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Home Rental Bed Bug Problem

by Yvonne Scott
(Waynesboro PA USA)

We moved into a house and throughout the winter months nothing ever happened until it got warmer outside. My son woke up one morning with a ton of little red bumps all over his feet, arms, legs and his face.

I took him into the doctors and they treated him for scabies. It got worse so I took him into the Emergency Room and they treated him again for scabies.

I had changed his mattress, washed all his clothes and bedding. When we got home that night a ton of tiny little bugs were all over his bed. I took a good look at them and they were bedbugs.
After that night my son was still being bitten and then we found these monsters in other rooms of the house.

We brought Terminix into the home and they told us that the chemicals they had would not kill the bugs and the only way to get rid of these monsters was to fumigate the whole house and it would cost 40,000 dollars, because the house is really badly infested with bedbugs.

I spoke to an attorney about what we could do, she told us to send a certified letter to the landlord about the problems in the home. We did that and we gave him 20 days to get it or fixed due to us not paying rent.

On the 19th day he came by with an eviction notice for us to leave the house. He stated that we
were the ones that put these little monsters in the house and we never had bedbugs as long as I have lived. Now he is taking us to court trying to make us pay for something we didn't infest.

Now we have lost everything we worked so long and hard to get. It's really sad as we are a low income family that now doesn't have anything. It's all gone.....we are going to take him to court to get something back for all that we lost....if this happens to you get as much proof as possible that you didn't bring these monsters into your home and sue the landlord for all he has.

Editor Comment

Thank you for sharing this story about the consequences of beds when you rent a home. Sorry to hear about the bed bug infestation and eviction problem. This is definitely a story that every person renting a home should read.

For anyone reading, it is common to confuse scabies with bed bugs. As noted, one way to tell is to look for the bugs in the seams of the mattress. Also, scabies rashes don't have a clear center, while bed bug bites have a clear center surrounded by a red raised area.

Also, it might pay to check in with your local and State Government agency to see if their is any legislation regarding bed bugs and tenant rights. This would include the Franklin County Human Services Department (717-261-3141) and the Pennsylvania Department of Health.

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Sep 01, 2010
don't blame landlord
by: Anonymous

Sorry to hear about your problem but you could have brought them in. A friend rented a house for 5 years, took a month to go back packing across Europe and came back with bed bugs.

He obviously brought them in. Bed bugs are hitch-hikers and they travel. And this is why they are so wide spread.

I recently interviewed a prospective tenant. When I asked her why she was moving, she had bed bugs.
She could have brought them into my home! Don't blame the landlord. The last thing a landlord wants is bedbugs.

Jul 14, 2010
by: B&C1987

That is horrible. I almost went through that with my property manager. I came across an article in our local newspaper (found here: and another article from an unverified source about another apartment complex infestation found here: about a government run assisted living apartment complex that had been dealing with the bedbugs infestation (first one noted in this town) within the last year.

When the infestation first started the older individuals were being hospitalized from infections due to the bites being untreated. One resident went the the Environmental Director of the local health department which caused a good stir amongst the manager's of the complex.

Although it is a government run property and my property, as well as yours is I'm sure, is privately owned, when I mentioned going to the health department for help due to inability to afford pest control services and that possible media coverage would be the consequence she quickly took attention to the matter. I did take care of it myself and was able to successfully remove them (see earlier comment in previous pages).

I believe it is still possible to obtain help through your local health department and local media's to get the story out and force these landlords to take immediate action since it is not only considered an epidemic, but it is also environmentally unsafe.

At this time there are no studies proving that bed bugs carry or transmit diseases, but in scientific and logical terms, a roach is as prominently mobile as a bedbug and has been shown to carry diseases. Since bed bug's bite they are entering skin which does leave the blood stream susceptible to anything entering that area. I'm sorry you didn't get a chance to do it before the eviction, but if I was in your situation I would go to my local papers and media channels, give them your story, I seriously doubt they will turn it down.

Also, your local health department may not handle evictions, but they do handle environmental threats. If the landlord cannot provide proof of treatment and attempts to rent again after the issue has been addressed to your local media and health department he may be fined or condemn the place. I better stop before I write you a book on the topic. Hope this gives some good ideas to help your situation, :). I wish you all the luck in the world.

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