It may well be that the closest experience most people have with bedbugs comes from the old rhyme. You know the one. “Good night. Sleep tight. Don’t let the bedbugs bite.” The poem has been around for a long time. Some experts trace its roots to the 19th century.

That might leave you feeling that this blood-sucking insect has been relegated to the past. It has not. And as evidence, consider that in January, pest control company Orkin issued a list of the top 50 cities in the U.S. suffering from bedbug infestation. New York comes in at number 8. No New Jersey metro areas make the list, but others in the region include, Hartford-New Haven, Connecticut and Philadelphia.

The fact that New York City is so high on the list is reason for concern. Not only is it a major worldwide hub for travel by people, but because bedbugs are sneaky, they easily hitch surreptitious lifts with people as they come and go. Hotels are major rest stops and the mere absence of a “flea-bag motel” reputation doesn’t mean that you are any safer. Bedbugs don’t discriminate.

Scientists know that bedbugs don’t transmit any known diseases. That does not mean bedbug attacks are harmless. If you find yourself a victim of bedbug assault hotel negligence, you should know that you may have the right to legal remedy for damages that can include:

  • Skin irritation
  • Welts or blistering
  • Permanent disfigurement from scarring
  • Bite site infections
  • Allergic reactions
  • Psychological trauma

And if you think such issues are trivial, consider the recent New York Times article reporting about a case in which a jury found a property owner guilty of negligence and awarded a family $1.6 million.

Because of the complexity of these kinds of cases, if you have concerns after having stayed in a questionable New York hotel, consult an attorney as quickly as possible.