The CDC reports that while bed bug populations in the United States dropped dramatically during the mid-20th century, the U.S. is one of many countries now experiencing an alarming resurgence in the population of bed bugs. The cause of the resurgence in bed bug populations is unknown, but it is suspected the reasons may include that bed bugs now have an increased resistance to pesticides used to control their populations; there has been an increase in both international and domestic travel that has led to an increase in bed bug infestations; people have a lack of knowledge regarding the control of bed bugs due to the previous decline in bed bug populations; and, the continuing decline or elimination of programs at the state and local levels that controlled bed bug populations.
What Are Bed Bugs And What Do They Do?
Bed bugs are small, flat insects that feed on the blood of sleeping people and animals. Their small flat bodies allow them to fit into small spaces and they can remain in place for long periods of time. They are reddish-brown in color, wingless, and range from 1 to 7 millimeters in length. They can live several months without a blood meal. Infestations of bed bugs usually occur around or near the areas where people sleep or spend a significant period of time, such as apartments, shelters, rooming houses, hotels, nursing homes, hospitals, cruise ships, buses, trains, and dorm rooms.
Bed bugs hide during the day in places such as the seams of mattresses, box springs, bed frames, headboards, dresser tables, cracks or crevices, behind wallpaper, and under any clutter or objects around a bed. Bed bugs can travel over 100 feet in one night yet they tend to live within 8 feet of where people sleep.
The Impact Of Bed Bugs On Public Health
While bed bugs are not known to transmit disease, they do feed on blood. When bed bugs bite, they inject an anesthetic and an anticoagulant that prevents a person from feeling the bite. Because bed bug bites usually occur while people are sleeping, most people do not realize they have been bitten until marks appear. Bed bug bite marks appear as a slightly swollen and red area that may itch and be irritating.
The physical reaction of people bitten by bed bugs range from mild to severe: some people may have no reaction to bed bug bites while others may suffer severe allergic reactions, such as anaphylaxis (which is rare). Bed bug bites may also lead to secondary skin infections that include impetigo, ecthyma, and lymphanigitis.
The effect of bed bugs on the mental health of people exposed to them may be very significant. Such effects may include anxiety, insomnia, and systemic reactions. Many people who suffer bed bug bites away from home also feel embarrassed about their condition, with some employing extreme efforts to hide their bites from others (such as wearing long sleeves and long pants outside on hot summer days to hide their bed bug bites from prying eyes, and others remaining in their homes until their bite marks fade).
We have been receiving an increased volume of calls from people throughout the United States who have suffered serious mental anguish and other emotional trauma as a result of staying in hotel rooms, apartments, and other locations away from home where there have been bed bug infestations. A common word that many use to describe their bed bug experience is “disgusting.”
Some of these people unknowingly brought bed bugs back home with them in their luggage. We have been able to assist many of these people in finding lawyers throughout the United States who have agreed to represent them in personal injury and other claims arising out of their bed bug experiences.
If you or a loved one had a bad bed bug experience while away from home, or in your own home due to a bed bug infestation that was not timely or properly addressed by another, you may be entitled to compensation for your expenses, physical injuries, and mental anguish as a result of bed bugs.
Click here to visit our website to complete a secure form regarding your bed bug claim so that we may attempt to find you a bed bug lawyer to assist you with your bed bug claim. You may also reach us on our toll-free line: 800-295-3959.
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