Articles Posted in Bed Bugs

boris-smokrovic-136175-copy-300x200As a tenant, you have a right to live in an apartment or house that is free from rodents, insects, and other vermin. You are not required to live within an apartment overrun by mice that are eating and dirtying your food or covered in bed bugs that are biting you day and night. Through the implied warranty of habitability and local and state laws, your landlord is required to get rid of infestations within your unit or the common areas of an apartment building. If your landlord does not uphold his or her duty, you may have the right to move out or hold your landlord financially responsible for fixing the problem. However, you should not do anything yourself without understanding your rights and the potential consequences. Speak with a San Francisco tenant rights attorney from Brod Law Firm first.

The Implied Warranty of Habitability

The implied warranty of habitability is an automatic promise you receive as a tenant that the premises you rent are safe and appropriate to live in. This is not a promise you receive in writing with your lease. It is an obligation dictated by law. It gives you the right to a habitable place to live and requires the landlord to keep the unit up to a certain standard.

h_xf5vhzmrm-neha-deshmukh-200x300The sooner you realize you have bed bugs, the faster you can ask your landlord to have an exterminator come out and solve the problem. In recent years, newer chemicals and heat treatments have been developed that are highly effective in getting rid of bed bugs. However, the longer you have these insects in your home, the more there will be and the harder they will be to eradicate. Considering the San Francisco-Oakland-San Jose area is within the top ten cities for bed bug service calls in 2016, according to Orkin, this is information you cannot afford to ignore. By knowing the signs, you can communicate with your landlord right away and prevent a habitability issue.

Signs of Bed Bugs

Fortunately, bed bugs are relatively easy to spot. They have some distinct habits that can differentiate them from other pests. Look for:

h_xf5vhzmrm-neha-deshmukh-200x300Bedbugs are an unpleasant sign of dirt and disease and cause for concern among apartment dwellers and others. A recent report was released ranking the top 50 cities in the United States according to bedbug infestation. The San Francisco and the Oakland areas ranked number 10 for the most bedbugs in the country. The annual report was just released by Orkin, a leader in the pest control industry.

Bedbugs are Still a Major Concern

According to Orkin, bedbugs continue to be a serious concern. In fact, there are more bedbugs now than ever before. Bedbugs have become common, especially in apartment buildings, hotels, and similar spaces. Bedbugs were relatively unheard of just ten years ago, yet today they are a reason why some residences are inhabitable.

When we sign a lease we expect the premises to be kept healthy and habitable. One of the most serious problems that can cause inhabitability in a rental property is a bed bug infestation. Bed bugs can become a serious problem because they multiply so quickly. They are easily transmitted, so an entire apartment building may become infected. Property managers must properly respond to bed bug reports, and work to eliminate the problem. Failure to do so is illegal.

Bed Bugs

Bed bugs are tiny, brown or reddish-colored insects without wings. They feed mostly on blood from animals or people. Bed bugs come out mostly at night. Because of their small size, they often hide between small cracks or crevices in bedding, carpeting, mattresses, couches, and other areas. Female bed bugs lay thousands of eggs over their lifetimes. Each egg is only about the size of a speck of dust. Bed bugs can easily hide in suitcases, furniture, and similar items so they can be easily transported between locations.

Bedbug_(PSF)Common law presumes a tenant’s right to habitable premises. Habitable generally means the landlord must:

  • Provide a clean and sanitary premises
  • Make repairs to or replace faulty or defective conditions within a reasonable time

PSM_V37_D356_Bed_bugsIn every personal injury case – regardless of whether it arises out of a car accident, a construction site mishap, or a fall down stairs, valuation is an important step of the investigative process that helps prepare a case to be filed and tried. Valuation refers to the process of assigning a dollar figure to the case that represents the total amount of harm suffered by the victims. It is, in other words, the case’s “worth.”

The Importance of Proper Valuation in Bed Bug Cases

Valuation is key: Without an accurate understanding of the case’s worth, the victim in the case will have a hard time determining whether a proposed settlement agreement adequately compensates the victim for his or her injuries and should be accepted. Moreover, if the valuation process is not completed correctly, then the amounts of compensation requested by the victim for this loss or that expense may be quite difficult to prove.

