Covid-19 Alert: Nothing is more important than the safety and well-being of our team and our customers. Our company is still open for business, due to the global impact of COVID-19, we continue to follow government advice and have put in place the following measures.

bed bugs tenants

What Happens Legally with Bed Bugs: What Tenants and Landlords Have to Do

Bed bugs can cause big problems for renters and landlords, causing discomfort, stress, and a lot of money. It’s important to know what each person needs to do legally to deal with them. This article will discuss what landlords and renters in California must do regarding bed bugs, including who pays for treatments and when renters might need to handle pest control.

Dealing with an infestation? Poway Pest Control offers professional pest management services for your home or business. Our experts will contact you shortly.

Landlord Responsibilities Regarding Bed Bugs in California

Landlords in California must keep rental units safe and comfortable, which means they must ensure there are no bed bugs. State laws require landlords to keep properties at a level where people can live comfortably, which means they must deal with bug problems quickly and effectively.

Specifically, landlords are required to:

  • Check for bugs: They must inspect the place often to catch bed bugs early. Before new tenants move in and during the lease, they should look around regularly.
  • Listen to complaints: If tenants say there are bed bugs, landlords need to check it out fast and do what’s required to fix it.
  • Tell the truth: Landlords must tell possible new renters if there are bed bugs. This helps renters choose where they want to live, knowing all the facts.

Who pays for the treatment of bed bugs? The tenant or the landlord?

Usually, the landlord pays to get rid of bed bugs because they have to keep the place nice for people to live in. When tenants tell the landlord about bed bugs, the landlord has to hire professionals to fix them, and they pay for everything, including follow-up visits.

But sometimes, the tenant might have to pay if it’s their fault that the bed bugs came. This doesn’t happen often, and there must be a lot of proof to show it was the tenant’s fault.

Under what circumstances is a Tenant Responsible for Pest Control?

While landlords typically assume responsibility for bed bug treatments, tenants also have specific duties that can affect managing infestations. A tenant may be accountable for pest control expenses if:

They neglect to report an infestation: Timely reporting is essential promptly. Delaying reporting can exacerbate the infestation, making it more difficult and costly to address.

Their actions contributed to the infestation: For example, if a tenant introduces infested furniture or belongings into the rental unit, they may be held responsible for the resulting bed bug issue.

They need to adhere to treatment preparations: Tenants are often required to prepare their units for extermination procedures. Disregarding these instructions can hinder the effectiveness of the treatment, potentially resulting in additional costs that the tenant may need to cover.

Hiring a Bed Bug Exterminator

Selecting a professional bed bug exterminator is crucial for effectively addressing an infestation. DIY solutions often need to catch up with these resilient pests. These are important things to think about while hiring a bed bug exterminator:

  • Expertise and Accreditation: Confirm that the exterminator has specific experience handling bed bugs and holds the required certifications.
  • Assessment and Treatment Strategies: A reputable exterminator will thoroughly assess before devising a comprehensive treatment strategy. This strategy should outline the techniques employed, the anticipated timeline, and any necessary follow-up measures.
  • Integrated Pest Management (IPM): Prioritize exterminators who employ IPM methodologies. This approach integrates chemical and non-chemical tactics, such as heat treatments, to eradicate bed bugs while minimizing environmental impact.
  • Cost Evaluation: Request estimates from multiple providers to compare pricing and services offered. Ensure that the estimates encompass all essential treatments and any subsequent follow-up visits.
  • Guarantees and Post-Treatment Support: A dependable exterminator will offer assurances regarding their services and schedule follow-up inspections to confirm the eradication of the infestation.


Bed bug infestations pose substantial challenges for tenants and landlords alike. In California, landlords are primarily responsible for maintaining rental properties free from these pests. However, tenants also play pivotal roles in promptly reporting and preventing infestations. Both parties can collaborate to uphold a habitable living space by comprehending the legal obligations and duties involved. Engaging a professional exterminator is vital for swift and effective resolution when confronted with an infestation.

About Us

Poway Pest Control is a locally-owned residential and commercial pest control company for more than a decade.

We have a broad range of pest services to fit your needs. We are a full-service pest control company specializing in today’s pest problems.

Call Now Button