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How to spot a hoarder

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There are a lot of reasons hoarders make bad neighbors: Their pathologically cluttered apartments present a fire risk and can also become a haven for pests of all kinds, including bed bugs.  Apartments of hoarders are, in fact, notorious reservoirs for bed bugs, and can literally doom the efforts to de-infest building.

How do you know if you have a hoarder in your midst?  

"Unless you're granted access to a person's  home, it's often hard to tell if someone in your building is struggling with hoarding," says an article in the September issue of The Cooperator (not yet available online).

The article goes on to point to some circumstantial evidence:

  • You see your neighbor going through someone else's trash or junk mail
  • He or she doesn't put out as much trash as other people
  • Curtains are pushed up against the windows, "typically caused by stacked items...and windows are closed all year long"
  • No one is ever allowed in the apartment, which implies shame or embarrassment, or fear that they will be forced to throw things away

For more info on what comes next, see 'My upstairs neighbor is a hoarder. What can I do?'

(The Cooperator; previously)

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