If your property hasn’t experienced a bed bug issue yet, chances are greatly increasing that you just may soon. Especially, if you own or manage a property in the Greater Sacramento and Bay Areas.
The San Francisco/Oakland area has been vastly rising in the national ranks over the past few years, reaching #9 on most lists of the top bed bug infested cities across the nation; Sacramento may not have cracked the top 50 this year, but we may see them soon, as other lists have them ranking #1 in total increase of reported activity. Some reports are reporting as high as a 54% increase over the previous year.
There is no silver bullet in bed bug control, but there are certainly ways to head off the spread of bed bugs throughout your property. It’s imperative to have a regular inspection process as part of your bed bug management program. Some of the worst cases that I have seen have gone unreported for long periods of time, not because of lack of detection on the tenants part, but for many other reasons from embarrassment, fear of financial responsibility, mental health issues, illness, fear of eviction, etc. Some people have absolutely no reaction to the bites and do not seem to be bothered by the presence of these pests in their home. Bottom-line, if you are only relying on tenants to report activity, you may be setting yourself up for quite the nightmare.
Self-treatment can not only lead to poor results in the affected unit, but most often leads to the spread of these pests in to unsuspecting neighboring units. Just visit any grocery or hardware store and you will see a host of deterrent products that will push pests in to neighboring units. Pyrethrin, or Pyrethroid based products that are not only highly deterrent, bed bugs are continuing to show higher and higher levels of resistance to these products, as time goes on.
Tenants and maintenance often use foggers, which disperses pyrethrins throughout the unit as a whole space treatment. Which only leads to the further spread of these blood sucking creatures.
Pictured here is a bed bug infested bed from a unit that obviously had an issue for a long period of time. This unit never reported a pest issue. The infestation was actually discovered after reports of “bugs” in a neighboring units kitchen. We requested to inspect all neighboring units, where we discovered this infestation, along with 4 empty bed bug foggers.
Your other options are organic materials that are typically formulated of Clove Oil, Peppermint Oil, Citric Acid and various other similar ingredients. These products can be very effective when direct contact is made. These products are highly deterrent, even more so than the earlier mentioned products and provide very little to no residual control. Now, our attack on bed bugs is not completely absent of organic materials, we often use these materials in our arsenal, they are simply a tool in the toolbox that we use in our incorporated efforts for control. These products can be great contact killers on couches and mattresses, but may not be the best control method when facing the possibility of pushing pests in to neighboring units or areas difficult to gain control, like along a baseboard, or wall socket to where it can be very easy to push them further in to a wall void.
1. Civil Code 1942.5-Prohibits a landlord from retaliating against a tenant who has reported a suspected bed bug infestation. See full law below
2. Civil Code 1954.602-Prohibits a landlord from showing, renting or leasing a unit that the landlord knows has bed bugs.
3. Civil Code 1954.603-Requires that a specific bed bug notice be given to all tenants, with specific language listed under “Information about bed bugs” and must be in at least 10 point font. Include information about bed bug appearance, life cycle, bed bug bites, common signs and symptoms. It should also include 2 specified websites and laws pertaining to the tenants rights. Landlords must notify tenants about the procedure for reporting suspected infestations to the landlord.
4. Civil Code 1954.604-Requires landlords to conduct follow up treatment not only of infected units, but all surroundings until bed bugs are eliminated.
5. Civil Code 1954.605- Bed bug laws require landlords to notify tenants within two business days of receiving the pest control operator’s findings after an inspection.