Bed Bug Law Suits

Bed Bug Control, law suits regarding

Property Lawsuits- Bed bugs

Landlords and property owners have specific legal obligations to provide safe and habitable accommodations for tenants. Certain infestations, including bed bugs, may constitute an unacceptable condition. Tenants have an obligation to cooperate with owners and landlords. This includes preparing the apartment so that the pest control operator can easily inspect the rooms and treat if necessary. Contact your state or municipal health agency or housing authority for more guidance on these issues.

The ideas of sharing a bed with bed bugs can make anyone feel queasy. After all, when one is totally unaware of being bitten (bed bugs’ saliva has an anesthetic effect), and then awakens with welts on their body, its pretty shocking. What’s even worse is when that person believes they are sleeping in fairly clean surroundings- such as hotel chain whose rooms aren’t cheap, or on an expensice cruise liner, The majority of inducuduals who may encounter bed bugs in lodgings are satisfied to recieve a refund and another room- with out bed bugs. But ever since a lawsuit involving bed bugs was publicized over two years ago, insurance companies have seen a glut of bed bug related claims, and lawyers are receiving calls almost daily from people reporting physical, emotional, and mental harm from bed bugs.

Insurance lawsuits- Bed Bugs

The number of bed bug infestations has risen significantly since the early 21st century. The National Pest Management Association reported a 71% increase in bed bug calls between 2000 and 2005. The Steritech Group, a pest-management company based in Charlotte, North Carolina, claimed that 25% of the 700 hotels they surveyed between 2002 and 2006 needed bed bug treatment. In 2003, a brother and sister staying at a Motel 6 in Chicago were awarded $372,000 in punitive damages after being bitten by bed bugs during their stay. These are only a few of the reported cases since the turn of the 21st century.

Insurance often fails to cover total litigation costs; for example, punitive damages are not insurable. Plus, if managers have been negligent in dealing with bed bug infestations, numerous insurers won’t pay any claims.

Bed bug lawsuits have recently been filed against cruise lines, rental furniture companies, laundromats, and dry cleaners. Furthermore, now landlords are suing pest control companies, just as more bed bug victims are suing public municipalities. It is expected that soon there will be addendums to lease agreements which hold tenants responsible for bed bug infestations.

When it comes to hotels, bed bug claims are among the top frauds perpetrated against hotels, according to Thomas Jones, an associate professor at the University of Nevada. In response, one New York hotel displays a “bed bug alert free” certification in their lobby-but it is in the minority when it comes to bringing up the issue of bed bugs. Most lodgings don’t want guests thinking about bed bugs. (If and when they do utilize bug-sniffing dogs, guests are told the canines are checking for mold.)

NPMA- Lawsuit issues

The National Pest Management Association (NPMA) says bed bugs themselves are reproducing in surprising amounts, by more than 500 percent over the past few years. Yet, these numbers have minimal impact on most hotels, with state-of-the-art sanitation and strict standards of laundering, drying, vacuuming and bed bug-proof mattress covers. The Best Western is typical in its use of a regularly administered pest control program and a trained and knowledgeable housekeeping staff. Such practices should keep bed bugs and lawsuits to a minimum.

Hotel Lawsuits- Bed bugs

The number of bed bug infestations has risen significantly since the early 21st century. The National Pest Management Association reported a 71% increase in bed bug calls between 2000 and 2005. The Steritech Group, a pest-management company based in Charlotte, North Carolina, claimed that 25% of the 700 hotels they surveyed between 2002 and 2006 needed bed bug treatment. In 2003, a brother and sister staying at a Motel 6 in Chicago were awarded $372,000 in punitive damages after being bitten by bed bugs during their stay. These are only a few of the reported cases since the turn of the 21st century.
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Date: Monday, 4. January 2010 12:28
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18 comments

  1. 1

    I am a renter living in CA, and was wondering are the property management/owner legally responible for notifying resident’s about an infestation that can/may effect you.

