COVID-19 has seriously hampered the travel and hotel industry since early 2020. Because of restrictions and people’s hesitancy to venture too far away from home, airlines and the hospitality business are genuinely struggling to stay afloat. Prior to COVID, however, Washington, DC had the honor of being named the top travel destination in the world for 2019 by the New York Times. Unfortunately, the nation’s capital also took top honors for a much less desirable category.
The Bed Bug Capital of the U.S.
Yes, Washington, DC, was named by Orkin, a national pest control company, as the city with the most bed bugs in the country. This distinction comes from the number of new bed bug treatments nationwide between December 1, 2018, and November 30, 2019, and includes both commercial (hotels) and residential treatments.
The news isn’t much better for DC’s northern neighbor, Baltimore–the Charm City finished in second place…after being the most infested city three years in a row. What does this all mean? Some might say any hotel stay in the DC-Baltimore area comes with an elevated risk of bed bugs.
What Happens If You Get Bed Bugs in a Hotel?
Bed bug bites generally result in itchy welts, which will dissipate in time. However, it’s everything else about truly irritating about bed bugs. It can be truly traumatizing to fathom that a bed bug has bitten you in the very place you’re supposed to feel most relaxed. And then comes the inconvenience. Any items you have in that hotel room must be thoroughly washed with specific instructions to ensure the bed bugs and their eggs are killed – or those items must be encased in plastic – airtight – for a certain period of time to prevent further spread.
Can you imagine – coming to Washington, DC for a trip – business or pleasure – and you can’t access anything in your suitcase because of hotel bed bugs? If this happens to you, you need some serious support beyond hotel management.
Bitten by Hotel/Motel Bed Bugs?
Let’s look at what you need to do if you’re bitten by bed bugs:
- Take photos of the room and the bed (with the bugs on the mattress, if possible), the bites on your skin (if they’ve appeared yet), and perhaps your room number. A picture of the stationery with the hotel name, address, and phone number is a good idea as well.
- Contact the hotel manager immediately and document your conversation. Get his or her name and contact information. Write down any questions you asked as well as the manager’s responses. If you fill out a formal complaint form, make sure you get a copy.
- Get to a dermatologist. Ask the doctor for a written diagnosis and a copy of any prescription or over-the-counter medication the doctor may recommend.
- Call the DC bed bug lawyers at The Lapidus Law Firm. The city or state where you stayed doesn’t matter…there are some hotel chains with headquarters located in the DC Metro area, so we can represent you regardless of the location where the bed bug incident occurred.
If you stayed in a Marriott hotel, their global headquarters are located close by–Bethesda, MD. And while our bed bug services are not limited strictly to Marriott’s hotels, it certainly makes it easy to file a claim against Marriott should you contract bed bugs from one of their 30 hotel brands (and thousands of locations) and chains across the world.
You can just as easily catch them from a roadside motel room as you can in a luxury suite. Marriott owns hotels in every price range, so there’s a good chance you’ll stay in a Marriott hotel and not even realize it.
DC’s Bed Bugs in Hotels Are Setting Records
If you travel, make sure to check your room for bed bugs. If you get bitten, take the steps mentioned above and then call The Lapidus Law Firm at (202) 785-5111 or (301) 852-7500 to schedule a free, no-obligation consultation. If we take your case, we’ll fight on your behalf for a fair and reasonable settlement to cover any medical treatment as well as any treatments you may need in your home and to help replace furniture or mattresses.
We can’t legally guarantee a settlement, but we do promise to go after the hotels and motels to make sure they’re held responsible. Why? Because we’re making justice work for you.