in there,’ Polanco said, referring to Room 1005.
'Management didn’t tell me. I found out myself.'

A room for a midweek night starts at $695 and can soar up to $4,500 for a suite, but this particular hotel on Central Park South m
Bedbugs with expensive taste: A midweek room at the Ritzfor a midweek night starts at $695 and can soar up to $4,500 for a suite

The Ritz isn't the first New York luxury hotel to be paid a visit from the wingless, six-legged creatures.
Three people have separately accused the Waldorf-Astoria of harboring the critters-- one woman even claimed the bites caused her some severe trauma.

Bedbugs have been found at a slew of Gotham landmarks recently. The Empire State building, Abercrombie & Fitch and the AMC Empire 25 Theatres all have had their problems.
One Brooklyn school was attacked by the bugs 31 times in 2011. And even the headquarters of the city's Department of Housing isn't safe!

Monday, January 23, 2012

Bed Bug Confidential: An Expert Explains How to Defend against the Dreaded Pests


 | January 23, 2012 
 
Chances are, you or someone you know has had a run-in with bed bugs. It might have happened in a scrupulously clean bedroom. Or maybe it was a hotel room, office or college dorm. In the February issue of Scientific American entomologist Kenneth Haynes of the University of Kentucky explains how, after a lengthy absence, bed bugs are staging a comeback. The good news is scientists are intensively studying these insects, and their insights suggest novel ways of detecting the bugs and eradicating infestations. Some of those potential solutions are a long way off, however. In the meantime the best bet is to avoid bringing bed bugs home in the first place. I called Haynes to ask him how to do that and what to do if one suspects an infestation (eek!), among a bunch of other practical-minded questions.
Do bed bugs only feed on humans?
No. Bed bugs are also pests in poultry operations, and they're known to parasitize bats. Some labs that study bed bugs rear them on guinea pigs and mice. The bugs might feed on cats and dogs. Fur is probably a barrier to them, but they could feed at any place on the body without fur. Bed bugs are not specific to humans, but they are adapted to parasitizing us.
Could you have a bed bug infestation in your home and not know it?
That's very possible. I have heard of couples reporting that only one partner is getting bitten. The truth is that both are getting bitten, but only one has a reaction to the bites. Thirty percent of people or more don't react to bed bug bites at all, and the elderly are less reactive than the rest of the population. Among those people who do react to the bites, most of them don't respond to early bites, but develop a sensitivity to subsequent ones. Those individuals who are not sensitive to bed bug bites may not know they have an infestation. Because bed bugs are nocturnally active, it's hard to see other signs of their presence—unless you're accustomed to waking up at 3 A.M. and taking a census. With a huge infestation, bed bugs start to move away from the bed, so you're more likely to see one in an exposed place during the day. In very severe infestations people can become anemic. That takes a lot of bugs though—maybe 100,000 feeding once a week or more.
Another clue to infestation is odor. Like many species of bugs, bed bugs release odors called alarm pheromones. When a group of bed bugs gets disturbed, you may get a whiff of that odor, which is similar to the odor stink bugs give off. At higher concentrations the odor is unpleasant. Some people say at low concentrations it's a pleasant smell—like coriander. In fact, older literature refers to the bed bug as the coriander bug. I've tried to smell the coriander scent in bed bug alarm pheromones and have not been able to make the connection, however.
What can one do to avoid getting bed bugs?
The first thing is you have to be able to recognize and distinguish a bed bug from any other insect. Everything starts to look like a bed bug if you start to worry about them. An adult bed bug is about the size and shape of an apple seed. If it has not fed recently it will be flattened and brown. If it has fed it will be round in circumference and reddish. Immature bed bugs have a similar appearance to adults, with the smallest being the size of the head of a pin. You can then learn to look for their fecal spots, which can be easier to detect than the bugs themselves. Check your hotel rooms when you travel. And think twice before bringing home used furniture. If you are purchasing used furniture, ask the furniture store how they deal with bed bugs. If they have no plan whatsoever, that's probably not a good sign. If you purchase used clothing, put it through a clothes dryer on a medium to high setting for a cycle as soon as you bring it home. And before you move into an apartment, ask the landlord whether there has been a bed bug infestation, or whether the building has ever been treated for bed bugs.
What should one do upon suspecting a bed bug infestation
