I have bed bugs (cockroaches, or another pest) in my apartment and my landlord says I’m responsible for exterminating—is that true?

The answer to this question depends on how many dwelling units or apartments there are in the building where you live.

In a single family dwelling, the occupant is responsible for extermination of that dwelling.

In a multiple dwelling with two or more apartments, the owner is responsible for exterminating.
The owner is responsible for maintaining the building in good repair and sound condition and in a reasonably rat-proof and insect proof condition.

Erie County Sanitary Code
Responsibility of Owners and Occupants

1.14 Responsibility for extermination. Every occupant of a dwelling containing a single dwelling unit shall be responsible for the extermination of any insects, rodents or other pests therein or on the premises. Notwithstanding the foregoing provisions of this section, whenever infestation is caused by failure of the owner to maintain a dwelling in a rat-proof or reasonable insect-proof condition, extermination shall be the responsibility of the owner. Whenever infestation exists in two or more of the dwelling units in any dwelling, or in the shared or public parts of a dwelling containing two or more units, extermination thereof shall be the responsibility of the owner.

The Erie County Department of Health does not make inspections to identify or exterminate any type of insects or other pests involved in an infestation. Click here for additional information about pest control.  

If extermination is needed, occupants or property owners should hire a licensed professional exterminator, also known as a Pesticide Applicator, to identify the cause of an infestation and determine the best way to get rid of the problem.

The NYS Department of Environmental Conservation operates the certification program for Pesticide Applicators. Click here for information regarding this program and to search for licensed professionals near you. 

Related ECDOH Programs

  • Erie County operates a Rodent Control Program for Erie County residents and property owners in 1, 2, 3 and 4 unit properties. The program provides inspection and extermination service for rodents only. 

Frequently Requested



Phone: (716) 858-7690

Fax: (716) 858-8701

Erie County Department of Health (ECDOH)
95 Franklin Street
Buffalo, New York 14202

ECDOH Locations