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Condo Smarts: Act fast to rid strata of pests – Times Colonist

Dear Tony: Who is responsible for pest removal from a strata property?

We have a unit apartment building and 12 townhouses in our strata. The townhouse owners have been complaining about wasp nests and the apartment owners have complained about the sound of mice in the walls and attics.

We had the same issues last year and everyone took care of their own problems, but this year several owners have refused to pay for the exterminators or pest control, so the problems are much worse.

We would appreciate some guidelines on how to address these issues.

Cedar Gardens Strata Council

In most infestations of rodents and insects, access begins outdoors and through the common property. It could be through vents, foundations, walls, balconies, windows and doors left open in the warm season, or failures in the building envelope.

The point of access is common property, unless you are a bare land strata where owners are responsible for their own buildings that are not shown on the strata plan.

Understanding access is the first step to understanding responsibility. While strata councils often refuse to pay for the costs of pest control, in most instances it is a common expense. The sooner the strata corporation takes responsibility and co-ordinates the removal and control of pests, the greater chance of protecting property and preventing future issues.

Raccoons that attempt access to roofing areas are generally looking for a place to nest, but their quick, safe relocation is possible while minimizing damage to our buildings.

Pests who invade our living spaces will cause serious building damage to electrical and mechanical infrastructure, as well as nesting in wall cavities and contaminating insulation.

It is unlikely the infestation in your walls and ceilings are mice, and are most likely rats as we have seen a significant increase of rat infestations this year.

Wasp nests, bees that hive in walls and attics, bird infestations, cockroaches, bed bugs, carpenter ants, termites, mice, rats, raccoons, possums and bears are all part of the environment.

Residents and strata councils should be vigilant and report any infestations or incidents and address them as soon as possible. We also need to ensure our environmental surroundings are not encouraging infestations.

Bird feeders, feeding of wild animals, hoarding in crawl spaces, garages and carports, barbecues left with food debris, unattended wood piles, unsecure composters and rotting wet wood all attract pests and animals.

Owners and tenants should be aware that, if they do not maintain and repair their strata lots or contribute to the problem by bringing in pests, the strata corporation may be seeking those damages and costs against your strata lot.

If there is any sign of a pest or animal problem, contact your strata council immediately. They can arrange for a qualified pest control service to manage the problem quickly and prevent property damage or health risk to your residents.

Tony Gioventu is executive director of the Condominium Home Owners Association.

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Condo Smarts: Act fast to rid strata of pests – Times Colonist

Pest Control Exterminator in Buffalo, NY – ProStar Pest …

Bees and yellow jackets refusing to buzz off? Or maybe you have swarms of mosquitos that’ll leave bites that keep you up scratching your ankles at night. Rodents are a nightmare too – you can hear them scurrying through your walls at night. If you’ve got pest problems, you need a pest control exterminator. Whether you’re dealing with bed bugs, bats, roaches, or anything else that scurries around and bothers you, we can help. Our pest control services will be happy to help serve you and help you get your life back to normal.

When you call our pest exterminators, we’ll swing by your house or building to examine your pest problem and advise you on what to do next. If you’re dealing with wildlife, such as raccoons, we’ll relocate them to a better spot. If you have other pests such as mice or yellow jackets, we’ll use our child and pet friendly products to get rid of them. We also provide three services, including steaming, that will kill all growth of bed bugs and their eggs. To ensure that they never bother you again, we offer all year solutions and a home protection plan. Or, if it’s just a one-time pest control issue, we’re happy to help with that as well.

We’ve served the Buffalo, NY area since 1990. Our pest control technicians are both professional and experienced, and will help recommend a pest control service designed for your unique needs. We also pride ourselves on taking an environmentally friendly approach to pest control – while you don’t want to live with cockroaches, you also don’t want to destroy the environment getting rid of them! We’re happy to offer a competitive price for all of your pest control needs.

If you have a pest problem, we have a solution. To get access to our pest control exterminatorsor other pest control services, please give us a call and we’ll provide you with a free, no obligation quote. We look forward to helping you.

