What to do when Faced with a Bedbug Problem at Your Rental Unit

What to do when Faced with a Bedbug Problem at Your Rental Unit

Utah is one of many states impacted by the recent bedbug infestation affecting homeowners and businesses. Although the bugs are harmless, they feed on human blood, making their meal rounds during the wee hours of the night as the host lay fast asleep. Bed bugs numb the host before a gnawing bite that leaves them swollen, itching, and numb. Many people are allergic to the analgesic the bug injects into the skin, causing even greater problems. The bugs multiple quickly, and the nuisance is one that can quickly leave life as a landlord unappealing and inefficient with a tarnished name and reputation.

BedBugs Facts & Important Information

Landlords should know enough about bedbugs to identify and resolve a problem in their rental unit. A few facts about bedbugs:

  • During the early stage of life some bedbugs are so small they’re nearly invisible. The average adult bedbug reaches a length of only 3/16 of an inch.
  • Bed bugs feed only on blood. They prefer a human host for their blood meal, but will occasionally feed on animal blood if a human host is unavailable.
  • Bedbugs can live over one-year without a meal.
  • A female bed bug will lay over 500 eggs during her lifetime.
  • It is extremely rare to spot a bedbug during the day. The creature is nocturnal, meaning it comes out only at night.
  • Despite the name, a bedbug will hide in more places than your bed, although this is a favorite hiding spot. Electrical outlets, dressers, sofas, and other dark locations are potential hiding spots for bedbugs.

Are Landlords Responsible for Bedbug Pest Control?

Landlords in Utah are responsible for pest control for all their tenants and may not evict a tenant or charge them for pest control after reporting a problem with bed bugs. Instead, a landlord should work with the tenant to rid the unit of bedbugs and prevent the infestation from growing. As the owner of a property, a problem with bedbugs isn’t an issue that you want to deal with. The problem can become a major pain very quickly. If a tenant reports an issue with bedbugs, respond promptly to the request. Letting bed bugs persist in a rental home quickly causes major problems and can destroy your reputation as a landlord. No one wants to live with bedbugs, including tenants renting from you.

Is it Bedbugs?

Before phoning a pest control company, ensure the tenant has searched their bedding and furniture for signs of bedbugs. The bugs themselves are small, brown in color, and oftentimes resemble a tick. Blood spots, droppings, and shells are all signs of a bedbug problem. If the tenant doesn’t find any signs of bed bugs, phone an exterminator to perform an inspection. It is possible the tenant has spotted fleas or roaches, but any pest problem should be addressed immediately. Professional pest control companies can diagnose the pest problem, whether it is bedbugs or something else. Many offer an inspection at no cost, though some may charge nominal fees for the service. Request estimates from two to three local companies to find a low-cost or free inspection service, as well as the best prices for pest control services.

If a bedbug infestation is found at the property, the exterminator will begin treatment immediately. Although treating bedbugs with one treatment is possible most pest control companies require two or more treatments for effective bed bug elimination. Tenants may need to wash their clothing and bedding several times. They may also need to bag stuffed animals and other unwashable items for 30 days to kill any bedbugs. In extreme cases, furniture may even need to be replaced.

Working with Tenants to Resolve Bed Bugs Issues

Educating tenants about bedbugs and helping ease the embarrassment of reporting a problem with bed bugs are two effective methods of minimizing issues at your rental properties. No matter how many visits the pest control company makes to treat the home, without full cooperation and assistance from the tenant, the problem will never be resolved. It is imperative that your tenants understand the importance of bedbug treatment immediately upon discovery of a problem. Not only will this save you time and money, it also reduces the risk of a tarnished reputation. No one wants to live in a home infested with bedbugs, but news of such a problem can travel quickly if you aren’t responding to the problem.

Utah Property Managers Handle Bedbug Problems

If a property management company in Utah handles the rental of your property, they’ll also handle any issues that arise concerning bedbugs at your rental unit. Tenants should direct their calls to the property management company, however, this doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t stay informed of the advancements in the bedbug infestation at your property. When everyone works diligently to rid the property of bed bugs, the problem doesn’t stand a chance!