Last week we dealt with two horrific cases of bed bugs. It’s difficult to understand why landlords or letting agents would knowingly, especially in the first case, let out a property when there is a bed-bug infestation.
The poor tenant was heavily pregnant and had just moved into her new flat when she realised she had been bitten all over. We were called to investigate and treat the flat. We found bed bugs hiding in a telephone socket and it was clear that marks left by the bed bugs had been painted over by someone to try to cover up the problem. Two weeks before her baby was due, the poor tenant had to move out of her flat while we carried out the treatment. We heard that the previous tenants had been in the flat for a week and then left – I wonder why.
The second case involved a flat that was being rented by a man who had MS and other problems. He had to be taken to hospital and, when he arrived, the nurses spotted bites all over him. Social services were called and we were asked to investigate. Our technician Barrie found the worst case of bedbugs he has seen in 30 years. There were thousands in the fridge and practically everything had to be removed from the flat. We’re just hoping that the bedbugs haven’t spread to other nearby properties.
I think the lesson here is that landlords need to pay close attention to pest control – it’s a false economy to ignore pest problems as, if they get out of hand, they can end up costing you more in the long run.
Prevention is better than cure – it’s much better to have a pest control contract in place.