The saddest part of this is that I could have been spared this experience if the hotel clearly and decisively had told me what to do and not, in writing. But they and many others are all pointing fingers at each other saying, 'it's not me, I didn't do it, they did it.' In fact, the hotel where I stayed continues to profess that they did not have bedbugs! They say I got them out dining or walking even though I was not bitten before going to bed and was in the morning! And I have never been bitten by anything in my house before - ever - including a mosquito! They have clarified what they meant by 'we treat for this!' They treat quarterly even though the bugs reproduce weekly or monthly! They said they baited the room after I left and found no bugs there. According to Bed-bug.org, "Today, many pest control experts use baiting tactics for... infestations of such things as ants, roaches and spiders. These baiting tactics work well for their intended subjects, but since bed bugs are blood feeders, they do not fall for the baiting tricks used."
The hotel went on to tell me that they train their managers on what to look for and they even train some of their housekeeping staff! Every housekeeper in every hotel should be trained on what to look for as they are the first line of defense. But it's not easy to see bedbugs in the day and especially in a hotel that has freshly laundered sheet each day. And sadly the hotel told me that none of the guests staying in that room where I stayed have been bitten since! Really? You have guest in there and you didn't treat that room? Maybe the whole colony came back home with me? There certainly were bitters here! Did the guest not report it? And the exterminators tell me that they could be lying dormant, they don't need to eat right away if they aren't newly born. I think that whenever a guest says that they think they might have been bitten the hotel needs to treat that room, no questions asked. Two separate exterminators and I did not see any bugs anywhere in my rooms until after the first spraying when they showed up dead in my suitcase and in a pillow on my bed. Although they told me those red bumps with a clear red dot in the center are bedbug bites. And that they bite in threes often, having breakfast lunch and dinner...and especially if you move in the night and disturb them while they are dining.
In defense of this hotel and the many like them, I don't think they are well trained and particularly knowledgeable on the realities of this problem just because of the things they said to me. They need to take a ride on some of these bedbug websites and learn, learn, learn. They need to talk with multiple bedbug companies too. I also think that properly managing this problem has felt cost prohibitive because of the way they are doing this now. Not that I want to deny my new best friends their livelihood. Although they all tell me they have more work than they can handle. So if a man can come in my house with a sprayer on his back and treated my house why can't they have a maintenance person licensed or certified treating rooms as needed? There is nothing in their closets and drawers! Stand the mattress up and spray them, open empty drawer and spray them! Spray the carpet, come on that's too hard to do? I don't buy that. There are plenty of different chemicals to select from, the ones they have used here, only require that the room be empty for four short hours! Now what you need to do after this to ensure that the room is bug free before you expose guests is another story. They tell me here I have to be a sacrificial lamb and go back to be slaughtered, soon after they have sprayed to force the bugs to move through the killing agents. Hey, have some of your people stayed there? What a concept.
This is an exploding problem and it irresponsible of hotels to just keep pointing the finger elsewhere, keeping their heads in the sand and exposing guest to risk, and not stepping and up to eradicate this bedbug wildfire. Take a ride on Bedbugregistry.com and watch all the new reports every day. I hear Brian Williams has a special report on the subject tonight! And me, I didn't even report the hotel here and how many thousands of other haven't or don't or don't even know these sites exist?
If you stay in hotels for whatever reason, you are playing bedbug roulette. When I travel now, I keep all my clothes fresh and used in separate clear, sealed plastic bags and my dress clothes are in sealed suit hanging plastic bags in the closest! I don't leave my suitcase on the carpet on the floor. I leave it under the sink in the bathroom where it's way harder for these bugs to hide. I spray my suitcase with Pyrethrum when I get home. Don't become a victim here. No one's going to help you out, as you can clearly see here. Take control of this situation before it takes control of your life. And if this story saves one person from going through this experience then I am pleased. If it changes one hotel's policy, I am happier. If it starts a revolution, I am thrilled. I have seen a lot of warnings go viral. Send this to a friend, a frequent traveler, your travel agency, your college kids...pass it on. Be aware of this situation and protect yourself.