I have a condo with a long term tenant, In April she complained that she has bed bugs in her unit. So I had an exterminator come out and he did the heat treatment to treat the bud bugs well yesterday while picking up the rent she informed me that the bed bugs are back. The first treatment cost me $925. Called the same company that is used by the management company and they want another $925 to come back out. My question is how many times do I have to keep paying and when can I pass the cost onto the tenant ? Went to the association and their telling me its my problem and I have to pay for the treatments but to treat the problem properly the other units around my tenant also need to be treated at the same time or you never get rid of them and like I said before the management company is telling me that there are no other complaints from the other people living around her so I am responsible. Needs some advise on how to best handle this situation
I think the OP had the heat treatment done already. I would first have someone come out make sure she truley has bed bugs. (There are many things that can look similar to bed bugs) Also, the company you just paid $925 doesn't have some kind of warranty? That sounds crazy.
Back in a day we used to mix denatured alcohol with borax. Placed in a spray bottle, shake and dissovle then spray the mattress and carpeting. Vacuum up as best as you can. Wash bed sheets, throw away pillows and window curtains. No more bugs. When tenant moved out we sprayed all furniture and dressers. I suppose you can't do that now a days. Laws and regulations and all.
The exterminator might have solved the problem, and the tenant then subsequently brought in the new infestation. Tenants buy used furniture or pick up free stuff along the road - both could harbor the bed bugs. If the tenant travels, the bugs could have infiltrated luggage while in a hotel. Bed bugs have been found on backpacks, so kids at school or a trip to the gym could have been the source. Lots of other ways that the bugs find their way inside a house.
But I would check the neighboring units too, just to be sure that those aren't a possible source. The HOA might cover this up ...
In addition to being an investor I also work in the pest control industry. The shortcoming of heat treatments is that it can take up to an hour or more for the unit to reach a lethal heat. During that time the bed bugs seek shelter in wall voids and neighboring units. I'd speak to the people that live either side of your tenant as well as directly above and below. In addition I'd consider hiring the pest control company to come out to put down more residual product after the initial treatment as a preventive measure. I'd argue that this should cost less than the full $925, although that's pretty inexpensive for a bed bug treatment.
We have taken to having our tenants sign a waiver that after we treat and cure the bed bug problem, they are responsible from then on.. We then inspect every 3 months to make sure they do not have them again..
You should add a clause into your lease that says you are not responsible for bug problems. We have also started doing bed bug traps in the houses before a tenant moves in. Then we bag the test, and show it to the new tenant when the move in and have them sign off that the house is bed bug free.
You need to get this tenant under control.. If he/she is not being proactive, why should you continually be paying.. Create a waiver and have her sign it. Tell her they are giving her a 60 day warranty, so if she sees them again she needs to call you and the pest company immediately. Throw it in her lap so she is responsible.
I have been told by a couple of different pest control companies, that it is very rare bedbugs will travel between units. I was told they have a soft body and do not like traveling between units because their bodies tear, etc..
Bedbugs are hitchhikers. They latch onto someones clothes and get carried over to the next home. It's not really a dirty bug, as in only people who are dirty have them. They are a hitchhiker. You go to someones house who has them, sit down on a couch, and now you have them. A local movie theater here in Indiana had an infestation. Big problem is they are hard to kill.