This article was posted on Saturday, Jun 01, 2013

Bed Bug infestations can quickly cripple any business or multi-family living complex. Even the cleanest and best-maintained buildings have bed bug problems. They travel on various belongings, furniture (new or used) and can spread through hidden cracks and crevasses and numerous openings of which you are completely unaware. While over-the-counter sprays and traps kill some pests, eliminating the source of the problem takes specialized expertise in commercial pest control.

Your best defense is to have a plan of action which includes education, preventative detection using scheduled inspections, and well maintained archives of bed bug activity in your location. These steps can help you establish that a bed bug infestation is the result of tenant travel patterns or behavior and not due to your own negligence or inaction.

Protect Your Reputation – Reduce Your Liability

Tenants and guests have become litigious about bedbugs and have been awarded judgments. Your best defense is to have a professionally prepared, written and executed bed Bug “action plan” which includes education, preventative detection using scheduled inspections, and well documented detection and treatment records.

Cross Contamination

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One infected unit can quickly spread. Bed bug infestations treated with chemicals are known to multiply very quickly as bugs escaping from the chemicals will run away, out of one residence and into another through cracks, gaps, electrical outlets or right out from under the door in an effort to find a new host.


Under California under Civil Code sections 1941 and 1941.1, bed bugs are not currently considered vermin. However, this law is changing in many states, and may soon change in California. In any case, property managers should immediately and proactively implement measures to make tenants aware of their rights and responsibilities.

Use a Bed Bug Expert

Bed bugs are extremely difficult to detect and eliminate. Any mistake could spread the problem and make it worse.

Canine Detection

Certified K9 handling teams will thoroughly and discretely inspect your property and ascertain the size and scope of any possible infestations. Routine service of this type can PREVENT problems before your tenants are bitten or the infestation worsens.

Move-In / Move-Out Services:  This service will secure your rights and reputation, and the accompanying paperwork will establish a proper timeline and provide peace of mind for both you and your tenants.

Your service certificate can be placed on file with your Bed Bug Addendum packet. As a property manager, it is crucial for you to establish that your property is free of bed bugs at the time a tenant moves in. Being able to establish that a residence is bed bug free at the time of lease will protect your rights and financial obligations as a property manager in the event that unit later becomes infested. [Editor’s Note:  At the inception of a tenancy, along with the rental agreement, have a tenant sign AOA’s Bedbug Addendum, which states that the premises were delivered free of bedbugs and the tenant will be financially responsible for eradicating any future infestation.]

Prevention Service: Have your property serviced on predetermined intervals performing inspections for bed bugs. The goal is to stop infestations fast before they can develop into an embarrassing and expensive problem. This emergency service provides brand protection by responding immediately to customer reports prior to check out and departure when possible.

Heat Treatment

Experience has taught us that the conventional control methods of treating bed bugs using chemicals DOES NOT SOLVE THE PROBLEM. HEAT, STEAM and HEPA are the best methods for removing any bed bug population. 

  • Heat penetrates mattresses, fabrics,  and other objects
  • Heat kills eggs and living bed bugs and any other pests in the room
  • High temp steam penetrates cracks and crevices
  • HEPA vacuum physically remove bugs and eggs – a high efficiency vacuum filter traps fine particles, physically removing bed bugs and bed bug eggs

 Nataly Bryce is with Top Dog Pest Control, a nationally recognized company specializing in Bed Bug education, detection & removal, staffed by highly trained experts with a background in dog handling and pest management. They dedicate their services specifically to bed bugs. For more information please call 888-407-3071.



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