Does Your State Law Say Anything About Bed Bugs?


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Rachel Bell

posted onMay 21st, 2018

Bed bugs are horrifying. The mere thought of bed bugs strikes a deep fear within me, shaking me to my core. Theyre a big concern for anyone renting housing, and in more active rental markets they can be scarily common. After learning that bed bugs are more likely to breed and feed (ew) in the summer months, I decided to look into the laws that surround pest infestation in the United States.

Only 21 states have laws regulating bed bug infestation; some of those state laws only deal with hotels and offer no guidance to landlords. While a rental property infested with bed bugs would likely be seen as being actively in violation of the warranty of habitability, a specific law addressing bed bugs will offer you some protection and peace of mind. Find your state below to see whether your state requires landlords to take action when it comes to bed bugs.

Alabama

Alabama state law addresses bedbug infestations in hotels, but there is no law that specifically requires landlords to deal with an infestation in a rental unit.

Alaska

Alaska state law does not address bed bugs.

Arizona

Arizona state law requires landlords to give bed bug educational materials to all tenants. Its against the law for a landlord to knowingly rent a unit that is infested with bed bugs. Tenants are legally barred from bringing any belongings that are infested into a rental unit. At the same time, Arizona law prevents cities and towns from implementing laws about bed bugs unless the laws control how to dispose of any items that are infested.

Arkansas

Arkansas state law does not address bed bugs. Another reason to not rent in Arkansas.

California

California state law states that it is illegal for a landlord to show or rent any unit that has a bed bug infestation. If a unit is inspected by pest control, a landlord must report to the tenants the results of the inspection within 2 days. Landlords are required to provide tenants with educational material about bed bugs when they move in.

Colorado

Colorado state law does not address bed bugs.

Connecticut

Connecticut state law sets guidelines for both landlords and tenants when it comes to handling bed bugs. Tenants must promptly notify a landlord orally or in writing if they suspect that their unit is infested. Landlords then have 5 days to have the unit inspected and report the results to the tenant within 2 days. If the unit is infested, the landlord has 5 days to get it treated by a pest control professional. Your landlord is barred from renting a unit that they know is infested. Connecticuts law surrounding bed bugs is one of the most specific ones in the country - it even demands that a landlord vacuum before treating a unit for pests.

Delaware

Delaware state law does not address bed bugs.

Florida

Florida state law says that landlords are required to take reasonable steps to exterminate bed bugs in a rental unit.

Georgia

Georgia state law demands that hotels exterminate any pests, but offers no legal guidance for landlords.

Hawaii

Hawaii state law does not address bed bugs.

Idaho

Idaho state law does not address bed bugs.

Illinois

Illinois state law does not offer any landlord-specific guidance on how to handle bed bugs. The only state law that mentions bed bugs says that railroad operators cant operate unless they know their train is free of pest infestation.

Indiana

Indiana state law does not address bed bugs.

Iowa

Iowa state law only speaks to bed bugs in migrant labor camps. Helpful.

Kansas

Kansas state law defines a bed bug infestation as an imminent health hazard.

Kentucky

Kentucky state law does not address bed bugs.

Louisiana

Louisiana state law does not address bed bugs.

Maine

Maine state law demands that, if a tenant notifies a landlord of a bed bug infestation, the landlord must conduct an inspection of the unit within 5 days. If the unit is infested, the landlord has 10 days to schedule a treatment from an insured pest control company. A landlord has to tell any prospective or new tenants if a unit or its surrounding units have are currently infested, and cannot rent any infested unit. If your landlord fails to follow this law, they will be forced to pay at least a $250 penalty fee, and possibly pay for any damages.

Maryland

Maryland state law does not address bed bugs.

Massachusetts

Massachusetts state law does not address bed bugs.

Michigan

Michigan state law does not address bed bugs.

Minnesota

Minnesota state law only addresses bed bug infestations in hotels and nursing homes.

Mississippi

Mississippi state law does not address bed bugs.

Missouri

Missouri state law does not address bed bugs.

Montana

Montana state law does not address bed bugs.

Nebraska

Nebraska state law only addresses bed bugs by saying two things: you are allowed to treat for bed bug infestations outdoors as long as you take steps to prevent drift or runoff of the chemicals, and any housing facility for developmentally disabled people must take steps to prevent infestations.

Nevada

Nevada state law only addresses bed bug infestations in hotels or labor camps.

New Hampshire

New Hampshire state law restricts landlords from renting bed bug infested units. Landlords are required to periodically inspect all of their rental units for infestation. If a landlord tells a tenant that a treatment for bed bugs has been scheduled and the tenant fails to give the necessary access to the unit, the landlord has the right to evict the tenant. Landlords are financially responsible for bed bug treatments and are legally required to investigate any report of infestation from a tenant.

New Jersey

New Jersey stare law does not address bed bugs.

New Mexico

New Mexico state law does not address bed bugs.

New York

New York state law only addresses bed bug infestations in public schools. New York City law demands that all landlords give new tenants a form detailing the propertys history of bed bug infestation that goes back one year. New York City law also demands that your landlord take care of (aka pay for) treatment to get rid of bed bugs.

North Carolina

North Carolina state law does not address bed bugs.

North Dakota

North Dakota state law does not address bed bugs.

Ohio

Ohio state law only addresses bed bug infestations in hotels.

Oklahoma

Oklahoma state law does not address bed bugs.

Oregon

Oregon state law demands that any facts about a bed bug infestation remain confidential.

Pennsylvania

Pennsylvania state law only addresses bed bug infestations that occur in seasonal farm labor camps.

Rhode Island

Rhode Island state law does not address bed bugs.

South Carolina

Sourth Carolina state law does not address bed bugs.

South Dakota

South Dakota state law only addresses bed bug infestations that occur in vacation homes.

Texas

Texas state law defines a bed bug infestation as a public health nuisance and requires anyone aware of an infestation to take steps to treat it.

Utah

Utah state law does not address bed bugs.

Vermont

Vermont state law does not address bed bugs.

Virginia

Virginia state law does not address bed bugs.

Washington

Washington state law does not address bed bugs.

West Virginia

West Virginia state law only addresses bed bug infestations in hotels.

Wisconsin

Wisconsin state law only addresses bed bug infestations in businesses.

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Does Your State Law Say Anything About Bed Bugs?

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