Amanda didn’t sleep at home last night. The exterminator finally arrived (scheduled for noon, came at 5pm) and the work began in earnest. Before he arrived, however, she got a chance to visit her neighbor’s apartment, the one that shares a sheet rock wall with her:
“Yesterday evening the landlord and I got into my neighbor’s apartment [he’s away]. There were bug carcasses and cobwebs everywhere. The landlord caught six of them in five minutes in daylight! it was like infestation like you see in the photos online. Clearly this is where my bedbugs have been coming from…”
She did not sleep at home, but promises she is going back the next night. Important, because she is the bait to draw those bed bugs out.
It sounds like the neighbor, who travels a lot, and is currently away, has a lot of bed bugs. Since he is away, it does not surprise me that the landlord encountered six live bed bugs in broad daylight there. After all, if he was away for several weeks (as he may have been), those bed bugs would be hungry and looking for food. It may explain why they came over to feed on Amanda in his absence. None of this seems in any way surprising to me.
We finally convinced Amanda via the comments that landlords are liable for treatment, and now her landlord wants to go halfsies on the PCO:
The landlord said that he’d split the cost with me and i almost killed him. I couldn’t believe it. I was so angry and thought I was going to snap. I mean, he’s responsible for any infestation in his building. On Bedbugger.com it says this, that your landlord is responsible. He said he would ask his legal advisor and get back to me. ”
Amanda wants to know: Is the landlord really liable for paying for this and has anyone done this before?
Maxwell included a poll, so people could vote as to whether the landlord should pay or not.
Um, yeah. The landlord is liable–we are not making this stuff up! Honest. They are liable, though it’s best to go through the landlord, as we originally suggested, since they may not be liable to pay if they did not order the service. He should pay, in my opinion, because he should have known the law about landlords and pests.
The other reason you must go through the landlord is because all other adjacent units (top, bottom, and on all sides) must be inspected by a PCO who knows how to look for bed bugs. People who do not complain of bites or see bed bugs are not necessarily clear. If people treat themselves, thinking their neighbors are unaffected, the landlord and PCO may not be doing the kind of investigative work needed to eliminate bed bugs. If Amanda were the only one treated, they’d never go away. Even if neighbor is treated, there may be many other infested units too.
As I have said before, I love Apartment Therapy and I am so glued to this story and glad it’s being covered. But I am a bit frustrated too. After all, if Maxwell and Amanda left comments here four times recommending the best place for me to buy Glowing Grout, I would so totally believe them. So why are our reasonable and researched nuggets of information with citations (no less) not getting through?
Anyway, I am not really mad. What’s great here is that lots of information about bed bugs is getting shared in the AT comments by readers of that blog. Talking about bed bugs is good. More talking about bed bugs, even better.
I hope Amanda’s PCO comes back in two weeks, and that we get an update then about how things are going.