Owning a rental property and being a landlord is a great way to supplement your income and can even become a full-time career. Being a landlord also comes with some unpleasant responsibilities, however, and one of those is coping with pest infestations. If your tenant tells you they've noticed bed bugs in their apartment or rental home, it's time to take swift action. Here are a few things to do right away to get a handle on this situation:
1. Have an Inspection Done Right Away
Sometimes a tenant may think they have a bedbug infestation, but actually have a different problem, such as fleas or mites. Since different pests require different treatment approaches, it's important to have a thorough pest inspection performed right away. The pest control company may need to move or take apart furniture in order to locate and identify bedbugs in a definite manner. Let your tenant know when the inspection is going to take place, and ask them to declutter and organize their belongings to make the inspection and treatment as easy as possible.
2. Have a Heat Treatment Performed
Once bed bugs have been identified, it's time to treat them as soon as possible before the problem grows. Bed bugs do not typically respond to chemical sprays used on other types of pests. The most effective way to treat a bedbug-infested home is to have a heat treatment performed. This involves the pest control company bringing in a specialized type of whole-house heater and then heating the home at an extremely high temperature for a few hours. This effectively kills all of the bedbugs as well as any eggs.
The pest control company will let you and the tenant know how to prepare for the treatment, how long it will last, and when the home will be back to a normal temperature.
3. Consider Paying for the Treatment
Depending on the landlord-tenant laws of your state, there is a good chance the tenant is responsible for paying for the bed bug treatment. Even if this is the case, however, it may make more sense for you to pay for it. Your tenant may not be able to easily afford the treatment, there may be a disagreement over whether your tenant brought the bed bugs into the home or they were already there, and forcing them to pay may harm your landlord-tenant relationship.
By following these tips and working with an experienced pest control company with bed bug heat treatment services expertise, you will soon have this difficult situation under control.