Rash of Bed Bug Laws Adopted in Recent Months

A rash of new bed bug legislation has been adopted in recent months at both the state and local levels in an attempt to better control these blood-sucking pests and define responsibilities when they attack. Of particular note is the first set of regulations governing bed bug dogs. Adopted by the Maryland Department of Agriculture, the regulations address licensing, canine training and certification.

Currently 21 states have enacted bed bug laws or regulations, but many of those laws were adopted in the early 1900s and have not been updated since the current bed bug resurgence began roughly a decade ago. Since 2006, only 9 states have enacted new bed bug legislation.

According to a National Pest Management Association review of state bed bug laws, most new bed bug regulations are directed at landlords and property managers of hotels, group homes, summer camps, etc. and detail their responsibilities when bed bugs are discovered. A state-by-state summary of bed bug laws is available on the National Conference of State Legislatures website, although the summary does not include the most recently enacted legislation.

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