Bed bugs hide throughout houses and apartments. They feed on the residents therein and will travel from room to room and from apartment to apartment in search of food. These awful parasites bite and can leave behind ugly scarring and bumps that itch. Sometimes bed bugs don’t even leave a mark – but they may still transmit hepatitis B or Chagas disease. If bed bugs take up residence in your home or apartment, they can be almost impossible to exterminate without professional help – so it’s important to understand your rights and your landlord’s responsibilities regarding bed bug infestation. If you or a family member are dealing with a bed bug infestation, you should consult with an experienced Howard County bed bug infestation lawyer.
At Whitney, LLP, we are dedicated to helping you hold negligent landlords responsible for a bed bug infestation. These insects can cause a wide range of problems in your home and should be dealt with immediately. To schedule a free legal consultation to discuss your case, call Whitney, LLP at (410) 583-8000, or contact us online.
How are Bed Bug Infestations Started?
Bed bugs are wingless insects that appear flat and are about the size of an apple seed. Generally, bed bugs tend to hide during the day inside furniture and in the dark crevices of a building to emerge at night. These insects may not be able to fly but can crawl rapidly and use this ability to move from one infested area to another.
Bed bug infestations usually start because of a person carrying some of these insects into their home from a hotel that had an infestation problem. This is why you should avoid placing luggage on the floor when you visit a hotel. An infestation can also start if you buy new or used furniture that contains bed bugs.
Bites located on various areas of your body is one of the most common signs of a bed bug infestation. Bed bug bites are typically painless for a short period of time. However, they will later enlarge into welts and become extremely itchy. Bites are not a guaranteed indicator that you have bed bugs because the bites often resemble bites from other insects like mosquitos or fleas. Other indicators of an infestation are bloodstains on your sheets from crushed bed bugs or dark spots from their excrement.
There are some methods for preventing or reducing the chances of an infestation spreading that you can try on your own. One option is washing your clothes and bedding right after you come home from a trip and putting those items in a dryer for at least 30 minutes. You can also move furniture and beds away from the wall to make it more difficult for bed bugs to travel. Additionally, you should throw away any furniture that is infested with bed bugs.
While you can also use indoor bed bug pesticides to attempt to get rid of bed bugs, this can be risky and hazardous to your health if used incorrectly. Some bed bugs may also be resistant to pesticides and other extermination products. To learn more about bed bug infestations, you should speak with an experienced Maryland bed bug liability lawyer.
Who is Liable for Bed Bug Extermination in Howard County?
It is important to know if your landlord is responsible for handling insect infestations. Maryland has insect infestation laws that may differ depending on the county where your home is located; some laws may even differ between municipalities.
Howard County adopted the International Property Maintenance Code (IPMC) of 2006 to regulate liability for an insect infestation. Similar to the IPMC, Howard County’s maintenance code states that all structures must be free from infestation by insects, rodents, and other vermin. It also states that bed bug infestation must be “promptly exterminated” using processes that were approved by the Department of Inspections, Licenses, and Permits. The process used to eliminate the bed bugs cannot be hazardous to the occupants of the building.
The most important provision of the maintenance code states that the owner of a structure in Howard County is responsible for the extermination of bed bugs and other infestations present within the property. This means that if you are renting an apartment within Howard County, your landlord must handle and fund the cost of exterminating bed bugs. Depending on the provisions in your lease agreement, your landlord may also be responsible for exterminating bed bugs in a single-family home.
Our Howard County Bed Bug Extermination Attorneys are Prepared to Represent You
If you believe your landlord was negligent in handling a bed bug infestation, you should contact an experienced Howard County bed bug extermination attorney. At Whitney, LLP, we are dedicated to helping you find a legal solution to a bed bug issue that may be interfering with the enjoyment of your home. To schedule a free legal consultation to discuss your claim, call Whitney, LLP at (410) 583-8000, or contact us online.