All residents of a bed bug-infested building in Fruitland, Maryland were told by their landlord to toss out their sofas and mattresses before the building is treated for bed bugs.
WMDT reports that
John Justice and his neighbors were told to toss out their sofas and mattresses. The landlord gave all the residents a letter stating that their building was contaminated with bed bugs and that if they didn’t get rid of their furniture they would face fines of 110 to 300 dollars.
Sometimes items such as sofas and mattresses are so infested they need to be tossed out.
However, this is often not the case, and I am troubled to hear a landlord mandate that items must be tossed out across the board, presumably without the items having been inspected. Mattresses in particular can be encased to keep bed bugs in.
There’s no guarantee that tossing out these items will help correct the problem. It will mean residents may be living under very difficult conditions.
And it may backfire for the landlord: residents on limited budgets who have to discard such essential items may end up replacing them secondhand, potentially bringing in new bed bug problems.