  2. 2

    Are you asking about an infestation that has not occur but may occur later on? Or (in apartments / condos) infestation
    that is affecting a neighbor but has not occur to your unit?

    To be honest, I don’t really know too much about Tenant Law. And I don’t have a straight answer to it,
    but I can draw some conclusion from what I know of the tenant law.

    Pest infestation can be included in “uninhabitable conditions”, which can be a valid reason to break a lease.
    Many different states have do in fact uphold a tenant who breaks lease due to pest infestation or “uninhabitable conditions”.
    In all states, landlords are legally responsible to fix any conditions that can be considered “uninhabitable,” including pest infestation.
    But most of these states don’t really force the landlords or the property managements to notify this to tenants.

    And to make things worse for tenants, it is the tenants’ responsibility to notify the landlords of any condition that are uninhabitable.

    I can draw conclusion based on this that the landlords are not legally responsible to notify a tenant about an infestation
    that did not occur, but could be a problem in the future.

    As for as an infestation that is already affecting another tenant but is not affecting you,
    the landlord will have to fix the problem. If it includes notifying other tenants about the problems, he would have to.

    You may want to consult an attorney at law for this though. They are the experts in this matter.

  3. 3

    i live in Chicago Illinois and i want to know is it fair to hold back rent if your landlord isn’t trying everything to get rid of the bedbug problems. they started in my daughters room, well they started inching sooner, and we haven’t slept at home for almost three weeks. so can i hold back rent until him fix the problem?

  4. 4

    Hello,

    I am not in any position to give you advice about whether or not you should pay your rent, but I can inform you on how to get rid of the bed bugs.

    Please do not be discouraged, but bed bugs cannot be completely treated with a one time treatment. Once you are infested with bed bugs, it is one of the most difficult pests to get rid of because they are nocturnal and only come out at night, and they have so many hiding spots: such as cracks and crevices, electrical sockets in wall voids, even in laptops, or your box spring, mattress boards, anywhere.

    For electrical sockets and electrical equipment, we recommend using the MotherEarth Dust. We also recommend that you do a perimeter treatment around the infested room so that the infestation cannot spread into other rooms. MotherEarth D has a very long residual time of 8-10 months, but is an all organic product and is safe to use indoors.

    You can use Bedlam Bedbugs Insecticide Spray directly on your mattress because it has a residual time for only a week. It is safe once the product is dry, but if you have a baby or anyone with sensitive skin, I recommend that you use Ster-Fab, which you can spray directly onto your mattress as well.

    For your boxsprings, baseboards, or head frames, we recommend Cyonara 7.9. It has a long residual time of up to 2-3 months. We recommend that you use Gentrol IGR with the Cyonara. Gentrol IGR Concentrate is an Insect Growth Regulator which stops the bed bugs from being able to reproduce, leaving only the current existing infestion to be killed off.

    We also recommend that you encase your mattress because the mattress and box spring is a very common hiding spot for bed bugs.

    With bed bug treatment, consistency is the key. As long as you are accurately applying and being consistant with your treatments, the bed bugs should disappear. They can survive for up to 18 months without a food source, so do not take it easily. It is not an over-night treatment that will get rid of the bed bugs.

    You can purchase all these products in a kit for a better value: Bed Bug Kit.

    I guess you can try discussing or negotiating the price with your landlord. I really don’t know what to tell you to do. If there is anything else I could assist or inform you with, please let me know.

  5. 5

    My neighbor has been infested for over 3yrs., just about the time I moved in. I didn’t know about her “bed-bug” infestation until about 6 mon. ago She has been infested at least 5 yrs. or so. I thought she had infantago, or herpies or some other kind of skin infection. She has been in my apt, several times. I now believe I have a mild case of “bed-bugs”. I asked our landlord what to do about this situation. He said for me to call around to exterminater places and find the cheapest price. I have done so… but he is not willing to pay their price to spray both apt. complexes . What , if anything can I do as a tenant?? My neighbor is ate up with bites, clearly after visiting this site it deffinately is ” bed-bug-bites” !!! She has done everything our landlord has told her to do. Including throw out her old mattress/boxspg . I now have similiar bites on me, starting out as red bumps (mosquito looking red bumps) , now are turning into infected looking sores from scratching them. I really don’t know what to do, Please help us.
    Thank you !!!!!!!!!!

