Bed Bug Prevention Resources in U.S. and Canadian Cities

"This guide to bed bug prevention resources provides specific information on the  government resources, exterminators, news and laws in your area. This information can help you determine your rights as a tenant (always consult a lawyer), and what to do if you own your home. The bottom of the page lists specific product recommendations. We always recommend that tenants notify their landlord in writing when requesting treatment, as this serves as legal notification. It is also recommended that homeowners hire an exterminator, however, due to the high expense, we also provide recommendations for products that kill insecticide resistant bed bugs, and the steps for killing bed bugs. "  

Bed bugs are spreading at a rapidly increasing rate around the world with a recent University of Kentucky/National Pest Management Association study indicating that we are on the verge of a national pandemic. The press and exterminators that specialize in removing bedbugs from homes are located in many towns and cities where the problem exists.

We always recommend that home owners use pest control experts when fighting a bed bug infestation.  We suggest contacting several firms given that each company has their own approach to killing bedbugs and costs vary between companies.  

  1. Start by calling companies that have been pre-screened by a national network such as Service Magic: Home Advisor (toll free phone is 1.866.214.8380) is a network of local independent pest control companies that had to meet a strict set of standards in order to join the network.  They will provide up to 4 free quotes.
  2. Check our Director of Experts: Search our database of local bed bug pest control companies here.

Experts use a combination of experience and even dogs to find bed bugs in the home, offices, dormitories and even cruise ships. Dogs are becoming more popular since bed bugs give off a distinct odor that can be detected by a dog's keen sense of smell. Dogs are also helpful because bed bugs can cling to any surface and fit into small cracks.

If you live in an apartment, or want to learn about bed bugs in your area, we suggest exploring our guide to local bed bug prevention resources.

We also supply information for those who want to get rid of bed bugs themselves.

Local Bed Bug Prevention Information:


Canada Information on Bed Bug prevention


This is an excellent summary of Canadian landlord tenant bed bug laws.  Specific information by city can be found below:

Toronto Bed Bugs

Vancouver Bed Bugs

Winnipeg Bed Bugs

United States Bed Bug Laws by State


To date, 23 states and one territory have laws addressing bedbugs.

