What happens when your apartment building is plagued with bed bugs requiring NJ pest control, but the government is your landlord? Residents of a government-subsidized apartment building in the Bronx are trying to make their voices heard about insects, rodents and drug dealers putting their health and safety at risk.
“House of Horrors”
In October 2019, residents of a building at 3677 White Plains Road told the New York Daily News they had been complaining for at least a year about critical problems. Apartments were infested with bed bugs, roaches and mice, while heat and hot water were sporadic and drugs were being sold and used in the hallways.
One woman displayed a picture of her 10-year-old daughter’s legs covered with bed bug bites, along with bags of the insects she collected as evidence for a lawsuit against building management. Another woman who lives with her five-year-old grandson said he had also received extensive bed bug bites and she was forced to throw away four large bags of his clothing and shoes.
Governor Demands Action
Upon hearing of the allegations, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo ordered state agencies to make a complete investigation. In addition, Cuomo promised accountability for any wrong-doing on the part of the management company and social services provider.
As a responsible NYC renter, you notify management that your apartment has bed bugs. You’re then presented with a bill for thousands of dollars. Are you required to pay up? Here’s a look at who’s financially liable for NJ pest control.
Landlord vs. Renter: Who’s Responsible?
According to NYC real estate lawyer Bruce A. Cholst, management would have to prove negligence on your part in order to bill you for extermination costs. In the case of bed bugs, negligence would be a specific act such as hoarding or bringing in discarded furniture left outdoors.
Bed Bugs Are All Around
Bed bugs are highly opportunistic, hitching a ride indoors on clothing or in packages, so you could unwittingly be the source. But it’s equally likely that they’ve entered via another tenant, such as through the laundry room or in lobby furniture.
Louis N. Sorkin, an entomologist at the American Museum of Natural History, says it’s difficult for management to create a pre-infestation baseline to prove your actions caused a bed bug problem. Regardless of who’s at fault, it’s in management’s best interest to obtain effective NJ pest control to prevent the infestation from spreading.
Stern Environmental: Providing Effective NJ Pest Control for 17+ Years
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The Boston Globe reported that a Brazilian national who operated an extermination company in Everett was arrested on charges of using chemicals banned indoors and for operating without certification. Citizens of New York City and New Jersey and elsewhere need to make sure they hire a quality pest control company for bed bug treatments.
His company used the agricultural pesticides malathion and carbaryl, which have been banned from indoor use for eradicating bed bugs in Everett and other cities. One of the tenant’s claimed that the company sprayed the harsh chemicals throughout her apartment including on her eight month old daughter’s crib.
The tenant reported she had to hire a cleaning company to clean the place and after all the spraying she still had bed bugs. She moved out of her apartment. No mention if her landlord reimbursed her for the cleaning cost.
The maximum penalty for violating the EPA regulation includes one year in jail and/or a $25,000 fine. Perhaps the fine should be higher.
An increasing number of people living in New York City and New Jersey and in other parts of the nation are blood meals for the odious bed bugs. However, sometimes the red welts are not due to bed bug bites. People need to get confirmation that the rashes have actually been caused by bed bugs. Even doctors have incorrectly diagnosed skins welts as being produced by bed bugs.
The rashes often look like those caused by mosquitoes although the bed bug caused rashes usually last longer. Flea bites typically have a red dot in the middle which is not the case for bed bug bites. However, flea bites often are placed in rows which can happen with bed bug bites.
About one-third of the human victims of bed bugs do not have a skin reaction. So, an apartment in New York City or New Jersey could have a bed bug infestation without the residents realizing they need bed bug treatments. Bed bug monitors are excellent devices for revealing a bed bug infestation.
Residents of New Jersey and New York City and elsewhere may be interested to know that in Columbus, Ohio a landlord asked all tenants to pay $100 for bed bug extermination services. If they don’t pay they will be in violation of their lease. One tenant refused to pay the money.
The lease states the tenant is responsible for any pest control service if the tenant wants such a service. However the notice from the landlord states this treatment is not optional. However, the Columbus City Code states that “The owner is responsible for elimination of any insects, rats, or other pests in a dwelling containing two (2) or more dwelling units.
The landlords in many areas in the country are responsible for bed bug treatments. They didn’t bring the bed bugs in yet they have to pay all the costs. They may not think that’s fair and if so, perhaps they have a legitimate complaint. It’s a difficult issue.
Landlords should consider purchasing and placing bed bug monitors in apartment units.