  6. 6

    Hi Juli,

    I am so sorry to hear about the unfortunate events that lead you to this.
    Bed bugs are very difficult to get rid of, probably the reason your neighbor still has them after she threw her mattress out.

    Bed bugs are very good at hiding in cracks and crevices, plug outlets, inside your mattress or box springs and they can survive up to 18 months without feeding. That is why after one feeding, sometimes they do not come back out for about a year so you may think they’re gone because you don’t see them, but it is important to stay consistent with your treatments.

    It is also very possible that the infestation could spread to other tenants in the apartment complex, because bed bugs can travel through wall voids. The first thing I would recommend for you is to treat the perimeter of your apartment. Treat all around the walls and into electrical sockets and plug outlets where bed bugs are known to hide. This is usually done with a dust form insecticide, which we advise to use the MOTHEREARTH DUST. I recommend you do this so that the infestation will not spread to other tenants, and to keep your place from being re-infested by bed bugs from other tenants as well.

    The next step is to encase your mattresses and box springs. Bed bugs are known to hide inside your mattresses and box springs. Once they are encased, the bed bugs hiding inside the mattress or box spring will die off. You can also apply BEDLAM BED BUGS INSECTICIDE SPRAY or STERI-FAB ontop of the mattress encasements and it is still safe for you to come in contact with. Our ZIP IT BUG mattress and box spring encasements are water-proof, and encases all sides of your mattress/box spring with an extended zipper with velcro for extra security. They are currently on sale. Check them out.

    After that, I would recommend that you use a liquid insecticide with an IGR to spray into your box springs, but NOT on top of your mattress itself. You can also apply this on your base boards and behind picture frames, anywhere where it could be a potential bed bug hiding spot. The IGR is an Insect Growth Regulator which means it stops the bed bugs from being able to further reproduce. This leaves for the current infestation only to be taken care of. I would recommend using CYONARA 7.9 and GENTROL IGR LIQUID CONCENTRATE.

    We actually have kits on our website for bed bugs. If you go to our search bar and type in ‘bed bug kits,’ you will see a list of kits that you can purchase all these products that I just mentioned at a much better value than if you were to purchase them separately.

    I truly wish you good luck on getting rid of those annoying pests. If you have anything else to ask me, feel free to ask again.

  7. 7

    Hello my name is Roxanne i live in an apartment, I moved in just about a year ago. Where i live the building is basically a 2 family But last year we got a new owner. The problem is that the first owner had a Bed Bug problem, When i moved in i had noticed that the up stairs was being occupied buy 2 men which i found out that where they were living it was illgeial because it was just Bed rooms up thier. Well the 2 men were told that they had to move, well as i was saying before when i moved in the Landlord was cleaning out one of the bed rooms and threw out the bed. Come to find out they were infested with Bed Bugs, now that the old Landlord no longer ownes the building and the 2 men moved out one of them hed told me about the Bed bugs. Since they moved out 2 Weeks ago all of a sudden my son has been having welts on his arms, and i noticed thier was blood stains on his bed. The other day i happen to go in my son’s room when i had noticed something moving on his bed. I let the critter walk on a piece of paper and put it in the sink and when i killed it a lot of blood came out. I thought it was a tick but i was informed it was a bed bug. I threw out he bed and all clothes from his room. I believe the ones i sseen were bed bugs “adults”.

    I went to the landlord and told him we have a problem with bed bugs and he said he couldn’t afford to pay to fix this matter. can you help me and give me some advice on what i should do? I am a very clean person and i know it doesn’t matter now i am freaked out and afraid of what is going to happen on getting rid of the problem. Any information would be very helpful. lost and Confused.

