Since its debut roughly a decade ago, Airbnb has hosted approximately 9 million guests, becoming a serious competitor against traditional hotels and motels. Through the app or website, Airbnb users can rent all types of properties in Silver Spring, from single rooms to sprawling mansions, for a single day or weeks at a time.
While Airbnb has earned praise and popularity, some guests have reported horrifying experiences with severe bed bug infestations. Bed bugs can cover their victims with painful, itchy bites, which can be costly and uncomfortable to treat. In addition, bed bugs can follow Airbnb guests back to their own homes, leading to further injury and financial loss. If you suffered injuries or financial losses because of a bed bug infestation at an Airbnb in Silver Spring, call Whitney, LLP at (410) 583-8000, or contact us online to set up a free legal consultation.
What Does a Bed Bug Look Like?
Bed bugs are small insects generally around one quarter of an inch in length. They are at their largest just after feeding, when their bodies are in a temporarily distended state, similar to a tick. A bed bug which has not recently fed on blood will have a very different body shape, appearing smaller and flatter. Bed bugs range from light to dark brown in coloration, and have partially transparent bodies.
How to Identify Bed Bug Bites in an Airbnb
Reactions to bed bug bites range from nonexistent to severe. Most people are moderately sensitive to bites, and develop raised, pink, itchy welts that are commonly confused with flea or mosquito bites. Some individuals are more sensitive to proteins in bed bug saliva, leading to serious reactions like anaphylaxis, as discussed in the following section. Conversely, other individuals do not experience any reaction. It is wise to see your physician as soon as possible to diagnose and develop a treatment plan for the bites.
Checking Your Silver Spring Airbnb for Bed Bugs
Many household pests, such as rats and cockroaches, are associated with garbage. It’s important to remember that bed bugs are attracted by their food source – blood – not by filth or leftovers. That means even the cleanest, tidiest Airbnb can still hide a serious bed bug infestation.
For this reason, you should give your Airbnb a thorough inspection before settling in. Warning signs of bed bugs at your Airbnb include the following:
- Dark stains on your mattress. These stains, which are small with jagged, irregular edges, can be caused by bed bugs defecating or being crushed. You may also see molted skins or egg cases, which are capsule-shaped, pale in color, and somewhat transparent.
- Unusual, unpleasant odors in your room. When bed bugs detect an attacker or intruder, they can release chemicals called “alarm pheromones” to warn others. To humans, these pheromones have an unpleasant small, frequently described as “musty” or “sweet,” or compared to almonds or coriander (cilantro).
Be aware that, despite their name, bed bugs can appear anywhere – not just on a mattress or pillow. It’s a good idea to quickly scan the walls, ceilings, carpets, and drapes for any small, crawling insects that could be bed bugs.
Are Bed Bugs Dangerous?
Most individuals do not experience pronounced physical reactions to bed bug bites – but for those who do, the health risks can be serious. These risks include:
- Anaphylaxis – Anaphylaxis is an allergic reaction triggered by proteins in bed bug saliva. Anaphylaxis can cause vomiting, weakness, confusion, breathing problems, shock, and death.
- Skin Infections – Bacterial skin infections linked to bed bug infestations include impetigo, cellulitis, and lymphangitis.
In addition to physical injuries and complications, bed bug exposure can also cause intense and prolonged emotional distress. It is common for the victims of bed bug infestations to experience anxiety, depression, and insomnia, particularly in cases of long-term infestation.
Filing a Bed Bug Lawsuit Against Airbnb
You may be able to sue Airbnb or an individual Airbnb host if negligence caused the bed bug infestation which led to your injuries. Various types of compensation, or “damages,” may be available in an Airbnb bed bug lawsuit, including compensation for medical bills, anticipated medical costs, pain and suffering, lost income, and expenses associated with property destruction and replacement. You will need to demonstrate negligence by using evidence to support your bed bug claim, such as medical records, expert medical opinions, photographs of your bed bug bites, and photographs of the infested Airbnb property.
Silver Spring, MD Airbnb Bed Bug Claim Attorneys
At Whitney, LLP, we are experienced personal injury lawyers who focus on bed bug litigation. Our Silver Spring Airbnb bed bug attorneys can fight for you to receive financial compensation for your medical bills, property damage, and other harm you suffered because of the infestation. Contact us online today to set up a free consultation, or call Whitney, LLP at (410) 583-8000.