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Some states have had laws regarding bedbugs, infestations, and their control since the early 1900s when bedbugs were a significant pest. Then, as bedbug infestations waned, so too did bedbug laws. But as the 21st century continues to see a resurgence of the tiny biting bugs, states began reassessing their laws, with many updating or adding new regulation.
According to the EPA, there are 21 states that have some level of law or regulation that applies to bed bugs, nine of which have been enacted since 2005. Requirements focus on hotels and landlords or other property managers. The National Conference of State Legislatures lists the following states as having laws addressing bedbug infestations:
NCSL also has compiled a table providing the statute and a brief summary of the current regulations of these states. A few examples of the summaries are:
Although EPA regulates pesticides that can be used against bedbugs, its jurisdiction does not include the state regulations governing the management or reporting of bedbugs. However, the EPA includes a document prepared by the National Pest Management Association staff that provides in-depth detail on State Bed Bug Specific Laws and Rules. These rules were updated in July 2013, but because states continue to propose and enact new laws, EPA recommends that you check with your state for any changes or new laws. Additionally, some states allow cities and municipalities to enact regulation, so local laws should also be checked.
One example of local regulation is that of Chicago, which passed an ordinance in 2013 to help alleviate the bedbug problem. The ordinance established requirements for both landlords and tenants of rental housing as well as requiring condominium and cooperative building associations to have written bedbug plans. The law also:
The city also provides some multi-lingual fact sheets and checklists including a Consumer Watch bulletin on Buying a Mattress, many of which apply to anyonewhether you live in Chicago or Illinois or any other city or state of the U.S.
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