Is Your Apartment Infested with Bed Bugs?

By Ronnie Gustin

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Does Your Apartment Have Bed Bugs?


A couple of weeks ago I had dozens of bites showing up on my arms and legs.  I have sensitive skin, so I switched laundry detergent thinking that I was somehow having a reaction to the soap– but then I saw a tiny little bug… that’s where my bed bug problem all started.
When I approached my landlord about treating the apartment complex, he refused and immediately tried to hold me responsible for treating my apartment for bed bugs.  I didn’t think that was right.  Luckily my professor referred me to the RPA and explained that the best option would be to start with a formal complaint.  So, I did. (Problem is now solved!!)
I wanted to create a post to help other tenants suffering with a bed bug infested Apartment: (so here’s my experience)
Do you have bed bugs?
Look for signs to determine if you have bed bugs.  Everyone reacts differently to their bites.  I found some research that indicated that some people have little to no reaction to bed bug bites (lucky for them).
Indications of Bed Bug Presence:
How to check for bed bugs
  • Visual Search: Check around the seams of your mattress closely.  Look for rust colored spots or stains.  (If stains are found, you most likely have bed bugs)  You should also inspect floor boards, behind paintings or other wall hangings, and bed post.
  • Smell / Odor: If you have an acute sense of smell, you can also detect bed bugs by smelling for a sweet musty odor.  Special K-9 (dogs) have been trained to identify this smell. Depending on the level of infestation, you can detect the odor too.
  • Neighbors: Most people will not come out and say they have bed bugs… pretty much social suicide.  BUT, you can be creative and pay attention to your neighbors; specifically look at their arms for indications of rashes or bites.  Remember, infestations are common to be located around a host… meaning that it is very possible that ONLY one family member is effected by the bed bugs. (Be casual about this… probably not wise to bring it up in conversation)
  • Personal: The most common way is most likely from your own body… are you waking up with a rash or series of bites?
What do Bed Bugs Look Like?
Now I could just tell you that bed bugs are bout 4mm big and have an amber color, but instead I though I would find some pictures for you.  If you’re lucky enough to spot a bed bug, you can identify it by looking at the following pictures:  (Courteous of Wikipedia, thank you)
Adult Apartment Bed Bug
Baby Bed Bug


How to get rid of bed bugs
DO NOT DO THE FOLLOWING:
  • Panic! No need to panic.  You’re going to get through this.  Take a deep breath, exhale.
  • Sleep on the Couch: NO NO NO!!!  Fight the urge to run away to another room, they will follow you and infest that area too.  Bed bugs detect our breath and body heat, so no hiding is impossible.  STAY PUT!!
  • Move: Again, can’t run.  You MUST treat the infestation before moving.  Bed bugs lay tiny eggs that stick to nearly any surface… if you move, you will bring the infestation with you.
  • Treat Yourself! I know, you’re tempted to go to the home depot and buy some bug bomb or bed bug spray … these will not kill bed bugs but can cause them to become irritated and spread deeper into walls, and other rooms.  Treatment needs to be done by a bed bug removal company.  (even general pest removal companies can make the problem worse.  Only use a company that really knows how to deal with bed bugs.
  • No Chemicals! Chemical treatments are not very effective.  Avoid using them, not only are they toxic to you and your family, they only kill the adult bed bugs.  Eggs are not effected by sprays, thus if you have treated with chemicals… in a few days you will see the bites return as new eggs hatch.
DO THE FOLLOWING( Get Rid Of Bed Bugs Yourself)
  • STAY PUT!: Yes, you’ll have to remain in the infested room… otherwise the infestation will spread through the apartment.
  • RELAX: Bed bugs are not known to pass disease.  Still not fun.  There have been studies that long-term effects can cause anemia, infection (from scratching) and in extremely rare cases could cause anaphylactic shock in people sensitive to the proteins found in bed bug saliva.
  • DO SOMETHING: If you do nothing, the infestation will only get worse.  Time to react is now!
  • MOVE BED: Pull the bed away from the wall.  Move night stands or furniture so that they are not touching the bed or frame.  Pull up covers so that they are not touching floor, walls, or furniture.  This can greatly reduce the bites of bed bugs.  If you suspect the bed bugs have infested your bed, you can saran wrap the entire mattress.  (make sure is is tight and use lots of layers)  You can also try sprinkling some “Thyme” (seasoning) on your bed.  It won’t kill the bed bugs, but can cut down the bites.  (they hate thyme– but so do I!)
  • TREAT THE ITCH: There are many ways to treat your skin… for my I made a paste out of baking soda and water.  Then apply to the effected areas and immediately, itch gone!
  • PREPARE UNIT: You can reduce the amounts of bed bug bites by washing bedding (don’t forget all blankets)  BUT, make sure to dry on high heat for at least an hour.  Vacuum around walls, bed post, bed seams, and floors.  Clean and pick up clutter on floor.  (make the unit spotless and vacuum frequently)
Who is Responsible For Bed Bug Treatment Cost?
Most likely, after approaching your landlord you will immediately get frustrated.  Many times landlords will attempt to hold tenants responsible for treatment cost.  In fact, I read of cases where tenants have contacted the landlord about bed bugs just to be forced to pay for treatment by their own treatment company.  (many times costing $800 to $2000)  Then, if you don’t pay– you get evicted.  Luckily, after I went my landlord I researched the topic and got some great advice.  The best advice came from my law professor who told me how landlords are responsible to provide a habitable apartment.  Landlords renting out an apartment that is infested by bed bugs can be in breach of the implied habitability warranty which requires landlords to provide a safe livable unit.  Bed bugs are classified as parasites, so unlike other infestations; bed bugs are even more a breach of implied warranty of habitability than other bugs.  With that said, it is clear that landlords are fully responsible for bed bug treatment.  (However, if you feel like you were responsible for the infestation… then ethically, you should be somewhat responsible.  It could be possible that you moved from a previously infested apartment, or that you stayed in an infested motel.) My professor referred me to the Rental Protection Agency and told me that in a bed bug case it’s best to create a legal paper trail as soon as possible and recommended that I immediately file a complaint to establish a formal paper trail and documentation.  So, that’s what I did.
Filing a Bed Bug Complaint:
Filing a complaint with the RPA allowed me to document the bed bug problem before my landlord could attempt to place me at fault.  Here is the process:
  1. FILE COMPLAINT: Fill out the Bed Bug Complaint form located here: https://www.rentalprotectionagency.com/complaint_center_form.php
  2. Get Your CASE NUMBER: After paying the $35 Filing Fee  (no other required fee) you will get a case number and immediate access to the online complaint management page.  Side Note: I did include 2 upgrades to my case: Certified ($18) and Bonded Copy of Completed Case ($9)  The certified case requires landlord to sign for the paper work sent to your landlord from the RPA.  The Bonded Copy sent me an official copy of mycase.  Those are optional, but that’s what I did.  Once you pay the filing
  3. Check CASE STATUS: Once you’ve filed your complaint, the RPA will assign a dedicated mediator to handle the complaint and to negotiate a fair agreement.  (Yes, its legally binding)  You can and should check the case status every few days.  After my landlord received the legal paperwork from the RPA, they immediately agreed to provide heat treatment at their cost.  (I say immediately, I took 2 days for them to propose the solution.  They were allowed 3 days, just FYI)  Its now been 2 months since I filed my complaint.  Today, my apartment is free from bed bugs.  I do credit all of this to my Professor he directed me to the RPA.  Thank you.
  4. CASE CLOSED: Once an agreement is reached the RPA will close the case and attach it to the public record database.  Now, because my landlord was prompt to resolve my bed bug problem; I requested that the complaint record be removed from record.  I was happy with the end result and had no real intentions to harm my landlords image.
I know how stressful it is to have an apartment with bed bugs.  I hope my experience can help others struggling with this exact process.  I’m so glad there are programs out there to protect tenants rights.  All the best!
Ronnie Gustin
Law Student (USC | Law School)
(I’m not an bar licensed lawyer.  The above info
was based upon my experience and not intended
as legal advice.)



