Covid-19 Alert: Escondido Pest Control Company is still open for business. We have put in place and will continue to re-enforce safety measures to protect our staff, our customers and the people of California.

About Us | Escondido Exterminator | Pest Control Escondido
Tenant bed bugs

Understanding the Law: What Tenants and Landlords Must Do About Bed Bugs

Bed bugs can be a big problem for people who rent their homes and those who own the homes they rent. They can make you feel uncomfortable and stressed and cost a lot of money to get rid of. It’s important to know the rules for the person who owns and rents the home when dealing with bed bugs. In this blog post, we’ll talk about what landlords and tenants in California need to do about bed bugs, like who has to pay to get rid of them and when a tenant might have to help deal with the problem.

For over ten years, Escondido Pest Control has been the go-to full-service pest control company for residential and commercial clients in the Escondido community. As a locally owned and well-established business, we are dedicated to providing top-notch and timely exterminator services. Contact us now!

Responsibilities of a Landlord for Bed Bugs in California

In California, landlords must ensure their rental units are safe and habitable, including keeping them free from bed bug infestations. The law mandates that landlords maintain livable properties, necessitating prompt and effective resolution of pest problems.

Landlords are required to:

  • Conduct inspections: Regular inspections are essential for the early detection of bed bug issues. Landlords should inspect the property before a new tenant moves in and periodically during the lease term.
  • Respond to complaints: Upon receiving a report of a bed bug infestation from tenants, landlords must promptly investigate and address the problem.
  • Provide disclosure: California law requires landlords to disclose any history of bed bug infestations to prospective tenants. This transparency is crucial for enabling tenants to make informed decisions.

Who pays for bed bug treatment: the tenant or the landlord?

Typically, the landlord bears the financial responsibility for bed bug treatment, as maintaining a pest-free environment is essential for ensuring habitability. When a tenant reports a bed bug problem, the landlord must arrange and pay for professional extermination services. This includes the initial and necessary follow-up treatments to eliminate the infestation.

However, there are exceptions. If it can be proven that the tenant’s actions or negligence directly caused the infestation, the tenant may be held responsible for the costs. Such cases are rare and generally require substantial evidence.

Under what circumstances is a Tenant Responsible for Pest Control?

While landlords typically assume responsibility for bed bug treatments, tenants also bear specific obligations that can influence the management of infestations. A tenant might be accountable for pest control costs if:

  1. They fail to report an infestation: Timely reporting is critical promptly. Delays in reporting can exacerbate the infestation, making it more difficult and costly to address.
  2. Their actions contributed to the infestation: For example, if a tenant introduces infested furniture or belongings into the rental unit, they could be held liable for the resulting bed bug issue.
  3. They do not comply with treatment preparations: Tenants are often required to prepare their units for extermination treatments. Refrain from adhering to these instructions to ensure the efficacy of the intervention, which might lead to additional costs that the tenant may need to cover.

Hiring a Professional Bed Bug Exterminator

When facing a bed bug infestation, hiring a skilled exterminator is crucial, as do-it-yourself methods often fall short against these resilient pests. These are crucial elements to take into account while choosing a bed bug exterminator:

1. Experience and Certification: Verify that the exterminator has specific experience dealing with bed bugs and holds relevant certifications.

2. Inspection and Treatment Plans: A reputable exterminator will thoroughly inspect before devising a comprehensive treatment strategy. This plan should outline the methods to be used, the anticipated duration of treatment, and any necessary follow-up procedures.

3. Integrated Pest Management (IPM): Choose exterminators who employ Integrated Pest Management techniques. This approach combines chemical and non-chemical methods, such as heat treatments, to eradicate bed bugs while minimizing environmental impact.

4. Cost Estimates: Seek multiple estimates to compare prices and services. Ensure that the quotes encompass all required treatments and any subsequent follow-ups.

5. Warranty and Follow-up: A dependable exterminator will provide a warranty for their services and schedule Arrange for further checks to make sure the infestation has been completely eradicated.


Bed bug infestations pose significant challenges for both tenants and landlords alike. In California, landlords are primarily responsible for ensuring that rental properties remain free from these pests. However, tenants also play crucial roles in promptly reporting and preventing infestations. A clear understanding of the legal implications and responsibilities empowers both parties to collaborate effectively in maintaining a habitable living environment. Engaging a professional exterminator is indispensable for swiftly and effectively addressing the issue when confronted with an infestation.