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Pest Control Exterminator in Buffalo, NY – ProStar Pest …

Oh, rats! Waldwick residents say rodents have overtaken neighborhood – NorthJersey.com

Residents are complaining that there’s a rat problem in their neighborhood, possibly due to nearby construction. Sarah Nolan/NorthJersey.com

Residents of Wanamaker Avenue in Waldwick say they are unable to keep gardens because of the rat population in their neighborhood.(Photo: Sarah Nolan/NorthJersey.com)

WALDWICK In New York City, a rat has to tote a piece of pizza onto the subway to get noticed. But here in suburbia, just the sight of a rodent can be unexpected, and enough to cause an uproar.

Such is the case on Wanamaker Avenue, a middle-class neighborhood that residents say has recently become infested with the pests.

“They’re just kind of taking over the neighborhood,” said Sharon Braney.

In 31 years of living on the block, Braney’s neighbor Lucy Wanklin said, she had never seen a rat. Yet in just a week and a half recently, she said she and her husband trapped and killed 33.

And she suspects thats just the tip of the iceberg: If there are 33, there are 3,000, she said.

The first signs of the rodents appeared this spring, when resident Annie Hall said she went to open her backyard shed for the first time after a long winter. There, she said, she found rat feces, along with holes in the walls and floor.

Since then, the issue has begun to tailspin, with more and more neighbors reporting sightings of the animals, both dead and alive. Some, like the Wanklins, have set up traps. Hall now outfits her shed with rat poison, yet she said she is continually patching holes gnawed by the critters.

When it comes to a culprit for this apparently sudden invasion, residents say they smell a rat in the form of the nearby construction of Waldwick Station. Russo Development and Terminal Construction Corporation began building the 111-unit apartment complex on Zazzetti Street, along the NJ Transit rail, last summer.

Carol Tyler of Tyco Animal Control, a private company that services Waldwick, said disturbance by construction could be why residents are noticing more rats but that doesnt mean they havent always been there.

Whenever we as humans disturb the environment with construction or excavation, it always disturbs the animals in that area and they become more visible, she said. I dont think we have one more rat now that wasnt there before.

BOROUGH NEWS: Waldwick administrator resigns

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EDEL: Getting rid of pesky chipmunks in the garden

Adam Pasternack, a senior vice president of property management for Russo Development, said the company has recently become aware of the complaints and has asked a pest control company to assess the situation and what needs to be done if the rats are indeed coming from their site.

But Wanamaker Avenue residents say the borough also needs to do more to resolve the issue.

Braney said the problem is getting worse, and she wishes the town would stop passing the buck.

Gary Nicolosi, another Wanamaker Avenue resident, also said he wants to see some real effort on the part of the borough or the builder. Many on the street are gardeners and have not been able to harvest a tomato this season, he said.

Some residents of Wanamaker Avenue in Waldwick have set up traps for a rat population in the neighborhood that they say is exploding.(Photo: Sarah Nolan/NorthJersey.com)

The borough’s health officer, Angela Musella, said an inspector has responded to several complaints on Wanamaker Avenue and provided guidance on prevention and control of rodents in the community.

The NorthWest Bergen Regional Health Commission, for which Musella works, will also conduct a rodent survey, with residents permission, and homeowners are asked to report any unusual activity or burrows found on their property. But Musella cautioned that if there is rodent activity, residents are responsible for treating their own property.

Residents say they have been quoted between $400 and $500 to have their property treated by an exterminator. But they say just two or three homeowners taking action wont help the whole neighborhood would have to do so in order for extermination efforts to be effective.

Besides the nuisance, Wanklin said she worries that pets or children will accidentally ingest rat poison that people may be using to control the rodents, or a rat might bite a child.

One Waldwick resident reported damage to her shed, which she believes was caused by rats.(Photo: Sarah Nolan/NorthJersey.com)

Tyler, the animal control specialist, urged residents not to panic. She said give it some time once construction subsides, the visibility of the rats likely will as well.

I dont see any unnatural balances occurring right now, I just see things going on as nature goes on, Tyler said.

Still, residents of Wanamaker Avenue would like to see action taken to send the rats packing as soon as possible.

Were paying $16,000 in property taxes to live amongst rats? said Braney. Its crazy.

Email: nolan@northjersey.com

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Oh, rats! Waldwick residents say rodents have overtaken neighborhood – NorthJersey.com

Increase in bed bug problems – The News Center

BELPRE, Ohio (WTAP)- There has been an unwanted visitor in the Mid-Ohio Valley for some time now, which many residents are trying to get rid of.