    Thank You
    Roxanne
    Roxanne

  8. 8

    Hello,

    I am so sorry to hear about the unfortunate events. Bed bugs are a hassle to have around and also to get rid of.
    They can survive up to 18 months without a food source. They may come out for a feeding every once in a while.
    There is no way to be able to get rid bed bugs overnight. The key to treating for bed bugs is consistency.
    Due to their many hiding spots, we recommend different forms of products such liquids or dusts.

    First things first, I wouldn’t recommend throwing out your mattress or box spring, because once you get a new one, they can just re-infest it all over again. I would recommend that you encase your mattress and box spring with our Zip It Bug encasements. This keeps the bed bugs from being able to enter or leave the mattress or box spring. The ones inside will die, and ontop of the the encasements, you can spray Bedlam Bed bugs Insecticide or Steri-Fab. Both products work great for the control of bed bugs, just that Steri-Fab is more recommended for people with sensitive skin.

    Also, bed bugs are known to hide in electrical plug outlets. You can use the Mother Earth Dust to apply into these outlets.
    I would also recommend doing an all around perimeter treatment around your apartment to prevent any other infestations from other tenants to get into your apartment.

    Also, I recommend using a liquid insecticide, such as Cyonara 7.9 along with the Gentrol IGR liquid concentrate. The IGR is an insect growth regulator which tapers with the bed bugs’ reproductive system, preventing them from being able to further reproduce leaving you with the current infestation to rid of.

    With bed bug treatment, you must always be consistent. Don’t give up! It may seem like a lot of work, but it is definitely worth it at the end when the bed bugs are gone! If you want to save some money, we have bed bug kits with all these products that I mentioned and PestMall is currently having a mattress encasement sale. Good luck.

  9. ken korzeniowski
    Monday, 12. July 2010 11:09
    9

    I live in the Nwe York subburbs,in a condo,my unit became invested with bed bugs that was caused by my down stairs neighbor who addmitted that they came from them,they tried to have a exterminator come in to get rid of them but didnt work,we lost two bedroom kid sets,our bedroom set,living room set as well as spending a ton of money in a laundrumate doing our clothes,our place also looked like a big piece of swiss cheese from all the holes that where drilled to spray a powder chemical for the bugs,we where out of our place for 2 1/2 months since it was a long process between treatments,we also had our rugs pulled up. My insurance comp said our policy is not covered and the condo’s insurance would only pay for patching holes and re painting. What can i do. We are already in the hole for what has happened.

  10. 10

    Hello,

    I am very sorry to hear about that. Unfortunately, bed bugs are one of the hardest pests to get rid of, and even harder to get rid of in apartment/condo complexes such as yours. They can survive up to 18 months without a food source and have many hiding spots.

    This is why we have many different products that we put into a bed bug kit. We have the New York Bed Bug Kit on our website.

    The different products are meant to be treated in different areas. If you want directions on how to effectively use the kit, please send us a request at info@pestmall.com. Also, as long as you stay consistent with your treatment, you can successfully rid of your pest. It is very hard to get rid of bed bugs over night and will need some time and dedication, but it is possible!

    As for your mattresses and box springs, I’d recommend that you encase them with a mattress encasement. We have the Protect A Bed Allerzip mattress encasement on our website as well. You can encase your mattresses to prevent from getting bit at night. Bed bugs usually come out and bite an hour or two before dawn so we have the Climb Up Bed Bugs Trap so they cannot get on top of your bed as well.

    If you have any other questions, feel free to ask again. Thank you.

  11. 11

    Is the landlord responsible for paying for what you have to throw out, like mattresses etc. He has known bout the problem, but hasnt done anything about it. I cant afford new furniture!! Bed. There is 5 bldgs with 12 apts each. For sure i know A D E all have bed bugs. I need to move, but cant afford that either!! Recently seperated.

