Help my Apartment has bedbugs!

By Christie Benson

Help my apartment is infested with bedbugs!  I can’t sleep, so I did a google search and found the RPA.  Anyone have any ideas on what I can do?  It seems like my bedbug problem has escalated a lot during the last 2 weeks.  Now its unbearable and I can’t sleep a wink.  

Apartment Bedbugs
I’ve talked to my apartment manager and she didn’t act concerned or surprised.  The reaction worried me becuz it seemed like she has heard this complaint before.  She wouldn’t do anything to help me.  She said I needed to deal with it at my own cost.  Is that true?  I called a few places and the prices ranged from $200 to $1200.  Why the big difference?  Can’t my landlord be held responsible?

Help my Apartment is becoming a living nightmare.  What do I do?  I saw the RPA complaint thingy– should I try that option?
 
Please help me!
Christie

Edited on: Wednesday, June 16th, 2010 1:06 am

9 Responses to “Help my Apartment has bedbugs!”

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

Kerrie

June 16th, 2010 12:55 am

Hey Christie,
I just read your post and can’t help but respond.  I too have been suffering with apartment bedbug problems.  You’re not alone.  So just remember, although bedbugs are a nuisance they cannot cause you any real harm.  The itchy skin is caused by the anticoagulant in their saliva that numbs your skin when they feed.  It sounds much worse than it is.  There are no known diseases transferred from bedbugs to humans.
 
Hopefully that will put you at ease.  I know it helped me when I learned that bedbugs can’t really hurt me.
 
You do have some legal options available to you.  You can take your landlord to court, if you can afford that option?  Or you can file a complaint with the RPA.  I couldn’t afford an attorney so I filed my bedbug complaint with the RPA.  There is a $35 processing fee, but I was fine with that.  So far the agent assigned to my case has been extremely helpful.  That alone has been a huge help.  Right now the Agent is dealing with the landlord to find a fair solution.  So far the landlord has agreed to waive rent during the time of infestation.  Not sure if he is going to pay for the entire treatment or not.  I guess we’ll have to see.
Don’t worry, there is help!!  Like you I too was stuck.


Sherry

June 16th, 2010 9:33 am

I’m not really sure what you legal options are, but I can tell you to NOT use any type of chemical sprays.  I paid to have a company come out and treat my home.  Originally they told me it would take 2 visits… after the 7 visit I decided to do som more research on bedbug treatment options.  I was shocked to find that the chemical treatments are known to be uneffective, yet are still pushed by exterminators.  I immediately dropped them and hired a bedbug specialist to come in and treat my home. 

DON’T USE CHEMICAL BEDBUG TREATMENTS!!  They don’t work and will cost you a fortune.  So far I’ve spent over $1000 on non-effective chemical treatments.   Not sure why the original extermination company would really want to completely rid me of my bedbug problem; wouldn’t that mean that I wouldn’t have to call them and give them more money?  Seems like a great business method to continue to treat my home time and time again.


Renter Protection Agency » Help my Apartment has bedbugs! | Large Apartment Blog

June 16th, 2010 8:23 pm

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dana

June 17th, 2010 9:03 am

Ive recently discovered that i have bedbugs. if you are experiencing the same problem then you know exactly how i feel ie., dirty, violated, ashamed, embarrassed etc. not to mention i haven’t slept in nearly 3 months, i put out hundreds of dollars to rid of the infestation on exterminating alone. i replaced all bedding and intend to have a carpet cleaner stem clean the carpets as well as all furniture including in the mattress. sadly my mattress is just about 2 years and a very good one so i did not want to replace it. my landlord did not cover any expenses and was not sympathetic at all. any help or advise is greatly appreciated.


Cj

September 21st, 2010 3:30 pm

I definitely know how you feel. I can’t sleep without wondering what will be climbing on me during the night. I fall apart during the day from lack of sleep and everyone around me sees it. I don’t want to go to my friends house or my parents for fear they might be in my bag or clothes (which contrary to what some people say are ways of spreading them). I’m being quarentined by my family.
Ontop of all that I just started a new job, am a first time renter and start school on the 27th. I have had enough. We have to take control of the situation and the infestation. I went around my apartment building and found out about the other apartments. I wanted to see if they were infested. I got on the county government website so i knew my rights and found a landlord complaint line as well.
The county doesn’t want bed bugs in their County as much as you don’t want them in your living space. The landlord is bound by The Seattle Housing and Building Maintenance Code which states under Duties of Owners and Tenants, 22.206.160 Duties of owners:

“3. Exterminate insects, rodents and other pests which are a menace to public health, safety or welfare…

KNOW YOUR RIGHTS!!!!! HERE IS THE DOCUMENT …….http://www.seattle.gov/dclu/codes/hbmccode.pdf or look up “The Seattle Housing and Building Maintenance Code “


ichy widow

October 13th, 2010 2:44 am

This a question. Don’t you have to hire a pest control company to verify that you have bed bugs before you file a complaint?


Anonymous

March 24th, 2011 1:26 pm

The RPA will allow you to file a complaint, with our without verification from a pest control company. If you feel there might be bedbugs, I would file right away. If you you want to pay to have a pest control company come and to verify first then do. But either way, you’ll want to have legal paper trail documenting the issue. If you wait to file a complaint you might get stuck holding the bill. The more time you allow to pass, the bigger the infestation will grow.


logiciel turf

June 5th, 2011 2:39 pm

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R

September 24th, 2011 5:44 am

Christie-
This is an awful ordeal. As for culpability, I think that your landlord should be responsible for paying for treatment (your infestation may have come from adjacent apartments, after all!), but I’m not sure about the laws. If you can have someone with a legal background draft a letter to your landlord, this might pursuade them of their responsibility. In any case, you will need their cooperation and action to solve this problem that the building is having.

It is a myth that bedbugs always live in mattresses: they often live in other places, such as inside your walls. If there are tiny cracks between your floor and baseboards, for example, the bugs can hide in the walls where an exterminator’s spray will not kill them.

Here is some advice that worked for me. Your landlord should make sure (and pay for) the following to happen in ALL affected units:

First, wash all the clothing and linens you can, being sure to put them in a hot dryer for a while. (In fact, I think it would suffice to skip the washing and just put them in the dryer: such high heat kills bedbugs pretty quickly.) Put the cleaned clothes in sealed trash bags or something like that. Then have maintenance caulk your apartment thoroughly! They should fill any gaps between baseboards and the floor, and anywhere else that the bugs could possibly travel through to get in from inside the walls. Then, have an exterminator spray/steam your home for bedbugs. (If you have fabrics that shouldn’t be washed, if you leave them out for this then you should be okay.) Also have the exterminator take a look at your mattress, couches etc. – if any of those is infested, ask her/him if it can be treated or should just be disposed of. (In this case, leave it out on the curb with a big warning sign!) This should take care of the problem.

Have hope! You are not alone. And remember: having bedbugs is NOT a sign that your home is unclean, or that you have done anything wrong!


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