With concern about the invasion, exterminators in the area say they’ve gotten a lot of business recently; yet they say the spread continues.Experts say to check your mattress, box spring, couches and recliners for any black spots; that means bed bugs are there.

Exterminators say the pests travel quickly however precautions can be taken to reduce the chances of spreading them.

Exterminator and owner of Eastern Burkholder Exterminators, Jason Cozzens, explained where the bed bugs come from and why we see an increase. Bedbugs have been back for at least 5-6 years. People travel more. People go to different countries and more people are coming into this country and its just back and forth. Going to by used products verses new, it can be from appliances to anything. And its just a transfer effect, its just an ongoing thing.

To permanently get rid of bed bugs, experts advise hiring a professional. They also recommend washing linens and clothing to keep them clean.

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Increase in bed bug problems – The News Center

Berwick Pest, Ant, Spider & Termite Control | Safe & Reliable

Safe, effective and reliable.

Lets be honest, no one likes to find creepy crawlies setting up shop inside the home. However, pests do more than just raise the hair on the back of your neck they can spread disease and cause irreversible damage to structures if not taken care of by a professional. Thankfully, thats where we come in! At Berwick Pest Control, our experienced team is equipped to rid your house of any unwanted guests in a manner thats completely safe for you, your family and your pets.

No matter the size or nature of the infestation, our team has you covered. We have more than a decade of experience eradicating critters of all shapes and sizes with complete efficiency and minimal disruption to your home. Our pest control service in Berwick, Narre Warren, Beaconsfield and Dandenong can take care of:

Whatever the issue may be, our team can resolve it as soon as possible and provide you with a six-month service guarantee. If you want to prevent an infestation happening in the first place, we can conduct thorough inspections of your property and determine the presence or risk of an infestation.

Our business has become synonymous with safe and effective solutions that give you peace of mind when you need it most. Eradicating pests requires an in-depth understanding of the tools, products and methods used in the industry and which will be the most successful under your specific circumstances. Our team is fully trained with all the necessary skills and knowledge to ensure we can provide the best possible result each and every time.

To receive a free, no obligation estimate based on your needs, fill out the form at the top of the page and we will get back to you as soon as we can. Otherwise, give us a call on 0438 292 477 or (03) 9705 8323 and our team will be more than happy to schedule a booking or answer any of your enquiries.

Whether you need termite, spider or ant control, Berwick Pest Control can get the job done!

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Berwick Pest, Ant, Spider & Termite Control | Safe & Reliable

Roaches, dead and alive, shut down 4 Miami area restaurants and get 14 others cited – Miami Herald

As vacations end and the school year starts, roaches are back to work, too. This edition of the Roach Report features 18 Miami-Dade restaurants.

Well start with the places the bugs played a large role in closing for a day or more.

Bice Bistro, 3015 Grand Ave., Miami Bice serves Northern Italian cuisine and Nutella Mousse. Maybe they should serve some Raid around the baseboards. On Aug. 16, the inspector noticed 20 live and 10 dead roaches underneath the salad prep station, 15 live roaches underneath the reach-in coolers across from front cook line, three live roaches under hand wash sink by front cook line, one live and four dead roaches under the three-compartment sink, five dead roaches underneath prep counter at front line, and two dead roaches in reach-in cooler by salad station. That topped the 27 total violations, six of which were High Priority. And the restaurant also was shut down for the day over food kept at improper temperatures: cheese, chicken wings, cooked pasta, risotto, fish and butter. Getting shut down also gave managers the chance to deal with Clean pots and pans stored on dirty rack by three-compartment sink and water dripping from cooling unit onto lemons stored directly below. When the inspector returned the next day, there were 10 live roaches and 10-15 dead ones spotted underneath reach-in cooler, the prep area, and the main cook line at the front of the kitchen.

Novecento, 18831 Biscayne Blvd., Aventura Among the 24 total violations, including six High Priority violations on Aug. 8, were approximately 14-16 live roaches around back food prep area and inside ovens. The inspector also issued a stop sale on Moldy onions. Handwashing, a basic of food safety, was also imperiled, with no soap at the sink.

