Legal Rights for Bed Bug Infestation

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By an edhat reader

I live in an apartment complex in Santa Ynez Valley. I have discovered bedbugs in my apartment that have been feasting on me already for a month. I get huge welts but I kept washing my bedding and cleaning and couldn't locate any. So I kept thinking they might be fleas.

Last night the bedbugs came out. I took a photo, filed a request to my building supervisor, they came and looked on Friday but say they can't fumigate until Monday. (I had a serious roach problem before I moved in that they had to take care of but I didn't make a big stink for paying for the days that I could not stay in my apartment as I was just moving in.) There is no way I am the source of the bedbug problem. I think it happened from doing laundry in the communal laundry room and might have hitched a ride on my laundry bag.

THERE Is no way I am staying in my apartment for the next 3 nights. Last night I slept with the lights on after spraying all around the bed and inspecting it. This time I don't want to pay for the nights I can't stay there and need to stay somewhere else. The building is slightly sketchy. They have made tons of improvements but I bet some of my other neighbors have bedbugs but don't want to draw attention to it as they don't want to be kicked out. (The building is gentrifying).

I do have renter's insurance but need to read my policy. I think my deductible is like $1000 or $500. Any advice appreciated. I did contact the Health Department but haven't heard back.

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Mas Gaviota Mar 24, 2018 10:44 AM
Legal Rights for Bed Bug Infestation

A natural solution, the house centipede. These bad boys feast on bedbug and other pests. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scutigera_coleoptrata

JoseLindsey Mar 24, 2018 05:09 AM
Legal Rights for Bed Bug Infestation

Thank you for sharing and letting people know about the legal rights for Bed Bug Infestation. In case, you are worried about using some poisons to kill bed bugs then you can also take help of some professionals like Pest Control Stratford CT(http://www.yalepest.com/stratford-pest-exterminators), New Haven County CT, Naugatuck CT, New-Haven-County CT, Wallingford CT, Ridgefield CT, etc as they know all the legal policies and know how to deal with the problems the better way so that the bed bugs would not disturb you again.

CivilEngineer Dec 04, 2017 08:37 AM
Legal Rights for Bed Bug Infestation

Another consideration is living in a place that has been fumigated with something toxic enough to kill bedbugs. Make sure you air the place out thoroughly with a bunch of fans before coming back in. We used one of those flea bombs in our house and must not have aired it out enough because both of us had numbness in our hands for a while after that and kept dropping dishes and breaking them.

a-1524538912 Dec 04, 2017 12:24 PM
Legal Rights for Bed Bug Infestation

Thank you. When I was still trying to figure out what was biting me - I started treated my apartment for Fleas and BedBugs. I used this stuff called Eco-Warrier which despite its cedar smell - it is pretty strong stuff. Once I actually confirmed it was bed bugs, threw out all my throw carpets and treated the areas - after 3 sleepless nights - none have shown up. That said I have found the microscopic baby bedbugs so it still needs to be treated even if I killed the adult ones. It is really the nightmare that you never want to happen to you.

Luvaduck Dec 02, 2017 01:55 PM
Legal Rights for Bed Bug Infestation

If you do stay in your apartment, wrap the mattress in heavy plastic. Won't cure the problem but will help temporarily.

SBCountyLocal Dec 02, 2017 07:47 AM
Legal Rights for Bed Bug Infestation

You have rights. I have provided a link for some general information on this. That said, it would be a good idea if you talk to other tenants and get an email or text message from them saying that there has been a problem before you moved in and what it was. If the landlord knew before you moved in that would be a big problem for him or her. https://www.nolo.com/legal-encyclopedia/landlord-responsibility-bed-bugs.html

a-1524538912 Dec 04, 2017 12:40 PM
Legal Rights for Bed Bug Infestation

For someone who "loves" armchair lawyers, you sure don't know squat about the law. The plaintiff (likely the tenant OP here) does not need to prove they did not bring the bedbugs, they just need to show that by a "preponderance of the evidence", the landlord acted negligently in some way that resulted in the plaintiff's damages. Please do not tell people they have "no rights" if you don't even know the basics of civil law.