Edited on: Friday, March 11th, 2011 12:38 pm

51 Responses to “Is Your Apartment Infested with Bed Bugs?”

My response: (We welcome stories, examples, explanations, answers and a touch of your personality)
 

Kim

September 10th, 2010 8:30 am

Thank you thank you!!

Ronnie, you’ve provided me with some great advice to combat my bed bug problem. I discovered bites just a few days ago and have noticed that every night there seem to be more. Last night I woke up in the middle of the night and saw a couple crawling on my bed. I was super grossed out.

I’m so glad to have found your post. I just filed a complaint. It feels so good to know that someone is going to help me with this. I haven’t even contacted my landlord about the bed bugs.. I’m going to let the RPA do it. Personally, I don’t know how to approach my landlord. That’s really why I filed the bed bug complaint before contacting my landlord personally, because I’m afraid he would immediately place blame on me.

Thanks Ronnie for your advice. I’ve already started preparing my apartment by pulling the bed out and vacuuming. I don’t see any signs on my mattress, but I still think I’m going to wrap it in Saran wrap as you suggested. If nothing else, it will make me feel better.


Jerry Taylor

October 5th, 2010 8:41 am

Hi Ronnie,

I just wanted to update this post. Following your advice I immediately filed a bed bug complaint with the RPA. My apartment has been infested with bed bugs for over 3 months and I’ve been at a loss as to what to do. My landlord wouldn’t even respond to my phone calls. He just ignored me. I did corner him one day and asked for help with my bed bug problem. He immediately started to argue and ranted about how he didn’t bring in the bed bugs and that I would have to pay the entire cost.

Then, I found your post about apartment bed bugs. To be honest, I really didn’t expect much to happen, even after filing. But I thought it would be worth the effort. (I really didn’t have money to pay for the bed bug treatment) Today– 2 weeks 1 day after filing a complaint with the RPA, my landlord agreed to pay for the entire cost of treatment. I’m going to be honest, it did take some going back and forth before we reached an agreement.

Thank you for posting your experience. Because of it, I’m going to be bed bug free too.


Renter

October 7th, 2010 3:29 am

I filed a complaint too! My landlord has tried to get me to pay $1400 to cover bed bug removal cost. The worse part is that the landlord won’t do anything unless I sign a written contract for the bed bug treatment cost. So, during the last 3 weeks the bites and itching have only gotten worse as the infestation continues to grow daily.

My complaint is in progress. I just got my case number. I like how simple all of this has been. By the way, if anyone is worried about the filing fee ($35) there is a spot on the complaint form where you can request that the landlord reimburse you for the filing fee. The fee isn’t an issue for me, but if it is, you can always try that option.

Thanks for the post.


Ronnie Gustin

October 9th, 2010 1:19 am

According to the RPA, cases are assigned in the order received or if rushed it will be assigned to the next available agent. From my recollection my case was assigned within a day… but now that I think about it, I’m certain I had my case rushed. (I wanted to resolve this problem sooner than later) To answer your question I guess it depends on the number of cases already filed vs the number of available agents. I doubt it will be any longer than a week. Please update us, it would be good to know for others wondering the same thing.

The filing fee is the only required fee. You don’t need to worry about surprise charges. The upgrades such as: Certified Case, Bonded Copy or Rush are all optional charges, which for me were justified.

