Arizona Bed Bugs! Who’s Responsible?

By Ron Ketner – IBBRA Founding Member –

RON KERTNER AZEX PEST SOLUTIONSThe owner and people at Azex Pest Solutions are rated as top notch professionals who play a significant role in daily communication, education, public awareness and bed bug treatments performed by their highly trained and skilled

Take a moment and read through this article written by Ron Ketner owner of Azex Pest Solutions in Arizona.

As the bed bug epidemic grows logarithmically throughout the state; specific laws and regulations are being formulated to deal with many of the questions of responsibility.

Arizona, in some ways has taken steps to address the question through the Arizona Residential Landlord Tenant Act via state law.  The original proposed bill (SB 1306) really did a great job addressing many of the concerns tenants and property owners were and are still facing in Arizona.

Most importantly the proposed bill contained the provision : “UNLESS THE LANDLORD IS A LICENSED APPLICATOR, THE LANDLORD SHALL NOT USE ANY PEST CONTROL TECHNIQUES THAT CONSTITUTE MITIGATION AND SHALL USE FOR MITIGATION A PEST CONTROL APPLICATOR WHO IS LICENSED PURSUANT TO TITLE.”  This proposed provision would have legally eliminated unlicensed and untrained property owners, or their agents from treating bed bugs themselves and thus potentially limiting exposing tenants to harmful over the counter pesticides and off label application techniques.

Unfortunately, the housing lobby involved itself in this matter and resulted in the watered down and toothless Arizona Bed Bug laws we have today: Specifically A.R.S. §33-1319, and relating §33-1324, and §33-1341.  A.R.S. §33-1319(F) (2), states an infestation occurs when:  “the presence of bedbugs is sufficient to materially affect the health and safety of tenants and their guests.”   It is not currently clear who is ultimately responsible under the current statute.  The main requirements of the landlord are to provide bed bug educational materials and that the landlord cannot rent a unit if they know the unit is infested by bed bugs.  Most importantly the Arizona statutes are completely missing language of who is ultimately responsible for treatment.

Diametrically, A.R.S. §33-1324 contends that the landlord must keep the property in a fit and habitable condition (many have asserted this as a bed bug abatement requirement for the landlord), however, A.R.S. §33-1341 states that the tenants must keep the premises in a clean and safe condition.  Knowing bed bugs are classified as parasites, unlike other infestations such as German Roaches; could bed bugs be a breach of the implied habitability warranty compared to other structural pests? Could landlords be fully responsible for bed bug treatments?  Over time, these questions, and many others will be answered once the many upcoming legal battles work their way through courts.

It just seems like the common sense standpoint for the property owners would be to mitigate the problem professionally due to the fact that if the bed bug problem is left untreated, unreported, or treated in a non-effective or unprofessional manner the problem will only spread, and ultimately, if the tenant decides to just move out….  The landlord still has a problem that is not going to go away by itself and could potentially spread to adjoining units!  Any bed bug infestation, dependent of culpability, should be able be addressed promptly and thoroughly by professionals.

Despite what a person might read on the internet, bed bug eradication in multifamily dwellings is not a simple task for the “do-it-yourselfer” or overzealous landlord.  Bed bugs in the right situations can and will reproduce to an extremely serious infestation level within several months (the embedded picture is from a recent project that reached the level we call the “KB Syndrome”).

The ultimate key (beyond finger pointing) is to establish rigid and professional treatment, education, and regular inspection protocols that include proactive inspections of all the units on a property.  Proactive inspections remove the idea of waiting for a tenant to complain, and when considering the influx of new bed bug lease addendum’s (leases and addendum’s to leases are being prepared across the US that try to hold renters responsible for sharing or saddling the obligation of bed bugs treatments on the tenants) tenants are now signing, many tenants are pushed to keep their mouths shut in order to avoid any associated recourse they initially agreed to.

At the end of the day, despite our laws being far from perfect and extremely murky in terms of responsibility, they are a start in the right direction.  Keep in mind; many states have no bed bug laws whatsoever!  Through, communication, education, public awareness, and most importantly bed bug treatments performed by highly trained and experienced pest control firms, bed bug responsibility can and should be shared by all.  Because ultimately……  The Bugs Always Win!

NOTE:  I am in no way a licensed attorney but I have spent many years of my life treating and researching bed bugs and their associated impact on the public.  The above information is in no way intended as legal advice. Please seek legal counsel in serious cases!

About Ron Ketner

After working as an insect biologist for the United States Department of Agriculture, in 2007 I started AZEX Pest Solutions in Prescott Arizona. Since that time, AZEX has become the state’s foremost authority on Bed Bug Heat Remediation with offices in the Phoenix Metro area and Prescott, AZ. I set out to approach pest control in new and smarter ways with innovative technology, targeted pest control, and environmentally friendly practices. AZEX offers the most advanced pest control products and service programs available for both residential and commercial extermination in Arizona. The honest and effective business practices that AZEX is committed to, produce a healthy, growing, family owned business that customers can depend on. I attribute my company’s success to the hard working, high caliber individuals at AZEX. You will be pleased to work with any of our highly qualified state certified Pest Management Professionals.

