Q. I have been renting my current property for the last 18 months and have really enjoyed doing so, but just recently I noticed some reoccurring bites and after a visit to the doctors it appears to be bed bugs! As you can imagine I am horrified and have contacted my landlord complaining and asking for some pest control to be brought in but my landlord has informed me that as I have been resident at the property for such a long time it is in fact my responsibility to get rid of them as I have brought them into the property. Surely as it’s the landlord’s property it’s his responsibility? Please Advise?
A. I’m afraid your landlord is right. If you had just moved in a few days ago and discovered them then obviously it would indicate that they were already present at the property and the landlord would of course assume responsibility, but given it has been 18 months then I’m afraid the cost for pest control would be down to you given you have clearly brought them into the property. Once introduced into your home, bedbugs can spread easily from room to room. They do not fly or jump, but can crawl quickly. They can soon spread within a building by getting through holes in walls or pipes, and can potentially invade blocks of flats. The bugs can also be transported in luggage, clothing, furniture and bedding from one building to the next. This makes is easy for tourists and commuters to unknowingly spread bedbugs. One thing to make clear is that they are not attracted to dirt, so a bedbug infestation is not a sign of an unclean home, as some may assume. There is absolutely nothing you can do to prevent bed bugs other than to lock yourself away from the rest of the world; it’s just really bad luck that you have them. The good news is that there are experts out there that can get rid of them. When a bed bug infestation is discovered there are multiple methods for controlling it. There are both chemical and non-chemical approaches available. While using one or the other works, it has been found that an approach that uses a combination of both can be the most effective.