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wakkawawakkawa Registered User regular
edited December 2011 in Help / Advice Forum
Alright so apparently I have bed bugs in my apartment. Also the landlord is making me pay for their removal, but I am pretty sure they were in here before I moved in. So some basic info:

1: I rent all my furniture from the landlord. It use to be an old hotel.
2: I noticed small ink spots on my covers but didn't know at the time they were signs of bedbugs
3: I didn't notice any bites on me for 6 months, but now I saw one and checked under my mattress and yup bugs.
4: I found a cigarette between the mattresses, so I now have suspicion that they never actually cleaned the damn thing. I don't smoke, and no one I know smokes.
5: and the last part is what might screw me over. There is a small line in my lease that says I have to pay for bedbug removal, but somehow I get the feeling this has to go against some kind of health laws.

So yeah, super grossed out right now and don't want to pay the fees to remove these damn things.

Any advice?

wakkawa on


  • DirtyDirtyVagrantDirtyDirtyVagrant Registered User regular
    edited December 2011
    If your landlord is making you pay for bedbug removal, move. Especially if you live in an apartment, because you will become infested over and over and over and over again.

    I think the standard procedure for clothing is to run it through a dryer while it's already dry, and that's supposed to kill them there. Seal your clothing up in bags after drying it like that. Your pillows are forfeit. And potentially so are a lot of your appliances. I know that in some cases of infestations (not necessarily bedbugs) in things like computer cases you can freeze them out - there's this stuff that's like liquid nitrogen but it comes in a can. I've used it to conduct troubleshooting on hardware in computers before - instead of removing each individual piece you can just disable each one with cold air. But anyway, that's not really relevant. You'll never, ever get them out of that mattress. Do not allow them to just spray it and keep it in there if you're paying for the removal. Or else you WILL be paying for it again.

    Fun facts about bedbugs:

    1. There are no known diseases that their bites are capable of transmitting
    2. They are virtually impossible to eradicate entirely. So much so that it would probably be cheaper for you to just cut your losses, strip and shower, tie a garbage bag around your waist, and then go find a new apartment and start over there.
    3. They are one of a few species (maybe the only one) that mates using 'traumatic insemination,' which is to say that the male takes his penis and impales the female right through her gut. And the male's penis by the by is not the slick and streamlined model that you and I are familiar with. Oh no. Rather, when looked at beneath a microscope, it looks a bit like a knotty old wooden morning-star. That's food for the imagination.

    DirtyDirtyVagrant on
  • Magic PinkMagic Pink Tur-Boner-Fed Registered User regular
    If your landlord is making you pay for bedbug removal, move.

    And report him. That's bullshit and the law will always fall on the side of the renter.

  • Skoal CatSkoal Cat Registered User regular
    Illegal clauses aren't iron clad. Signing the contract does not give up legal rights willy nilly.

  • Dr. FrenchensteinDr. Frenchenstein Registered User regular
    you are looking at A LOT of money to get rid of them. If it's in an apartment building, it's very possible they've come from adjacent unit, or if you are at fault spread to other units. There is NO WAY this guy can prove it's your fault that the bed bugs are there. like other people have said, i don't think the lease can behoove you to be responsible for this.

    Heat kills these things, and liberally applied poisons. (when i say liberally, i mean EVERYWHERE they could possibly be, hence the expense) When i had them, i had to call a professional, take apart my entire bedroom and living room, sleep on an air mattress, and live out of giant ziploc bags for about a month. they came three times and basically hosed down my house with poison. it worked but good god was it expensive, and a hassle. There is apparently a way for them to heat up your entire house to a level that kills them, but that is so expensive it's not even feasible. especially in a multi-dwelling situation.

    Good luck dude, abuse that dryer and talk to a renters rights place. or just leave and tell him to go screw.

  • wakkawawakkawa Registered User regular
    Alright thanks guys. I'm going to go talk to them in 30 minutes or so when their little office opens.

    I hate bugs :(

  • Dr. FrenchensteinDr. Frenchenstein Registered User regular
    Bed bugs are super gross... I'm having flashbacks to waking up in the middle of the night and finding them all over me and the bed. UGHHHH

  • wakkawawakkawa Registered User regular
    Yeah they wont cover it. She just kept saying I brought them in.

  • EncEnc A Fool with Compassion Pronouns: He, Him, HisRegistered User regular
    Where do you live, Wakkawa? A lot of states have protection laws that put the burden of keeping vermin out of the house upon the landlord, especially in managed and internal communities (like a hotel, for instance).

  • wakkawawakkawa Registered User regular
    Salt lake City, utah. Seven65 lofts specifically. I dont even know who to contact now.

  • bowenbowen How you doin'? Registered User regular
    You very well could've brought them in. But can they prove it? Maybe one of the management staff visited a hotel and brought their suitcase back with them. Maybe you're just the first person to notice it.

    not a doctor, not a lawyer, examples I use may not be fully researched so don't take out of context plz, don't @ me
  • VanguardVanguard But now the dream is over. And the insect is awake.Registered User, __BANNED USERS regular
    These are the steps you want to take.

