Airbnb is a trendy alternative to traditional hotels and motels, steadily gaining popularity among the millions of families, couples, tourists, and business travelers who visit Ocean City, Maryland each year. Through Airbnb’s website or mobile app, users can rent rooms, apartments, or entire houses from hosts who own and maintain the properties. Unfortunately, some Airbnb hosts take their duties less seriously than others, neglecting their properties and allowing pests to take over. Some of the most common problems are bed bug infestations. Bed bugs can ruin personal property, trigger health issues, and even follow Airbnb guests home, starting new infestations that hurt the whole family.
Airbnb guests have a basic right to safe, sanitary accommodations that do not pose serious health hazards. If you were bitten by bed bugs at an infested Airbnb listing in Ocean City or the Ocean City, Maryland area, the Maryland bed bug Airbnb lawyers of Whitney, LLP can help. Unlike most other personal injury firms, we are heavily focused on bed bug litigation, with extensive experience – and a proven track record – in this unique area of the law. To set up a free legal consultation, contact Whitney, LLP online, or call (410) 583-8000 to speak with an Airbnb bed bug lawyer today.
Identifying Bed Bugs
Bed bugs are tiny brown insects which generally do not exceed one quarter of an inch in length. As nocturnal insects, they are normally active at night, though severe infestations may be visible during daylight hours. They possess ridged, semi-transparent bodies which expand dramatically to accommodate blood while the insect is feeding.
What Bed Bug Bites Look Like
Different people can have varying physical responses to being bitten by bed bugs. Most individuals react by developing small, pink welts or swellings, which are similar in size and appearance to mosquito bites. These welts can cause mild to severe itching and skin irritation, with some individuals also reporting painful blisters.
Though less common, some individuals have severe reactions to being bitten, as discussed in the following section. Conversely, some people do not have any reaction to being bitten.
While it is common for bites to appear in straight or zig-zagging lines, they can also be grouped in random clusters. Bites may appear on any area of the body that is exposed during sleep, including the back, face, neck, chest, arms, legs, hands, and feet.
Are Bed Bugs Dangerous?
Bed bugs are commonly thought of as itch-inducing, difficult-to-exterminate pests. What fewer people may realize is just how harmful their bites can be.
For instance, a small number of individuals are highly sensitive to proteins contained in bed bug saliva, known as “antigens.” Exposure to these proteins, which enter the body via bed bug saliva while the insect feeds, can trigger anaphylaxis, which is a swift and potentially fatal allergic response. Without rapid treatment, anaphylaxis can cause facial swelling, confusion, vomiting, weakness, breathing problems, shock, and death. Additionally, the cuts caused by scratching or picking at bed bug bites can become infected by bacteria, leading to permanent scarring and/or skin conditions such as ecthyma, impetigo, lymphangitis, or cellulitis.
How to Check Your Ocean City, MD Airbnb for a Bed Bug Infestation
There are several warning signs of a bed bug infestation in your Airbnb. Pay attention to the following “red flags,” which are strong indicators that bed bugs are present:
- Unpleasant, unusual odors. When alarmed by an intruder, bed bugs can emit foul-smelling chemicals called “alarm pheromones.” These pheromones are often described as having a “musty” or “sweet” odor, and are sometimes compared to almonds or cilantro (coriander).
- Stains on your mattress. When bed bugs defecate or are crushed, they leave behind tiny, dark stains with irregular edges, similar to the stains caused by bleeding markers or pens. You may also spot molted skins or egg cases.
Can You Sue Airbnb for Bed Bug Bites in Ocean City, Maryland?
Airbnb and Airbnb hosts must refrain from knowingly renting out bed bug-infested rooms, houses, or apartment units. If your Airbnb was infested by bed bugs, you may be able to file a personal injury claim against Airbnb or an Airbnb host if you can show that there was prior knowledge of the infestation, or that Airbnb acted negligently. Airbnb injury lawsuits involve complex insurance policies and liability issues, making it essential to discuss your claim with a knowledgeable and experienced attorney before you take legal action.
Ocean City, MD Airbnb Bed Bug Lawsuit Attorneys
At Whitney, LLP, we have dedicated our careers to recovering compensation for the victims of bed bug infestations in Ocean City and beyond. If you were bitten by bed bugs at an Airbnb in Maryland, our attorneys can help you understand your legal options. You may be able to recover financial compensation for medical bills, property damage, and other harm you have suffered. To set up a free legal consultation, contact our law offices online, or call Whitney, LLP at (410) 583-8000 today.