Paseo Catracho, 824 SW Eighth St., Miami The Aug. 9 inspection turned up 23 violations, but only two High Priority violations. One of those two was approximately five live roaches inside non-working cooler in the food preparation area and approximately two live roaches on floor under non working cooler in the food preparation area. Also, somebody might need a new water heater: Hot water not provided/shut off at employee handwash sink, service area handsink and men’s restroom.

Rigaud Adeline, 8427 NE Second Ave., Miami Six live roaches under the three-compartment sink in the kitchen drew the inspectors notice on Aug. 8. There were 26 other violations, four of which ranked as High Priority. Clean hands at Rigaud were wet hands, apparently: No paper towels or mechanical hand drying device provided at handwash sink. Observed in restroom, no paper towels. Also, theres an implied invitation to anything that crawls in the neighborhood: Outer openings not protected during operation and vermin and/or environmental cross contamination present. Observed windows on the south side of the restaurant with gaps. Front door is not a solid door, it has a screen. Front area has some gaps to the outside. And holes or wall damage were spotted in several places, such as underneath the three-compartment sink, behind a stand-up reach-in cooler next to the stove, in the dining room and electric room. Rigaud didnt tighten up well enough to reopen on Aug. 9, but did on Aug. 11.

READ MORE: Go to the Dining Advisor for reviews and inspection reports.

Now, to the nebulous Administrative Complaint Recommended, which leaves a restaurant open, but does earn them a next-day re-inspection.

El Taquito, 1380 SW Eighth St., Miami We last heard from this restaurant on this month’s Rodent Report. It wont make a second straight appearance. As for bugs, Observed one live roach by cook line. But youve got to have more problems than that to get a second consecutive Administrative Complaint Recommended. There was all manner of food not stored at a proper temperatures, but no Stop Sale orders were issued. Also the cooked tacos and beans inside the reach-in cooler lacked a date.

Fritanga Nica El Castillo, 18710 SW 107th Ave., West Miami-Dade This restaurant racked up 10 High Priority violations and 46 violations on Aug. 16, but managed to say open. The roach issue was limited to a live roach inside the mop sink. On the re-inspection, there was a live one by the kitchen entrance near the front counter and one in front of the three-compartment sink. Bigger problems seemed to be food storage. When your reach-in cooler has a temperature over 80 degrees, its a heater. Fritanga had 34 raw eggs, day-old cooked pork and friend plantains stored in that cooler. Cooked shredded chicken, cooked yuca and cooked shredded beef also werent kept at temperatures that would discourage bacterial growth.

Hermanos Mendoza Fritanga Restaurant, 1356 Palm Ave., Hialeah The inspector peeked in a kitchen wall gap (one violation) and saw about three live roaches (another violation). And can you spare a square? Lack of toilet tissue at each toilet. Women’s bathrooms.

La Provence South Beach 1629 Collins Ave., Miami Beach Approximately six live roaches behind front display counter in chemical drawers under table. Also, tuna salad prepped on-site more than 24 hours before and not properly marked.

South Garden Chinese Restaurant, 10855 SW 72nd St., #10, West Miami-Dade The inspector saw 10 live roaches in a food storage room that included flour packaging,open and unopened, wheat starch and dried mushrooms packaged.

Caribe Cafe, 7173 W. Flagler St., Miami A total of 42 violations, six High Priority ones, werent enough to close this restaurant that had one live roach crawling at the side of the oven.

Sammis Cafe, 5200 Blue Lagoon Dr., #130, Miami A live roach under the prep table and another in the front reach-in cooler.

Now, to this reports Dead Roaches Society

Bird Bowl, 9275 SW 40th St., West Miami-Dade You get a Basic violation for two dead roaches in ice machine room but the eight High Priority violations and 40 total violations is usually enough to get the rest of the day off.

One Stop Only Corner Catering, 4546 NW Seventh Ave., Miami Six dead roaches on premises behind the unused shelf in preparation area.

Palace Cafe & Dairy, 1300 NW Seventh St., Miami The owner said the exterminator came three days before the inspector did. Maybe thats why the inspector found five big dead roaches on premises.

Paraiso Cafe, 2156 NW Seventh Ave., Miami Approximately six dead roaches on light covers and five under the front counter.

