What to do When Your Rental Property Has Bed Bugs

Owner Nightmare:   Bedbugs are Inconvenient and Costly

Bed bugs were common globally until the early 1940s when they were mostly eradicated due to the use of DDT. Bedbugs returned when DDT was banned in 1972 and infestation of human habitats has increased since 1995, due to resistance to approved pesticides, increased international travel, high population density, and other factors. Bed bugs in hotels have made headlines lately, but what about bed bugs in rental homes? Kyle Johnson, Manage at Real Property Management Northern Utah, says “Considering how many properties are rented, thankfully bed bugs are a rare occurrence for us.”

A woman changing sheets on a bed

If a bedbug situation arises however, it should be dealt with immediately as bugs can live up to 400 days without a human host. “After a property was vacated following a past eviction,” Kyle said, “we sent someone to do initial pest control as there were signs of roaches, and an infestation of bed bugs was discovered as well. We discussed the situation with the property owner and had a full treatment performed which included holes drilled in the baseboards, heat treatment, and thorough cleaning afterward. The property owner was pleased we addressed the situation quickly and professionally.” Your Real Property Management team mitigates your risk by being knowledgeable on state and local laws, including health department laws, as well as suggesting qualified pest control companies for preventive maintenance.

Pest control is usually a tenant responsibility, except in multi-family housing or in certain states such as California. If bed bugs are discovered, your property manager should work with you to address the situation quickly to preserve your property while simultaneously following up with the tenants regarding their responsibility.

Keeping the house clean, conducting regular inspections and having a pest control company evaluate your property prior to a tenant moving in can minimize the risks and costs associated with bed bugs and other insects. If bed bugs are discovered, unfortunately it is after the fact. Your Real Property Management team helps manage the process of hiring a qualified pest control company and setting expectations with the residents as the process may require multiple treatments over several months.  

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