There are few things as disconcerting as discovering you have been exposed to a bed bug infestation. While bed bugs do not discriminate between four-star hotels or hostels, apartment buildings or condos, there are a few places most unsuspecting people fail to look for the creepy crawly critters.
1. Rental Furniture
Whether you are renting to own, staging your home or temporarily furnishing an apartment, rental furniture is the ideal place for bed bugs to hide. Since bed bugs are flightless bugs, they must therefore “hitch a ride” to their next destination. In hotel rooms, this often happens when luggage is left on the floor in an infested room. Bed bugs crawl into the crevices of the luggage or the clothes, lay their eggs and wait to be transported to their next home. The same thing happens when rental furniture is moved into a new home, apartment or condo. Before accepting delivery into your home, examine the cushions, frame, legs and underneath side of any furniture for evidence of bed bugs. This can include a rust colored stain, eggs and eggshells and pale yellow skins as well as the bed bugs themselves.
2. Computer Keyboards
People often mistakenly assume that bed bugs only hide and breed in things that are soft. In reality, older keyboards are large enough for bed bugs to hide in and come crawling out when you least suspect it. Since many models are black and hide any evidence of bed bugs, be sure to vacuum between the keys regularly. Additionally, turn your keyboard upside down and gently tap it on your desk. If anything that looks like shells, eggs or bugs emerge, it is time for a new keyboard and a thorough home or office bed bug inspection. Bed bugs can even get in your laptop!
3. Rental Vehicles
Think of it this way. If bed bugs can travel from one location to another in your luggage, they can also infest your rental car. Before placing your suitcase, coat, purse, or laptop bag in your car, thoroughly inspect the vehicle for any evidence of bed bugs. Be sure to look around the edges of the trunk, under floor mats, between the seats, and in the glove compartment. If you find any evidence of rust colored stains, skins, bugs, or eggs in the carpet, trim, upholstery, dashboard, or cup holders, show them to the agent and ask for another rental car. Your rental care company is responsible for renting you a safe vehicle. Should you unwittingly contract bed bugs from it, they may be legally required to help you get rid of them.
If you find evidence of bed bugs in your rental furniture or vehicle, notify the company immediately and request a different object or a refund. If they refuse, you may be entitled to legal recourse to reclaim your lost time, money and property. If you have been the victim of bed bugs, contact The Elan Law Firm for a consultation to discuss your legal rights. Our team of Washington, DC bed bug lawyers are here to help you.