Landlord only getting 1/2 of building sprayed(2 posts)
I live in a 4-unit apartment building. My neighbor diagonally away from me (I live on bottom right, he lives on top left) has bed bugs. 12 months ago, my neighbors directly above me had them.
My landlord is saying that my unit will NOT be treated because "last time the bed bugs didn't go to the other half of the building." She thinks this infestation is a new one, despite the fact that bb's can live for 18 months. I think this is just the old infestation coming back in a unit that wasn't sprayed the full # of times last time around.
Is this logic sound? She gave me food grade diatomaceous earth, but I have to move in August. (Have to, have to). Isn't spraying half of the building just going to send them my way right before I pack up and go? How do I reason with this landlord?
I know that Cincinnati has a pretty substantial bed bug problem. By that I mean, Cincinnati is a city that has frequent and numerous bed bug infestations. Every city in the US likely has some bed bugs, but in some cities the problem has hit a critical mass of infestations enough that most people have heard about them and know that they're an issue. New York City passes that bar. Cincinnati seems close behind. Boston seems to be headed that way if it isn't already.
The problem in your situation is that you can't tell necessarily whether your landlord is poorly informed or a slacker.
First up, if you're going to use food grade DE, please read our Frequently Asked Questions section on DE. It's not unsafe if you use it correctly, but it's only effective if used in a particular way, and it can be unsafe if used improperly:
Second question: were all the units in the fourplex inspected by a knowledgeable PCO?
If so, it's possible that the PCO is treating those units in a way that will not spread the bugs.
For example, I also live in a four plex. My unit was the only one infested. My apartment was treated, and despite having had the bugs for months (Without realizing it), and the bugs did not spread.
However, many PCOs who are treating chemically suggest treating all adjacent units. Whether or not the bugs will spread from a treated unit will depend on how that unit is being treated. And since some people do not respond to the bites, all adjacent units should be thoroughly inspected.
Which brings me to point #3. If you think that either your landlord or the PCO your landlord hired isn't doing a good enough job, you might see if there's a bed bug helpline in Cincinnati or someone at the health department or tenants' rights organizations to inform you of what your specific rights are. Unfortunately, bed bug related laws tend to be city-level, not state or federal laws, so since I'm not from there, I can't give you city-specific advice.
Fourth, as to how to deal with this landlord, I found it helpful to be very clear that I was telling my landlord about my infestation because it was the right thing to do and I wanted to get the problem as soon as possible before it spread and made things even more expensive.
Hope some of that helps.
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