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Advice needed

(6 posts)
  1. wibedbugger

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    Posted 2 weeks ago
    Sat Nov 3 2018 4:44:50
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    Okay so I live in Wisconsin and we are going through this terrible nightmare of bedbugs. I do not yet believe the infestation is that bad and I live in an apartment. I know my landlord needs to know but I’m starting to worry about telling them because I’m afraid they will nonrenew our lease if this happens. Does anyone know anything about that?

    Also is there anyway they can pin it on us? We are not sure how they came about. We just moved in a month or so ago and my 6 month old had a weird rash thing on him that started and the doc said it looked like bed bug bites, confirmed by a dermatologist. I’m worried about how the landlords will act and be and if they will refuse to take care of this and we don’t have the money to do so and we cannot afford to lose this place. Any advice or thoughts would be appreciated. Thank you!

  2. keephopealive

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    Posted 2 weeks ago
    Sat Nov 3 2018 5:49:19
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    First thing most on here will say is that bites are not evidence and cannot be confirmed as anything other than a bite from an insect, frustrating as that is. Without live specimins, cast skins or fecal traces you cant say for sure if its bedbugs.

    Not sure on the lease side of things but if I were in your position I would inform them; for your own sake and your neighbors. Have you checked your contract/local laws to see if such issues are mentioned and who bears the responsibility and cost for resolution?

    If the problem started just after you moved in and you had no prior issues then it sounds wayyyy more likely that they were already an issue in the building that you were (cruelly) not informed of it.

  3. keephopealive

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    Posted 2 weeks ago
    Sat Nov 3 2018 5:52:11
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    Also, it may be worth monitoring and/or getting a PCO inspection before doing anything else; you may find a company who offers the inspection part for free but it would be worth checking on their reputation and ensuring they discover one of the above mentioned forms of evidence before progressing.

  4. PicketFences

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    Posted 2 weeks ago
    Sat Nov 3 2018 7:34:20
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    I am sorry you are going through this but agree that bites are not enough evidence for bedbugs. According to experts, no doctor or dermatologist can positively diagnose bites as bedbug bites because they look different on everyone. There is a FAQ on this site that addresses this. That said, on the assumption you may have bedbugs, and as someone in an apartment building whose neighbors tried to hide it and so it spread to our unit and others, I beg you to take action. Do not attempt to self-treat, which is ineffective AND drives the bugs even more to surrounding units. You really need to report it and get a PCO to inspect and if verified to have bedbugs, treat the apartment professionally. I am sorry about the anxiety regarding your lease. I imagine there are resources for tenants to advise them of their rights in your town/city/state? From a Google search I found this Tenant Resource organization based in Madison, WI: http://www.tenantresourcecenter.org/bedbugs
    You may not be in Madison, but I would search for something similar in your area and ask them about lease renewal and bedbugs. I understand the fear of losing your housing, but instead of hiding the problem and spreading the issue, I would seek clarity regarding your rights as a tenant and take action sooner rather than later.

  5. wibedbugger

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    Posted 2 weeks ago
    Sat Nov 3 2018 11:12:56
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    I did check my lease and it doesn’t touch anything about pests, infestations, or bed bugs. The only thing I can find on state law is that in Wisconsin landlords have to provide housing that is liveable adn typically unless they can prove the bugs were brought in by the tenant they are responsible.

    In regards to identification last night after I posted I felt my hand itching and started looking and found one that recently fed crawling away. I grabbed it and smooshed it and blood all over. It isn’t the first one I’ve seen and still on the smaller side. Not a full adult yet. I can post picyures if that would be helpful.

  6. PicketFences

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    Posted 2 weeks ago
    Sat Nov 3 2018 12:02:58
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    It sounds like you should ask landlord/management for inspection/treatment due to bedbugs. Save any bedbugs you find. Sorry you are going through this.

    I know where I live there are strong laws for tenants in terms of lease renewals for certain categories of apartments. It varies depending on where you live in the country obviously. If there is a resource in your community (non profit housing advocates or lawyers) to learn what the law is for leases where you are it is always good to have that knowledge so a landlord can't falsely intimidate you. It sucks to be a new tenant and have to deal with this. (I have friends who got bit the first night they moved into a new apartment).

    You could also have moved into an apartment (or a building) that had them. You don't and can't know one way or another, but just putting that out there. Good luck.


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