Do Hotels Have to Report Bed Bugs?
Among the terrifying things a person may experience when travelling, is staying in a bedbug-infested hotel room. Since these critters spread fast, their presence alone is nerve-wracking. Though there are only a few laws addressing bed bug issues, it is the responsibility of hotels to keep guests safe under the common law.
Always remember that even the most expensive and cleanest hotels are susceptible to bed bugs. This is why educating and protecting yourself from these critters is essential.
There are no federal laws addressing bed bugs, but there are some states in the US with legislation obliging hotels to keep guests safe from these critters. However, most of these state legislations lack teeth and are only making hotels observe cleanliness to prevent these pests. There are specific states that require hotels to make infested hotel rooms unavailable for occupancy and do extermination treatments prior to accommodating new guests in the room.
How are Guests Protected against Bed Bugs under the Common Law?
Under the common law, it is the responsibility of the hotel manager to make use of reasonable care to keep you safe as a guest. These reddish brown blood-sucking critters are known to pose a hazard to one’s personal safety like rashes, permanent scars, and allergic reactions. It is only reasonable for guests to expect that hotel staff will clean, disinfect, fumigate, and exterminate these pests.
However, the common law does not oblige hotel personnel to ensure your safety. They are only obliged to take all reasonable measures for promoting your safety.
If you find out of an infestation and the hotel manager is unaware of it, the common law protection is not applicable in the situation as long as the room is clean. It is unreasonable and impossible for hotel personnel to learn about any infestation before it even starts,
Possible Legal Option
Bed bug infestations and bed bug bites can be viewed as serious injuries under the law. The bites alone can leave victims with lasting psychological effects and may cause fierce itching, embarrassing rashes, or worse, permanent scarring.
If you’ve become a victim of these pests in your hotel, it is necessary that you take proper documentation of everything. If possible, talk to the local health department immediately. Ask them to have your room inspected and get a copy of the report.
Once you’ve gathered enough evidence, file a complaint with the hotel management. Make sure to get the name of the manager, email address and phone number. It would also help if you will record your doctor’s visit, in case you require medical attention. Gathering as many pieces of evidence as possible will help you in your civil litigation in case you develop serious injuries.
How to Avoid Being a Victim of Bed Bugs in Hotels
Since it is impossible to know right away if there are bed bugs in a hotel from simply asking the staff, it is necessary that you also do your homework and do your research. You can search online and use updates from review websites like Bedbug Reports. This is where you’ll find recently reported bed bugs issues at various hotels from previous guests. Simply enter the state and city and you’ll easily find out which hotels should be avoided.
You can also learn how to file a report about the hotel, in case you encounter bed bugs during your stay. Bed Bug Registry is a trusted source, but it no longer has updated reports to show.
An important thing that you should do upon entering your room is to put your belongings in the bathroom. It is also a good idea to look for a metal luggage rack where you can put your extra belongings. You can also place this inside the bathroom just to make sure your luggage or your other stuff won’t touch any of the furnishings inside the room
Check everything inside the room for any signs of bed bugs like blood stains, actual bugs, or even eggs. This way, you can rest assured that your room is free from these pests or talk to the staff for another room far from the one assigned to you in case you found any signs.
Make sure that you also take precautionary measures as you travel back home to prevent spreading bed bugs in your home. Initiate pest control methods if you want to keep possible bed bug infestations at bay.