The treatment of bed bugs involves thorough and repeated cleaning and sanitisation. Through this blog post, we aim to learn whether or not the council can help residents in their area if their home is infested with bed bugs. We will also explore the cost of pest control services in such cases as well as how a resident should prepare their home prior to the pest control treatment. 

Can The Council Help With Bed Bugs?

Yes, the council authorities can help with bed bugs even though they do not have a legal duty to carry out pest control for tenants. They can ask their pest control or Environmental Health team to visit your house, assess the problem and advise on the solution. In fact, if you try to control the problem yourself, you may not be able to do it successfully on your own.

If you are a private homeowner and you inform the council authorities of the pest infestation in your home, you will be given an estimated cost and expected to bear the expense on your own.

If you are a private housing tenant, you can ask the council or your landlord to help with the infestation of bed bugs. The pest control services in this case can be arranged by the council or your landlord. However, the expense will have to be borne by your landlord. 

On the other hand, if you are a council housing tenant, you will not be charged for pest control services and the expense will be taken care of by the council authorities or your social housing landlord.

Council authorities can only be expected to extend support for pest infestations and cannot be held accountable. If the problem persisted before the tenant moved into the property, the council will investigate the matter in such cases and if the claim is proven to be accurate, the landlord will be asked to bear the expense of pest control services.

Landlords are responsible for pest control since they are required to maintain repairs of the property that they have rented out. If there are holes in the structure of the property or there is overdue maintenance that has not been taken care of by the landlord, a pest infestation in such cases will be due to the negligence of the landlord. This can also declare the house to be unfit for living.

Once you inform your local council of the pest infestation due to bed bugs, their environmental health team will visit your home and conduct a survey of the situation. They will then discuss the treatment with you and proceed with spraying insecticide on the affected areas. Once they are done, they will advise you on how to prevent bed bugs in the future. 

However, bed bugs are not immediately removed after the procedure is completed. This is the reason why tenants are advised not to do the following:

  • enter the affected rooms at least 2 hours after the treatment is complete
  • vacuum the rooms during the time spent between the two visits of the team
  • vacuum the rooms for 4 weeks after the last visit of the pest control team  

How Much Does It Cost To Get A Pest Control Treatment For Bed Bugs?

The amount of fee that will be charged from private tenants for pest control services depends on whether they will be charged with a domestic fee or a concession fee. For instance, in Haringey Council, the domestic fee for pest control regarding bed bugs is £280 while the concession fee is £168.

These charges are applicable for a three-bedroom house and can increase with the increase in the number of bedrooms.

If you are a social housing landlord, you will be charged a domestic fee while if you are a tenant claiming any of the below-listed benefits, you will be charged the concession fee:

  • Child Tax Credit
  • Council Tax Reduction  
  • Employment Support Allowance
  • Housing Benefit
  • Income Support  
  • Income-Based Jobseekers Allowance  
  • Pension Credit  
  • Working Tax Credit  
  • Universal Credit 

How Should You Prepare For A Pest Control Treatment?

Tenants should prepare their homes for a pest control treatment much in advance of the arrival of the team to be sent by the council. For this purpose, they should take care of some basic essentials such as:

  • strip all beds of linen and wash them at a high temperature  
  • remove all the rugs from the floor and wash them at a high temperature  
  • empty the contents of bedside tables and clean them thoroughly  
  • empty the content of wardrobes as the inside will be sprayed  
  • vacuum the entire home (this includes the space underneath beds), and disposal of the vacuum bag 
  • remove furniture away from the walls  

Pest control treatments for bed bugs usually last for 4 months; including weekly or bi-weekly visits by the team.

Conclusion:

The above discussion brings us to the conclusion that only can the council help tenants with a bed problem but are better equipped to suggest pest control services rather than tenants trying to resolve the matter on their own, this is the reason why if you are facing a bed bug infestation, you should contact your local council office to report the bed bug problem.

FAQs: Can The Council Help With Bed Bugs?

What do I do if I get somewhere with bed bugs?

If you have already brought bed bugs into your home (mostly through clothing) you should inform pest control services immediately. If you’ve visited another place carrying the bed bugs on your clothing it is advisable to warm them so that appropriate action is taken by them.

Who is responsible for bed bugs in the UK?

Landlords are responsible for bed bugs and the removal of other pest infestations in the UK. Even if the council authorities take care of the pest infestation, landlords of private tenants are required to bear the expense.

What is the main cause of bed bugs?

Bed bugs usually come from other infested areas such as furniture. They can also be carried through luggage or clothing. 

Where do bed bugs hide on your body?

While they can hide anywhere, bed bugs usually hide on human legs and ankles.

What smells attract bed bugs?

Smells that attract bed bugs include bleach, fabric softeners and scented candles.

References: 

Repairs – infestations of pests and vermin – Citizens Advice

Pest control service – Hillingdon Council

Bed bugs | Haringey Council

Pest control | Haringey Council

Pests and vermin infestations in rented homes – Shelter England

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