People always ask: Does Renters Insurance Cover Bed Bugs? The answer is renters insurance generally does not cover bed bugs. Deterring and eliminating pests, such as bed bugs, is considered part of the standard maintenance of a home and the responsibility of a tenant. There are exceptions to this rule, depending on where you live and whether the source of the bed bugs can be determined, but you should be prepared to take financial responsibility for the infestation. Continue reading for some useful information and tips about bed bugs and renters insurance.
Does Renters Insurance Cover Bed Bugs?
No, with limited exceptions bed bugs are not covered by renters insurance. Policyholders cannot file a claim to cover the cost to exterminate bed bugs or damage caused by the insects, such as replacements of mattresses or other belongings.
Is my landlord supposed to take care of bedbugs?
Does renters insurance cover bedbugs? No. But does that mean you definitely need to pay out-of-pocket to deal with them? Not necessarily. In some cases, the infestation is your landlord’s responsibility.
Report the Bed Bug Problem to Your Landlord
If you suspect a bed bug infestation in your unit or building, contact your landlord or manager right away. Your landlord should hire a qualified exterminator to inspect for and measure the concentration of bed bugs in your rental (and also adjoining units). Before any exterminator enters your unit, your landlord should give you proper notice of entry for the exterminator’s inspection, or work with you to come up with a plan for accessing your unit that works for both of you.
Some states have specific laws on the books about landlords’—and tenants’—duties regarding bed bug infestations. For example, state laws might require tenants to take steps such as:
- report a possible infestation within a certain time—usually 24-48 hours—after discovering it
- reasonably cooperate with the landlord’s extermination efforts, and
- comply with any specific control measures the landlord puts in place.
Get Ready for an Exterminator’s Inspection
Ask your landlord what to expect from the bed bug inspection. Typically, a pest management professional will examine the main bed bug site (such as your mattress and bedding), as well as other common bed bug hiding places, such as drawers, closets, and shelves. A professional will also attempt to determine where the bed bugs came from, and learn whether and how the problem has spread. Mapping the infestation might also help determine when a particular rental unit became infested, which the landlord may use to apportion financial responsibility for the extermination—some states allow landlords to charge the cost of extermination to tenants who willfully or recklessly cause an infestation, or who fail to timely report an infestation.
Protecting Your Home from Bed Bugs
Bed bugs are great hitchhikers. They can move from an infested site to a new home by traveling on furniture, bedding, luggage, boxes and clothing.
Although they typically feed on blood every 5 to 10 days, bed bugs can be quite resilient; they are capable of surviving several months to a year without feeding.
What keeps bed bugs away?
What Scents Keep Bed Bugs Away?
- Rubbing Alcohol. Rubbing alcohol is a known disinfectant. …
- Lavender Oil. Bed bugs are known to hate 100% pure lavender essential oil. …
- Tea Tree Oil. Tea tree oil is one toxic essential oil. …
- Blood Orange Oil.
- Neem Oil. …
- Peppermint Oil.
- Spearmint Oil.
- Diatomaceous Earth
A few simple precautions can help prevent bed bug infestation in your home:
Inspect the luggage rack in your hotel room for bed bugs.
- Check secondhand furniture, beds and couches for any signs of bed bug infestation before bringing them home.
- Use a protective cover that encases mattresses and box springs to eliminate many hiding spots. The light color of the encasement makes bed bugs easier to see. Be sure to purchase a high quality encasement that will resist tearing and check the encasement regularly for holes or a cover that has been pre-treated with pesticide to control bed bugs.
- Reduce clutter in your home to reduce hiding places for bed bugs.
- Vacuum frequently to remove any successful hitchhikers.
- Be vigilant when using shared laundry facilities. Transport items to be washed in plastic bags (if you have an active infestation, use a new bag for the journey home). Remove from dryer directly into bag and fold at home. (A dryer on high heat can kill bed bugs.)
- If you live in a multi-family home, try to isolate your unit by:
- Installing door sweeps on the bottom of doors to discourage movement into hallways.
- Sealing cracks and crevices around baseboards, light sockets, etc., to discourage movement through wall voids.
- Consider purchasing a portable heating chamber to treat any items that you believe may have bed bugs.
- Be sure to read and carefully follow the directions if you use one of these units and be aware that they are not regulated by EPA or other federal agencies.