The first question I would ask that person is, what makes you think you have bed bugs? A skin reaction alone does not necessarily indicate the presence of bed bugs. Other bugs, allergies and irritants in the environment can produce similar skin reactions. And it's hard to confidently identify a bed bug bite because reactions vary from person to person. My next question would be, have you seen an insect in an area where you sleep and, if so, was it the correct size and shape to be a bed bug? Carpet beetles in an immature stage are commonly mistaken for bed bugs. The carpet beetle actually doesn't look anything like a bed bug, but it is the right size. And it's another common insect to have indoors around the bed. If you find an insect that you think is a bed bug, save it in a pill bottle or another container so its key characteristics won't get crushed and a professional can identify it.
I wouldn't try to get rid of an infestation on my own. I would call a pest control operator. A good pest control operator will spend a fair amount of time inspecting the place for evidence of bed bugs, and will educate the person on what makes it clear that it's a bed bug infestation.
Once you have a suspicion or a confirmed infestation, do not spread things outside of the bedroom. Don't take linens off the bed and go to sleep somewhere else—that will just move the infestation to other rooms. Ultimately pest control operators will tell you to put everything you can through the washer and dryer, since bed bugs cannot withstand high temperatures. I don't think bed bugs would be able to survive solvent-based dry cleaning, but I don't have any first-hand knowledge that that's true. Unfortunately, dry cleaners and Laundromats can be places where people pick up bed bugs. I think it's a low probability, but it only takes one adult female bed bug that has been mated to get an infestation going.
The safest and most effective approach to getting rid of bed bugs is heat treatment, in which a trained professional heats the home's rooms one by one to a temperature of 50 degrees Celsius and sustains the heat for four hours. Heat does not penetrate well into wall voids, though, so desiccant dusts are often applied to those areas. No single technique can eliminate bed bugs—combinations of approaches are essential to getting the job done.
What are the mistakes people make in trying to get rid of bed bugs on their own, without professional help?
DIY approaches come with risk. It's not uncommon for someone to use a pest-control bomb or fogger that is available over the counter. These don't work well against bed bugs, according to research from Ohio State University. They can also expose people to toxic chemicals. Neither are over-the-counter aerosol insecticides effective against bed bugs. Most of these products have either pyrethrin or a pyrethroid as a main ingredient and those compounds have the same mode of action as DDT, which bed bugs have become resistant to. If you spray the bug directly you might kill it, but that is not going to get rid of the infestation. The problem is finding all the bed bugs. Some just can't be reached with insecticide. It's difficult for nonprofessionals to do anything more than kill what they can see, but that's just the tip of the iceberg in terms of what's there.
Some of the dusts that are available to consumers, such as diatomaceous earth, can help in this regard. Pest controllers will put dusts in wall voids and other places where pesticide won't reach. What happens is the bugs will wander through the dust and pick up particles and be more vulnerable to desiccation after that exposure. But dusts will not solve the problem if deployed incorrectly, and if they are applied at too high a level they can cause breathing difficulties in some people.
The Internet abounds with so-called miracle cures for bed bugs. But bed bugs are hard to get rid of, so anything that advertises an immediate solution is not accurate—it's snake oil. These "cures" have included (as reported by pest control operators who come in afterward to tackle bed bugs correctly) using bleach, ammonia and even DIY heat treatment, which carries fire risk.
Another solution you hear about is vacuuming. You can vacuum up a lot of insects, but eggs are harder to get, and vacuuming won't in and of itself kill bed bugs. Indeed, vacuuming can end up spreading bed bugs to other rooms—when emptying the canister, for example. Pest control operators who use vacuums take measures to prevent bed bugs from escaping when the vacuum is emptied.
Encasing mattresses is one of many good parts of a solution, but it doesn't get rid of the infestation. There are going to be other bugs away from the mattress, hiding nearby. What mattress covers are good at is entombing the sometimes large number of bed bugs that can live on a mattress. And because the covers tend to be uniform in color and don't have a lot of seams that the bugs can hide in, it's easier to see the insects.
Given that you work with bed bugs, how do you avoid bringing them home?