  12. 12

    Hello, unfortunately, to my understanding, I do not think that the landlord will be held responsible for the furniture. This is because, I believe they will use the argument that furniture does NOT have to be thrown out and can be treated. As for the buildings with bed bugs and his prior knowledge of the bed bug infestation but lack of action to treat the buildings can be against the lease agreement that you have signed to. However, that would really depend on what the contract has stated. It is best to hire an attorney or someone who can better assist you with these types of arguments. We wouldn’t be able to give you any better assistance since we are not lawyers. I wish I could’ve helped more and I wish you good luck!

  13. 13

    Hello I just moved into an apart two weeks ago, I got bit a few days ago, last night I was up all night killing bugs and collecting samples like im doing a doggone science project. I have bed bugs, carpet beatles and threadworms all at the same time. The landlord said he was going to send an exterminator however I prefer to have them rip out the carpet and spray. Two weeks into my lease, do I have legal grounds to break my lease?

  14. 14

    Hello Tony, WOW! I can’t believe this! I dont think you could have brought bed bugs, carpet beetles, AND threadworms with you from your previous residence! I’m glad that the landlord is doing something about it. It is not necessary to take out the carpet to treat for these pests. As far as your legal concerns, unfortunately, we are unable to help you. You must contact your state or municipal health agency or housing authority for more guidance on these issues. I’m sorry I was not of more help to you, but Good Luck!

  15. 15

    Have you ever come across a tenant being asked to leave the apt. for 7 days so they can hang nuvan strips. The apt. has already been sprayed twice. What about people who are section 8 low income, and on disability with no where else to go.

  16. 16

    Hi Mike,
    I don’t know about Sue or Sunny, who have been around on this blog longer than I have, but I personally have never come across a situation like yours. Unfortunately, I don’t know what to tell you except that Nuvan Pro Strips are effective bed bug killers and are also harmful to humans. It makes sense that the tenants were asked to leave for their own safety, but as for the landlord providing temporary living quarters for them, I can’t really say. I think this is something to ask your local exterminator instead, since he/she will be familiar with local laws and customs.

  17. 17

    Hello..i just noticed i have bedbugs..i thought my daughter was getting bit by medquitoes until i went to this website..what should i do or get to get rid of them..i sit m couches outside cause the creases were coverd with them and eggs..please help..

  18. 18

    Hey Kyendra, That sounds horrible 🙁 But we can help you!
    Bed bugs are a pain and it often times a tedious task to get rid of them but it is not impossible. First and foremost, I want to let you know that the most effective bed bug treatments are the most THOROUGH and must be regularly maintained. As soon as you start slacking off, you are going to start giving the bed bugs room to hide out and reproduce. I’m not sure if you have them in your entire home or just one secluded area, so I will give you a treatment plan that will work for a room.
    There are some major components that you need to remember when you are treating for bed bugs. Bed bugs are tiny and can hide in most cracks and crevices and so you must be thorough. The best type of insecticide is Bedlam Bed Bug Spray. This must be reapplied every two weeks to a month depending on the size of your infestation. Your couch, for example, can be applied with Bedlam in all linings, cushion seams and even under the couch on all edges and linings. Make sure that you do not come in contact with all treated areas until after it has dried.
    Secondly, bed bugs reproduce at a very fast rate. There is something called an IGR which stands for Insect Growth Regulator. This does not kill the bed bugs, but it does prohibit them from reproducing by interrupting their growth cycle. Gentrol IGR targets bed bugs. This 1oz bottle is added to 1 gallon of water and it is sprayed on. IGR as well must be left alone to dry before it is come in contact with. You might also want to consider mixing in IGR AND a bed bug insecticide in the same gallon of water, something like Cyonara (Please refer to the product label for mixing directions).
    Lastly, a dust product should be applied in areas that are not easily reachable like behind and under furniture and in the wall void area. If you have small pets or children that can reach these areas, then do not apply the dust there. However, dusts have a long residual time and only need to be applied every 4-5 months.
    If you have any further questions, you can always call us at 1-800-788-4142 or you can tune into our blog! 🙂 I hope that helped you!!

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