State Bedbug Laws
State Statute Citation Summary
Alabama Ala. Admin. Code § 420-3-11-.12 Construction, Maintenance, and Operation of Hotels -Insect and Rodent Control. Sets effective measures intended to minimize the presence of rodents, flies, cockroaches, bedbugs and other insects on the premises.  The premises shall be kept in such condition as to prevent the harborage or feeding of insects or rodents.
Arizona A.R.S. § 36-601 – Public Nuisances Dangerous to Public Health. Lists the presence of bedbugs in any public sleeping accommodations a public nuisance dangerous to the public health.
  A.R.S. § 9-500.31 Prohibition on adopting landlord tenant bedbug control requirements. Prohibits cities and towns from regulating landlord-tenant bedbug controls. Cities and towns may regulate the disposal of items infested with bedbugs.
  A.R.S. § 11-269.11 Prohibition on adopting landlord tenant bedbug control requirements. Boards of Supervisors may not regulate landlord tenant bedbug controls, however Boards may regulate the disposal of items infested with bedbugs.
  A.R.S. § 33-1319 Bedbug control; landlord and tenant obligations; definitions. A landlord may not knowingly rent a unit to a tenant that has a bedbug infestation. Tenants may not knowingly bring materials that have been infested with bedbugs into a rental unit. Landlords must provide tenants with educational materials related to bedbugs.
California and San Francisco
25 CCR § 40 State Housing and Community Development- Bedding. Beds in apartments and hotels that supply beds and bedding to renters must ensure that all bedding is clean and free of bedbugs. Linens must be changed before a new occupier occupies the unit. Hotel bedding must be changed before each new guest arrives.
Florida West's F.S.A. § 83.51 Landlord’s Obligation to Maintain Premises. Requires landlords make reasonable provisions for the extermination of bedbugs in rental property.
Georgia Georgia Rules of Department of Public Health Chapter 511-6-2-.13 Insect and Rodent Control. Tourist accommodations must take appropriate measures to eliminate the presence of rodents, flies, roaches, bed bugs, and other insects on the premise.
Illinois and Chicago   610 ILCS 85/1 to 85/4 Railroad Sanitation Act. Requires railcars that will be occupied by the public be free from bedbugs. Requires regular cleaning and inspection of railcars. Provides for penalties.
Iowa I.C.A. § 138.13 Migrant Labor Camps- Conditions for Permit. Requires that migrant labor camps establish bedbug control measures in order to be permitted.
Kansas K.A.R. 4-27-5 2 Lodging Establishments- Imminent health hazard. Classifies bedbugs as an imminent health hazard. Requires licensees of lodging establishments to cease operations of areas affected by an imminent health hazard and to notify authorities of its presence within 12 hours of discovery.
  K.A.R. 4-27-9 Lodging Establishments- Guest rooms. Licensees may not rent guest rooms which have been infested by bedbugs. The licensee must report the infestation to the authorities within one business day of discovery.
Maine and Portland 14 M.R.S.A. § 6021-A Rental Property- Treatment of Bedbug Infestation. Establishes landlord and tenant duties in the event of a bedbug infestation in rental property. Provides for remedies.
Michigan Mich. Admin. Code R. 400.57 Family Services Administration- Inspection and Licensing- County Infirmaries- Care of residents. Requires county infirmaries to implement procedures to prevent bedbug infestations and to take proper steps to eradicate existing infestations.
Minnesota and Minneapolis Minnesota Rules 4625.1700 Lodging Establishments- INSECT AND RODENT CONTROL. Requires hotels, motels, lodging houses, and other like facilities to be constructed and equipped to prevent bedbug infestations. Allows such facilities to use licensed exterminators in certain circumstances.
  Minnesota Rules 4665.2300 Supervised Living Facilities- INSECT AND RODENT CONTROL. Requires supervised living facilities to be constructed and equipped to prevent bedbug infestations. Allows exterminators to be used when necessary to eradicate pests.
Nebraska and Omaha Neb. Admin. R. & Regs. Tit. 175, Ch. 2, § 004 Regulations and Standards Governing Boarding Homes- SANITATION Requires boarding homes to be constructed and equipped to prevent bedbug and pest infestations. Allows exterminators to be used to eradicate pests when necessary.
  Neb. Admin. R. & Regs. Tit. 175, Ch. 3, § 004.12 Health Care Facilities and Services- HEALTH AND SAFETY REQUIREMENTS – Insect and Rodent Control. Requires health care facilities to be constructed and equipped to prevent bedbug and pest infestations. Allows exterminators to be used to eradicate pests when necessary.
  25 Neb. Admin. Code, Ch. 2, 005.02B(8)(a) Standards for Pesticide Applicators – Health-Related Pest Control. Applicators must demonstrate practical knowledge of environmental conditions related to pest control.
Nevada and Las Vegas and Reno N.R.S. 447.030 Public Accommodations -Extermination of Vermin. Requires that any room in any hotel which is infested with vermin or bedbugs or similar things be thoroughly fumigated, disinfected and renovated until such vermin or bedbugs or other similar things are entirely exterminated.
  NAC Chapter 444. Sanitation Labor Camps- General. Requires proper measures to be taken to prevent bedbug and pest infestation in a camp.
New York State: New York City and Binghamton McKinney's Education Law § 920 Public Schools; Infestation of Bedbugs. Requires principals of public schools to provide parents with information about any bedbug infestations, including information on how to prevent the spread of the infestation. Requires the school infestation be addressed in the most effective and safe manner.
Ohioand Cincinnati R.C. § 3731.13 Hotels and Single Room Occupancy Facilities- bedding, floors, and carpets must be kept sanitary. Prohibits bedding which is infested with vermin or bedbugs from being used on any bed in any hotel.
Oregon OR ADC § 333-030-0070 Organizational Camp Rules- Insect and Rodent Control. Sets measures to keep camp grounds, buildings and structures used or intended for human habitation clean and maintained to prevent harborage and infestation of insects, rodents and vermin.
  Or. Rev. Stat. § 570.880 Bedbugs; confidentiality of pest control reports. Requires that specific information reported by pest control operators to a public health authority must be maintained confidentially.
Pennsylvania 7 Pa. Code § 82.15 Seasonal Farm Labor Camps General Provisions-  Insect and rodent control. Seasonal Labor Farm  Farm Labor Camps must have effective measures in place to prevent and eliminate infestations of bedbugs and pests.
Rhode Island R.I. Admin. Code 25-3-24:7 Rules and Regulations Relating to Pesticides- CATEGORIES FOR COMMERCIAL APPLICATORS. Commercial pesticide applicators who use restricted pesticides to eliminate bedbugs and a variety of other pests must be certified.
South Dakota Administrative Rules of South Dakota 44:02:08:05. Lodging and Food Service; Vacation Homes -Vermin control. Vacation homes must be constructed, equipped, and maintained to prevent infestations of bedbugs and other pests. The facility may be required to hire a professional exterminator to eradicate pests under certain circumstances.
Texas V.T.C.A., Health & Safety Code § 341.011 Nuisances and General Sanitation. Lists the presence of bedbugs in any public sleeping accommodations a public health nuisance.
Utah U.A.C. R392-200 Design, Construction, Operation, Sanitation, and Safety of Schools. Requires schools implement measures designed to prevent the infestation of bedbugs and other pests.
Virginia NA See: Read More
West Virginia W. Va. Code, § 16-6-16 Hotels and Restaurants – Bedbugs. Requires that in every hotel, any room infected with vermin or bedbugs shall be fumigated, disinfected and renovated until said vermin or bedbugs are extirpated.
Wisconsin Wis. Adm. Code s DHS 190.08 Institution Sanitation DHS- Physical environment. Requires institutions to take all necessary measures to eradicate bedbug and pest infestations. Requires institutions to take measures to prevent the poisoning of people and animals.
Source: National Conference of State Legislatures, 2015 Other States:

Connecticut Bed Bugs - All Cities and Town


States Without State-wide Bed Bug Laws. List of local Resources In These States


Connecticut

Connecticut Bed Bugs - All Cities and Town

Georgia Bed Bugs

Augusta Bed Bugs

Idaho

Maryland Bed Bugs

Baltimore Bed Bugs

Massachusetts Bed Bugs

Minnesota Bed Bugs

New Hampshire Bed Bugs

New Jersey Bed Bugs



Pennsylvania Bed Bugs

Erie Bed Bugs
Harrisburg

South Dakota Bed Bugs

Virginia Bed Bugs

Texas Bed Bugs


Austin Bed Bugs

Washington State

Seattle Bed Bugs

Bed Bug Prevention Tips


Bed bugs are spread when they hitch a ride on a traveler or a used item, and then are carried into the home.  They can also spread in an apartment building from unit to unit through cracks in the walls and openings for pipes.  Some general tips are to:

  • Learn how to inspect items brought into the home for bed bugs.
  • Never bring used furniture, mattresses, box springs or upholstered furniture found on the street back into your home.
  • Alway check rented furniture or furniture that has been stored in a storage facility for bed bugs
  • When you travel, leave your suitcases closed, do not unpack and leave suitcase on a raised item such as a desk or luggage rack.  Consider storing luggage in a Ziploc big bag.  Only pack clothes that you can machine wash or bring directly to a dry cleaner.

    bed bug prevention

    Bed Bug Prevention when traveling is helped by keeping luggage elevated and away from walls and furniture.  Ziploc big bags can protect smaller pieces of luggage or used inside the luggage to protect clothes.
  • If you were at a friends house that had bed bugs, remove clothes and place into a plastic bag as soon as possible before entering home (do it in a garage or just when you enter).  Wash on hot water.
  • Seal all cracks with caulk.