I have four risk factors. I work with bed bugs in a lab situation, so we have to take extreme precautions to prevent escapes there. I visit infested apartments sometimes. I travel a fair amount, so I may be exposed to bed bugs in hotels. And I've had college-age kids, who can bring bed bugs home from dorms.
In the lab we handle all the bed bugs in a specific room that we steam clean once a week, and we have double-stick tape barriers that they can't walk through (as long as the adhesive remains dust-free). And the bed bugs themselves are enclosed in containers that they can't get out of. We actually feed them inside those containers—we lay a blood reservoir against the cloth "lid" and the bed bugs have to push their mouthparts through the cloth into the reservoir to eat.
If I go to an infested apartment, then when I leave I check my shoes very carefully for bugs that may have crawled onto them. I also keep a change of clothes in my garage and put them on before entering my house. Once inside, I immediately put the clothes I wore to the infested apartment in the dryer, which is located in a room just off the garage.
When staying in a hotel, I check the bed before I bring the suitcase into the sleeping part of the room so that if I have to ask the manager for another room, then I haven't exposed my suitcase to the bugs. When settling in, I put my suitcase up on the suitcase stand or the desktop so that any bugs are less likely to crawl into it. An extreme measure would be putting the suitcase in the tub. If it's a porcelain tub, bed bugs would have a hard time crawling up it. It's also unlikely that they would randomly crawl up a tub, because it's not near the bed. But if I don't see bed bugs in the room when I inspect it, I just put my suitcase on the stand because I know the probability is really low that a bug is going to crawl up the stand and into my suitcase. I keep my clothes in the suitcase or hang them in the closet—I don't leave them on the floor because wandering bed bugs might crawl into them.
I actually haven't found bed bugs in my hotel rooms, but I've seen them in other peoples' rooms. Enough of my students and postdocs have found them that I'm surprised I haven't seen them yet in a room where I'm staying.
How should one check a hotel room for bed bugs?
Bring a little flashlight—hotel room lighting is always pretty poor and the dimmer the lighting, the harder it is to see small bed bugs or their fecal spots. I would pull back the bed covers and look all around the head of the bed. Pull back the sheets, too, and look at mattress seams and edges that are exposed. bed bugs love to hide under mattress tags. Look all around the box springs, too. If there's a dust ruffle, pull it up and look under it as much as possible. Look for moving bugs and stationary, hiding bugs.
The space behind the headboard is prime bed bug territory. Most headboards are hanging on the wall. If my wife is with me, we'll remove it and look behind it. This exposes a lot of possible bed bug territory. Even if you don't remove headboard, look around it. Or if you move the bed out from wall, look at the wall under the headboard.
Bed bugs could also be at the foot of the bed, but they're more likely to reside at the head of the bed. The foot of the bed, if the sheets are tucked in, doesn't allow bed bugs easy access to a sleeping host. The bugs would have to come up to the head of the bed to get you, and they typically minimize the distance to the host.
All of the stages of bed bugs are visible, at least if you don't need reading glasses and you have a sufficient amount of light. So if you're looking closely enough, you can even see bugs in the nymphal first instar stage. A fecal spot, for its part, can be as large as a bed bug itself in terms of the area it covers. The spots are basically digested blood, so most are dark in color. On a white mattress, they stand out pretty well.
Are there tactics that professional exterminators use that don't work?
No one tactic alone will be effective. A good pest control operator will develop a strategy to deal with the bed bugs that takes the particulars of the setting into account, and will return several times to check on progress. Dry ice sprays that freeze bed bugs have limited potential to reach hidden bugs. Steam has somewhat better penetrating ability. The downside of steam is that it leaves moisture behind. Dry ice doesn't leave any residue at all. Vacuuming has a role, but it has limitations, too. Some insecticides leave behind deposits that are slow to act but are effective in the long-term. Other insecticides kill on contact, but only reach insects that are in view. Insecticide resistance makes the choice of tactics more difficult.
An important thing to remember is that good professional pest controllers do get rid of bed bugs. The fine line that bed bug experts have to walk in talking to the public is the line where the anxiety and depression and so forth that can result from thinking about bed bugs too much can cause more problems than the bugs themselves would.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Sleep Tight Don't Let the Bedbugs Bite

