Maryland Bed Bug Lawsuit Seeks $500,000

A bed bug infestation has left a Maryland family covered in bites and forced to move out of their home, writes the Baltimore Sun. The couple is now suing their former apartment complex owners for $500,000 claiming that the apartment owners neglected to treat an infestation of bed bugs that appears to have originated in an adjoining unit.

The couple alleges that although the owners of Ellicott City apartments did hire exterminators, and the exterminators did conduct an inspection, their apartment was never treated for the pests, leaving the family at the mercy of the bed bugs. The couple also alleges that they and their three-year-old daughter are covered in bites from the pests, said the Baltimore Sun.

Of note, another lawsuit was filed earlier this month by a woman suing a Cockeysville apartment complex over bed bug infestation, said the Baltimore Sun. Many more lawsuits are expected as the pests continue to show up in an ever-growing range of areas.

Bed bugs were found in a library book, leading to the temporary closing of a book drop at the Urbana library. And, while bed bugs have long been plaguing hotels and motels in recent months, infestations have been reported in movie theatres; offices; dressing rooms; hospitals; colleges; at stores, including Nike Inc.’s flagship store, NikeTown, in Manhattan, Victoria’s Secret, Hollister, and Abercrombie and Fitch; at least one New York City theater; and housing projects and tony apartments alike. At least five states have sought assistance from the Department of Defense and Ohio just asked the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for special permission to use a banned pesticide to eradicate its problem, said ABC News.

The United States saw a near eradication of the pests about a-half century ago; however, the reduced use of powerful pesticides like dichlorodiphenyltrichloroethane (DDT), which was banned in the 1960s, as well as use of narrow spectrum products targeting specific pests, have enabled the bugs to survive, thrive, and develop pesticide resistance. Many feel the growing problem with bed bug infestations has been linked to increased travel.

The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) are reporting that the US is experiencing what Wake My NC described as an “alarming” return of the tiny bloodsucking parasites. The EPA also just issued a warning against using outdoor chemicals indoors, because some chemicals adversely affect the central nervous system and can lead to skin and eye irritation and cancer.

Each bed bug lays hundreds of eggs and hatched bugs reproduce quickly. And, because the pests are indiscriminate, it is nearly impossible to avoid them. Experts suggest consumers stop infestations before they start by putting newly purchased clothing or clothing that has been on vacation with you into a dryer for at least thirty minutes. Never bring suitcases inside without first wrapping them in plastic to ensure the bugs don’t escape.

A hot attic is also suggest to help with suitcases. If the attic is hot enough, place plastic-wrapped suitcase there, where the heat should kill them.

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