If you’ve finally decided to downsize to a smaller residence and rent out that bungalow you bought years ago, or that vacation cottage that you rarely get to anymore, or even that spare couple of rooms over the garage, you’ve entered the world of the landlord. These days, as never before, landlords need to be well educated about their responsibilities concerning bed bugs.
Here’s a quick guide:
According to the Environmental Protection Agency, landlords should first find out about the regulations and laws that apply to the location of the property. Then, train yourself and anyone else who will be managing the property how to identify bed bugs and to inspect for signs of their presence.
Landlords should also have a plan in place for dealing with bed bugs, rather than waiting until a problem presents itself. Provide guidelines to tenants on how to prevent bed bugs and also instruct tenants and all management personnel on what to do if bed bugs are discovered on the property.
The key is to educate tenants ahead of time: Pass out flyers and brochures that explain your policies regarding bed bugs, and emphasize the need for tenants to report any bed bug problems immediately. It doesn’t help the situation to start pointing fingers and placing blame; such a culture tends to suppress the reporting of problems. This can assist a small gathering of bed bugs to morph into a sizeable infestation in a short period of time, which can be far more expensive and problematic to mitigate.
Should there be a report of a problem, landlords must be ready to respond promptly and effectively. This includes involving residents in the process of mitigation, as their cooperation will be critical to the operation’s success. Adjacent units should immediately be evaluated for possible spreading of any infestation. And all adjacent units (including those above and below those affected) should be regularly monitored to make sure that the bed bugs have been killed and have not returned.
Most importantly, it’s vital to hire a qualified pest management professional who has documented experience in bed bug management and who applies a comprehensive strategy for mitigating the problem – not just someone who sprays pesticides and then disappears.
Feel free to call Bed Bug Solutions for a free consultation with one of our experts.