Top Questions

Do bed bugs spread disease?
Bed bugs are not known to transmit disease.
What should I do now that I’ve discovered bed bugs in my apartment?

1. Send a certified letter asking your landlord to remedy the bed bug condition within 30 days. You must have written proof that you notified the landlord.

2. If the landlord refuses to hire a licensed exterminator, call one of the numbers below. Ask if complaints existed before you moved in; if so, you can argue that you didn’t case the problem, and that landlord should have known about the issue.

Contact

Columbus Columbus Code Enforement: 3-1-1
Request a confirmation number.
Worthington City Office (614) 431 – 2424
Franklin Co Franklin County Public Health (614) 525 – 3160
(outside Columbus or Worthington)
Other Counties Contact your local county health department.
You may also want to call the Better Business Bureau at (614) 486 – 6336.

3. Research. Ask your neighbors – if 10 percent or more of the apartments are infested, Columbus Code Enforcement and Franklin County Public Health can compel the landlord to hire an exterminator.

Can the landlord charge me for the extermination?
Yes. If you and the landlord fail to agree, then get help by contacting:

Columbus Urban League: (614) 257 – 6300 (Housing Department)
Community Mediation Service: (614) 228 – 7191

The maintenance person is spraying for bed bugs. Is this allowed?
No. Only a licensed exterminator can eradicate the pests. Some landlords have licensed support staff, but that’s rare. If a licensed exterminator isn’t used, notify the Ohio Department of Agriculture at (614) 728 – 6987
Do over-the-county insecticides work?
No. They do not kill bed bugs that are hiding behind the baseboard or under the carpet. Total release aerosol insecticides (a.k.a. “bug bombs”, “flea spray”) will make the problem worse by scattering the bugs throughout your home.
What should I do given my tenants moved out and left the unit infested with bed bugs?
Talk to your lawyer. If you cannot afford a lawyer;

Acquaint yourself with the Ohio Revised Code 1923 & 5321
Call Columbus Urban League at (614) 257 – 6300

Can I get out of my lease if there are bed bugs?
No. Talk to a lawyer. They may be able to help you negotiate a ‘Release’ from the lease contract.
Is there any money to help my elderly relative who has bed bugs but cannot afford to either hire a licensed professional or prepare for treatment?
No public agency has money to help pay for bed bug treatment at this time. Try talking to your exterminator about scheduling a payment plan. Also, try to limit the infestation by limiting clutter and following cleaning tips here:

Moving Tips

 

For help moving furniture or removing clutter, contact local organizations, such as churches or senior centers, to see if there may be help available.

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