Guide to Arizona Bed Bugs Resources, Laws and Treatment Information

"Arizona Bedbugs problems are similar to those experienced in other areas of the country. There are laws in Arizona that specifically address landlord and tenant responsibilities in fighting a bed bug infestation. While it is clear that landlords need to arrange for AZ bedbugs treatment by a licensed professional, it is not clear regarding who has to pay for treatment. Tenants are legally required to notify landlords in writing when a bed bug problem exists.  Do not treat bed bugs yourself if you are a tenant as this violates the law. Homeowners should only treat their home if an infestation is small. Even then, we alway recommend hiring a licensed professional who has bed bugs experience. 

Find below a list of local resources and advice for fighting any Arizona bed bugs infestation."

arizona bed bugs overview

Arizona has not been immune from bed bugs infestations, with many reports from the Phoenix area in particular.  If you find you have bed bugs, do not throw out your furniture, mattress or any other items as in most cases this is not necessary. Instead

  • If you are a tenant notify your managing agent IN WRITING (email or letter). We do not recommend do it yourself treatments.
  • If you are a homeowner, we suggest calling multiple exterminators through a network that operates in Arizona and that certifies exterminators such as Home Advisor (866) 214-8380. An exterminator will confirm that you have an infestation and the suggested treatment method. Some exterminators use chemicals, while others recommend heat or freezing. 

    Tip: Bed bugs require up to 3 treatments. Always ask an exterminator for their history of success in your area, references, and for a treatment guarantee.
bedbugs arizona reports
Bedbugs Arizona Reports in the Phoenix Area total over 200
Source: BedBugRegistry

The good news for most of Arizona, is that extreme heat, approximately 114 F, will kill bed bugs.  So if you are traveling, leave your suitcases in a car parked in the direct sun, as this should minimize the risk of bringing bed bugs into your home.

arizona landlord and tenant bed bug laws

Who pays for bedbug treatment in arizona?

The law does not specify who pays for bedbug treatment. The law only states that tenants must legally report problems and landlords must legally treat a reported infestation.

Bed Bugs Arizona Law

Arizona has law for protecting tenants who are suffering from a bed bug infestation. Arizona bed bug statutes (A.R.S. §33-1319, and relaed §33-1324, and §33-1341) do not clearly specify who is responsible for paying for bed bug treatment.  The law states that 1) landlords must provide bed bug educational materials to the tenant, 2) the landlord cannot rent a unit that is infested with bedbugs. This part of the law DOES NOT state who is responsible for payment. The landlord does have to hire a licensed applicator to treat the apartment.

Arizona law A.R.S. §33-1324 does state that the landlord "must keep the property in a fit and habitable condition." It also states that the tenant must "keep the premises in a clean and safe condition."

Since bed bugs are considered parasites, we believe their presence in an apartment is a violation of the law, making landlords responsible. That said, this is for lawyers and the courts to decide.

It is the landlords responsibility to arrange for treatment. The law states that the landlord must maintain the dwelling unite free of an infestation of bedbugs. 

Further, treating an individual apartment will not solve the bed bugs problem. All surrounding apartments need to be treated as well, or else bed bugs in the walls will spread and reenter a treated apartment.

Tenants are obligated to report an infestation in writing the moment they become aware that there is a problem.

Landlords have the following obligations under Arizona bed bug law:

