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"Help! I have bedbugs in my apartment!"

Produced by Massachusetts Justice Project
Reviewed October 2021

If you think you have bedbugs:

  1. Write a letter to your landlord.
    • Put the date in the letter.
    • Tell your landlord about the bedbugs. And,
    • Ask them to hire a licensed exterminator to inspect and treat your home right away.
  2. Keep a copy of your letter.
  3. Call the Board of Health for your town and get an inspection right away.
  4. Research signs of bedbug infestation and point them out to the inspector.
  5. The Board of Health will write a report documenting the bed bugs. They will cite the landlord and order fumigation.

If the landlord does not fixing the bedbug infestation, you have the right to stop paying your rent until the problem is fixed.

  • Save your rent in the bank.

For more information on keeping your rent until the bedbug problem is fixed, see


Call the Board of Health as soon as you see bedbugs. A judge will always believe the date an inspector says they saw bedbugs. A judge might not believe you about the date you first saw bedbugs, especially if the landlord tells the judge a different story.

If there are dirty or cluttered conditions in your home which are contributing to the infestation, the Board of Health may also cite you. This does not happen often, however.

The Board of Health may need to inspect neighboring apartments and stop the bedbugs from spreading further.

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