Sabor of Latin America, 1880 79th St. Causeway, North Bay Village Approximately three roaches on premises in a non-working reach-in cooler.

Sunset Cafe, 10300 SW 72nd St., Miami Two roaches found in a sticky trap.

Wynwood Cafe, 450 NW 27th St., Miami One big dead roach behind the dishwasher machine.

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Roaches, dead and alive, shut down 4 Miami area restaurants and get 14 others cited – Miami Herald

‘The Nut Job 2: Nutty by Nature’: You know what I’m saying? – Flayrah

“Somehow, my job now requires me to sit and watch THE SECRET LIFE OF PETS.”- Guy Lodge, Guardian film critic, via Twitter, Nov. 9, 2016

“So much for peaceful protest.”- Surly, squirrel

Currently, this movie sits at a paltry 11% at Rotten Tomatoes, from 47 reviews (not a big number of reviews for a wide release movie). A grand total of five professional reviewers found enough decent in the movie to muster “fresh” ratings there. This 11% percent matches the original’s score, though it had double the positive reviews with 10 of its 89 reviews finding something nice to say about it. So, obviously, not the most critically beloved movie franchise ever.

However, I didn’t exactly follow the critics’ consensus with the first movie, what with giving it a spot on my annual top ten list. Fred liked it too, in his review of the movie for Flayrah. And I won’t be agreeing with the critics again for the sequel (you’ll have to ask Fred if he’s even seen this second one, though).

But, you know what, who cares? I mean, as I write this, the top story on Flayrah Lamar’s article on the alt-right, while Equivamp’s take is a little bit below it. Who cares if the cartoon squirrel movie is good or not; it’s not like it has anything to say about the real world and the things that are happening in it right now.

Right?

I’m going to be honest with you, before I watched this movie, I read a mock review on a non-furry website calling “The Nut Job 2 the best political film of the year!” (put that on the poster). While the post was mostly meant facetiously (and was written by someone calling themselves “Goofy Gorilla”), and it certainly is not the best political film of the year, there is something there. It’s right there in the poster; apparently I’ve developed a fetish for film posters featuring anthropomorphic animals flashing ironic peace signs. The hand gesture is a bit trite nowadays, but it is most famous as a counter-cultural anti-war protest symbol.

The movie’s villain is a mayor, and this is not the first movie I’ve reviewed featuring villainous mayors. Or even the second. They’re easy politicians for our heroes to topple. But why are politicians always the villains? I mean, it’s almost like we don’t trust those guys …

Anyway, this villainous mayor (Bobby Moynihan) wants to bulldoze under the park where Surly (Will Arnett) and his woodland critter friends live. It isn’t profitable to the mayor, just sitting there, being a park. No, he wants to turn it into an amusement park, where he can charge people absurd amounts of money to ride his cheaply constructed rides. The woodland critters at first are able to sabotage the bulldozers, but when the mayor calls in professional exterminators, the tide begins to turn against the fauna of the park.

There are various subplots introduced here, as Surly’s pug dog friend Precious (Maya Rudolph) is “rescued” by the mayor’s daughter (Isabela Moner) which causes Surly and his rat buddy, Buddy (Jean Dujardin), to attempt their own rescue mission. Meanwhile, they meet Mr. Feng (Jackie Chan), the leader of a gang of kung fu mice, who were exiled from a different park across town by the mayor, who turned it into a golf course.

So, just to be clear here, the villain is a real estate businessman turned politician who really likes to golf. Get it? GET IT?

So, is this some sort of hidden propaganda piece, like that post I read on that obscure forum which claimed The Nut Job 2: Nutty by Nature is in fact a left-leaning call for an open revolution overthrowing our capitalist overlords, which is exactly what Surly decides must be done for the climax? Maybe? I mean, the point of the post I keep vaguely referring to was to parody how easy it is to make these kind of readings, even in dumb kid’s cartoons about squirrels. But on the other hand, it’s not not a story of a repressed underclass taking the fight to their oppressors.

