Every state most likely has guidelines and policies in place for controlling infestations and other nuisances. As residents of Arizona, are you aware of the policies our state holds up? Check out the article below to learn about what you should do if you see bed bugs where you live.
Arizona law outlines bed-bug protocol
Scoring a great deal from a buddy who is moving, or “rescuing” a recliner from the alley can make furnishing an apartment cheap and easy.
However, free mattresses and couches can bring unexpected guests with them. Bed bugs (and their eggs!), can live on these items, and once you bring them home, they will move in permanently unless you do something about it.
Bed bugs are a growing presence in all 50 fifty states, and once they have infested an apartment, it’s important to address the problem immediately. Bed bugs don’t typically don’t spread disease, but it’s important that you get rid of these bugs. Arizona is one of the few states with in the nation which has passed laws about how to address this problem.
Sometimes you may not even see an actual bed bug, but you may see small blood spots that they leave behind (bed bug poop?), a tell-tale sign that you have bed bugs. Small, itchy bites on the skin are also another sign that you have bed bugs. They feed on humans, and their bites can cause small skin irritations on the skin. They hide in lots of places where people tend to be, couches and beds //in// particular. When they are not active, you might be able to spot them hiding in the seams or in the folds of curtains or cushions, or along the baseboards of in the carpet.
It’s important to work with your apartment management company or owner when you think you have bed bugs, and there are very specific “bed bug rules” under Arizona law which both the landlord and tenant must follow. They say infestations may have already spread to more than one apartment, and your managers must bring in a licensed professional to assess and treat the problem.
Residents shouldn’t try to treat a bed-bug problem on their own. Over-the-counter treatments may make the problem worse, and under state law, you could be legally liable for the costs of treating the affected apartments if you don’t follow the correct procedures.
Here’s what to do if you think you have bed bugs:
1. Notify your apartment manager or owner immediately. They will brief you on their specific bed-bug protocol for addressing bed bugs.
2. Do not try to treat these bugs yourself! Do not buy any hardware//-//store pesticide and spray them. Over-the-counter treatments may worsen make the problem worse, and under state law, you could be legally liable for the costs of treating the affected apartments if you don’t follow the correct procedures.
3. Ask your apartment manager or owner what they recommend about your personal items like clothes and furniture. They will typically recommend washing clothing and sheets in hot water.
Arizona’s bed-bug law applies only to apartments (single//-//family homes are exempt), and the law states that you have three business days to notify your landlord in writing that you suspect that you have bed bugs. The landlord must have a a licensed pest-control professional inspect your unit with//in// seven days of after receiving your written notice. They will have an inspection done by a licensed pest-control professional. Bed bugs move fast, so they will likely also inspect units near yours to see whether if other apartments have been infested, too. Your management company will work with you to treat your unit. In addition, your apartment manager will likely have protocols for you to follow to clean your personal items to ensure that all of the bed bugs are gone. This could include washing clothing and sheets in hot water. If you don’t follow these protocols, and the issue continues, your management company may be able to charge you for the full cost of treating your unit and other affected apartments.
Tom Simplot is president and CEO, of the Arizona Multihousing Association, which represents ethical rental housing providers in legislative, legal and regulatory matters.