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Environmental Health

Helpful Links

Director's Rules and Regulations

Director's Rules and Regulations for Prevention and Control of Bed Bugs - Updated December 14, 2012 (pdf) - Also available in Spanish


Written Plan for Bed Bug Prevention and Control - Also availabe in Chinese, Gujarati, Hindi and Spanish (pdf)

Bed Bug Complaint Report Form (English & Spanish) - Also available in Chinese, Gujarati and Hindi (pdf)

Bed Bug Complaint Response Log (pdf) - Also available in Chinese, Gujarati, Hindi, and Spanish

DPH Bed Bug Building Employee Training Curriculum (pdf)

Tenant Guidelines for Unit Preparation and Resources for Tenant Assistance - Also available in Chinese and Spanish (pdf)

Resources for Resolution of Housing Disputes - Also available in Chinese and Spanish (pdf)

SRO Hotel Managers Bed Bugs Control Guidelines - Also available in Chinese, Gujarati, Hindi and Spanish (pdf)

Tenant Bed Bug Control Guidelines - Also available in Chinese, Gujarati, Hindi and Spanish (pdf)

Label for Disposal of Bed Bug-Infested Materials (pdf)

Bed Bug Unit Treatment Disclosure to Prospective Tenants Form (Word document)

Pest Control Operator Reporting Form (Excel) and Instructions (pdf)

National Center for Healthy Housing "What's Working for Bed Bug Control in Multifamily Housing (pdf)

Related Regulations

San Francisco Health Code - Article 11 (Section 581) (external link)

Residential Building Owner/Operator Guidelines for Vector Control (pdf)

Related Programs

Hotel & Emergency Shelter Program

Apartment Inspection Program

Bed Bug Prevention and Control

The Environmental Health Section encourages all stakeholders (property owners, managers, tenants and pest control operators) to cooperatively and promptly work together to resolve bed bug infestations. Contact 311 if prompt action, as specified by the Director's Rules and Regulations, is not taken. The Department responds to complaints when appropriate actions to prevent or eliminate bed bugs are not taken by Responsible Parties. If the Department finds evidence that bed bugs exist and that a Responsible Party has not followed the Director's Rules and Regulations, the Department will issue a Notice of Violation with instructions to complete actions within a specified time period.

What are Bed Bugs?

Bed bugs are wingless, flat, reddish-brown, blood-sucking insects about the size of a chili flake.  Bed bugs are found in most urban environments, and they spread from place to place on the person or on the belongings of persons with infestation. Bed bugs hide in cracks and crevices in beds, wooden furniture, floors, and walls during the daytime and emerge at night to feed on their preferred host, humans. Bed bugs do not spread human diseases but their bites can cause redness, itching and swelling.

Property Owner and Tenant Responsibilities

Property owners and tenants share a responsibility to maintain housing conditions free of pest infestations.  Bed bug infestation , like other pest infestations, represent unhealthy housing conditions and, if not managed, are considered to be violations of both the San Francisco Health Code and the State Housing Code.

In San Francisco, property owners or managers are required to respond to tenant bed bugs complaints by securing the services of a licensed pest control operator to investigate the concern and conduct appropriate treatment.  Bed bug control requires the cooperation of tenants to provide access to dwellings and wash clothing and bedding. Once treatment is initiated, bed bug eradication may require up to 30 days or more.

The Department educates property owners on their responsibilities to investigate, treat, and record tenant bedbug complaints.  The Department also conducts compliance monitoring at properties with known histories of frequent violations.







Making a Complaint

If you would like to make a complaint regarding bed bugs, you may call or click to enter a service request at 311.

311 City Customer Service Agency - Service 24x7

San Francisco Department of Public Health Environmental Health Branch