Bed bugs are apparently alive and well in Oklahoma. According to News9.com on October 2, 2012, an Oklahoma City apartment complex is crawling with bed bugs, cockroaches, and fleas. Residents are having a difficult time getting rid of the pests in their apartments as these invasive bugs travel from home to home with ease. Just as one apartment is cleared of the bugs, they move next door to bug the daylights out of the next tenant. Residents report that before you know it, the pests are back in their apartment once again.
Many states have enacted laws in regards to various pests that invade rental properties. Some pests are considered to be “vermin” while others are not. In most states, cockroaches, mice, and rats fall into the category of “vermin” as they carry dangerous diseases that can be transmitted to humans. On occasion you will find a state that actually considers bed bugs to be vermin, despite the fact that they are not known to transmit diseases onto humans or pets.
Oklahoma legislature states that renters do have some rights when it comes to eradicating pests within their living quarters. Tenants are responsible for notifying their landlord in writing when pests such as bed bugs are found in the rental property. The landlord in turn is responsible for eradicating the pests within 14 days of written notification from the tenant. If the landlord does not provide services, the tenant is allowed to break their lease and vacate the premises without any consequences.
Although good in theory, there are a few problems with this legislation. In the case of bed bugs, if tenants choose to break their lease and move to a new location, they will undoubtedly take along the bed bug infestation to their new rental property, thereby spreading the infestation. Landlords who do not properly treat their facility in the first place will simply be infecting the next incoming tenant, which will also cause the bed bug infestation to spread to yet another family. Is it no wonder with laws like this that the bed bug problem in the United States is so out-of-control?