Let me know if you have any questions. (I will try to respond) :)

Ronnie Gustin
Law Student (USC | Law School)
(I’m not an bar licensed lawyer. The above info
was based upon my experience and not intended
as legal advice.)


Ronnie Gustin

October 9th, 2010 1:21 am

Thanks Kim. Glad to help. Can you update us on your complaint? How has your landlord responded?
Ronnie Gustin
Law Student (USC | Law School)
(I’m not an bar licensed lawyer. The above info
was based upon my experience and not intended
as legal advice.)


Armilio

October 8th, 2010 11:48 pm

I filed a complaint just now. Can someone tell me how long it takes before my case gets assigned to an RPA Agent? I’m anxious to get my landlord to treat my unit for bed bugs. I can’t afford to and he says he won’t. I paid the $35 filing fee, but can someone tell me if that’s it? I can’t really afford anything else other than the filing fee.

After filing I got my case number right away, then an email copy of my case was sent to me within 5 minutes. (Very helpful) Immediately I was able to pull up a case status page where you can contact the agent, add details to the case, respond or upload files. I just uploaded some pictures of the bed bugs found in my apartment. I actually snapped a few pics from my phone and quickly uploaded them. The whole process is easy to use. I just want to make sure that there aren’t any other fees that I need to be surprised by. Hope to get an answer. Thanks!


Kim

October 9th, 2010 9:35 am

Hi Ronnie, I just saw your question through an email update.

My complaint is closed and resolved. I really didn’t do anything other than file complaint. Less than a week after fling I got a a professional call from my property manger who did act surprised that I filed a complaint but said not to worry that they have agreed to treat the unit at their cost. I was a little worried that it would cause some contention between me and the manager, but it didn’t. He understood my concerns and said he probably would have done the same thing if it were him in that situation.

My property manger handled my complaint better than expected. My unit was treated with heat treatment (2 weeks ago) I haven’t seen any new bites since. Only people that have had a bed bug frustration can understand the relief of a good nights rest without worry of being eat’n alive. I finally feel like I’m back to my regular self. This bed bug thing was emotionally tolling– but its news past.

Thanks Ronnie for making the post. It helped me a ton with my bed bug problem. :)


Ronnie Gustin

October 9th, 2010 1:10 pm

Hi Aimee,

Actually, there aren’t any laws specific to bed bug infestations, that is why it is almost required to get some type of legal help. You can still try to work it out with your landlord without filing a complaint, but the protections and professional help made filing a complaint a better choice than not. Plus, I was told by my law professor that I should file a complaint in order to establish a written paper trail.

If you choose to fight this yourself without filing a complaint or hiring an attorney, be prepared to explain to the landlord why he is responsible. Parasites are classified as parasites which require a host to survive. Unlike other pest (cockroaches, spiders, ants) that may distract and annoy you; they don’t feed on you. That is one reason why landlords shouldn’t roll bed bugs into the same statute as general pest control. Landlords can’t really argue that they are providing a habitable living environment when they have a bed bug infested unit. Bed bugs can be cause for constructive eviction due to the breach of implied warranty of habitability.

If you feel comfortable dealing with your landlord directly, that is an option; but you may find that the effort is not worth the end result. Like you, that’s what I did at first… just to find that my landlord quickly place full responsibility on me rather than agreeing to treat my unit. It was only after my complaint / possible negative public record that my landlord acted fairly. According to Kim (above) she filed without contacting her landlord and saw somewhat fast results.

Aimee, its up to you how you want to proceed. Its not a bad idea to talk to your landlord first, but be prepared to file a complaint if your landlord refuses to be fair with you. Please keep us posted on what you do.

Ronnie Gustin
Law Student (USC | Law School)
(I’m not an bar licensed lawyer. The above info
was based upon my experience and not intended
as legal advice.)


Aimee

October 9th, 2010 10:49 am

Hi All,

I just wanted to ask some clarification about landlords responsibility and bed bugs. So, is the landlord legally responsible to treat for bed bugs? If so, is it really necessary to file a complaint? Can’t I just reference the legal statute and resolve the problem directly with my landlord without need of filing the formal complaint mentioned here? Please let me know what the law says about landlords responsibility to spray for bed bugs. I just noticed the bed bugs in my apartment about 3 days ago… Now I need to take care of the problem, but first would like to try to contact my landlord first without filing a complaint.

Aimee – New Renter with bed bugs


Aimee

October 9th, 2010 7:56 pm

I just got got off the phone with my landlord. I’m so mad. He was rude and very belittling. He had no concerns about my bed bug problem and even went as far as to say “Sounds like a personal problem, deal with it!” He rambled on telling me that maybe I should be a better house keeper. (Holy crap!! My apartment is always super clean, JERK!!)

I actually hung up on him I was so mad! Just saw the response from “Ronnie.” I wish I would have seen your post before, but oh well it wouldn’t make a difference with my slumlord. I’m filing a complaint right now, I don’t have time to play his games. Off to filing my complaint.


Armilio

October 15th, 2010 10:22 am

Thanks Ronnie!

I was waiting to see what happened with my complaint before responding again. It took about 4 days for my case to get assigned to an Agent. Once it was assigned, everything moved quickly. My landlord approached me directly after receiving the complaint. He was fair and willing to resolve the issue. Funny how at first he was hard (blank) about it, then after getting the notice from the RPA he acted so nice and willing to work something out.

My landlord agreed to pay for my $35 filing fee and also offered to treat my unit at his cost. I just got it in writing via my case. Things are moving forward and getting resolved. Thanks everyone for sharing.


