Los Angeles, California is home to more than 4 million residents – and among them, countless hidden bed bugs. With populations peaking in summer, bed bugs can invade almost any structure, from luxury condos and five-star resorts to apartment units and hotel suites.
If bed bugs infested your home, apartment, hotel room, or AirBnB in Los Angeles, you should discuss your legal options with the LA bed bug attorneys of Whitney, LLP. Depending on what caused the infestation, we may be able to file a lawsuit or personal injury claim on your behalf. You could be entitled to financial compensation for medical costs, destruction of your personal property, and other losses that you have suffered because of the infestation. Contact us online to set up a free legal consultation, or call Whitney, LLP at (410) 583-8000 today.
What Are Bed Bugs?
Bed bugs are nocturnal, parasitic insects which feed exclusively on blood from mammals, including humans, cats, dogs, or any other animal that is easy for them to reach. The scientific name for the common bed bug is Cimex lectularius (C. lectularius).
Bed bugs are tough, hardy insects that can withstand extremes which would kill other pests, making them equally urgent – and difficult – to deal with. Bed bug populations tend to surge during the summer months, since hot weather can accelerate their breeding cycles.
In physical appearance, bed bugs are small, brown, wingless, and semi-transparent, with ridges along their flat, oval-shaped bodies. As they feed, bed bugs become dramatically elongated, swelling into a cylinder shape to accommodate the blood meal.
Can You Sue for a Bed Bug Infestation in LA, California?
Under a combination of state laws and municipal regulations, landlords and hotels are generally required to disclose bed bug infestations to tenants or guests. For example, in January 2017, California adopted a new set of bed bug regulations for landlords, such as California Civil Code § 1954.602, which bans landlords from leasing or even showing units with known bed bug infestations.
Unfortunately, just because these regulations exist, does not mean they are always complied with. If you suffered physical injuries or financial harm because your landlord, a hotel manager, an exterminator, an AirBnB host, or other parties failed to meet normal standards for bed bug control, you may be able to recover compensation. Compensation, or “damages,” may be available for medical expenses, the cost of replacing destroyed personal property, and other losses you suffered because of your exposure to bed bugs.
How to Know if You Have Bed Bugs in LA
There are several ways to determine whether bed bugs are present in your home, apartment, hotel room, or AirBnB. Following these tips may help you to detect or avoid encountering an infestation:
- If you plan on traveling to an AirBnB, hotel, motel, spa, resort, or bed-and-breakfast, make sure to do plenty of research before you book your room. You may find reports of bed bugs (or other negative feedback) on Facebook groups, Yelp reviews, or other online forums. For example, the database Bed Bug Reports is a good source compiling guest reports of hotel infestations.
- When bed bugs detect attackers or intruders, they can release chemicals called “alarm pheromones,” which have a distinct and unpleasant odor. If you notice a foul smell, bed bugs may be to blame. This smell is sometimes described as “musty” or “sweet,” or compared to cilantro or almonds.
- Bed bugs can leave mattresses riddled with tiny, dark stains, which are caused when the bed bugs defecate or are crushed. Remove all of your bedding and check your bare mattress closely for stains left by bed bugs.
What Do Bed Bug Bites Look Like?
Physical reactions to bed bug bites can range from nonexistent to extremely severe. Most people fall somewhere toward the middle of this spectrum, typically experiencing bite reactions that include minor swelling or puffiness, intense itching, and a pinkish discoloration. Bed bug bites may present in random clusters or straight lines, with the latter presentation being more common.
The Dangers of Bed Bugs
While many people experience minor reactions or no reaction to bed bug bites, a small number of people suffer extremely serious physical health issues as a result of being bitten. The most dangerous risk of being bitten is having an anaphylactic allergic reaction, which can cause the victim to go into shock or even die. Some people have more minor allergic reactions, which can cause pain, swelling, and blistering around the bitten areas.
Other people develop skin infections, such as ecthyma or cellulitis, which can result from excessive scratching of bites. Too much scratching can produce small cuts, allowing bacteria to enter the body and leading to infection.
Los Angeles Bed Bug Lawsuit Attorneys
The LA bed bug lawyers of Whitney, LLP are dedicated to helping the victims of bed bug infestations pursue fair compensation for their injuries and financial losses. We understand how emotionally, financially, and physically devastating an infestation can be, and we will devote our full attention to aggressively litigating your case or negotiating a settlement.
We have successfully recovered millions of dollars for injured clients. If you believe you may have a bed bug injury claim, contact us online today, or call Whitney, LLP at (410) 583-8000 to set up a free consultation.