Understanding Bed Bug Infestations and a New (Four-Legged!) Partner in the Fight Against Bed Bugs in California Rental Properties

At The Brod Law Firm, we believe in partnering with experts in everything from accident reconstruction to physical rehabilitation in order to help our clients.  It appears that we have a new set of partners in our work as your San Francisco bed bug infestation law firm – and they have four legs.  Given the ever-rising number of bed bug infestations in our region, we’ll take the help!

Pest Control Company Uses Trained Dogs to Sniff Out Bed Bugs in the Bay Area

KRON reports that one local pest control company has turned to specially trained dogs to help sniff out bed bug infestations in the Bay Area.  A representative from Round-the-Clock Pest Control told reporters that they are using bed bug sniffing beagles to find the troublesome pests.  The dogs are specially trained to smell live bed bugs and then scratch to alert their handlers when they find them.

The company told KRON that there has been a huge increase in the number of bed bug infestations in the region.  “Around 2006, we were probably doing maybe two-or-three bed bug calls a year.  Now, on average, we are probably getting probably about five-to-eight-thousand bed bug calls a year.”

A Public Health Threat: The Mental, Physical, and Economic Costs of a Bed Bug Infestation

In a Joint Statement, the Centers for Disease Control (“CDC”) and the Environmental Protection Agency (“EPA”), explain that bed bugs have been around throughout our nation’s history, but their numbers dropped dramatically in the mid-20th century.  However, the U.S. and a number of other nations are seeing “an alarming resurgence” in bed bug populations.  Experts suspect this may be tied to an increase in travel (both domestic and international), the insects’ increasing resistance to common pesticides, a lack of knowledge about the pests, and decreased or eliminated pest control programs.

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The EPA and CDC consider bed bugs a public health issue.  Although they are not known to transmit disease, the agencies note that they can cause a number of negative effects on physical and mental health.  Allergic reactions to bed bugs can be severe and, in rare cases, include anaphylaxis.  Bites can develop secondary infections including impetigo, lymphangitis, and ecthyma.  Additionally, the mental health consequences of living with a bed bug infestation can include insomnia, anxiety, and systemic reactions.

Bed bug infestations can also carry substantial economic costs.  Elaborating on the financial concerns, the agencies cite health care costs, lost wages, and reduced productivity.  It can also be substantially more expensive to eliminate bed bugs than it is to control other pests.  Effective elimination often requires multiple visits by pest control officials.  In addition to the cooperation of the individuals facing the infestation, there are added issues when infestations occur in multi-family units because the insects often travel between individual units either on their own or using hitching a ride on humans.  Thus, as the EPA and CDC explain, not only do residents have to be involved in pest management but, “[i]n multi-family housing, diligent participation is also required of the building management.”

A San Francisco Bed Bug Lawyer Helping Tenants Throughout Northern California

As a leading Northern California bed bug law firm, we have seen how difficult it can be for residents to get the help they need, deserve, and are legally entitled to from landlords and/or property owners.  All too often, landlords turn a blind eye to tenant reports of bed bugs which not only causes the problem to continue, but can cause the infestation to worsen.  It is often ineffective to treat only one unit so tenants cannot handle this problem alone.

Do not feel embarrassed if bed bugs attack your home.  It is not your fault.  If you are a Northern California renter and your landlord/property owner is unresponsive or fails to respond effectively an infestation, call our bed bug lawyer in Oakland, San Francisco, or Santa Rosa.  Attorney Brod has experience working with both individuals and tenant groups and can help you get the response you need so you can be free of these troublesome pests.

See Related Blog Posts:

Bed Bugs in Northern California Rental Properties

Bed Bugs – A Continuing Plague Impacting Northern California

(Image by Mick E. Talbot)