Thermalkill Heat Remediation Announces Their Spring Special!

Thermalkill logo

Thermalkill Heat Remediation Announces Their Spring Special!

With the summer travel season fast approaching, Bed-Bug outbreaks are expected to increase dramatically.  According to studies made by prominent Entomology Departments at the University’s of Kentucky, Minnesota, Michigan and Tennessee: Bed-Bugs have re-emerged because they have developed a resistance to today’s pesticides.   But thank goodness Bed-Bugs have an “Achilles Heel” – They can’t survive heat.

Thermalkill Heat Remediation is announcing an early “Spring Special” on their Bed-Bug heat treatments.  Thermalkill provides an affordable, chemical-free Heat Treatment to completely eradicate Bed-Bugs from your property.  Thermalkill’s Heat Remediation process uses portable electric heaters to gradually increase the temperature in the infested area to the killing temperature of 120 degrees killing all stages of the Bed-Bug life cycle.

From residential to commercial properties, Thermalkill’s Heat Remediation process eliminates Bed-Bugs promptly, guaranteeing the treated area to be Bed-Bug free upon completion. With unmarked employees, and company vehicles their service is discreet and 100% guaranteed.  Their diligence and commitment is designed to offer you the reliable solution you desire.

“Heat Treating saves you thousands of dollars, in the process, by eliminating the need to discard any infected furniture or mattresses. Let us solve the problem correctly, and eradicate these pests within 24 hours!” said Steve Foley, Vice-President of Thermalkill.  With over 200 customers in the Sevier County area alone, Thermalkill has been successfully Heat Treating the East TN area, since 2010. You can visit their website for more information at and receive your free treatment quote today by calling (865) 318-1793.

Thermalkill is not just a Service…They are the Solution!


ThermalKill Heat Remediation

Jake Throntveit, President

463 East Parkway

Gatlinburg, TN 37738

Phone: (865) 318-1793

Fax: (865) 436-0039



Welcome Clark Pest Remedy from Augusta Georgia to the IBBRA Family

We are proud to welcome Clark Pest Remedy from Augusta Georgia to the IBBRA family.  Since 1989 the Company has been family owned and operated with strong environmental values and respect to the health and welfare of their community.

Clark_Pest_LogoOwner, Garey Clark spent years of specializing in Atlanta termite control and inspections by using trained Termite Detection Dogs. Gary’s little helper is “Ben the Bed Bug Dog”. Gary has been training and working with scent detections dogs for over 20 years. He started with Termite inspections dogs and has been on numerous television shows over the years accomplishing some amazing tasks. “We use beagles because they are small non-intimidating dogs and they naturally love to hunt. They can get into tight areas and are easily groomed. The fact that they are cute is also nice” says Garey.

He and his team have completed thousands of inspections using dogs to find termites and bed bugs with amazing results throughout Georgia. By using the dog as a tool they can pinpoint the area of infestation so that they can eliminate the infestation with little or no pesticide depending on the findings.

They offer Multi-Unit discounts for K-9 Inspections. This is very useful for Hotels, Apartments, Assisted Living, Nursing Homes, Group Homes, Summer Camps, Dormitories, and any other transient home environments.

Garey shared with me his trial and errors when it came to bed bugs and his determination to find the best solution for his customers. The process they use is a heat remediation system which guarantees his clients a one day treatment.

He also knows the importance of getting back to people who are going through a bed bug experience so he started his own bed bug hotline for his company which he personally answers. 678-873-5785

You can see why Clark Pest Remedy is a good match for the IBBRA because of their business values that they go by:

Knowledgeable: Technicians are trained to the highest industry standards. Our inspectors are licensed, capable and professional with many hours of entomological study that enables them to identify pest and infestation problems. Our technicians are skilled in all methods of treatment and remediation.

Experienced: With more than 35 years in the pest control business in Atlanta, we recognize the urgency of solving your pest problem. We respect and care about your home, your possessions, and we understand the importance of providing you with peace of mind.

Reliable: Clark Pest Remedy insured and licensed by the State of Georgia.

Results oriented: What we offer is not just a pest treatment, but a comprehensive solution to your individual pest problem. Our service involves a thorough inspection and analysis of your home and its vulnerability to pests. We will determine the type of pests, the severity of infestation, and the access points; we will then develop a comprehensive solution based on your circumstances and needs.  Your pest solution may include mechanical, chemical, landscaping, and various types of barrier remedies

Caring: We pledge to treat your home as we would treat our own. Privacy is our priority!

Assess – Discuss – Develop and Implement

Guaranteed service and Satisfaction!