Bed Bugs in Apartments and Other Rentals
Help for Renters With Bed Bugs in Apartments and Other Rentals
If you are a renter, what happens and who is responsible if you have bed bugs in your apartment. What you need to do may be different depending on if you rent a house, a condo or an apartment. Your lease or rental agreement may include a section on bed bugs so go back and take a look to see if it does provide any information about bed bug infestations. One of the most important things is don’t start throwing everything out and moving things around. This can spread bed bugs around your house, condo, apartment or building.
That would not only extend your infestation but possibly spread bed bugs to other tenants, who in turn can spread them back to you in a year or so if they haven’t successfully gotten rid of them. You want to avoid your neighbors getting bed bugs because they may not take action quickly or at all. Your treatment will depend on whether you live in a separate “unattached” rental home or if you live in a condo or apartment. Your landlord may have rules specifically for dealing with insects or even more specifically for bed bugs.
Depending on your landlord or management company, your treatment options may vary.
This is another reason you want to be knowledgeable about treatment practices.
Hopefully, you will be able to ask questions that will help you to compare the treatment they will provide you with what you would expect from a pest company you would hire. Or you can seek treatment on your own and absorb the cost without mentioning it unless your rental agreement specifies that you must report it. If it doesn’t mention having to report bed bugs you can probably just get treatment and pay for it yourself. What if you are afraid to tell your landlord? Many people are afraid they may be evicted if they report there are bed bugs in their home. Or they may be worried that other tenants will talk about them, or that they will be shunned. I wish I could reassure you that none of those things will happen, but I can’t. They might, but being informed will help you to get through it.
One new trend in lease and rental agreements are bed bug addendums. Extra rules about who will pay for treatment, who will pay for inspection and expectations for both renter and landlord. In most of these documents, failure to prepare for treatment according to the pest company’s protocols may make the renter subject to eviction. Unless you intend to pay for an inspection and professional treatment yourself, tell your landlord.
Action you can take right now!
Order ClimbUp monitors for all beds that could be infested including cribs.
Read the section on treatment options as most of the preparation applies here.
- Isolate your bed Pull bed 6″ away from the wall. Make sure nothing is touching any wall.
- Launder your bedding Put clothes, bedding, and other items in the dryer for at least 60-120 minutes on HIGH heat. If you share a laundry room be very careful to empty the lint filter before and after you dry your things to prevent neighbors from bringing your bed bugs back to their apartments when they do laundry.
Empty the lint filter before and after each cycle. Sometimes bed bugs get tossed into the front lint filter and survive in the dryer. That means they might come back with your laundry. Once you remove items from the dryer, seal them securely in new clean bags so bugs cannot get in.
- Vacuum daily. Remove the vacuum bag, place it into a plastic trash bag, seal tightly, and dispose of right away.