Qzxit

December 21st, 2010 12:28 pm

I have lived in this apartment complex for 3 years and had no problems with the land lords, but a few months ago I saw furniture being thrown out behine the building with plastic wrap all around it, and for a few weeks I did notice there
was diffrent peoples furniture being thrown out I then ask the jantor was it a bed bug problem he acting willing to tell me but he said ” that I should ask the manager” and he told me to “say that he and I never talked about the problem”
well I took it then that we did have a problem in this building but they were trying to keep it quiet, and as this troubled me very bad because I did not want to throw out all my belongings for I am on a fix income and can just go out and
by all a new, and I can’t afford to move now, yet others must have notice this also because the manager call a meeting and he told everyone there that there was a few apartments that was being treated and theat we should not worry
about the bed bugs intering are apartment if we don’t bring them in ourselfs or let someone ells bring them in needless to say he held us responable for paying to get all of them out if they were found, I have not found any in my apartment
but I am very worried about getting them because I saw some one ells furniture out back today and have started to think he has not told us all the truth I am wondering if I soon will find them in my apartment and be kicked out, I have
not seen any heat treatment being used here at all what should I do??? and I am wondering how long does it take them to spread in a six floor apartment I live at the basment floor can any one tell me what to do next?


Myspace

January 15th, 2011 6:06 pm

Hi Ronnie,
My problem is a little different. I had started noticing bed bug bites, but i hadn’t complained to my apartment yet. A few days later my apartment called me saying they have problems at the apartment below mine, and wanted to check out our apartment. I told her that i have been experiencing similar problems. They treated my apartment twice and i have been bed bug free since. After about a month of treating my apartment sent the pest control for inspection at my apartment and said that they found a couple of corners that still have a few bugs. Now my apartment is charging me to treat the all units around me and blaming it directly on me saying “you are the one who spread the bed bugs in the entire complex”. I think this is unfair. I am raged by this. What do you think i should do?


mike

February 21st, 2011 3:08 am

hi, every one, i found it very nice plat form regarding real estate problems, will communicate and share opinion with members onwards.

Mike


kim

February 28th, 2011 7:52 am

Hi Ronnie. My situation is different.. Just moved out of a one bedroom apt that me and my five year old were sharing… so I get the letter from my old apt thinking that is for letting me know of when I’m getting my deposit back… I had a deposit of $1165… It showed that they charged me around $500 for the new carpet( my son spilled a lot of juice i guess).. $25 for the little furniture that they had to throw away which was left.. $60 for like a move out fee… Now this is the best… They charged me $1000 for the bed bug infestation that I contributed to… I’m sorry but I never had any problems.. Plus living with my 5 yr old… I would have known about the infestation… They never said anything to me about it when they came and fumigated all those times… and now that I left for abviously a better apartment complex.. They want to stick me with $1000 for bed bugs… They were supposed to give me back around $490… But no… I have to actually pay them now for bed bugs that I might actually got it from maybe their laundry room that everyone in the complex used.. Help… I feel that they are trying to rob me and my son of my deposit, which they did because now I owe them $510…wtf.. I’m sorry.. i just don’t know what to do…


Inca

May 17th, 2011 7:36 pm

WE TOO HAVE BED BUGG, MOVED TO THIS APARTMENT A YEAR AGO AND THOUGHT THAT STARTING A NEW JOB I WAS STRESSED.
I WAS WAKING UP WITH RASHES, WENT TO THE DOCTORS WHO SAID I HAD HIVES, BUT GUESS WHAT, FOUND OUT NOT TRUE,THE CULPRITS WERE BED BUGS.
OUR APARTMENT MANAGERS DID THE HEAT TREATMENT, BUT FIVE DAYS HAVE PASSED AND WE ARE SEEING A FEW CRITTERS AGAIN…..
WILL BE REPORTING THEM TO THE APARTMENT MANAGER.
THEY HAD TO HERE BECAUSE WE HAVE NEVER HAD THIS PROBLEM BEFORE AND WE WERE LOOKED AT ACCUSINGLY AS IF WE HAD BROUGHT THEM HERE.
BED BUGS CAN STAY DORMANT FOR A YEATR WITHOUT FOOD AND I BELIEVE THEY DID UNTIL WE BECAME THEIR FOOD.


Nikki

May 28th, 2011 1:39 am

Aimee you are not the only one the landlord has told needed to be a better housekeeper. My landlord also told me the same thing when i first told him of the infestation. My apartment may not be immaculate (i have 2 young children) but bedbugs do not prefer ‘dirty’ living. They will live where ever there are people.

It is extremely demeaning to have someone tell you it’s your fault because your apartment isn’t spotless. The bedbug problem is in almost if not all of the apartments in our building (18 units total) and the landlord isn’t doing anything. We reported him to our local office last year because of the problem. We moved in and they were here we found out from neighbors. The office in town got him to spray (he did so only once with the promise to keep it going he hasn’t) we paid 25$ extra to him in December 2010 because he said he found a deal with a local exterminator to come spray twice a year for them (that also hasn’t happened)

I don’t know what to do anymore, my husband lost his job and i am a full time student trying to now find a job for the summer, we are pretty far behind on rent now because of lack of income (taxes did help us catch up) my husband asked our landlord today again about the problem and the landlord flat told him he wasn’t going to do anything about it!!!

This isn’t a problem we caused we were unfortunate and moved into it and the landlord knew about the problem before we did, and he said nothing to us. I don’t know what to do anymore, my children ages 2.5 and one year wake up every morning with so many bites on them it is ridiculous. Our youngest even will wake up in the middle of the night because of them biting. I too wake up because i can feel them biting me, most people don’t feel them but they are painful to me.

I would like some help with this.
Also i would like to know that if we should be blessed and become able to move are we able to print an article in the paper warning others of this complexes infestation?


Dayna

June 6th, 2011 12:48 pm

The last time I visited my cousins in Connecticut, they had bed bugs. Not fun. She eventually had to change to whole bed!


