Bed bugs are invasive pests that can take over any hotel or apartment building. Unlike other household pests, which are often attracted by garbage or light, bed bugs are drawn into indoor spaces by a single factor alone: blood, which is their only food source. Anywhere people reside, bed bugs may follow – no matter how clean the property looks.
Bed bug infestations tend to be especially severe during the summer months, particularly in major cities, such as Baltimore. In an effort to control bed bug populations, Maryland’s county codes establish strict regulations around landlord bed bug extermination. Hotels, inns, and Airbnbs must also take effective measures to eradicate and prevent infestations. If you were exposed to bed bugs while staying at a hotel or Airbnb in Baltimore, or if bed bugs infested your apartment building, you could be entitled to financial compensation for your injuries, property damage, and other losses. To talk about filing a bed bug lawsuit in a free consultation, contact Whitney, LLP online, or call our law offices at (410) 583-8000 to speak with a 93.1 WPOC Country Radio bed bug lawyer.
What Are Bed Bugs?
Bed bugs are parasitic insects that feed exclusively on blood. Since they are nocturnal feeders, they normally emerge at night, but may be visible during daylight hours if an infestation is particularly severe.
They are brown in color, partially see-through, and six-legged, with no wings or stingers. Though normally just a few millimeters long, bed bugs can expand to approximately one quarter inch while they are feeding on blood.
What Do Bed Bug Bites Look Like?
Bed bug bites tend to produce differing physical responses in people – even two members of the same family. The most common reaction is to develop itchy, pink welts, which may appear in straight lines or random clusters. These bumps, which are similar in appearance to flea or mosquito bites, can produce itching and discomfort for several weeks, and will generally appear within several hours to several days of the actual feeding.
Though less common, some people do not have any physical reaction, meaning they do not develop welts or discoloration. Conversely, some individuals suffer pronounced reactions with painful, oozing blisters that can leave permanent scars behind. Bed bug bites can even trigger an allergic reaction or bacterial infection, as the following section explains in more detail.
Can Bed Bugs Hurt You?
There is a common misconception that bed bug bites are “itchy but harmless.” Unfortunately, this is not the entire truth. Though uncommon, serious adverse effects can and do occur, potentially requiring urgent medical care. Examples of health problems that can be caused by bed bugs include:
- Allergic Reactions – A small number of individuals experience anaphylaxis, a severe allergic reaction that develops swiftly and may be fatal, in response to certain proteins contained within bed bug saliva. Effects of anaphylaxis can include nausea, weakness, facial swelling, vomiting, difficulty breathing normally, and shock.
- Bacterial Infections – Bed bug bites can be very itchy, which makes them tempting to scratch. However, it is important to avoid itching the bites as much as possible. Excessive scratching can make small cuts or wounds in the skin, which can potentially become infected later. Various secondary skin infections have been linked to bed bug bites, including impetigo, ecthyma, and cellulitis.
- Mood Disorders – Prolonged exposure to bed bug infestations may trigger or exacerbate anxiety or depression, or cause sleep disturbances such as insomnia.
Filing a Bed Bug Lawsuit in Maryland
You may have grounds to file a bed bug claim if the following facts are true:
- You were exposed to a bed bug infestation at a hotel, Airbnb property, or in your apartment building.
- You suffered some sort of harm due to your exposure to the infestation – for example, financial harm or physical injury.
- The harm you suffered was caused by or occurred due to the careless, negligent behavior of a company or individual. For example, the infestation that harmed you may have been caused by factors such as improper pest extermination or inadequate property inspections. A hotel might have booked you into a room despite knowing that an infestation was present, or a landlord may have shown you a unit despite having knowledge of an infestation.
An employee or business that fails to properly disclose and treat infestations may be liable for infestation-related injuries and expenses. However, it is essential to support your claim with as much evidence as possible, such as photographs of the bed bug bites, photographs of the infested property, expert medical opinions, and records related to extermination, cleaning, and maintenance procedures.
93.1 WPOC Country Radio Bed Bug Attorneys in Baltimore
Landlords, property managers, hotel managers, exterminators, and other companies or individuals may be responsible for your bed bug-related injuries and financial losses. Compensation for medical bills, eradication costs, property damage, and other damages may be available. To learn more about bed bug liability in Maryland, call Whitney, LLP at (410) 583-8000 for a free consultation, or contact us online today.