Question: Do I have enough grounds to take action if my apartment complex is overcome with fleas? I live in an apartment complex that provides pest control. My neighbor has dogs that are eating up in fleas. My apartment is overloaded with fleas. When I got my first case of cellutis (staff) (sic, refers to staph cellulitis) from the flea bites I went to management again for help. My husband had it as well and he missed work because of it. I'm now on round two with the staff which is on my back now. Manager offered to have pest control help but at my cost of $500.00 now, if my husband missed work and we cannot pay rent it's not possible to pay $500 either. We have not been evicted yet but we are late on rent.

Answer: In Iowa the rules addressing apartments is the landlord-tenant act. Depending on the extent of infestation, the program the landlord has in place to deal infestation prevention and how serious the landlord is about clearing it up either you will or won't have a successful case. One question I would like answered is what have you done to put your neighbor and your landlord on notice of the problem and how have they responded. I would think the landlord would send a notice to the tenant to either remove the dog or move out. Has that been done? If it was done and no one is moving ahead to clear up the infestation then yes you should see a lawyer to determine if there is a case; but it's not possible to state with certainty if you do or don't based on the few facts provided.

As for flea bites leading to staphylococcus here is one answer and the reference:

Fleas can carry staphylococcus bacteria which is the cause of cellulitis, so I suppose they could cause that type of infection. It is basically an infected wound that often causes pain, fever, and swelling, and is more common if you have a weakened immune system. Flea bites can also cause small infections. However, I have been bitten by fleas many times and rarely got even any redness at all from the bites. If you have bites I would treat them with Neosporin, and you will likely be just fine. If you have the rare severe infection a doctor will give you an antibiotic. But I wouldn't worry that much about it.

Reference is to emedicine health concerning cellulitis.

Small cases can have complex legal and medical issues. 

Steve Lombardi
Iowa personal injury, workers' compensation, motorcycle, quadriplegic, paraplegic, brain injury, death
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