EPA, Ohio Bite Back at Bedbugs
Whenever Erin Burnett wants to lighten up her Street Signs show she pumps CNBC producer Andrea Mantia for another story on her favorite arthropod, the bedbug. On Monday these women named Columbus, Ohio, ground zero in America’s burgeoning bedbug plague. They’ve been on the case awhile. They know what they’re talking about. Now the Environmental Protection Agency is considering lifting a ban on the insecticide propoxur in what’s shaping up as an all-hands battle against the bloodsucking pest.
- Bedbugs breeding and biting in beds across America
- Bloodsucking insects create crisis in Ohio cities
- Your legal rights when bedbugs bite
EPA, State Officials Meet on Ohio Bedbug Crisis
Business and leisure travelers beware. The bedbug infestation has hit the lodging industry hard too. While the pests don’t carry disease, they can inflict dozens of painful, itchy bites on you in a matter of hours while you sleep. That’s just half the problem. If your hotel room is infested, there’s a chance you’ll carry the peripatetic beasts home with you in your luggage. The good lawyer in us all immediately wants to know, who can we blame?
First, what is the EPA doing about it? It’s holding a crisis meeting today with Ohio officials to work on a plan to eradicate the pest. It’s posted bedbug-fighting tips and warnings on its website. It’s also issued a joint statement about health concerns with the Centers for Disease Control. One thing you might be tempted to do but should not: use outdoor pesticides indoors to try and kill off the bugs. It’s against federal law and can pose long-term health hazards for you. EPA recommends hiring a pest management professional ASAP to deal with the problem.
What if bedbugs ruin your vacation, or worse come home with you from the hotel? Can you get compensation from the hotel? This is tricky. The American Hotel and Lodging Association denies there’s a significant problem and blames media hype. The hotel may toe that line, or actually blame you for bringing the bugs or not taking care to detect their presence. Still, the number of bedbug lawsuits is mounting and some hotel guests have won significant jury awards and settlements for pain, suffering, emotional distress and property damage. The Bedbugger website hosts a partial list of recent cases involving hotel and apartment infestations.
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