Coming home with a bed bug infestation is probably one of the worst endings to a vacation that anyone can imagine—except maybe ending up homeless as a result of the bed bug infestation and subsequent treatments designed to eradicate the pests. This is what you should know about the physical and financial dangers of bed bugs.
The Bed Bug Is Back With A Vengeance
After nearly being eradicated in the U.S. due to products like DDT, the bed bug is back—and it's evolving to be resistant to less-effective chemical treatments (now that DDT is banned). That's making these bugs the scourge of hotels everywhere, especially in cities that are big tourist destinations, like New York. They're frustratingly hard to detect until they've grown in number and harder still to eradicate without shutting down an entire building and subjecting it to treatments that take both a lot of time and money—not something that the hotel industry is eager to do.
They Take A Physical And Financial Toll
Unfortunately, bed bugs can do some serious physical and financial damage if you bring them home with you. While most people don't ever realize they're being fed on, thanks to a natural anesthetic the bug secretes while eating, their saliva can produce severe allergic reactions in some people. But itchy, swelling skin may just be a part of your problem.
Just the initial inspection for a suspected bed bug infestation can run you up to $200. If the company uses specially trained dogs to hunt down the bugs, it can cost up to $600 for the inspection of a typical home. Actually treating the infestation all the way to eradication can range from $1,000-$10,000 or more. These fees are generally not covered by insurance.
Even worse, the treatments could make you sick. Spray pesticides are still commonly used, which can end up triggering allergic reactions in residents. For example, a Texas woman who brought bed bugs home from her stay in a New York hotel, found herself reacting so badly to the chemicals used to treat the infestation that she developed a condition called mast cell activation syndrome, a type of severe sensitivity to chemicals. She was rendered effectively homeless while her residence was treated and retreated.
You Can Fight Back With A Lawsuit
The Texas woman isn't the only person to fight back with a lawsuit. For example, a California family filed suit against Disney after being told their "mosquito bites" were actually from bed bugs. Aside from having a ruined vacation and having to toss out their luggage and clothing, they've charged the hotel in a lawsuit for fraudulent concealment, among other things. Essentially, they're alleging that the hotel knew it had a bed bug problem due to previous complaints and hid the information from them.
If you've been the victim of a bed bug attack and you've suffered physical and financial losses over it, contact a personal injury attorney in your area. You may be entitled to recover your expenses related to any destroyed personal items, hospital and doctor's fees, the cost to clear out the infestation, and damages for your pain and suffering.