Worried

July 26th, 2011 3:48 pm

We got bed bug problem and reported it to the Apt management.
Apart from the derogatory looks we are being charged $800(for now which might increase later as in the pest control agreement) for the treatment and when I argued the price estimate was $550(which included the mattress encasement and climbups), the Mgmt lady said we would have to evict if we don’t agree to get the treatment from their pest control company.
Also, they have managed to pin it on us as I was not able to justify how we got them.
Would filing help us and if so, is there any way they would be able to evict us in case we do decide to complain.


Tommy Kilpatrick

July 27th, 2011 12:21 am

Hi all I have filed a complaint on here against Aids alabama they are refusing to treat my home and it is even under hud. They have sent me an email even before they got the complaint that they will give in and pay to treat them. They told me I had to move out while they treat the bugs though. I have no car and no where to go. I am trying to fix this as the place that is going to treat the house called cooks says i only need to be gone for 4 hrs after each treatment. Did yall have to move out? since they have made me move out I have had power turned off etc and it will cost me 190.00 to turn it back on. I found the bed bugs around the 10th or so of july and i am still homelss went in the house today only to find they have done nothing at all. I sure hope this site works for me going to try to get the 35.00 and the 19.00 back and 190.00 for power and I think my rent for july since i have not been in the house needs to be put towards my aug rent?????????


Anna

September 26th, 2011 7:20 pm

Hi,
I really hope someone can help me. I am writing to get some advice on behalf on a tentative and caring landlord, Jim. Jim called me a few hours ago informing me that one of his tenant of three years just called to tell him that she discovered bed bugs in her apartment and is asking him to pay for it. I understand that it sounds like bed bugs should be something the landlord should pay for, but after living at the apartment for three years though??? It sounds to me that the tenant might have brought the bed bugs into the apartment.

It is a two family house so I will call the first floor tenant tomorrow to make sure there is no issues with his unit. But if the first floor unit is perfectly fine, does Jim still need to pay for the bed bug treatment for the second floor? I don’t know much about the laws, but it seems quite unfair to me if Jim has to pay for bed bug treatments for a tenant who might have brought it in the house in the first place.

Any suggestions would be very help!


bedbugs

October 17th, 2011 11:14 pm

Bed bugs controlling and killing. At this time we do not know of any product that is in development specifically for bed bug control.we provide a list of do it yourself bed bug control pesticides treatments to kill.


Reenie

December 1st, 2011 10:16 am

Who is the RPA? I have not gotten the bed bugs, but I live in an apartment complex where I know postitively that five apartments have bed bugs, and one apartment that is infested they cannot go in for 30 days, because the person died in the apartment. So please who is the RPA, and do ypu have any other advice. Thank you for the information.


Maleaha B

December 4th, 2011 5:42 pm

I just resently found out that our building is infested with bed bugs, the only reason i found out is do to the bites i was waking up with and finally went to our aprtment management. They informed me that there was mulitple units that were completely infested. They paid for someone to come out and spray, told me that we caught it early and very few were found but again a week after the spray i am getting bit again. Everytime i look i find nothing, im not sure what to do at this point. I feel with the building being so infested this is going to be a ongoing situation. I spent $300 on bed bug mattress protectors and i can only hope this will help my situation but i still worry about my furniture and the baseboards where they can still live. Im also affraid to move out and bring them to my new living place.NOt sure what my rights are and what to do about my apartment..


Charli

December 5th, 2011 8:37 pm

A couple months ago I was being bitten and of course i thought it was mosquitos, then discovered the bed bugs, called and informed my landlord, she sent over a PCO, he inspected the apartment, sprayed some, i washed and dried all my laundry, told to wait two weeks and if i was still getting bitten to then call back, well today I just got a letter in the mail from the mgmt company asking that I reimburse them for the PCO treatment along with a copy of the lease i signed saying that the lanlord is not resposible for pest control due to tenant negligence. I do not believe I was negligent, but i am still confused as too if because the lease states this, that now i am responsible for the charges….Is there anyone who can possible clarify this for me? mind you when the lanlord contracted the pco she did not advise me of having to incur the charges ( so basically i had no choice in who or what in contracting the PCO)…need help asap>>>appreciate any response….


