New law protects California residents from bed bugs

Sep 7, 2017, 15:10 PM by Fred Speer

Bed BugA new California law sets its sights on protecting California consumers – particularly apartment and condominium residents – from bed bugs, one of the most unwanted and annoying of pests.

This new law mandates that landlords in California provide tenants with written information about bed bugs and how to report suspected infestations to property managers and landlords. The law took effect for new tenants on July 1, and will cover existing tenants starting January 1, 2018.

Here is how the new law works: Property managers and landlords are now prevented from showing or renting a vacant unit with an active bed bug infestation, and from retaliating against tenants who report bed bug problems.

The law does not, however, require property managers to inspect rental units for bed bugs if they have not seen them or received a complaint. If an inspection is done, the law requires them to notify tenants within two days of the findings, and tenants must cooperate with the detection and treatment of bed bugs.

While the law does not specifically stipulate what action a property manager must take if a bed bug complaint is registered, the California Apartment Association was recently quoted in an article in the San Francisco Chronicle that residential leases have an “implied warranty of habitabilitythat requires landlords to maintain rental units in a condition fit for humans and that includes keeping it pest-free.

How much of a problem are bed bugs in residential settings? Research from the National Pest Management Association indicates that bed bugs are found most frequently in apartments and condominiums, and in single-family homes.

The spread of bed bugs is aided in part due to the pest’s highly mobile nature. Bed bugs are capable of crawling into or onto just about any object, and getting a fix on exactly where they come is a challenge.

What are some of the most common locations you may find this well-traveled and elusive pest?

  • Cracks and crevices in and around mattresses
  • Bed frames
  • Drapes
  • Picture frames
  • Electrical outlets
  • Light fixtures
  • Luggage
  • Clothing and shoes

Clark Pest Control Technical Director Darren Van Steenwyk, who was also quoted in the Chronicle article , says homeowners play an important role in the bed bug prevention and management process, especially when it comes to preparing their home to be treated, along with following instructions from their pest management professional on how to avoid re-infestation. 

Removing excess household clutter, an ideal harborage location for bed bugs, and following pre- and post-treatment instructions and guidelines, will greatly aid the long-term effectiveness of any bed bug treatment.

If you need to exterminate bed bugs, alert your property manager and call or text the Clark Man at (800) WE-NEED-YOU (936-3339) or email at

Until next time I’m the Clark Man, and thanks for helping me keep unwanted pests out of your home.

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