Bed Bugs are the little creatures that may come out at night and invade your bed or furniture – like couches or mattresses. They seem to prefer human and other warm blooded creatures. Bed bug infestations were common in the United States before World War II. But with improvements in hygiene, and widespread use of DDT until it was banned, the bugs nearly vanished. However, they remained active outside the US.
HOW BED BUGS OPERATE
1. We travel out of the country and the bed bugs latch on to you, your clothing and things you pack in your luggage for the trip back to the US.
2. We have visitors and new residents coming to the US each day from foreign countries.
3. When we travel we stay in hotels or other accommodations that may have a bed bug problem(s).
In Multi-family housing units, it is believed the bed bug can travel through duct work, cracks between units (they don’t have to be big)- tenant’s furniture being moved in and out – allows simple transfer around the building.
It’s possible for one of you to be bitten and another resident in your home not.
In most Bed Bug laws enacted or in to be enacted, “Bedbug” means an insect of the species “Cimex lectularius,” commonly referred to as a bedbug
WHAT DO THEY LOOK LIKE
Adult bedbugs are reddish-brown, with a flat oval shape, and wingless, with microscopic hairs. They don’t move fast, so you should be able to spot them.
Bed Bugs CANNOT FLY.
Bedbugs can live for a year or longer without feeding but they normally try to feed every five to ten days. Bedbugs that go dormant for lack of food often live longer than a year, while well-fed specimens typically live six to nine months.
Bedbugs will appear at night, when they need to eat (your blood) and sense the hear given off by your body.
KEEP CLEAN and CLUTTER FREE
- Vacuum Furniture – Walls & wall paper, cracks in floors and near beds – bed frame, box spring etc.
- Clean – Keep clean. Vacuum often and empty out the canister or bag. Wipe down walls and wash your linens. bed sheets, shams etc. Try not to have much clutter.
HOWEVER, REGARDLESS of how clean you are, you may still wind up with a bed bug problem
TENANTS, LANDLORDS, AND BED BUGS – THE LAW
In 2004, a Bedford New York Judge made the following remark in a Bed Bug Lawsuit
“Although bedbugs are classified as vermin, they are unlike the more common situation of vermin such as mice and roaches, which, although offensive, do not have the effect on one’s life as bedbugs do, feeding upon one’s blood in hoards [sic] nightly turning what is supposed to be bed rest or sleep into a hellish experience,” Judge Bedford wrote.
In New York City and many other states, towns and cities, landlords are now responsible for getting rid of bed bugs in infested buildings and units and they (the landlord) must pay for extermination.
WHAT’S A LANDLORD TO DO? DO YOU INSPECT EVERY PIECE OF ITEM A TENANT MOVES IN WITH OR CHECK THEM EVERY DAY BEFORE THEY ENTER THE BUILDING, HOUSE OR APARTMENT??
In New Jersey, see ASSEMBLY, No. 3203. Lots of requirements for both landlords to notify tenants and tenants to notify the landlord. Since I’m a NJ landlord, I’m still trying to figure it out. The state holds landlords responsible for extermination in “multi-unit” buildings of three or more apartments – if the bugs are found in two or more units or in common areas…..
BED BUGS and LAWYERS
My friend, a landlord, is convinced that a layer was the first to bring bed bugs back to the US and deploy them. WHY? It was and is another line of business. Landlords might think they can use (blame) a particular tenant for infesting their building, apartment or home with the bug while a tenant may blame a landlord for allowing (by not regularly exterminating for) the bug or allowing tenants who the landlord “should of known” have or might have bed bugs… or not informing the tenant that there was, could be or was unsure if there is, was, was not, what if…. a bed bug problem.
Whose Bed Bug is it?
What came first the chicken or the egg? Is the glass half full or half empty….what came first – the tenant or the bed bug?
If you choose to, you may call an exterminator who will most likely come back every month to spray. You may be required to remove all furniture and more.
Speak to a local expert – search for a bed bug expert here on RentLaw.com
Your landlord MAY NOT BE RESPONSIBLE for the problem, unless local or state law state otherwise.
Sleep tight, don’t let the bed bugs bite….