See, sometimes a movie is about something. Sometimes a movie really wants to seen as about something, even if it really isn’t. And sometimes, a movie isn’t about anything at all. I think The Nut Job 2: Nutty by Nature is ultimately the third. There’s something in the air right now, if you haven’t noticed, and our entertainment, even our most insubstantial, reflects our reality. It isn’t a counter-cultural statement; I mean, it may look to be an anti-capitalist screed, if you are looking for that, but it’s a multi-million dollar budget CGI cartoon sequel. On one hand, how mainstream capitalism is that?

Of course, on the other, don’t the most effective revolutions come from the inside?

Still wavering, aren’t I? Oh, well, the real reason I really liked the first movie was because of the great use of slapstick and the wonderful furry character designs of the squirrels, two things a furry reviewer might appreciate more than your mainstream critic. This one has all that, plus a surprisingly great joke about parking out of nowhere, and it even leaves out the fart jokes that marred the first one (I will not pass judgement either way on the absence of Psy’s “Gangnam Style”, which provides this review’s lyrical headline, over the credits as in the first movie). Also, if you want to look at it in a maybe unintended fashion, it’s a call to arms. Hey, cult movies are made of these slightly cock-eyed readings. So are revolutions.

As Goofy Gorilla put it:

“Fantastic movie that I am not surprised to see panned by the capitalist press.”

Originally posted here:
‘The Nut Job 2: Nutty by Nature’: You know what I’m saying? – Flayrah

The most bed bug-infested cities in the US named – Inquirer.net

Image: istock.com/william_potter via AFP Relaxnews

Students preparing to return to college dormitories and last-minute holidaymakers looking to book Labor Day breaks may want to consult a new list ranking the most bed bug-infested cities in the United States.

Ohio fares poorly, with Cleveland and Cincinnati occupying the top two spots on the list released by exterminator company Terminix. Rounding out the top five spots are Detroit, Las Vegas and Denver.

The ranking was compiled by looking at the number of service requests the company received during the first half of 2017.

According to Terminix, bed bug infestations have increased significantly since the late 1990s, with increased international travel and insecticide resistance.

Theyre also notoriously difficult to eradicate as theyll hitch rides on clothing, handbags, suitcases and taxis.

Before you crawl into bed in these top-ranked cities, look out for reddish-brown blood spots on sheets or mattresses, a strong musty odor, or signs of the creepy-crawlies themselves which are the size, shape and color of an apple seed.

Here are the top 20 most bed bug-infested cities in the U.S., says Terminix:

1. Cleveland, Ohio2. Cincinnati, Ohio3. Detroit, Mich.4. Las Vegas, Nev.5. Denver, Colo.6. Houston, Texas7. Phoenix, Ariz.8. Indianapolis, Ind.9. Oklahoma City, Okla.10. Philadelphia, Pa.11. Baltimore, Md.12. Pittsburgh, Pa.13. Washington DC14. Tucson, Ariz.15. San Francisco, Calif.16. St. Louis, Mo.17. Atlanta, Ga.18. Tampa, Fla.19. Memphis, Tenn.20. San Diego, Calif.JB

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Yikes! A Study Has Found that More Bed Bugs Live In Dark Sheets

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The most bed bug-infested cities in the US named – Inquirer.net

New California law aims to stop spread of bedbugs – San Francisco … – San Francisco Chronicle

A new state law designed to battle bedbugs requires California landlords to provide tenants with written information about these blood-sucking, tenacious pests and how to report suspected infestations to the landlord.

The disclosure requirement took effect for new tenants July 1 and will apply to existing tenants Jan. 1.

The law also prevents landlords from showing or renting a vacant unit with an active infestation, and from retaliating against tenants who report bedbug problems. It does not require them to inspect rental units for bedbugs if they have not seen them or received a tenant complaint. But it does require them to notify tenants within two days of a pest inspectors findings. It also requires tenants to cooperate with the detection and treatment of bedbugs.

The law does not say what landlords must do when tenants complain. In California, however, residential leases have an implied warranty of habitability that requires landlords to maintain rental units in a condition fit for humans. That includes keeping it free of rodents and vermin, said Whitney Prout, a staff attorney with the California Apartment Association, which represents landlords.

Why bedbugs have their own law is that they are a harder pest to treat, Prout said. It requires early detection and integrated pest management between the landlord and tenant, because of how pervasively they can take over.