    1) Research bedbug laws in your state. They vary from place to place, so you need to look at prior incidents that have occurred locally. If you have a particularly bad case, you might even be able to get a permanent rent reduction, depending on your state.

    2) Get in contact with your local housing authority people. They will have resources and legal advice, if necessary.

    3) As noted above, dry everything and dry it again, then seal it in a vacuum packed bag. This is no way to live, but it will at least curb the problem somewhat, for the time being.

    4) Document everything. If you didn't throw the cigarette butt under your mattress out, take pictures. You may need to threaten litigation, and these documents will help.

    I'll be honest with you: they know the bugs are there. Why? They put a clause in your lease freeing them from any obligation. They're also renting you furniture, which, in my opinion, is a real bad idea in the city. Furthermore, this clause may not even be legal.

    Some landlords will allow you to break lease if they're unwilling to resolve the issue. That might be the easiest way out.

  • EncEnc A Fool with Compassion Pronouns: He, Him, HisRegistered User regular
    edited December 2011
    Utah Renter's Rights and Responsibilities:

    Of special note in Renter's Rights:
    You have the right to a safe and sanitary home. In Utah, cities and counties have enacted building and health codes. Buildings in which there are major violations of these codes are not safe or decent and should not be rented out. State law requires landlords to maintain rental units in compliance with these local ordinances. You have the right to call a health or housing inspector if you think there is a code violation in the place you are renting.

    Utah Landlord's Rights and Responsibilities:

    Of special note in the Landlord's Rights:
    Comply with the law and the health, building, and safety codes of the city or county in which the property is located.
    Maintain the unit in safe and healthy condition and not allow illegal drugs to be made, sold, or stored there.

    You may want to contact your local municipality to ask about your situation and bedbugs, they should have someone on duty during business hours that can answer questions of this nature. If your landlord is in violation, you may want to secure legal consul.

    Enc on
  • VanguardVanguard But now the dream is over. And the insect is awake.Registered User, __BANNED USERS regular
    Enc is right on the money. Landlords need to comply with the minimal levels of habitability. These levels usually include things like keeping pests out, which is why the clause in your lease may be illegal.

  • Magic PinkMagic Pink Tur-Boner-Fed Registered User regular
    edited December 2011
    If I was you, I would report them and then move out. If you have bedbugs then chances are the whole building does which means the problem will just keep happening.

    Magic Pink on
  • MolybdenumMolybdenum Registered User regular
    edited December 2011
    fuck bedbugs. What kind of lease are you in, and can you get out of it sooner than later? Nobody needs to deal with that shit. If you don't have a mattress cover, get one. They're like big bags that enclose the mattress. What kind of bedframe do you have? if you're lucky and have the variety that only touches the floor at four points, you can check out traps to put around those. When you do dry your clothes, check the lint filter for dead creepers. That's a simple way to tell if they're made it to your closet / clothespile/ shelves / whatever, how big they are, and how many there are. I'm still not entirely sure if it did anything for my crawling nightmares, but you may want to pick up some diatomaceous earth as well. Just sprinkle it everywhere. If your bed is against a wall and you can move it to the center of the room without too much trouble, do so. try to note if the bugs are coming from only the mattress of from one of the walls.

    alternatively you can just burn the entire place to the ground, because fuck bedbugs they are terrifying.

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  • Kuroi OokamiKuroi Ookami Registered User regular
    Given State laws, if (likely) the Landlord is responsible for the removal of the pests, and it is not dealt with in a timely fashion, I'm pretty sure you can leave for a new place to live without paying fees, plus getting back any damage deposit. The Landlord sounds like a silly goose though, so even if you did decide to move, they are going to make it a hassle for you, and you may have to fight them on any fees they charge you for breaking lease/getting damage deposit back. Sounds like either way, you may have a fight on your hands. I say, take the fight that involves leaving, and not the one that involves trying to have the bedbugs removed. If they only do your area, they are likely in other areas (as has been pointed out), and will just come back.

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  • XArchangelXXArchangelX Registered User regular
    Yeah, I recently had to deal with a bedbug infestation and learned quite a bit about the nasty little fuckers. They're like a virus, you have to go nuclear to get rid of them, they're inside the walls and come out through outlets or holes where pictures are hanging. Clothing can be salvaged by cleaning in hot water than at least a half hour in a drier at max heat. Books can be saved by a couple days in a freezer. Furniture you're kind of fucked unless you have access to a walk-in freezer, but can be wrapped in plastic wrap and placed in storage for at least 18months, which is how long the little bastards can survive without feeding.

    As far as the lease, you may be able to get out of it if you hire a really good, mean lawyer who'll be extremely aggressive. However, you're signature is on it, and it will be a fight. A lease agreement is one of those few legal documents I seriously take the time to read over carefully. I've rented for a long time, at many different places and you need to be super careful with these. On your next one, be thorough, and if there is one thing in there that is even remotely weird, move on to the next place.

    Also would like to note that hotels are notorious for transmitting bedbugs because of the high turnover of guests who have wildly varying degrees of cleanliness. It's almost certain the landlord has had this problem for a long time, hence a clause for it in the lease. You really, really want to move the hell out of there, I hope you have the means($$) to break the lease, which might cost 1-2 additional months rent.

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