Area Apartment Dwellers with Bed Bugs on the Rise
Wednesday, April 11, 2012
HOUSTON - "A couple of years ago, you would have never seen a
complaint on an apartment with a bed bug infestation," said Monica
Russo with the Better Business Bureau. "It's something new that
we're seeing and it's a growing trend."
In the last year or so, Houston's BBB says it started to see about
one complaint a week from a renter crying foul over bed bugs. In
fact, the bureau has received three bed bug apartment complaints in
just the last three days.
"All they really want is someone to either address the issue or fix
the problem or to just move to a similar type apartment," Russo
"It's a nationwide problem and certainly Houston is not immune,"
said Andy Teas, with the Houston Apartment Association.
The apartment association is also reporting an increase in
inquiries about bed bugs. The most asked question? Who pays to get
rid of the creepy little pests, the renter or the apartment
"It's going to depend on your lease agreement," Teas said. "You
want to be sure to read your lease agreement. Every lease is
different. In most cases, the lease will say that reasonable pest
control is the responsibility of the owner."
But in BBB complaints, a lot of renters say the complex blames them
for the infestation and they must pay for the heat remediating
which usually costs hundreds of dollars.
"Obviously, it can spread to other units and affect other tenants,"
Russo said. "So wasting your time doing the blame game, he said,
she said, I don't know how effective that is at the end of the day.
It doesn't solve the issue."
"Most important advice I can give is to notify your manager
immediately," Teas said. "The quicker they can begin treating the
problem the easier it is to treat and the less expensive it is for
whoever ends up paying for it."