Bedbugs feed on blood, mostly human and usually at night. Adults are the size, shape and color of an apple seed. Eggs are the size, shape and color of a sesame seed, said Tami Stuparich, a vice president with California American Exterminator Co.

A baby bug, called a nymph, looks like an adult, but is pinhead-size and lighter in color. They turn reddish and elongated after a meal. Nymphs shed their exoskeleton five times before they become a breeding adult.

Unlike lice, bedbugs dont stay on people; they eat and run. Nor do they jump like fleas or fly. They can crawl or be carried from place to place on objects or people. Bringing in furniture from the street is a good way to get them. Because they are flat, they can hide and travel in cracks and crevices. (See article on one couples bedbug saga in San Francisco.)

They can move easily from unit to unit, and unless all affected units are treated together, theyll come back. Most places require more than one treatment.

Telltale signs include small red or brown fecal spots, molted skins, white, sticky eggs or empty eggshells. They are often found on mattresses, box springs, headboards, nightstands, linens, upholstery, walls and carpet edges.

Bedbugs do not carry disease, but some victims develop itchy red welts that could be mistaken for mosquito or flea bites. Others have no reaction, which makes them even harder to detect until theyre rampant.

Jennifer Brass found bedbugs in her San Francisco apartment in 2010. Their bites were extremely itchy and they lasted for a very long time in a very intensive way, she said. I still consider it one of the worst experiences of my life, more uncomfortable than childbirth without medication, said Brass, now a professor at Indiana State University.

Bedbugs were common in the United States before World War II, but essentially vanished in the 1940s and 1950s, thanks to DDT and other potent, long-lasting pesticides that could be bought over the counter, said University of Kentucky entomologist Michael Potter.

They persisted elsewhere in the world, and decades after those pesticides were banned, made a comeback here. In the late 1990s and early 2000s, they started appearing in big-city hotels, stowing away in the clothes and luggage of international travelers. They soon spread to homes, offices, schools, libraries, anywhere they can find a meal.

They dont care about filth, like a cockroach. They feed on us, Stuparich said. Equal opportunity diners, they show up in single-room occupancy hotels and posh apartments.

Los Angeles ranked fourth and San Francisco ranked 10th on a list of U.S. cities where Orkin, a pest control company, performed the most bedbug treatments last year.

San Francisco has had a bedbug ordinance since 2012 that, in some ways, goes beyond what the state law requires.

If a prospective tenant asks about bedbugs, the landlord must disclose in writing the unit’s bedbug infestation and abatement history, or lack thereof, for the previous two years.

Within two days of getting a bedbug complaint, the property owner or manager must hire a licensed pest control operator to investigate that unit and the ones above, below, next door and across the hall.

Its one of the few pests where we dont want any kind of do-it-yourselfer dealing with it, said Larry Kessler, principal health inspector with the citys Department of Public Health.

The San Francisco ordinance requires landlords to make available to tenants information on the signs and symptoms of bedbugs. Under the new state law, they will have to provide it. Many landlords have voluntarily included in lease agreements a bedbug addendum put out by the San Francisco Apartment Association. The California association has published a similar addendum for member use that complies with state law.

There are various ways to kill bedbugs. The lowest level is treating the affected areas with steam or pesticides, said Darren Van Steenwyk, technical director with Clark Pest Control. Another option is heating an entire room, apartment or house up to lethal temperature. Extreme cases might require tenting the building and fumigating.

The cost of each treatment depends on the labor involved but can range from hundreds to many thousands of dollars, Van Steenwyk said.

William Meyer, whose company WM Properties manages apartments in San Francisco, had to treat about 10 units in two buildings, one on Nob Hill, a couple of years ago. The cost was about $1,000 per unit. Some required up to six visits over six months.

Tenants are often required to vacuum thoroughly; put their clothes, linens and stuffed animals in the washer or dryer on the highest heat possible and store other belongings in airtight containers for extended periods.

State law requires landlords to repair, at their expense, damage or problems that compromise habitability, unless they can prove that it was the tenants fault.

We find that landlords claim they are not responsible, for bedbugs, said Deepa Varma, executive director of the San Francisco Tenants Union. In multifamily dwellings, its almost impossible to prove it was the tenants who brought in the bedbugs. Because of that, generally speaking, landlords are not able to pass those costs on to tenants if tenants know their rights and fight back.

