Hotel guest blogs “bed bug conversation” with hotel manager

by nobugsonme on May 14, 2007 · 18 comments

in bed bug treatment, bed bug treatment in hotels, bed bugs, bed bugs in hotels

Many people write to tell me of the bed bug experiences they had in this hotel, on that cruise, at that yoga retreat center. And while often they make for good stories, there are just too many to cover. It also isn’t really our place to judge whether something happened or not. So I prefer to leave the travel reports to tripadvisor, where the sheer bulk of bed bug reviews can usually tell the story.

But this story was interesting on several levels, so I thought I would blog about it.
A blogger (Lex Friedman)tells a tale of a friend spending the night in a(n allegedly) bed bug – infested room in a hotel in Santa Monica. (The author’s own room did not have definitive evidence of bugs). The relevant point is that the friend, Jeremy, who (allegedly) found enough bed bugs to make a little display of them on the hotel comment card (a lovely touch, I have to say), was asked to pay for the night he would have spent there had they not fled.

Blogger Lex’s conversation with hotel manager Robert:

Robert: Listen, I KNOW there are no bed bugs. I have a signed document from Terminix, who was in room 202 TODAY respraying for bedbugs, and this signed document says they’re all dead now.

Did you catch that? Respraying?

Lex: Well, Rob, I have photos of living bedbugs crawling around. Apparently they haven’t seen this document.

Robert: We don’t have a bedbug problem.

Lex: Was Terminix in the room today?

Robert: Yes.

Lex: Why were they RE-spraying the room, Robert?

Robert: I have a signed document from Terminix.

Lex: Right. The ones the bugs themselves didn’t countersign. But why was Terminix RE-spraying the room?

Robert: They have said that any bugs there were dead.

Lex: Robert, they were in the room because BEDBUGS WERE IN IT TOO, right?

Robert: Yes. But now they’re dead.

Elsewhere in the post, the blogger describes how a hotel worker says that the hotel puts customers into rooms the day they’re treated for bed bugs, whereas the practice at another hotel he worked at was to wait 30 days before letting the room again.

This is all second and third-hand, you understand, but it speaks to a few issues that have come up here before. First, as Parakeets keeps saying, the policy at many hotels appears to be to pretend they’ve never had bed bugs. Granted, we’re only getting Lex’s side of the story, but this does appear to be the case here.

Also, if this conversation occurred as described, the manager (Robert) appears to believe that bed bugs are instantly and entirely wiped out when a room is sprayed. We know this is not the case. I have a hunch that Robert does too. If not, then the PCO is not doing their job.

Bottom line, someone has blundered.

Consumerist has another interesting article, which reference’s Lex’s story, here.

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1 hopelessnomo May 14, 2007 at 10:40 am

That is the funniest thing I’ve seen in a while, because they escaped unharmed of course!

Try this link if the one above doesn’t work.

2 May 14, 2007 at 1:17 pm

I wonder what kind of spray they used. When my apartment was sprayed it had a lethal oil smell, and if i walked into a hotel room and it smelled like that i would have to ask some questions.

I relaly enjoy how dumb people are and they try to hide things and beat around the bush. Classy.

3 May 14, 2007 at 1:18 pm

Sorry, this is u2dan. i didnt realize iw asnt logged in!

4 James Buggles May 14, 2007 at 3:51 pm

For the record, these events occurred at the Best Western Ocean View in Santa Monica. Avoid until the hotel presents evidence that the story is false. And then avoid anyway since Best Western sucked even before the bedbug era.

5 James Buggles May 14, 2007 at 3:56 pm

I should explain why Best Western sucks — each hotel is owned by a franchisee — basically a mom and pop. Maybe a mom and pop situation is good for a newstand, but not for a hotel, which is a complex business best managed by mega companies with lots of working capital and professional management.

6 DougSummersMS May 14, 2007 at 5:11 pm

Take the time to read the whole article.

Nomo’s link will take you to it or just go to the current page of Lex’s blog.

I love this story!

Also check out the public record link for the manager. You could write a sitcom about this clown. He was previously convicted of harassing a guest with a car stereo. He was sentenced to anger management and hard labor community service. This guy could be a poster child for sociopathic management practices.

This is the perfect example of how not to treat a guest! An excellent example of why we should check out hotels on trip advisor.com

Doug Summers MS

7 LMK Entomologist May 14, 2007 at 6:32 pm

Technically, the room can be rented out four hours after a bed bug service is completed by a pest control operator. However, pest control companies recommend that for a bed bug service the rooms are “torn apart” which usually means that the hotel will not put it back in service for at least 24 hours. Most (almost all) pest control companies advise the hotel to take the room out of service for 24 hours.

Sounds like this guy Robert is a schmuck and that the room was not prepared well for treatment. This is the what leads up to a lawsuit! Someone should stay in the room, claim they got bitten (probably will anyway) and then sue them for millions of dollars.