a-1524538912 Dec 04, 2017 12:15 PM
Legal Rights for Bed Bug Infestation

Thank you. Actually my renter's insurance covers a hotel for this type of thing but I have a fairly large deductible. I did talk to my neighbors as I wanted to warn them and let them know. I know my lifestyle and despite insinuation otherwise, I know they showed up after doing laundry in the laundry room. Probably transferred at the bottom of the laundry bag when I washed my bedding. I know it is a like a tenant said/landlord said type of deal. Fear of eviction is one of the reasons that I hear that people don't inform their landlord or tell their neighbors. As it is, I think it is in the best interest of the landlord to take care of it so it doesn't spread to other units and they get to keep a tenant. It is more expensive for them if I move out even if they kept my deposit. I provide steady income and I am pretty quiet/low key compared to some of my neighbor's personal problems that spill out with irate exes showing up, the police, huge break-ups & sudden move outs.

a-1524538912 Dec 04, 2017 09:05 AM
Legal Rights for Bed Bug Infestation

I love these armchair lawyers who post links to Nolo and mislead people. You do not have rights unless they supplied the bedding and unless you can prove that you did not introduce them yourself which is nearly impossible.

a-1524538912 Dec 01, 2017 06:36 PM
Legal Rights for Bed Bug Infestation

Nothing you can do because you cannot prove that you didn't bring the bedbugs in yourself....good luck with that. My recommendation is to clean your bed thoroughly, throw out all of your bedding/pillows, then encircle your bed with powdered silica gel (you can buy cat litter and grind it up yourself....I think 'Johnny Cat' is the brand we used). Please don't be ashamed if you have bedbugs....like the old saying goes, "Bedbugs, bedbugs, dirty little bedbugs. We gonna send you to Bedbug Heaven...by Seven!!"

a-1524538912 Dec 04, 2017 12:29 PM
Legal Rights for Bed Bug Infestation

Although I have been ashamed of the bites, I am not at all ashamed nor secretive that I have had roaches & bedbugs in the same rental unit. I have never had any sort of pest issue in any of my previous rentals/houses and have always been especially careful when I have travelled with where I put my bag & clothes. I have travelled the world and lived in large cities yet ironically the only places I have ever encountered roaches has been in SB County (restaurants & now this place). Now that I have talked to neighbors, I know this complex has a pest issue that has needed to be addressed several times. Now I understand why the complex has such high turnover.

a-1524538912 Dec 01, 2017 05:36 PM
Legal Rights for Bed Bug Infestation

Hno way to prove they are liable for the bugs - so sadly I think you will need to just find a cheap place for the weekend and ride it out. I don't think they are obligated to pay anything in fact., even if they have to fumigate for termites. It's not their fault. Imagine if people were scared of roaches the liability that would ensue.

a-1524538912 Dec 01, 2017 04:57 PM
Legal Rights for Bed Bug Infestation

I'm sorry for your inconvenience but if you've been living with the problem for a month another 3 days isn't going to kill you. I'd say it's great the building super is willing to fumigate the place on Monday. If you can't wait that long bomb the place yourself.

a-1524538912 Dec 04, 2017 12:04 PM
Legal Rights for Bed Bug Infestation

OP here: Obviously you have never been bitten by bed bugs. You wake up with like 20+ huge quarter size welts on your arms, hands, neck and back. They itch like crazy and you can't stop yourself from itching so I now have scars. Although they don't carry disease, they do turn you into a sleepless, quivering, wreck as you feel like they are on you all the time, it is impossible to fall asleep or stay asleep. You never want to turn the lights out for fear they will come out. Plus the fact that I can't exactly show up at work with huge bites all over me and expect the 80+ people here to understand as the stigma is huge.

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