Tenants in San Francisco who think their landlords are not cooperating should contact the health department. We will make sure the landlord does what is necessary, Kessler said.

Since 2012, the department has received 1,079 complaints about bedbugs in apartments and 1,104 about hotels, including single-room occupancy hotels.

Prout, of the California Apartment Association, said that if a bedbug issue comes up and there is a dispute as to whose fault it was, our recommendation (to landlords) is to treat first and deal with the issue of who is responsible later.

The question of who is at fault is one reason neither the state nor city bedbug laws will stop the spread of bedbugs, Potter said.

The holy grail of bedbug management is proactive inspection, he said. If you rely on tenants, you can have have ticking time bombs. People dont want to report them; theyre afraid of reprisal or having to pay for eradication.

New York City requires landlords to pay for bedbug extermination, Potter said, but no city or state requires them to do periodic inspections. If you are going on a complaint-based way of dealing with bedbugs, thats how we get into these horrific problems, Potter said. Some tenant has the mother lode, never reports them, and they disperse throughout the building.

Kathleen Pender is a San Francisco Chronicle columnist. Email: kpender@sfchronicle.com Twitter: @kathpender

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New California law aims to stop spread of bedbugs – San Francisco … – San Francisco Chronicle

Couple’s horror as plague of rats infests their car and EATS the engine while their other motor is littered with … – The Sun

A COUPLE’S car was gutted by a horror plague of rats that chewed through wiring and nested in the engine.

The Citroen C2 was written off as it sat parked in a communal garage underneath its owners’ flat.

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IT worker Chris Cooke, 24, couldn’t get girlfriend Aimee McAllister’s 1,000 motor started ahead of her return from university this summer.

He opened it up to find dozens of rodents and a mountain of droppings over the engine block.

“It was like something out of a horror movie”, he said. “It was completely beyond repair”.

And his car, a Renault Megane coupe, was riddled with decomposing rat carcasses after the creatures got trapped in the wheel arches.

Aimee was left in tears when she was showered with maggots which fell from the top of the door when she shut it.

She had to borrow the car after hers was scrapped because of the infestation.

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The gross larvae had crawled up from underneath the front wing and bumper, which were taken off to reveal the source of a disgusting smell.

Stomach-churning photos and footage shows maggots festering in the bodywork and crawling on the carpet in the driver’s side footwell.

“I literally threw up”, Chris said. “I have never gagged and wretched so much in my life. The smell was unimaginable”.

The couple are complaining to their landlord and the manager of their block of flats on Shankill Road in Belfast.

“No one has helped or admitted blame for this biblical rat attack at all”, Chris said.

“We’ve lost a 1,000 car and taken time out of work to try to get this sorted, but nothing is happening”.

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The couple pay 525 a month rent for their one-bed flat, which includes the cost of maintenance and car parking.

But despite rat traps being laid and efforts being taken to fill in cracks in masonry and brickwork, the invasion has been going on for months.

Fuming Chris told The Sun: “We’re worried about our health. These rats have been nesting in peoples’ cars for God-knows how long, and maggots have been feeding on their remains. It’s revolting.”

The couple are so badly out of pocket because of the rat menace that they can’t afford a new second-hand car, so have to share Chris’s despite their clashing work patterns.

They were only given 20 for scrapping the old Citroen, while they have had to fork out on expensive cleaning products to scrub away the rat remains on the other motor.

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“Every time we call them, the letting agent can’t get off the phone quick enough”, Chris added.

“We had an email from the building manager offering their ‘deepest sympathies’ but that doesn’t help much at all.”

Neighbours at the city-centre new-build block say that an annexed corridor connecting their building with the next door unit is where the rats had been nesting before.

Pest exterminators laid down poison to wipe out the nasty rodents but the sealed up area is now riddled with their corpses.

A hairdresser who uses a neighbouring unit told Chris that she can’t allow her customers to use her toilet because the smell in the room is so bad.

Chris said: “Everyone is so fed up with the rats nothing seems to be getting done about them at all”.

“It’s a huge health risk and they’ve really hurt our wallets too”.

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Couple’s horror as plague of rats infests their car and EATS the engine while their other motor is littered with … – The Sun


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