By Deborah McGuire

They’ve been around for thousands of years and yet serve no other purpose to humans other than to annoy us.
The resurgence of bedbugs has become epidemic in the United States and residents and visitors of Cape May County are not immune to being a late night snack for the creeping crawlers. And contrary to some reports, the national problem does not seem to be abating.
“There are some reports that say the problem is abating in New York City because the city is getting a reduction in calls,” said Jeffrey White, a research entomologist with Cooper Pest Solutions and Technical Director of Bedbug Central. “That’s a false sense of security.”
According to White the tiny critters are here and are here to stay after a more than 50-year hiatus.
White explained that after World War II, bedbugs were basically eradicated by the use of DDT. Years went by without a bedbug problem because of the long shelf life of the now-banned pesticide.
“From 1950 through 1980, a different class of pesticides hit the market,” White said. “We have more pesticides today, but they’re from the same class, synthetic pyrethroids.”
Over time, the bugs have shown a higher resistance to many of today’s pesticides.
“There are a lot of different factors going on in the resurgence,” said White. “Pesticide resistance, lack of public awareness and travel.”
The New Jersey Department of Health and Senior Services (NJDHSS) Consumer and Environmental Health Services Public Health, Sanitation and Safety Program issued a bedbug fact sheet.
According to the fact sheet, transmission occurs when bedbugs hitch a ride. “In most cases, bedbugs are transported from infested areas to non-infested areas when they cling to someone’s clothing or crawl into luggage, furniture or bedding that is then brought into homes.”
With tourism and hospitality being the county’s main industry, visitors abound when summer rolls ‘round. The high people movement in hotels, motels, bed and breakfasts and private homes means a constant stream of changing tenants. More changeovers mean more chances of infestation.
Places that experience changeovers need to steel themselves for an eventual infestation, said White.
“There is almost nothing you can do to prevent bedbugs from being introduced,” he said. “Just be prepared for when it happens. If you’re renting a house out for 16 weeks a year, you’re probably going to encounter some bedbugs.”
To that end, he shared tips for making sure unwanted “guests” don’t stay behind. Between renters, if possible, is the best time to inspect a property.
Inspection at the time of changeover is the first step in the line of defense against the annoying buggers. Prime bedbug real estate includes the seams of mattresses and box springs as well as the bottom of box springs.
Encasing the mattress and box spring is helpful in controlling bedbugs. According to White encasements are now on the market specifically for bedbug control.
“In a single family home, it’s an investment,” White said about the encasements. “But it can help slow the possibility of an infestation.”
The second line of defense is a bedbug monitor. White said the Verifi active monitor re-leases carbon dioxide and an attractant. The monitor is placed behind the bed. Another method of control is interceptors, small bowl-like traps that put beneath the bed’s legs.
To avoid an infestation in the first place, “the only thing you can do is know how not to bring them to your house,” said White.
White warned of bringing used furniture into a home. “If you’re going to buy a used couch, think about it,” he said. Even antiques can suffer the scourge of bedbugs.
An infestation does not necessarily require a soft, plump mattress, chair or sofa. According to the Mayo Clinic, bugs can also live in carpeting, peeling paint and wallpaper and under light switch plates or electrical outlets.
When bringing any item into a home, inspection is key. Inspect the item for the bugs themselves, said White. “If you see something that looks like a tick, be concerned. Remember, these bugs are small,” said White.” The entomologist also cautioned to look for black spotting. “It’s fecal material,” he said. Spots are made up of digested human blood.
If signs of bedbugs are noted and a decision made to still bring the item into the home, a few things can be done to kill off the bugs.
“Heat is one of the best things out there,” said White, noting that a temperature of 120 degrees Fahrenheit will kill both adult bedbugs and their eggs.
Items, such as bed linens, that can be safely placed inside a clothes dryer can be dried on high heat.
Using over-the-counter insecticidal aerosol bombs is not recommended, according to White.
“They should not be sold for bedbug control,” he said. “It treats open space. Unless the bedbug is going up the wall, it’s not going to kill the bedbugs. Those bomb not only don’t kill bedbugs, they spread them.”
One surefire way of killing the parasites is steam. “We know at 120 degrees they die very quickly,” said White. “At 160 – 180 degrees, it’s an instant death.”
White stressed that if the bug problem is, or becomes, out of control, then professional intervention is needed.
Bedbugs can live for a year without feeding, but usually feed every five to 10 days.
“They’re back and they’re here to stay,” said White. “The best way to handle it is with awareness and handling it proactively.”
If a bedbug problem is discovered, White stressed the need address the problem.
“Take it seriously, head on and put things in place to identify it as early as possible and handle it appropriately.”
When asked what purpose bedbugs serve in the animal kingdom, White, who received his Masters degree in Entomology from the University of Florida and is a nationally-noted bed bug expert replied, “There are very few organisms on Earth that exist just for their own survival. I have found no other purpose for bedbugs other than just to annoy us. Bedbugs were eliminated from the United States for the past 40 years or so and we did perfectly fine.”

