Bed bugs seem to conjure images of poorly maintained slums or cheap motels. Contrary to what might seem intuitive, the bed-bug epidemic actually started in high-end hotels that catered to international business clientele. It did not take long for them to spread into apartments, college dorms, laundries, cruise ships, movie theaters, hospitals, moving/delivery vans, furniture rental businesses, schools, the work place, and of course all classes of hotels and motels.
There is plenty of cross-contamination involving visitors bringing bed bugs from one location to another (hotel to hotel, hotel to house or apartment, etc..). Moving companies who previously transported a bed with bed-bugs may unknowingly contaminate a subsequently delivered clean bed in the same delivery truck.
Characteristics/Habits of Bed Bugs
- Feed on blood (human, pets, any blood source) nocturnally.
- They do not fly or jump…but have sticky legs so are excellent hitchhikers
- Not a result of bad hygiene or unsanitary conditions
- Tend not to transmit diseases through the bites.
- Bed bugs can survive many months without feeding (you’re not going to starve them out). In fact, bed bugs can feed on each other in survival situations.
- Adult female bed bugs lay 3-5 eggs each day, which incubate and hatch in a little over a week. Eggs are very difficult to find and destroy.
- While the majority of bed bugs will be found on the bed. They can infect the entire room, including couches, chairs, under carpet and other sneaky locations.
Bed Bugs Are Potentially Very Expensive
People spend a lot of money replacing mattresses, clothing and hiring cleaning companies in often-futile attempts to eradicate bed bugs.
Medical bills are obvious, but scratching at the boils that result can often lead to secondary infections.
Small Bed Bugs Can Lead to a Large Emotional Toll
Being the victim of bed bugs can be socially isolating. People wont visit (especially hard on children). Some bed bug victims report nightmares, sleep deprivation, and seeking psychological counseling.
People who leave their apartments because of bed bugs may have a constructive-eviction claim. Fla. Stat. 85.51(1)(a) places the burden on the landlord, at all times during the tenancy, to comply with health codes. But the statute also allows the landlord’s statutory responsibilities to be amended in writing. So, apartment leases are increasingly including standard language that places the burden of dealing with costs/ridding bed bugs onto the renter.
Before calling a Miami personal injury attorney, report the bed bug bites to management or landlord (get an incident report), take photos of the bites, and seek medical attention immediately. Read this article entitled: Florida Bed Bugs Lawyer.