It can be pretty tricky to figure out how to handle bed bugs. You have to determine that you are infested, then you have to go through the painstaking process of fumigating and changing out your mattresses, perhaps even moving out of the property altogether.
Some will also ask whether the landlord or the resident should deal with the bed bug position. Whoever deals with it, the fact remains that it’s a problem that has to be dealt with as soon as possible to prevent the further spread of the critters.
Bed bug infestations have been on the rise ever since some of them grew resistant to pesticides. That’s why you need to do a thorough job when fumigating. If not all of the bugs are eradicated, the ones that survived are only stronger and more resistant to the pesticide.
In this article, we’re going to look at how to deal with bed bugs in your rental property.
Most infested cities
Out of the most infested cities in the country, San Antonio is luckily not on the list. Even so, there still remains a problem with these bugs in the city, and one that should be properly dealt with.
Since these bugs can attach themselves to clothing, backpacks, and the like, it’s very easy for a tenant to bring them with them wherever they’ve previously been. There’s even a bed bug registry set up to alert people about where to avoid due to bed bug reports. Because of the nature of how these bugs are transported, there’s really no use in arguing over how they got there. It’s better to just deal with the problem at hand right away.
What’s the first step?
If there’s a report of bugs, it might as well be roaches or something similar. Whatever it is, though, it’s best that you get in touch with an exterminator.
The exterminator will look at mattresses and bedding in the rental property. They will also look in closets, couches, and the like.
The best thing to do truly is to diagnose and treat the problem. The responsibility for the problem can always be determined later.
Who’s responsible for removing the bed bugs?
Simply put, responsibility should fall on whoever first brought them into the house. An exterminator just might be able to tell you how the bugs got there. For example, if there was a swarm of them in the tenant’s luggage, the finger would be pointing at them.
The proof is difficult to achieve since in an apartment the bugs could have gotten in through cracks in the walls that came from another tenant. Even in a single family home, it’s difficult to prove because the bugs could have easily come from a maintenance person who came to work on something.
Who should pay for the exterminator?
Simply put, if these bugs were already there before your tenant moved in, you need to pony up and pay the exterminator their fee.
If you don’t do anything about the bugs, your tenant could pay for the exterminator and then deduct that amount from their rent. They could even break the lease or sue you. As you can tell, it behooves you to pay for the exterminator fee if you’re responsible.
If the tenant brought in the bugs, there are different state regulations that apply for this. If your state doesn’t have any regulations, then you could make the tenant pay for the extermination service.
What are the best ways to get rid of these bugs?
Getting rid of these bugs is not a simple process. As such, you’re going to need to make sure that the tenant is onboard with the procedure.
There are steps that the tenant has to take right away. First, they should declutter and get rid of any messes that might be there. Clutter gives a perfect place for the bugs to congregate.
If there are bugs in the mattress, you’ll have to encase the mattress in a special encasement that includes covering the box springs. If you don’t choose to trash the mattress, you’ll have to keep this encasement on the mattress for at least a year.
Another thing the tenant will need to do is wash everything. This includes all of the bedding and all of the clothing that’s been on the floor. This needs to all be washed and dried on a hot and high setting.
The tenant should then vacuum everything twice. Then once you’re done, throw out the vacuum bag in an outdoor garbage can.
The exterminator should then move and disassemble furniture, and they should also use high heat or steam treatments. Exterminators have special equipment that raises the temperature in the bed bug area to 118 degrees Fahrenheit and then maintains that same temperature for 70 minutes.
They’ll then use professional-strength insecticide because general over-the-counter insecticides won’t be enough. The furniture will then be sealed in a container until all of the bugs die in these rentals.
Once you’ve been infested you can very well get infested again. This isn’t a procedure that prevents future infestations, it just makes sure that with the rentals the current infestation is wiped out. This is something you’ll have to work with the exterminator on so that you can figure out how not to bring the pests back in again.
Dealing with how to handle bed bugs can be a tricky, frustrating, and time-consuming process. Just because it can be this way, though, doesn’t mean it has to be. While this list isn’t exhaustive, it will give you a good idea as to what you’ll have to deal with when you do get a bed bug infestation.
It’s best to have the tenant as well as landlord work together in combating the problem instead of getting in a finger-pointing, name-calling battle. The longer that this infestation lasts, the harder it will be to actually root out all of the pests that are out there.