Are Landlords Responsible for Bed Bugs?
Bed bugs in your rental? While we are going through a viral pandemic currently, the rise of bed bugs are becoming their own pandemic. With more cases on the increase daily, these hitchhikers have made their way to hotels, homes, businesses, and rental properties. While it is easily known that if a homeowner encounters this bloodthirsty pest, they are responsible for the cost of treatment under most circumstances. But what about the answer to the question that is burning in our minds? Are the landlords accountable for bed bugs? Or are the tenants responsible for the bed bugs?
Are Bed Bugs My Landlords Responsibility?
Different states have different laws when pertaining to pest control and bed bugs. It is always recommended that you seek an appropriate person when seeking legal advice as this blog post is based on shared knowledge of Section 83.51(2)(a), F.S. of the Florida Landlord and Tenant Laws based for Florida only. Section 83.51(2)(a), F.S. does indeed state that a landlord is responsible for reasonable provisions of pest control services, wood-destroying organisms, and rodent extermination during the tenancy of the property. A landlord is responsible for providing a habitable home; however, it is still a
complex answer to the question, because each tenant situation can vary depending upon what type of rental lease the tenant may have as a multiunit dwelling structure under most circumstances fall as the landlord's responsibility and a duplex or single-family home may not. There are also varying factors that can play out in the decision of who may be to blame for bed bugs. In some cases, it can become a blame game.
Who is to Blame for Bed Bugs in my Rental?
In a simple answer, whoever introduced the bed bugs into the home is the responsible party to handle the eradication of the bed bugs. If you just signed the lease of that beautiful new apartment, moved your belongings in, did your walkthrough earlier that day, and didn't notice any signs of insects, went to bed to wake up with bites and irritation, or found bed bugs. More than likely, this discovery was from past or previous tenants. Under the circumstances such as this, if communicated to the landlord in a
quick time-efficient manner, the bed bug treatment may be accepted from the landlord,
or possibly be perceived they had been carried along from your past residence and introduced. If you have been in that same apartment for two years without seeing insect concerns and all of a sudden start to encounter those same bites that have been confirmed as bed bugs, well, I am sure you can see that this case will be presumably looked at as a bed bug infestation that you have introduced and would be held responsible for. As I previously mentioned, this is usually when the "blame game"
and finger-pointing starts. It is tough to pinpoint the cause and determine who may be at fault. Communication and tenant demeanor can go a long way in situations like this because there is no definitive rulebook as to who is responsible.
How do I Exterminate for Bed Bugs?
This also an excellent question. If you encounter bed bugs, you will most certainly want to employ a pest control company. Bed bugs are a daunting and challenging task for a tenant or homeowner to tackle on their own. The most important part of a bed bug treatment service is to ensure that you have prepped your structure correctly. We recommend you follow the guidelines on our Imperial Pest Prevention Bed Bug Service Prep Video. Once all preparation measures have been implemented, you will be able to
proceed with the bed bug treatment. Bed Bug treatments can consist of a variety of treatment options and products. While all are not the same, it does not mean that one company is more competent than the next, as the goal for any of them is to rid you of the bed bugs. With that being said, I will speak on behalf of how we at Imperial Pest Prevention perform our bed bug treatment services.
Flushing Agents- Flushing agents are controlled release pesticides that are high pressured and designed to fill voids and tight crack and crevice locations to reach bed bugs in hiding locations. The ingredients in the flushing agents will drive bed bugs out of hiding and force them to venture out of nesting locations.
Bed Bug Heat Treatment- We then apply heated steam treatments to fabric locations, mattresses tufts, curtains, appropriate fabric locations, and those though to reach areas bed bugs may like to hide.
Insecticide Stack Treatments- Next on the list is the insecticide solution. This is called a stack simply because it is a combination of different insecticides. Usually, this is a mix of three. One product being the insect growth regulator, which is a synthetic hormone that disrupts the bed bugs breeding cycle, the second containing an insecticide for a fast knockdown. The second insecticide is meant to quickly cease the spread of the bed bugs migrating during the treatment. This insecticide minimizes the chance of the bed bugs longevity after coming in contact. The third product in the stack is the generalized insecticide. This product also helps to eradicate the bedbugs in an assisting manner. Although this insecticide does indeed leave a residue for other general pests, it does not have the same effects on bed bugs as they area contact spray insect only.
Bed Bugs Handled in A Rental
After treatment, a 7-10 day follow up visit is put in effect for your rental property to be treated again. The purpose of this is to apply another round of treatment in the rare occurrence that any bed bugs have made it past the first initial treatment. This insecticide application will allow the bed bug treatment company to kill any of the young that may have hatched out before reaching sexual maturity. Feel free to reach out to Imperial Pest Prevention for any of your pest control needs if you are suffering from bed
bugs and live in the Daytona Beach greater area of Volusia County or Flagler County. All content in this Blog was written by Jonathan Stoddard, a Certified Entomologist of Imperial Pest Prevention. The opinions of this Blog are completely my own based on my experience and serve no legal advice.