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Bedbugs plague southside apartment

By Matt Dykstra

bedbugs

Bedbugs are still plaguing a southside apartment complex, where residents are roommates with thousands of the blood-sucking pests.

"It's the number one problem in the city," said Amin Poonja, manager of pest control company EcoPest.
Poonja said bedbugs are prevalent across the city, most notably at the Yellow Bird House apartment building at 1945 105 St., where residents are sleeping in suites crawling with thousands of them.
While EcoPest has never sprayed at Yellow Bird House, Poonja feels for the residents.
"There's alot of anxiety and mental anguish there," Poonja said. "It's very disturbing, and while bedbugs haven't been proven to transmit any disease, it's more of a mental health concern. It freaks people out."

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

How to Find an Apartment Without Bedbugs

by Teri Karush Rogers

Rest unassured: In the city that never sleeps, bedbugs are still a major cause of insomnia for thousands of New Yorkers trapped in infested apartments and buildings. Whether you're renting or buying, here's how to minimize the chance that they will be waiting behind your next front door.

Renters
• Plug the building's address into the BedBugRegistry.com and the NYC Department of Housing Preservation and Development. Look for complaints of multiple apartment infestations within the past year and signs that the landlord is unresponsive.
• NYC landlords must give you a bedbug disclosure form stating whether the bloodsuckers have been detected in the apartment or in the building in the past year, and on what floor. Be extra concerned about infestations on your floor or adjacent floors. You should also ask how the landlord or management company is dealing with the problem. They should sound knowledgeable -- not defensive or dismissive.
• Ask the neighbors: Unlike co-op and condo owners, they have nothing to lose by telling you if there's a problem in the building.

Buyers
• Co-op and condo owners tend to keep bed bug problems quiet for fear of hurting resale values, so you won't learn much by asking the neighbors or poking around online. However, like landlords, co-op owners are required by law to tell buyers about a bed bug problem in the apartment in the past year, and in the building if they know about it (though this is far from guaranteed). Condo owners only have to disclose problems in their apartment, and only when asked.
• Either way, ask your attorney to put a seller's representation in the contract stating that to the seller's knowledge there has never been a bed bug problem in the building.
• Your attorney should also ask the property manager about the building's bed bug history and pay close attention to the response: Ignoring the question or passing the buck may indicate a problem.

A word about inspections...
Before you spend a few hundred dollars on a bedbug-sniffing dog (assuming you can get access to your prospective digs), understand that it will be challenging for a dog to find evidence if the apartment is empty as the bugs typically hibernate in the walls out of reach.
If the apartment is empty, consider scattering a variety of "passive" detectors (sticky traps) and "active" detectors (which emulate the presence of a human being) where the couch and bed used to be. The active monitors range from a fancy plug-in machine like the Nightwatch Bed Bug Monitor (around $400) to the lower-tech BB Active Alert Bed Bug Monitor ($25 + heating pads). Passive varieties include the CatchMaster Bedbug Detection System ($65/five dozen).
It can take around two weeks to detect signs of bedbugs in a vacant apartment (for best results, the apartment should be empty for less than a few weeks), so this is not a practical option for renter, nor for many buyers.

If you do go the dog route, bear in mind that false positives are a particular problem with untrained and/or scam-minded handlers. Make sure the company you hire is recommended by the National Entomology Scent Detection Canine Association.
If you're moving from a bedbug problem, consider taking extra precautions against bringing hitchhikers with you: Add an extra night to your move to have your moving truck fumigated. This also eliminates the possibility of picking bedbugs up in transit.
Finally, just because you move into an apartment (or building) without bedbugs does not, of course, guarantee it will always be without bedbugs. Early detection -- achieved by bedbug "proofing" your apartment -- is the best way to minimize the expense and psychological trauma of a bedbug infestation.