Bed Bugs California

"Bed Bugs California problems have been reported throughout the state.  This includes reports throughout the state, with the most infestations reported in Los Angeles which ranks #10 in the U.S.  San Francisco in particular has been proactive in addressing the bedbug problem by mandating that landlords are responsible for bedbug treatment.  This is not the case in most of the State, with the law being unclear as to who is responsible.  California homeowners are on their own, having to either contact a bedbug exterminator or attempt treatment them self."  

According to the Los Angeles Country Department of Health Services bed bugs have resurfaced in hotels, motels, nursing homes, dormitories, multiple and single family dwellings.   No wonder Los Angeles is ranked #10 in the U.S. for bed bug problems.

According to Bill Biers, owner of Conquer Pest Control in Granada Hills it is a problem in the San Fernando Valley and lower income areas of Los Angeles.

Bed Bugs California Government and Other Resources

Do You Have Bed Bugs?
City and County of San Francisco Department of Public Health Fact Sheet

Director’s Rules and Regulations - How to Control Bed bug Infestation
San Francisco Department of Public Health

Bed Bugs Bulletin (PDF Download)
Los Angeles Department of Public Health

What You Need to Know About Bed Bugs (PDF Download)
California Department of Pubic Health

Don't Let the Bedbugs Bite (PDF Download Bed Bugs Handout)
California of Public Health

Guidelines for the Control and Prevention of Bed Bug Infestations in California
(PDF Download) California Department of Public Health

Bed bug information is also available from the Vector-Borne Disease Section of the
California Department of Public Health - (916) 552-9730.

To confirm that a California bed bug exterminator is licensed visit the California Department of Consumer Affairs (DCA), Structural Pest Control Board at (916) 561-8704 to confirm that the company is certified.

Statewide Integrated Pest Management Program - Bed Bugs
University of California


To file a bed bug complaint with the San Francisco Department of Public Health Section call (415) 252-3800 or go to their office at 1390 Market St., Suite 210, S.F., CA 94102.

Bed Bugs California Tenant Rights

In California, landlord/tenant issues are governed by State Law.  However, some municipalities such as San Francisco have gone further and have laws that protect tenants and require landlords to both treat and pay for bedbug infestation control. 

The San Francisco bed bug legislation::

"Any noxious insect harborage or infestation including, but not limited to cockroaches, bed bugs, fleas, scabies, lice, spiders or other arachnids, houseflies, wasps and mosquitoes, except for harborages for honey-producing bees, of the genus Apis regulated by the California Food and Agriculture Code, Section 2900 et seq. which are not other wise determined to be a nuisance under state law"

San Francisco Rules and Regulations on How to Control Bed bug Infestations
can be downloaded here (pdf).

Information on tenant rights and landlord obligations are available from the California Department of Public Affairs

In California, landlord/tenant law states that....:

"A rental unit must be fit to live in; that is, it must be habitable. In legal terms, "habitable" means that the rental unit is fit for occupation by human beings and that it substantially complies with state and local building and health codes that materially affect tenants' health and safety"

However,

"Tenants also are responsible for repair of all damage that results from their neglect or abuse"

This unfortunately leads to confusion since it isn't clear who is responsible and who pays.  

According to the the California Apartment Association, a landlord organization::

"Pests, including bedbugs are a habitability issue. Accordingly the owner or manager needs to deal with it promptly. A qualified pest control operator may be able to offer an opinion as to the source of the bedbugs (i.e., due to a higher concentration in the mattress in Unit B, than in other units). If fault can be determined, an owner may want to try to recover some costs from the responsible resident. However, even if it is a particular tenant's fault, if it spreads to other units due to lack of prompt action from the owner, the owner may be liable to those other residents."

Our interpretation of this is that landlords are responsible for paying all costs, however, they can attempt to recoup costs from tenants.

If you are a tenant that with a bedbug infestation, we suggest:

  1. Organizing  tenants and possibly place rent into escrow until bedbug treatment is received and problem is resolved.  
  2. Contact your local department of health to see if they can help negotiate with the landlord or building manager
  3. Contact local politicians for help
  4. Contact  the television media since bed bugs are a popular story for the news
You can download the California Tenants Association Guidelines insights to landlords on Bedbugs on Residential Property. (PDF).

Bed Bugs California News

S.F.'s bedbug battle a war without end
- San Francisco Chronicle 

CNN Says San Francisco is Infested with Bedbugs
- Spots Unknown

LA Creeps Into Nation's Top 10 List for Cities With Most Bedbugs
- NBC LA

How to Find a Bed Bugs California Exterminator

Bedbug treatment can be expensive with homeowners commonly spending $1,000 or more.  Because of the high cost, we suggest contacting several companies for quotes, to determine their guarantees (usually takes 2 to 3 treatments).  To quickly speak to a reputable bed bug exterminator we suggest:

1. Get up to four Free Quotes from the Service Magic Network (877-233-1145): This is a national network of pest control companies that are pre-screened before being approved for membership in the network.  Each member needs to be licensed and insured.

2. Check our List of Bed Bug Experts: We have an expert database which can be accessed here.

Another option for finding a licensed bed bugs California contractor and to find consumer reviews for a pest control expert in look on Angies List.  You can double check that a Bed Bugs California company is licensed check with the California Department of Consumer Affairs.

It is possible to treat a home yourself, although we always recommend using a professional.  Bed bug treatment requires a combination of methods including use of a vacuum, hand steamer, knock down bedbug spray (to reduce the size of the insect population), residual bedbug spray(for lasting protection), bed bug powder and mattress/box spring covers.  The lowest cost approach is to purchase either an organic bed bug kit or an insecticide based bed bug kit.

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