Getting Rid of Bed Bugs is a Multi-Step process:

Even if you don't have a bed bug problem, understanding the steps used to treat a problem can help a homeowner create their own bed bug prevention program.

Step 1- Clean Thoroughly

  • Throw out clutter such as newspapers and magazines. Bedbugs can hide in the pages.
  • Remove, bag and wash anything you can. After washing in hot water, place in the dryer on hot for 20 minutes. This includes sheets, blankets, bed ruffles and all of your clothes if you can.  For non-washable items consider storing in a sealed container for 14 months (starves any bed bugs to death), or treat in a heat chamber such as a PackTite.
  • Vacuum all areas and use the brushless crevice tool to get into hard to reach places such as the edges of the walls, and bed frame. When done seal vacuum bag and dispose outside.
  • If a room is carpeted, use a carpet cleaner and add some disinfectant such as PuraCleenRx. Test in a small area to avoid staining.

Step 2 -Treat all Surfaces

Several types of products are needed to properly and safely treat a room for bed bugs. It is significantly more cost effective to purchase all of the products described below in a Bed Bug Kit. These products include:

Bed Bug Sprays such as Bug Patrol (organic) or Sterifab (insecticide)- These sprays will kill bedbugs and bedbug eggs on contact, "knocking down" the bed bug population. They should be lightly sprayed along seams, tufts and labels on  the mattress and box spring. 

bed bug prevention
Bed Bug Mattress Treatment should only involve the use of sprays that are labeled mattress safe. After treatment, apply bed bug dust into seams as a bed bug prevention measure, and to kill any bed bugs you might have missed during treatment.  The ideal approach is to used a bed bug mattress and box spring cover after treatment to trap any bed bugs and eggs you might have missed.


Steam

 the mattress and box spring after spray.  Steam other cracks and crevices around the room. Heat at 113F will kill bed bugs and bed bug eggs.  

Spray Cracks, Crevices, Headboard, Bed Frame and Baseboard: Use a bed bug spray that has a residual or lasting killing action in addition to the "knock down" sprays mentioned above.  Good choices are Bedlam and Phantom.

bed bug prevention
Spray Along Baseboards to Help Keep Bed Bugs From Entering from Adjacent Apartments or Rooms. If you live in an apartment, spraying the baseboards can help with bed bug prevention as the insects will be killed when they try and move from adjacent apartments into yours.

Spread a natural fossil dust product around the room in a thin layer in all cracks and crevices when all of the above have been completed. Use a duster to apply the dust.  The dust will attach to and kill any remaining bed bugs that try to move back into the area treated. This is necessary since there are usually remaining eggs that will still hatch, even after cleaning. Once the bed bug is born, the dust will stick to them and kill the young bedbug.

Step 3 - Seal the Mattress and Box Spring

Since 80% of bed bugs can be found near or around the bed, sealing the mattress and box spring with a zippered cover can both kill bugs trapped in the mattress and keep new bugs from hiding. A inexpensive zippered cover is included in the kit mentioned above or can be purchased from Amazon.com or WalMart. You do not have to throw out your mattress as a bed bug prevention measure.

Step 4 - Call in the Bed Bug Pest Control Professionals (if needed)

Expect to treat any room from 2 - 3 times since it is very difficult to find all of the bugs. When all else fails, professionals have access to pesticides and natural treatment options (such as sealing and heating a room) that are not available to consumers. Consider a company that is experienced such as the members of the Service Magic Network, since they will know where to look. It can take an entire day for a professional team to take care of the problem. Even a professional may have to return multiple times.

Future bed bug prevention involves being careful about what is brought into the home. If in an apartment check with neighbors on each side of the infested room, including one floor up and below your apartment.

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