WantToMove

December 9th, 2011 6:00 am

Hi Ronnie,
I stumbled across your page and I’m hoping you can help me. I live in Los Angeles at a complex called Park La Brea. Sure, it looks fancy but little did I know my tower ( a NYC style 12 story building w/ about 15 units per floor) was infested with bed bugs. Back in October I started receiving notices that said that someone in an adjacent unit had a bed bug infestation and they would be coming by to spray for preventative measures. Though I was happy that management was doing something about it, I was very ticked off that they required that we move all of our own furniture away from the wall a certain distance and that if we did not, we would be charged for any new infestation because we didn’t follow rules. I understand the furniture can’t be near the wall but i’m 5’1 106 lbs and I literally lift 3lb weights at the gym, so I had to have a friend come and move my furniture every single time they sprayed which was 2 or 3 times. That’s not my main issue but annoying, nonetheless. Well, just before I was supposed to head home for Thanksgiving vacation 2 weeks ago I notice some bites on my arm. At first, I thought nothing of it but then it dawned on me and I’d remembered the bed bug infestation. Then I started googling and when I realized I had 3 bites I was beyond freaked out. But I can also convince myself of things either way so I wasn’t sure about anything other than that I was officially paranoid. As this was in the evening and I was supposed to fly the next morning, I toyed with what to do. I decided to go to the airport and call the service dept as soon as it opened at 8am. I did, and they told me to call back before the end of the business day CA time. When I did, I was informed that no bed bugs were found. I was relieved and when I returned home, I had a signed copy of the report from pest control saying that no bed bugs were found. Flash fwd to yesterday, Dec 8th. I had more bites and I insisted that pest control come back. This time, I was here and they brought a K9 and low and behold, they found bed bugs. When I demanded an answer from pest control on why they hadn’t found them before they claimed that “the K9 didn’t alert” but when he showed me the evidence on the box spring it was visible to the naked eye, so clearly they just didn’t look carefully. Now I have a written report that states I do have bed bugs. Clearly there is an issue w/ their pest control and they cannot contain infestation and this isn’t a suitable environment. I’ve been doing laundry literally for the past 12 hrs b/c they are coming in the morning for a big spray and I’ve washed EVERYTHING and stored it in plastic bins. Not only has this been a complete waste of time, but it’s been costly. Though they aren’t making me pay for treatment (yet, I’m sure that’s coming), I spent about $150 on plastic bins and $50 on laundry. They also said that I will need to repeat this process 2 more times for a total of 3 treatments which brings my laundry total to $150. I want to get this treated and get the f- out of here. Now, Park La Brea mgmt is notoriously shitty and generally do not allow you to break a lease w/out a hefty penalty. They also have a pest control page in our lease. But my father being an attorney, I know that just because it’s in the agreement, doesn’t mean it’s enforceable in the state of CA. Now, if you ask me, if you have a whole bed bug claus in your lease, you are aware that you have a problem. Anyway, I want to file a complaint to 1. make sure they pay for treatment 2. Get out of my lease without penalty since this is clearly a problem they can’t control and obviously this isn’t something I brought to the building since they were trying to take care of it. and 3. Recoup the money I have spent on supplies & laundry. I don’t mind going to small claims court if that’s necessary. Do you think these 3 are possible? And because my leasing company is so terrible, I feel like I’d rather file a complaint instead of talking to them b/c they will just give me the runaround and tell me I’m locked in. Please let me know what you think. Thanks!


gloria

January 13th, 2012 4:37 pm

Hi ! I live and work in a motel/hotel they have studios and one bedrooms they charge nightly, and weekly i have a one bedroom and i pay rent every two weeks cause thats when i get paid my room is infested with bed bugs along with alot of other rooms here and how i know is cause iam the cleaning maid. i put bugs in a jar took them to the office and manager said oh well you need to through the bed etc away. so i did i ask if their going to do anything call some one out they said no ! so i told them that i was going to buy my son a new bed etc and take it out of my rent. and i recently talked to the owners about it and nothing they arent going to do anything. and for that i dont feel i should have to pay my rent. they are now threatning me with getting fired if i dont


Sara

February 20th, 2012 11:23 am

Hi Ronnie,

Can you help me on a situation exactly same as yours? Can I email you?sorry I am kindda frustrated and don’t know anybody in this town.


jessica

April 18th, 2012 7:10 pm

Hi, im in michigan and i thought there was a law that if another tenet (my neighbor) has bed bugs that the landlords are by law supposed to tell the other tenets because the infestation can move up, down, left, right (that was my understanding) i live in number 4, my good friends in number 2 (very clean ppl) moved out abruptly finding our about the bed bugs, and my friend told me, the landlord was here this morning after i heard of her discovery i asked her whats up with so and so, she said “oh nothing”, i was furious, so i did a deep clean of my entire apartment and did not find anything, but our couch and bed are all dark and i have bad eyes, so tomorrow i have orkin coming to look for me…. recap is the landlords jobs to advise the other tenets of the infestation???


MENDOZA

May 29th, 2012 11:41 am

My question is: what will filing a report do, if my landlord is not registered with RPA?


Meg

June 9th, 2012 6:24 pm

Is the rental company also responsible for the treatment of clothing? Someone in my building spread bed bugs by leaving invested furniture on their back porch and we were not informed there was an investigation . Help?!


tracey

June 14th, 2012 8:55 pm

My apt is effected with bed bugs and i have been living in the same complex from past 5 years and recently i moved to different apt on the same complex. after 3 Monts i noticed bed bugs and My land Lord is asking me to pay the fees for the treatment. as per them i have signed a letter saying that i will be responcible for such things. can you please give me advise? is this really legal to pay? since i don’t have any bugs in my previous apt on the same complex and with new apt it was impacted, it means they gave apt with the bugs.

I will need your advise.


joanaf

July 11th, 2012 7:51 pm

I found a lonely bed bug on my kitchen floor, he seemed lost and lonely, i get really bad reactions and i dont have anything on me yet which leads me to believe that that guy was lost or that it’s just the begging. I contacted the condo office and got a letter today saying that on Tuesday the guys will be in there treating the apartment and -HERE’S THE PROBLEM- I HAVE TO WASH ALL MY CLOTHES & THEY HAVE TO BE IN PLASTIC BAGS THROUGHOUT THE TREATMENT & they’re not coming once, they’re coming for 3 Tuesdays one week apart. I’m Furious because I didnt contribute to this problem and they want me to wash my clothes (probably +15 cycles) and have my house be a complete mess for almost a month. So, my question is, do I have any right to make them pay for the wash and probably a folding service too? How about a discount on the rent for the month? I’m thankful that they’re paying for the treatment but since i had NOTHING to do with this and there were already rumors about there already being a bed bug problem in the condo. Thanks guys.


