CHARLESTON — Don't let the bedbugs bite. But if they do, West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey wants you to know your rights.

Morrisey's office is urging tenants to know West Virginia laws when faced with a pest control problem. This knowledge can be especially useful with news outlets across West Virginia reporting about the impact of bedbugs, whether it involved various measures taken by school officials or tenants considering their best course of action.

Morrisey's office said it has received multiple calls from residential and commercial tenants who claim they received an inadequate response upon reporting bedbug issues to management.

Those calls come months after pest control company Orkin ranked the Charleston-Huntington area 19th in terms of the most bedbug treatments nationwide in 2014. It marked a jump of 11 spots from the preceding year.

“Citizens across West Virginia are understandably concerned,” Morrisey said in a statement. “Homeowners, landlords and businesses should take all necessary steps to prevent and eliminate any potential pest problem.”

The state’s Consumer Credit and Protection Act (WVCCPA) and landlord-tenant laws require property managers to maintain their property in a condition that meets applicable health and housing codes.

“It is my duty as attorney general to ensure consumers are being treated appropriately,” Morrisey said. “Habitable dwellings are required under the law.”

Tenants experiencing problems with reporting bedbugs or any other issues to your landlord or property management are urged to call the Attorney General’s Consumer Protection Division at 800-368-8808. To file a report online, go to www.wvago.gov.

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