A resurgence in the incidence of bedbug infestations across the nation has led to an increased focus in state legislatures on this pest. Bedbugs, which can take up home in clothes, beds, couches and other upholstered items, are not known to carry disease. They can, however, cause rashes and allergic reactions.

Bed bug

Bed bug

Many state legislatures have laws on the books addressing bedbugs that date back to the early 20th century. Since the recent rise in bedbug infestations, other states have passed laws to address this pest.

To date, twenty states have statutes addressing bedbugs. These address bedbug infestations in rental properties (Arizona, California, Florida, and Nebraska); hotels (California, Kansas, Minnesota, Nevada, Ohio, South Dakota and West Virginia); institutional facilities (Michigan, Minnesota, Nebraska and Wisconsin); schools (New York and Utah); railcars (Illinois); and migrant labor camps (Iowa, Nevada and Pennsylvania). Arizona, Kansas and Texas list bedbugs as public health nuisances. Illinois authorized a state report on the prevention, management, and control of bed bug infestations, which was due by December 31, 2011. Rhode Island requires commercial pesticide applicators who use restricted pesticides to kill bedbugs to carry proper certification.

State Statute Citation Summary
Arizona A.R.S. § 36-601 – Public Nuisances Dangerous to Public Health. Lists the presence of bedbugs in any public sleeping accommodations a public nuisance dangerous to the public health.
A.R.S. § 9-500.31 Prohibition on adopting landlord tenant bedbug control requirements. Prohibits cities and towns from regulating landlord-tenant bedbug controls. Cities and towns may regulate the disposal of items infested with bedbugs.
A.R.S. § 11-269.11 Prohibition on adopting landlord tenant bedbug control requirements. Boards of Supervisors may not regulate landlord tenant bedbug controls, however Boards may regulate the disposal of items infested with bedbugs.
A.R.S. § 33-1319 Bedbug control; landlord and tenant obligations; definitions. A landlord may not knowingly rent a unit to a tenant that has a bedbug infestation. Tenants may not knowingly bring materials that have been infested with bedbugs into a rental unit. Landlords must provide tenants with educational materials related to bedbugs.
California 25 CCR § 40 Bedding. Beds in apartments and hotels that supply beds and bedding to renters must ensure that all bedding is clean and free of bedbugs. Linens must be changed before a new occupier occupies the unit. Hotel bedding must be changed before each new guest arrives.
Florida West’s F.S.A. § 83.51 Requires landlords make reasonable provisions for the extermination of bedbugs in rental property.
Illinois 225 ILCS 235/10.15Repealed by its own provisions, eff. Jan. 1, 2012. Authorizes a Structural Pest Control Advisory Council to develop a report to the General Assembly, due December 31, 2011, with recommendations on the prevention, management, and control of bed bug infestations. The report shall include, but not be limited to, recommendations related to the availability of education materials on bed bug prevention, management, and control; proper transport, storage, and disposal of bed bug infested materials; promote the development of effective treatment methods or options to eradicate bed bug infestation; and increasing knowledge and awareness among tenants, landlords, and property managers and owners about preventing bed bug infestations.
610 ILCS 85/1 to 85/4 Requires railcars that will be occupied by the public be free from bedbugs. Requires regular cleaning and inspection of railcars. Provides for penalties.
Iowa I.C.A. § 138.13 Requires that migrant labor camps establish bedbug control measures in order to be permitted.
Kansas K.A.R. 4-27-5 Imminent health hazard. Classifies bedbugs as an imminent health hazard. Requires licensees of lodging establishments to cease operations of areas affected by an imminent health hazard and to notify authorities of its presence within 12 hours of discovery.
K.A.R. 4-27-9 Guest rooms. Licensees may not rent guest rooms which have been infested by bedbugs. The licensee must report the infestation to the authorities within one business day of discovery.
Maine 14 M.R.S.A. § 6021-A Establishes landlord and tenant duties in the event of a bedbug infestation in rental property. Provides for remedies.
Michigan Mich. Admin. Code R. 400.57 Care of residents. Requires county infirmaries to implement procedures to prevent bedbug infestations and to take proper steps to eradicate existing infestations.
Minnesota Minnesota Rules 4625.1700 INSECT AND RODENT CONTROL Requires hotels, motels, lodging houses, and other like facilities to be constructed and equipped to prevent bedbug infestations. Allows such facilities to use licensed exterminators in certain circumstances.
Minnesota Rules 4665.2300 INSECT AND RODENT CONTROL Requires supervised living facilities to be constructed and equipped to prevent bedbug infestations. Allows exterminators to be used when necessary to eradicate pests.
Nebraska Neb. Admin. R. & Regs. Tit. 175, Ch. 2, § 004 SANITATION Requires boarding homes to be constructed and equipped to prevent bedbug and pest infestations. Allows exterminators to be used to eradicate pests when necessary.
Neb. Admin. R. & Regs. Tit. 175, Ch. 3, § 004 HEALTH AND SAFETY REQUIREMENTS – GENERAL Requires health care facilities to be constructed and equipped to prevent bedbug and pest infestations. Allows exterminators to be used to eradicate pests when necessary.
Nevada N.R.S. 447.030 Requires that any room in any hotel which is infested with vermin or bedbugs or similar things be thoroughly fumigated, disinfected and renovated until such vermin or bedbugs or other similar things are entirely exterminated.
NAC Chapter 444. Sanitation Requires proper measures to be taken to prevent bedbug and pest infestation in a camp.
New York McKinney’s Education Law § 920 Requires principals of public schools to provide parents with information about any bedbug infestations, including information on how to prevent the spread of the infestation. Requires the school infestation be addressed in the most effective and safe manner.
Ohio R.C. § 3731.13 Prohibits bedding which is infested with vermin or bedbugs from being used on any bed in any hotel.
Pennsylvania 7 Pa. Code § 82.15 Insect and rodent control. Seasonal Labor Farm Camps must have effective measures in place to prevent and eliminate infestations of bedbugs and pests.
Rhode Island R.I. Admin. Code 25-3-24:7 CATEGORIES FOR COMMERCIAL APPLICATORS Commercial pesticide applicators who use restricted pesticides to eliminate bedbugs and a variety of other pests must be certified.
South Dakota Administrative Rules of South Dakota 44:02:08:05. Vermin control. Vacation homes must be constructed, equipped, and maintained to prevent infestations of bedbugs and other pests. The facility may be required to hire a professional exterminator to eradicate pests under certain circumstances.
Texas V.T.C.A., Health & Safety Code § 341.011 Lists the presence of bedbugs in any public sleeping accommodations a public health nuisance.
Utah U.A.C. R392-200 Design, Construction, Operation, Sanitation, and Safety of Schools. Requires schools implement measures designed to prevent the infestation of bedbugs and other pests.
West Virginia W. Va. Code, § 16-6-16 Requires that in every hotel, any room infected with vermin or bedbugs shall be fumigated, disinfected and renovated until said vermin or bedbugs are extirpated.
Wisconsin Wis. Adm. Code s DHS 190.08 Physical environment. Requires institutions to take all necessary measures to eradicate bedbug and pest infestations. Requires institutions to take measures to prevent the poisoning of people and animals.

 

Source: National Conference of State Legislatures, 2012