8 jessinchicago May 14, 2007 at 9:50 pm

I echo Doug- everyone, I encourage you to read the entire article. It’s fascinating and is so well written and poignant, it leaves no room for me to bash unabashedly as I would like to do, because that would just be redundant.

In a word or twenty: this article makes it obvious that so many people remain uninformed and uneducated about the spread of bedbugs, which is an epidemic in the city of New York, and will be at that level throughout the country pretty quickly if CRAP LIKE THIS DOESN’T STOP HAPPENING.

Finally, I really hope Lex and Jeremy didn’t bring bedbugs home with them. I’m sure that if they did, we’ll hear about it.

9 willow-the-wisp May 15, 2007 at 1:21 am

He he he lol everybody!

Hi this is “anonymous”

Jess if they did bring them home do you think they were in a suitcase?
Or in a Jar in a suitcase with lots of plastic wrapped undies???
Whole thing though was not funny–the story I mean nor the attached story. Aren’t we learning in the forums that some poisons lain down take up to two weeks to work … and then there are the eggs to have to DEAL with…
Sounds like a room and all adjacent rooms should be taken out for 4 weeks, so 2, full sprays can be done in all the rooms. Then a check for hatchlings can be done. IF found–that room should get another spraying.
In the long run–hotel could advertise as virtually bed bug free or your money back–they could also triple their rates by doing so.
God … if I only had the capitol….
Willow

10 willow-the-wisp May 15, 2007 at 1:22 am

He he he lol everybody!

Hi this is “anonymous”

Jess if they did bring them home do you think they were in a suitcase?
Or in a Jar in a suitcase with lots of plastic wrapped undies???
Whole thing though was not funny–the story I mean nor the attached story. Aren’t we learning in the forums that some poisons lain down take up to two weeks to work … and then there are the eggs to have to DEAL with…
Sounds like a room and all adjacent rooms should be taken out for 4 weeks, so 2, full sprays can be done in all the rooms. Then a check for hatchlings can be done. IF found–that room should get another spraying.
In the long run–hotel could advertise as virtually bed bug free or your money back–they could also triple their rates by doing so.
God … if I only had the capitol….
Willow
(that time I did cut and paste)

11 willow-the-wisp May 15, 2007 at 1:24 am

Ha ha so funny guys
They should wait 4 weeks!

12 S May 16, 2007 at 5:21 pm

This is the most frustrating thing I may have ever read.

Oh. My. God.

We need something. A book, a movie, an HBO special.

This kind of insanity has got to be exposed!

The solace I’m taking right now is that The Consumerist is a huge website. When I went on, the story had been read by over 2,500 people. Probably a big bunch were business travelers, too.

So hey. At least the word is getting out.

It is so fascinating to watch this all unfold.

13 willow-the-wisp May 16, 2007 at 7:07 pm

Oh god S., I hope you weren’t refering to me … I keep getting spammed, so that time I copied and pasted. It is annoying isn’t it.
It is frustrating how DUMB this whole thing is and so avoidable!

14 nobugsonme May 16, 2007 at 8:51 pm

Willow,
Just wanted to make sure you saw this comment

15 NewsProducer May 18, 2007 at 2:31 pm

Hi

Any So. Cal bedbug sufferers out there? I’m working on a television news story about Los Angeles area bed bugs and would love to hear from locals who are battling these beasts.

16 John October 30, 2008 at 4:15 am

After reading all of the above, I can say that bed bugs get into hotels other guests the bugs can be on your luggage, your shoes, your clothes,etc.

Unfortunately hotels get the bad rap always because bed bugs are bitting you.

Unless housekeepers or maintenance staff detect bugs in the rooms via on the side of matteresses, bed bugs can hide behind headboards and even pictures on the wall.

Sometimes these critters hide so descreetly that housekeepers don’t see them or are bitten by them.

Hotels don’t import bed bugs to bite their guests.

So check your luggage, your clothes etc. to be sure that the very bed bugs your complaining about are not being brought to the hotel by you.

17 nobugsonme October 30, 2008 at 4:20 am

John,

I absolutely agree that people should take care not to spread bed bugs and should make sure they are not carrying them on their person or in their stuff. And it is certainly true that hotel guests bring bed bugs into hotels.

But for every one person who does this, many others will likely stay in the room after them who did not bring bed bugs in, but will sleep in the room with them, and may leave with them.

Some of those will suffer greatly in the room, but they’re luckier than the unfortunate ones who carry them home and may spend thousands to eliminate the problem. A problem they picked up when they spent the night at a hotel.

It therefore seems like a large part of the responsibility of protecting those guests lies with the hotel management.

18 Crazy48 October 10, 2009 at 5:55 pm

Some municipalities may have local laws that are stricter then the state law. ,

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