Bedbugs–and the Chemicals Used to Kill Them–Can Hurt You

Social status, gender, relegious creed, and race matter not to bedbugs. Did you know there are exterminator units out there dedicated to the eradication of bedbugs? Often they are called to five star hotels, hostels, shelters, low income hotels, and camps. It can cost between $500 to $750 to exterminate a single room, and up to $5,000 to exterminate an entire house. If untreated, they can create colonies of thousands in just a few weeks. The bedbug resurgence has caused people to seek counsel among each other as they face the stigma associated with the situation. As result was created as a means of support and a coping mechanism for victims who have been traumatized by bedbugs. Back in 2007, California was forced to issue state bedbug guidelines. Laura Krueger, a public health and writer of the new bedbug guidelines for California Department of Health Services, states that California does not use as harsh chemicals as we used to and do not spray mattresses with insecticide before selling them anymore and that bedbugs are becoming increasingly resistant to the few chemicals left. Unfortunately, some of the chemicals used to get rid of them can make people sick.

Last week, the CDC cautioned in their Morbidity and Mortality Weekly report of the dangers associated with using pesticides to treat bed bugs, as there has been acute illness associated with insecticide used to control bedbugs in seven states. The main contributing factor of those who became ill has to do with misuse and overuse of pesticides and insecticide products. There was one death reported due to misuse which is an example of the extreme desperation victims of bedbugs. An already ill woman, both physically and psychologically, used 9 cans of fogger in one day, on two separate days, as well as applied insecticide to her hair and body. Other people spend hundreds, if not thousands, of dollars trying to get rid of them, and the toll extermination takes on a person’s financial and psychological well-being can be costly. Some people report nausea, vomiting, headaches, and tremors from exposure to the chemicals used.

Sadly, even after a thorough extermination, some bed bugs may remain, and efforts such as quarantining a room are pointless, as bed bugs can live for an entire year without a blood feeding. However, because the pest control industry is so tightly regulated in most states, it may be possible to determine whether a property owner /manager acted negligently by looking to the state’s standards and regulations for pest control professionals. Pest control professionals must act in accordance with state regulations or face potential liability in many forms, as they can and have been sued for failing to get rid of an infestation as promise to the plaintiff, not living up to their warranty of service, and in a few sensational cases property damage caused by negligent discharge of flammable chemicals. When someone is the victim of a bed bug infestation it is sometimes difficult to assign liability for the infestation. Common targets of homeowner’s lawsuits include hotels, landlords and pest control companies.

Since bed bugs are often difficult to recognize by the untrained eye, it take time for victims to recognize that any health side effects they may experience were caused by bedbugs. Unfortunately, these lapses make it difficult to determine the source of the infestation. Often bed bus will attach to luggage or clothes and hitch a ride from a hotel, hospital, or friends house and follow a person to their bed where they are fruitful and multiply until your client has a genuine infestation. The good news is that legal entomology experts have developed methodologies to determine the origin of an infestation based on the species of insect. Victims of bedbugs infestations can seek to recover financial and physical personal injuries, emotional distress, as well as negligence, misrepresentation, violations of code and contract breach. Here in San Francisco, the Board of Supervisors hearings are held regarding on-going inspections procedures, reporting, and referral procedures, enforcement of, prevention and control of bed bugs by the Department of Public Health, and landlords in San Francisco can be sued for threatening public safety if the department finds an infestation of bedbugs in any building.

If you have been injured by bedbugs and/or the chemicals used to get rid of them, please contact our firm for a free consultation. With over 10 years experience,our qualified bedbug attorney will be able to asses your situation to determine the right means of action and help you get the compensation you deserve.

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