“Good night, sleep tight, don’t let the bedbugs bite!”
What was once just a singsong way of wishing someone a pleasant night’s sleep – albeit a bit creepy – is now once again an actual warning as bedbugs have made a comeback in a very big way. Most of the resurgence of this pest is thanks to just one fact: the bugs have simply adapted to the ways we try to kill them. Just as antibiotic-resistant “superbugs” are raising fears in the medical community, bedbugs have developed a resistance to the pesticides that once eradicated them with ease.
Any new chemicals developed to tackle this problem would inevitably lead to the same outcome as the years go by. In the meantime, however, people living in the 21st century must now contend with a parasitic pest that hasn’t been seen in these kinds of numbers since we last took our bedsheets back from them in the 1950s.
It should be noted that – at least for now – bedbug bites are not dangerous. They can be itchy and trigger certain allergic reactions, but they are not known to be life-threatening. What they are for so many, however, is an uncomfortable and outward-facing embarrassment; even when such embarrassment is completely unwarranted. Even though bedbugs were once strongly associated with a lack of hygiene, today they can be found quite literally anywhere – from warm climates to cold; from high-end luxury hotels and communities to the poorest neighborhoods, along with everything in-between.
The stigmas still apply, however, and there isn’t a single hotel manager in business who wants to explain to his or her customers why there’s an exterminator’s van parked outside. Given the speed with which information travels today, the effects of a single public Facebook post could be nearly instantaneous and quite far-reaching.
Still, the insects can have dramatic effects on those people’s lives with whom they intersect, and people are starting to hold their hotels, landlords, and other entities responsible for not properly getting the situation under control when a bedbug infestation is discovered. In fact, an almost entirely new subset of liability lawsuits has emerged around bedbugs and their impact. People are realizing that the infestations they are having to fight are not their fault and they are holding those accountable whose actions could have prevented the problem in the first place.
If you’ve been exposed to bedbugs via either a stay in a hotel, an inattentive landlord, or by some other means, you should know that they are susceptible to extreme temperatures. A high-temperature wash and dry or a few hours in the freezer for affected clothing should kill any existing bugs. However, luggage and other bags could still be playing an unknowing role in hosting new bugs and the best way to be sure that the situation is completely under control is to enlist the help of an exterminator. Your situation may also warrant a bedbug lawsuit and our attorneys would be happy to examine the details of that situation and help to determine if you might have a claim.