Are hotels liable for bedbug infestations?

On Behalf of | Sep 5, 2019 | Premises Liability |

Residents and nonresidents of North Carolina alike may find themselves staying at a local hotel. Such hotels may not advertise or be aware of the fact that they have bedbugs. Guests may feel too disgusted by bug bites and getting rid of hitchhiking bugs in their own homes to worry too much about protecting their legal rights.

Recently, USA Today examined whether hotels hold any responsibility for preventing and responding to bedbug breakouts. Guests should not be responsible for others’ mistakes and negligence.

A responsibility to promote safety

At the core of the matter, hotel managers have to take steps to protect guests. Because of the health risks bedbugs pose, preventing and responding to an infestation is a manager’s obligation.

That said, the hotel has to know about an infestation before responding to it. As long as everything else in the room and hotel is up to the most current standards, guests dealing with an as-of-yet-unknown bedbug problem may not have too solid a case.

Guest prevention

Because of the prevalence of bedbugs in hotels, guests should take preventative measures the moment they step into their room for the first time. That means examining the mattress, especially underneath, for dark bedbug blood or feces and bug carcasses. Bedbugs are also commonly found in chair seams, bed seams, curtains and even electrical sockets. Checking for raised, swollen bites after sleeping is a good idea.

The extent of a bedbug infestation

Even after dealing with an infestation, bug bites and actual bugs, the mental, emotional and health impact of bugs can linger long after. For instance, a person may experience a sort of post-traumatic stress disorder after an infestation. Bedbug bites can even lead to permanent scarring, which can result in unnecessary medical bills. Sitting down with a professional capable of breaking down the full extent of injuries and damages is a good idea.