New York State requires landlords to tell new New York City renters if a building has or had bed bug problems in the past year.Bed bug inspection from the leading pest control company, Bell Environmental

This law is positive as it requires landlords to be more aware and transparent about problems, makes landlords more likely to employ the proper methods that will resolve Bed Bug issues as recommended by the New York City Bed Bug Taskforce, and gives renters more information as they sign leases and move. Under New York’s real estate laws, landlords are already required to treat reported vermin and pests, including Bed Bugs. Bed Bug problems can spread throughout buildings to neighboring apartments, particularly to those left, right, above and below an affected unit through wall voids, or by tenants and employees who spread these hitchhiking insects them by traveling throughout the building or improperly disposing of infested furniture.

New tenants may learn of problems in their building and become worried. It should not be a significant concern to an occupant if an apartment on the other side of building or several floors down had a problem with Bed Bugs and was treated. While it is helpful to know about a building’s issues, what’s more important is if the particular unit you’re renting or buying has Bed Bugs before you move into that apartment.

This isn’t just an academic issue – a dog inspection can spare you a lot of trouble and expense, and may even help determine whether you move into a particular place.
•A Concerned New Yorker just emailed us: “We just recently finished an extensive renovation of a house that we are literally about to rent. I JUST found out today, by accident, that the former owners had Bed Bugs and NO ONE said anything to us during the sale. So NOW I think I had better, just to be safe and honest, have the house tested, FAST. We are literally signing a lease this week…”

This concerned woman is absolutely right- an inspection from a trained canine is the best way to determine if a location has Bed Bugs or not at the time she moves in. Even if an problem was treated, the house could’ve been re-infested during renovation.

The best inspection method is a licensed and trained Bed Bug Dog from a reputable pest control company. These canines, like our Roscoe the Bed Bug Dog, are proven to be 98% accurate in university studies and can smell bugs hiding inside walls. In contrast, a visual inspection by a trained human is at best 40% accurate. Moreover, people can’t see inside walls nor behind outlets, cable and phone jacks, and light switches where Bed Bugs hide, especially between tenants. Bed Bug signs are even tougher to see in a newly painted apartment.

While there is a lot of concern about Bed Bugs spreading through a building, in our experience, Bed Bugs are more likely to reach your home by traveling on your person or baggage. The best defense against Bed Bugs is vigilance against these pests: Inspect and vacuum your luggage after returning from a trip and run your clothes through the dryer on high heat for 15-30 minutes when you return from anywhere suspect.

P.S. – One of our canine teams inspected the woman’s prospective residence. It was free of Bed Bugs. She and her family are pleased and busy unpacking.