Heather

July 31st, 2012 1:55 pm

Question: I have moved into an apartment that is infested with bed bugs. They have been bombing and spraying for the past four months. Even though they are taking care of the problem by spring and bombing every time I tell them I have bed bugs, do I have to pay rent? I can’t unpack or sleep in my apartment because of the bed bugs, so why would I pay to “live” here? How do I get help to break my lease?


frustrated

August 27th, 2012 12:09 am

Im finding this post very helpful, but I have an additional question, I just moved in my apartment two weeks ago less than a week ago I began getting bit up within a few days I had over 100 bites all over me, anyway I notified my landlord right away they took three days to get it inspected by a pest control they contract with and claiming the inspection shows no bugs. I went away for four days being careful to not take any hitchhikers with me by follow the advice of orkin and also sealed my car in the hot weather for two days my bites started healing with no new ones til I came back home and its starting all over again. What can I do now when my landlord is refusing to do anything else?


Free Spirit

September 16th, 2012 3:50 am

OMW!! Thank You!!
5/1/2012 I moved into my Apt. And the week of June 10th started noticing WAY itchy welts. I dealt with it for about 1 ½ month’s thinking it was most likely just from sitting outside and this or that (no one else in the home was getting bit). I finally had enough and went to the Dr. and was told I was most likely having an allergic reaction (covered head to toe in bite’s) they prescribed me some Med’s and creams and sent on my way. 22 day’s later I was back. This time the Dr. sent me to a dermatologist because she was stumped. Dermatologist was stumped also. But they did use a razor blade and scrape some of the bite’s to look at under a microscope…thinking scabies maybe…. Nope wrong again. But they decided to treat it as if it was and gave me new creams to try and told me to clean all my bedding in hot water and hottest temp I could get on my dryer and everything else had to be cleaned to just to be on the safe side. So I got home that night from the Dr. and started in the bedroom with the bedding and bed. That was Aug. 23. In my cleanings that night I found nothing. Then on 9/14/2012 my boyfriend and I woke up and he had bites on his wrist and elbow! (Finally, I wasn’t alone in this anymore) We went and bought bombs (my bad) When I returned to my apt. After setting them off to clean up, I started by laying my bed back down to vacuum it…I have an issue. Live bugs were crawling on the box springs and the corners were OMW!! I left and went to my boyfriend’s house told him he called around and had someone there the next morning. It was confirmed-Bed Bugs. I called my Landlady and left a message a few minute’s later I get a text message saying, “she is out of town and has no reception where she is, she would talk to me tomorrow or I could text her tomorrow.” So I text her back and said, “Confirmed bed bugs in building. Please call me ASAP.” Then went my Apt. Building to informed the 4 other tenants of the situation and that the Bug guy was waiting to check their places if they wanted. In conversation with 1 of them I was told she had just got off the phone with the landlady (that not even 5 minutes earlier had no reception to talk to me.) I got a text back finally from the Landlady saying, “I can call you tomorrow. Thx.” In the last 24 hours I have made a timeline from when this all started to present. All my belongings I have had for the last 2 years in 2 different locations and they have no issues. I didn’t either till now!! THANK YOU FOR YOUR POST!!! I am going file and she can “call them tomorrow” Your post is helping many people and I am one of them now! I didn’t know what I was going to do now I have a somewhere start and work from! MOST THANKS FOR YOUR HELP IN GETTING ME HEADING IN THE RIGHT DIRECTION!!


Tired of no tenant rights in Maine

October 17th, 2012 2:59 pm

Thanks, that was a fantastic post! Sadly many landlords just plain don’t care. If it’s not their home they are living in and as long as they are collecting rent, that’s all that matters.


Rachael

October 30th, 2012 1:56 am

I recently have moved into a apartment and by recent I mean 3 months. I do not own much besides a bed,computer desk,and entertainment center. I have had a number of complaints since I moved in including a bathroom renovation because my tub was leaking and sinking into the downstairs apartment it had taken my apartment complex 4 weeks to fix this issue and by the way there still not done. My husband has lost a week worth of work because he works from home. 4 days we noticed red dots and almost like hives on our body”s after research I came home and tore our bed apart to find bedbugs. We have cleaned the carpets and went and reported the issue to our apartment and of course there saying it’s our fault and we have to cover the cost of the pest control. If I file with RPA do I run the risk of being evicted? This problem did not happen until they started there renovation which there denying saying they highly don’t believe they came from the walls. Please help me.


shawn

December 14th, 2012 7:39 am

You provide me good solution to fight with bed bugs, i was facing bugs problems too much. Now i will use your methods and it will be great relief for me.


Pat kumar

December 17th, 2012 4:26 pm

Hi Ronnie,
Thanks for all the information . In my case I received a letter from my in the month of Aug stating that my building is bedbug infested and all the apartments will be inspected for any possibility of bedbug infestation . The exterminator inspected my apartment and nothing was found.however, in oct we sensed some activity and they sent an exterminator for the sprays. After 2 weeks they sent us a bill for extermination and we called them and explained our part they totally blamed it on us. After that I wrote them a letter stating all the facts and it’s been more than 3 weeks there has been response from the Landlords side. Now the question is our lease is expiring end of this year and we are moving to a different state . We have to rent an apartment there starting jan 1st 2013. Please advice can they mention this problem in the new” Rental Verification From ” with the new apartment landloard. I have been staying in my present apartment for the past 5 years and we have never delayed our rent payments. Please advise Iam really worried if I’ll get another apartment or not?


Annabela

May 3rd, 2013 7:38 pm

Hi Ronnie,

My landlord is saying that since I signed the Bed Bug Addendum that I have full responsibility to pay the expense. Do I have any grounds to fight the addendum that I signed? Thank you so much.


T.H.

