Bed bugs, especially in Cleveland, OH, are becoming a prominent issue among the housing community. This includes, but is not limited to, apartments, single family homes, duplexes, condos, and other housing types. Multi-tenant facilities hold a majority of the bed bug infestation reports. This is due to their population density and limited housing space. Since there is a lack of control over population density and space, the US Department of Housing and Urban Development, states, counties, and cities have placed guidelines and policies to protect the tenants of these housing units. These guidelines also exist to give knowledge to the property owners and how to effectively deal with and prevent bed bug infestations in their units.
Ohio Apartment Law 921.06
The Ohio Code 921.06 was put into effect on July 1, 2004, but fully enforced and backed by the Ohio Department of Agriculture in 2018. Ohio Code 921.06: Commercial Applicator License states that the use of pesticides and bed bug extermination processes must be done using commercial applicators. This code states when, where, and who is able to apply commercial pesticides for bed bug treatment. This code also includes the Ohio Pesticide Apartment Law 921.06, which states that an apartment building that contains more than 4 units, pesticides are no longer allowed to be applied by an unlicensed pest control professional. This applies to apartment managers, maintenance, property owners, and others associated with the property and over the counter products and EPA regulated pesticides. The law also prohibits any pesticide in the form of baits, bombs, sprays, powders, and traps.
So what does this mean?
Your landlord/property manager (unless they are licensed) can’t waltz into your apartment building with a 10 gallon tank of pesticides, even if they are EPA regulated, and spray your unit or any other publicly accessible sites that are located on the property.
This does not just apply to bed bugs, it also includes other common household pests such as ants, bees, roaches, mice, and ants.
Issued by US Department of Housing and Urban Development and the Office of Public and Indian Housing on February 28, 2012, this notice remains in effect until amended, superseded, or rescinded. This notice acknowledges the growing issue of bed bugs in housing throughout the country and provides information for ideal practices in relation to bed bug prevention and control of infestations. It also provides rights and responsibilities of Public Housing Agencies [PHAs] and the tenants regarding bed bugs.
According to the notice, tenants are strongly recommended to report any suspicions of bed bugs immediately to their property manager in order to control the infestation before it spreads. Because of the direct relation to the property, tenants are also responsible for using bed bug prevention strategies and are encouraged to reside in an environment that deters bed bugs. An example of this would be to keep your home free of clutter, which provide additional places for bed bugs to hide.
Tenants should also be advised of their rights as residents according to this notice:
- PHAs cannot deny tenancy or give preference to a prospective resident due to prior history of bed bug infestations
- Tenants may expect a punctual response by the PHA, but should be aware that inspections take time to schedule. Ideally, an inspection should occur within three days of the tenant reporting a bed bug infestation.
- Shortly following the report of bed bugs, the property must be inspected by a qualified third party pest control professional.
- In accordance with the lease, a PHA may enter the property to perform actions directly related to the bed bug infestation.
- If the presence of bed bugs is found, treatment can expect to begin within five days of the inspection.
- Tenant must be aware that treatment may take up to several weeks and are expected to cooperate with the efforts to exterminate bed bugs. Cooperation will expedite the control of bed bugs and can prevent the spread to other units.
- Tenants are not to place any items from home in common areas such as hallways and lounges.
- Management may include additional staff to help with moving and cleaning of furniture.
- The tenant will not be expected to contribute to the cost of the treatment effort. But will be responsible for any new furniture, items, or other personal property that will need to be replaced. This also includes cleaning services following the bed bug treatment.
County and City Policies
Many counties and cities, including Cuyahoga County, have their own policies and regulations in place to control the spread of bed bugs. Be sure to research and review their policies based on your location for more information.
If you own properties or are living in an apartment with bed bugs in Cleveland, OH, call Bed Bug BBQ today to schedule your FREE inspection (216) 221- 1227 or visit our website for more information and other resources for bed bug prevention and awareness.