  • Landlords cannot lease apartments that they know have bed bugs (difficult to prove).
  • Within 7 days after being notified of a bed bug infestation electronically or in writing, landlords must arrange for an inspection and after the inspection they must arrange for treatment. 
  • Within 7 business days after receiving written or electronic notice of a possible bedbug infestation from a tenant, the landlord or the landlord's licensed pest control applicator shall visually inspect the dwelling unit for bedbugs. 
  • Landlords must arrange for treatment, unless the tenant did not immediately report the problem in writing or if the tenant knowingly brought infested furniture or other items into the apartment.  Many landlords will pay, so ask in advance.
  • If the landlord fails to treat the problem, then you can pay for treatment and bill the landlord.  As a suggestion, be sure you have a lawyer or local government official who can help  you through the process such as someone from the Attorney Generals office (see directly below).
  • Do not assume that your landlord is paying for the treatment as there are several provisions that make it the tenants responsibility. In general, landlords need to act within 7 days and pay for treatment.  Be sure to confirm this with your landlord.  You can read the Arizona Bed Bug Law here.
  • If your landlord has not eliminated the problem, or is not following the statute, then first, contact your local Arizona Attorney General's office which you can find here.

If the Attorney General cannot help mediate the dispute between you and the landlord/managing agency, then hire a lawyer or contact a free Arizona legal aide society in your area to see if they will help you enforce the law.

If the landlord is refusing to inspect your apartment and surrounding apartments, and then treat all apartments at their expense, we suggest contacting the Arizona Tenants Advocates & Association at (480) 557-8905 for advice.

You can read the entire Arizona Bedbug Law here.

picture bed bugs mattress

TIP: DO NOT treat bed bugs yourself if you are a tenant. This could be a violation of the law.

ADvice for homeowners

The first decision is to either to take a do it yourself approach or call in a professional when combating bedbugs Arizona based problems.  

Hiring an Arizona Bedbugs Exterminator:

We always suggest using a professional as bed bugs are one of the most difficult insects to treat. Hiring an exterminator can be expensive with inspections costing from $50 to $500 (a bed bug sniffing dog is used on the high end), and approximately $400 to $900 a room for treatment. Methods such as heat remediation, where an entire home is heated to kill bed bugs can cost as much as $5000. 

Given the high cost of using an exterminator, be sure to get multiple price quotes since each exterminator will have different methods and experience.  Always request a guarantee since 2 to 3 treatments are often needed. We suggest starting with quotes from the exterminator network  Home Advisor since they will provide up to 3 free quotes (phone 1.866.214.8380). Ask members if they are locally licensed and insured.



Do It Yourself Treatment

Do it yourself treatment is a viable option in a single family home only if you caught the problem early. If you are going to kill the bed bugs yourself,  you must buy a bed bug kit, since this is the most economical approach to purchasing the multiple products needed.  

A typical kit will include (all bed bug sprays mentioned below have been tested and can kill insecticide resistant bed bugs):

  • Bed Bug Mattress Safe knock down Spray such as Sterifab to kill bed bugs and eggs on contact.
  • A residual or longer lasting spray such as Phantom or Bedlam which will create a "killing field" for killing bed bugs that you missed or late hatching bed bugs.  Bedlam is a good alternative.  
  • Natural Fossil Dust (also called bed bug dust or diatomaceous earth)

Some kits also contain optional products such as:

For complete instructions, see our guide for getting rid of bed bugs.



arizona news

Bed bugs in Phoenix: 14 public locations found with bed bugs
- ABC 15 Arizona

Top 7 Places to Find Bed Bugs in Arizona
- ABC 15 Arizona

Bed Bugs Invade, Overwhelm Phoenix Home. Bed bug infestations in Phoenix.
- KPHO

New Weapon Used to Battle Bed Bugs
- KPHO

Bed bugs keeping Arizona exterminators busy
- abc15.com

government resources

Arizona Department of Health Services - Presentation on Bedbugs Arizona infestations

Cooperative Extension, College of Agriculture & Life Sciences,
The University of Arizona
- How to Bug Proof Your Home



Free pamphlet

What landlords and tenants in multi-family housing need to know in Arizona.
Available in a free Ebook

references

AZ Central: Arizona Law Outlines Bed-bug Protocol

Arizona Tenants Advocates Association (will help to protect your rights as a tenant and help you enforce any rental agreement with management)

Arizona Bed Bugs, Who's Responsible (IBRA Association)