Be Aware of Laws Regarding Bed Bugs in Arizona
In the past several years, bed bug infestation has increased significantly in the United States. Orkin Pest Control reports a 20% increase in business related to bed bug treatment from 2012 to 2013. It retains a list of the top cities in the United States for bedbug infestation. Of the top 50, only Phoenix, at 28, is the only Arizona city on the list.
The Arizona Legislature may be applauded for taking quick action in 2011 to address the growing bedbug problem in the country. It passed a number of new mandates to decrease the likelihood of infestation within the state. Most deal with landlord and tenant situations, but there are more general provisions that apply to other business situations.
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The landlord and tenant provisions may be found at A.R.S. Sec. 33-1319. First and foremost, a landlord cannot lease premises the landlord knows has a bedbug infestation. The landlord must use a licensed pest control company to eradicate the infestation before it may be rented. In addition, the landlord has the following duties:
- It must provide educational material on bed bug infestation to all tenants when the lease is signed. This material must include information regarding identification, prevention and treatment.
- Educational materials from governmental sources, such as the Center for Disease Control, are usually sufficient;
- If the presence of bed bugs is reported by the tenant, the landlord must investigate the complaint within 7 days;
- The landlord must treat infestation;
- These provisions do not, in and of themselves, create a cause of action for the tenant.
Tenants also have duties regarding bed bugs. Tenants have the following duties to prevent bringing bed bugs into rental properties:
- The tenant cannot bring furniture, clothing or other items into the rental property if the tenant knows it contains bugs;
- If the tenant discovers the presence of bed bugs in the dwelling, he or she must notify the landlord within 3 business days, via either in writing or electronically.
There are other methods for which the legislature has taken to prevent the growth of bedbugs. No county or municipality is permitted to override the laws set forth in Section 1319. However, they may regulate the disposal of materials containing the insects or their eggs.
In addition, under A.R.S. § 36-601, et. seq., bed bugs are considered a public nuisance. This designation permits state, county and municipal authorities to regulate situations where infestation may proliferate. Public nuisance situations apply to businesses and private residences. This would include hotels, motels, rooming houses and other lodging establishments. A governmental authority may order an owner to abate the nuisance or, if the owner fails to do so, may take measures to eliminate the nuisance and charge the owner for the cost of doing so.
If you are a homeowner or business owner that needs bed bug extermination, Green Home Pest Control offers a guaranteed bed bug treatment. We use EcoSmart technology that protects residents, customers, and your property while eliminating your bed bug infestation for good. Contact us to find out more.
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