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Avvo, Inc., the web’s largest expert-only health and legal Q&A forum and directory, announced that questions about bedbugs have nearly doubled since last year.

According to the National Pest Management Association (NPMA), bedbug encounters have become much more common in public places than the previous year, in some instances increasing as much as 30 percent.

Bedbugs typically live in mattresses, couches or bedding and are rarely larger than a poppy seed, which makes them hard to spot, according to the NPMA.

More than 85 percent of the bedbug questions on were asked by tenants versus landlords who asked only 9 percent of the questions.

Avvo reports that 45 percent of the questions had to do with a tenant’s legal rights and 31 percent were questions from tenants asking who is responsible for eradicating the bedbug problem.

Consumers from Ohio, Pennsylvania and New York posted the greatest number of questions on related to bedbugs. Taking into account population density, 26 percent of all bedbug related questions are from Ohio, 22 percent are from Pennsylvania, and 21 percent are from New York.

To date, only twenty states have statutes addressing bedbugs, with only 10 states specifically addressing bedbug infestation in rental properties and hotels.

“Most consumers have seen pictures and heard horror stories about bedbugs, but very few know what their rights are when it comes to taking legal action,” said Frances Campbell of Campbell & Farahani, LLP, specializing in tenant’s rights.  “Furthermore, as the infestation grows, there is increased demand for legislation “ including a new federal bedbug bill that is being considered by Congressional committee members — to give consumers greater protections.”

Avvo’s Q&A forum receives more than 75,000 legal and health questions and answers every month.

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