May 10th, 2013 3:50 pm

Filed a complaint about landlord saying they will charge us for the treatment, but they still forced me to do the treatment because in the lease it says tenant needs to comply with the landlords arrangement for bed bug treatment. If we don’t allow them to treat the apartment, they will terminate the lease (which is evicting us). So we had no choice but to let them treat it and thinking we could argue on who pays the expenses. Well they are not backing down and they just responded here saying that we are responsible for these expenses. If they could just respond back with that and force us to pay then what is the point for us to file a complaint here? Does it hurt their image when ever complaint is filed or does it just not do anything?


kathy b

August 13th, 2013 11:20 am

I ended up paying $ 500 for the treatment of bedbugs in my unit and my complaint with the RPA had no effects on my landlord. Don’t bother paying for the filing fees because RPA doesn’t negotiate or even talk to your landlord. You do all the work by yourself. This so called mediator doesn’t exist. All the RPA does is send whatever you wrote in you complaint center to landlord. I tried calling them for help but all they tell you is that they can’y do anything to help you. Don’t bother paying for no help. You can file a FREE complaint with your local BBB office and they are way more effective pressure wise on landlord especially in my case because my landlord was BBB accredited. I am waiting now for my local BBB agent response about refunding me the money of the treatment. I can call or email my BBB agent but RPA agent are out of reach or maybe they don’t exist because I couldn’t reach one of them. What a waste of my money


Eddie

August 23rd, 2013 1:41 am

Hi Ronnie, Thank you for the advice. My fiance’ found your posting and we read your advice, and I have to say if I had not heard about your story I would have never know about the right we have as renters. We’ve had bed bugs for a little over a year now, and we at first thought they were mosquitoes or fleas. We have a bug man who comes monthly and by what ive read on here about the bed bugs it makes since now why they haven’t gone away. He’s been spraying chemicals and they have just been getting worse. my whole family has been scarred by these little pests and when the landlord found out they said it was our fault and our responsibility to comply with the bug man who is really not helping, he hasn’t even come this month. We have replaced all our beds/beddings, and bought a steamer under his suggestion to try everything to get rid of them. We have been cooperative with them and they have not been with us and we’ve been afraid they were going to kick us out over this. We even have bed bug covers over our beds and still getting bit. we have filed a complaint and are waiting to hear what’s going to happen. We have spent over $5000 replacing our furniture and it seems like it was for nothing now because we are still battling them. Now we are curious about the others in the complex that had to do the same because we were all told to keep it confidencial, as they said it was under the privacy act to keep it to ourselves. My questions are will the RPA contact us or the landlord, and what will happen if they do not respond, also will we be able to get reimbursed for the money we spent replacing our furniture?


Jessica M.

September 5th, 2013 5:25 pm

I live in an apartment complex on a 2nd floor apartment. The apartment was infested before we moved in because the first night I stayed there, we still had not moved any of our belongings or furniture in and I was eaten alive in my sleep! The next day, all of our BRAND NEW FURNITURE that we spent thousands of dollars on was delivered and set up. I notified the leasing office of my bedbug issue immediately. They came out and exterminated the apartment with 3 separate treatments in a 3 week timespan. I considered the problem as resolved until about a month later, I was waking up with bites again. I notified them yet again, they did the extermination a second time. We are now 6 months into our 12 month lease and I am having the issue yet again. I honestly think the issue is coming from the surrounding apartments that keeps allowing the infestation to come back to me. I don’t know what to do because now all of my new furniture is still infested! I requested to be moved to another building AFTER they do a third extermination and they do not have anything else available. Are they responsible for replacing all of our infested furniture if the problem still exists once our lease is over? PLEASE HELP because I don’t know what to do!!!????


MikceyMarrino

September 9th, 2013 1:41 am

How do I review my published comments on my bed bug situation which I have expressed here?


MikceyMarrino

September 9th, 2013 2:01 am

Ronnie or anyone here, I just wanted to ask something. I filed a complaint about my bed bug problem this past Friday on 09/06/2013. How come I never received an email confirmation from them about my complaint report like I was supposed to? I gave them my correct email address. I’m just wondering what good this will do of me filing a complaint. Does a mediator contact me via email and lets me know what’s happening with my case? Do you know Ronnie? I’m just feeling a little skeptical as to why I haven’t received an email confirmation regarding my case number. Have any of you who are having bed bug problems just as I am ever thought about contacting the board of health in your area? That’s what I’m going to do exactly if my problem does not get solved with the RPA. I’m also going to contact HUD my case manager for this situation as well. All I know is that in the State of Florida Landlords are required for the cost of treatment of bed bugs when they are renting apartments. Any feedback to me would be extremely helpful. Anyone I would appreciate your feedback.


Mush

September 13th, 2013 2:28 pm

Hi Ronnie,

I am the first tenant of this apartment and have been living in it since last year november. I bought all the stuff brand new when i moved in. Last night I found a bed bug and called in the apartment administration guys. In my absence they brought and got it reviewed. Now they say that official has said my bed room is infested with bugs ( even though i checked the entire room and see no signs ) now they ask me to throw away my bed and ask me to pay for the charges. Am I still applicable to file this complaint at RPA


gee

October 5th, 2013 12:26 am

Bed bugs inside a home is a serious matter! If you have an extra sensitive skin and become the poor victim of these nasty bed bugs, chances are you will suffer longer since sensitive skins can actually become more prone to complicated skin infections/conditions. If you have a landlord that has an open ears and eyes to hear and see your situation, then good! But if your landlord is no way of being cooperative to helping you rid out of all these bed bugs in your rented home, then RPA can always help you file a complaint for a very low fee of $35. Imagine the cost of buying all these medical topical ointments to cure your bed bugs bite and worse, imagine yourself paying for all these people to help you rid out of these “unwanted guests” on your home. So rather become broke on spending with all these things, seek help directly from RPA and get your problem solved and come back to your neat and uninfested home.


Jose Abril

April 29th, 2014 11:27 pm

Interesting blog! Great job :)

Thank you!


nani

May 3rd, 2014 11:09 am

Just filed my complaint a couple of days ago.. not sure of what to expect.. Hopefully everything works out..


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