Bed Bug Infestations
It’s finally time for your vacation—and you have earned it! After plenty of time on the job, you are really looking forward to some rest and relaxation. What you aren’t expecting is a hotel room infested with bed bugs. As unpleasant as they sound, the real critters are every bit as disgusting as you’d imagine. And the impact on your life can be overwhelming. If you are unlucky enough to experience a bedbug encounter, you should definitely consider consulting with a personal injury attorney.
Physiological and Psychological Impacts of Bed Bugs
Bed bugs can affect your life in more ways than you realize. In addition to the initial physical reactions, which can range from small itchy welts to anaphylaxis in rare allergic reactions, some people experience secondary infections including impetigo, ecthyma, and lymphangitis. The bites can result in scarring, as well. And the effect on mental health can be devastating: anxiety, insomnia, depression, and paranoia are not uncommon. In fact, 81 percent of individuals in one study exhibited symptoms associated with PTSD. Another study found that of nearly 500 individuals who’d suffered a bedbug encounter, almost one-third reported insomnia, nearly one-fourth experienced emotional distress, and one-fifth faced anxiety due to the bug exposure.
Check out Your Hotel Room Before Settling in
Experts advise that you don’t leave bedbug encounters to chance when staying in a hotel or motel. In addition to checking on-line bedbug warnings, there are several things you can do upon entering your room:
- Place luggage in the bathroom while you check your room out. That way you can avoid picking up any hitchhikers on your bags.
- Lift your mattress and inspect under the sheets along mattress seams and the box springs, particularly near the head of the bed, using a flashlight if you have one. You are looking for bugs, exoskeletons, nymphs and eggs, all of which are easily visible to the naked eye. Rust-colored spots are a warning sign, as well.
- If you spot anything concerning, request a different room in another section of the hotel.
- Keep your luggage on a rack or on a hard surface, and check it for bugs if you have any worries about it.
- Once you get home, your clothes need a 30-minute tumble in a hot dryer, and stow your suitcases in the garage or basement away from warm bodies.
If You Have a Bedbug Problem
If you have a problem with a hotel infestation, there are several things you should do if you wish to file a claim against the establishment:
- Gather evidence: Take pictures of the bedding, of your bites and of any other visible indications of the infestation;
- Ask a hotel representative to make note of the problem, file an injury report, and request a copy of those reports;
- Have a doctor examine the bites and provide any care necessary to reduce the risk of infections, keloid scarring, and emotional after-effects.
- Notify the county health department of the issue and request a copy of their report;
- Consult with an experienced personal injury attorney.
You are entitled to compensation for costs associated with your inconvenience and injuries, both physical and mental/emotional. The aggressive personal injury team at the Law Offices of Robert W. Elton in Daytona & Ormond Beach can help. Contact us today for a free, confidential consultation.