800px-Walmart_logos_old_and_newA husband and wife visiting a Phoenix Wal-Mart store found more than they were looking for: bed bugs. The problem began when the husband (who had an injury to his toe) sat down in one of the store’s motorized carts that are made available for guests with mobility challenges. As the couple shopped, the husband began to complain of his back itching. When the man stopped by the restroom and got up from the cart, the couple noticed that the seat of the cart where the man was sitting was infested with bed bugs and that the man’s back was covered in bites. The company indicated it took prompt action upon learning of the infestation, including removing the vinyl covers from its motorized carts for cleaning.

Retail Stores’ Liability for Bed Bug Infestations

Although many individuals associate bed bug infestations with mattresses and bedding materials for obvious reasons, bed bugs can be found in other locations and materials as well. It is not just homes, apartments, and hotels that need to worry about bed bug infestations. Bed bugs have been found inside books, behind wallpaper, and even in hospitals and laundromats. While finding bed bugs inside the seat of a motorized cart at a retail establishment may be unsettling, it is certainly not out of the ordinary.

It’s summer and many peoplCimex lectulariuse are anticipating an upcoming vacation.  As you think about everything you want to do on your trip, remember one thing you definitely do not want to do – encounter a hotel bed bug infestation or run into the pests elsewhere during your travels.  Bed bugs in hotels, transit vehicles, and travel destinations can ruin your vacation by causing itchy red bites.  Worse still, they may also try to hitch a ride with you and infest your home causing trouble long after your trip.  Our Oakland bed bug lawyer wants to help you avoid these nasty pests and is also here to help if they turn your dream trip into a nightmare.

A Bit of Bed Bug History

Bed bugs are not a new problem, but they have made a resurgence in the past decade.  In a 2010 article titled They’re Back: A Bed Bug History, a reporter notes that bed bugs appear to have been plaguing people for millennia.  There is evidence of bed bug problems on 17th Century ships bound for the Americas and archaeologists found fossilized bed bugs at a site in Egypt dating back some 3,550 years.  Still, there has been a notable resurgence in the number of bed bug infestations over the past decade.

Many of us have, at one time or another, been told to develop a “thicker skin.”  In colloquial usage, this generally means one should be less sensitive to criticism or other negative words.  However, it turns out that in the world of bed bugs a thicker skin is a very real physical trait and one that makes the pests even tougher to eradicate.  This is important news.  Our San Francisco tenant’s lawyer believes landlords in particular should be paying attention because landlords can and should be held responsible when their failure to take appropriate action leaves residents suffering and prolongs a bed bug infestation in the Bay Area.

Bed Bugs Devebedbugsloping Resistance to Certain Insecticides

This week, CNN reported that researchers in Australia found that bedbugs have begun to develop thicker skins that allow them to survive certain bug sprays.  Bed bugs are parasites that feed on human blood and they have made a major resurgence in recent decades.  Researchers believe the pests are only growing stronger and more resistant to certain treatments.  In the recent study, researchers found that bed bugs that had a thicker natural covering were more likely to survive certain insecticides.  The scientists hope that this research helps in the continued effort to “spot a chink in their armour” and develop more effective treatments.

rentNothing can ruin a holiday vacation more than staying at a hotel infested by bed bugs. It is a nightmare that can last for weeks and affect your entire family. Rashes and illness are a common consequence. If you have come into contact with bed bugs you should know your legal rights.

Basic Facts

Bed bugs are tiny insects that live by feeding off the blood of warm blooded animals-with a strong preference for humans. They feed and are mostly active at night and prefer living in tight confined spaces and make their homes on wood, paper and fabric. They stick to clothes, luggage and can spread from person to person. Bed bugs can survive almost 12 months without feeding, and females lay up to 5 eggs per day. Their bites often result in red marks on the host. However, not all victims have a reaction to bed bug bites. Abhorrent as they are bed bugs are not thought to spread disease.