Airbnbs are hugely popular in Columbia, offering affordable alternatives to traditional hotels and motels. Depending on your needs, you can rent an Airbnb for a day, for a few weeks, or even longer, with options ranging from single rooms or apartment units to vast luxury mansions and beach houses. While there are many differences between Airbnbs and the hotels they compete against, both industries share one problem in common: bed bug infestations. Numerous Airbnb guests have reported being bitten by bed bugs, sometimes resulting in serious injuries and major financial losses.
At Whitney, LLP, we are personal injury law firm with a strong focus on the specific area of bed bug litigation in Maryland. We have many years of experience handling numerous bed bug infestation claims, and know what it takes to maximize your recovery. We are here to provide aggressive, tireless advocacy for you and your loved ones. To set up a free legal consultation, contact Whitney, LLP online, or call our law offices at (410) 583-8000 today.
What Do Bed Bugs Look Like?
Bed bugs are small insects, generally around one quarter of an inch in length. In color, they range from a pale yellow-brown to a very dark reddish-brown, depending on the age and sex of a specimen, and how recently it has fed on blood. Bed bugs do not fly, because they lack wings. Their ridged bodies are capable of expanding dramatically when bed bugs are feeding on their hosts.
What Do Bed Bug Bites Look Like?
Two people can have radically different physical reactions to a bed bug bite – even if it is delivered by the same specimen. For most individuals, typical bed bug bite reactions include minor swelling in the bitten area, creating an itchy, pink welt similar to a mosquito bite. A smaller number of individuals do not have any physical reaction – or conversely, have a severe reaction.
It is common for bed bug bites to display in straight or zig-zagging lines, though random clusters of bites can also appear. Bed bugs will bite any part of the body that is exposed while the victim sleeps.
Are Bed Bugs Harmful?
Many people think of bed bugs as itchy, irritating pests. Unfortunately, beyond being simply itchy or costly to combat, bed bugs can actually have serious adverse health effects. While serious reactions are uncommon, they can be devastating to the individuals they do strike.
For example, a small number of individuals – up to roughly 5% of the U.S. population, according to some statistics – are susceptible to insect-related anaphylaxis, an allergic reaction that can be life-threatening. Anaphylaxis can be triggered by specific proteins in bed bug saliva, which is injected while the insect feeds on its host. Other mental or physical health problems linked to bed bug infestations include bacterial skin infections, depression, anxiety, insomnia, skin blistering, and permanent scarring.
How to Check for Bed Bugs at Your Airbnb Rental
It’s a good idea to check your Airbnb for bed bugs thoroughly as soon as you arrive. Even though Airbnb is supposed to refrain from renting rooms or properties that are known to contain infestations, this does not always occur, as evidenced by the numerous accounts of guests who received infested accommodations. Here are a few simple methods of detecting and avoiding bed bug infestations in Airbnb properties:
- Do plenty of online research before choosing your Airbnb.
- Immediately check the mattresses for signs of bed bugs, which include dark stains, egg cases, and molted skins.
- Pay attention to foul odors in the room, which could be a sign of bed bugs on the property. Bed bug smells are usually described as being “musty” or “sweet,” and are sometimes compared to food products like cilantro (coriander) or almonds.
Suing Airbnb for a Bed Bug Infestation in Columbia, Maryland
You may be able to sue Airbnb for a bed bug infestation if you can show that the company was aware that the property was infested when the rental was made, or otherwise acted negligently, leading to injuries you would not have otherwise sustained. You may also have a claim against the individual homeowner hosting the Airbnb property. For example, the homeowner may have failed to meet reasonable standards for cleaning and maintaining the property. It may be possible to recover compensation for pain and suffering, property damage, medical bills, anticipated medical treatment, and other damages related to the infestation.
Columbia, MD Airbnb Bed Bug Attorneys
If you were bitten by bed bugs at an Airbnb in Columbia, Maryland, the Maryland bed bug injury lawyers of Whitney, LLP are here to help. Contact us online today to set up a free legal consultation, or call Whitney, LLP at (410) 583-8000 to speak with an attorney. We will keep your information confidential.