What do you do if a tenant thinks they might have bed bugs?

Home Inspector with Doctor Sniffs Bed Bug Dogs

If a tenant calls and says they are getting “bites” from possible bed bugs, then it might be your responsibility to handle the inspection and treatment. This depends on what state the rental property is in.



If the rental is in NYC then the landlord is responsible to pay for pest control treatment.


First and foremost put their mind at ease and let them know you are taking their concern seriously. Bed bugs can be psychologically traumatizing to some people. It is best to act fast.


Next look for an independent bed bug inspection company in your area. If you find a bed bug sniffing dog company that is not affiliated with a pest control company you will be getting a more honest assessment with no conflict of interest.


Most independent K9 bed bug inspection companies will be able to schedule an appointment with 1-3 days. If the bed bug sniffing dog does not find any bed bugs then that will also give your tenant some much-needed peace of mind. 


If it turns out that there are bed bugs then your next step would be to hire a pest control company that specializes in bed bugs. Bed bugs are one of the harder to deal with pests. This is why you want to find a company that has gone the extra step to becoming certified as being bed bug specialists. 


Do not try to treat the bed bugs yourself with store-bought pesticides. You might wind up scattering the bed bugs throughout the whole rental property if you go the DIY method. 

Bed bugs are a solvable issue and having a plan of action in place in case you get that dreaded call from a tenant is a wise idea!


Comments (2)

Thomas J. Nelson, REALTOR ® e-Pro CRS RCS-D Vets
Big Block Realty 858.232.8722 - La Jolla, CA
& Host of Postcards From Success Podcast

Bed bugs would be my tenants problem at this point, given they'd have had to brought them in 6 years into their lease. 

Jun 27, 2020 06:33 PM
Thomas J. Nelson, REALTOR ® e-Pro CRS RCS-D Vets

Haha, but even if they brought them in, in NY if the rental has 3 or more units it is the landlord's responsibility to treat. Under 3 then it is up to the tenants.

Jun 28, 2020 04:19 AM
Diana Ludwiczak
Doctor Sniffs Bed Bug Dogs - Manhattan, NY
K9 bed bug scent detection and inspections in NYC.

Yes this is true, in NYC it is the landlord's responsibility to treat if there are 3 or more units.


Mar 08, 2021 04:08 AM