German couple surprised by bed bugs in Cortez, Colorado hotel

by nobugsonme on August 27, 2008 · 3 comments

in bed bugs, bed bugs and travel, bed bugs in hotels, colorado

Some tourists come to Colorado looking for the “Wild West.” However, I don’t think bed bugs are what they have in mind. The Durango Herald, in Durango, Colorado, reported Tuesday on a recent bed bug encounter in a Cortez, Colorado hotel:

German tourists Billy and Helga Held didn’t travel to Cortez to have a close encounter with bedbugs, but that’s exactly what they got.

In the wee hours of Aug. 18, before they were to visit Mesa Verde National Park, the couple awoke at 1:21 a.m. to discover bugs in their bed at the Comfort Inn.

“At first I was in a panic,” said Billy. “My bedsheet was completely full of bed bugs. My wife was crying.”

Helga stripped the sheets and took them straight to the reception desk.

“The boy at the front desk took them and just put them in the washing room,” she said. “He said, ‘Do not make a big deal of this – you can move to a new room.'”

Oh that’s very reassuring! Customer service these days…

In fairness, the hotel did call out a pest control operator, and refunded the couple’s room costs.

Comfort Inn Owner, Ryan Griglak, said their hotel has tried to be as proactive as possible in controlling bed bugs – by employing Orkin to spray as well as relocating the people to another room.

Griglak said after Orkin inspected all the rooms, they found the only two infested were the two where the German family had been.

They were moved to a second room, and these two rooms were the only ones found to be infested!

Let this be a warning to hoteliers who simply move people to the next room, without attempting to help them decontaminate their belongings first.

The article also reports that the branch of Orkin in Cortez has had a 50% increase in bed bug calls in the past year. You can read the rest of the article here.

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1 paulaw0919 August 27, 2008 at 10:58 am

Here is something from youtube.com on this couples experience. Looks like this room had them pretty bad.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cf9Nx7dY_AY

2 bob1225 August 27, 2008 at 5:03 pm

Interesting thing about this story. They found the bugs their first night yet stayed two. The only two rooms, in a motel of over 70 rooms, that had bedbugs was theirs. They are the only complaint in the county for this problem. I find it interesting that no one else had this problem. The matresses were new, and treated. According to the local health department, they probably brought them with them. I find it interesting how professional the video is. Heavily edited and not showing all sides, like how their aggresive encounter with the nightclerk(as posted on the youtube video comment section by her boyfriend). The way bedbugs move and such, there isnt a way that there would only be an outbreak in JUST their rooms. Sounds fishy to my, more like a grab at attention and a free vacation. As per the health department, its not proven that they spread disease, as they stated in their video. And for someone who is that upset, they seem to have no problem spreading this all over the net. My question is what is the truth and their true intentions? Video is more like a tv show than an amatuer cam video. More questions need to be asked like home many other motels have they stayed at that have had this problem? Could be a way to pay for a “free” vacation. Only god knows the truth, so please tell us the REAL story. Heck, they could have easily picked them up while walking around or hicking at Mesa Verde. Like I said, god only knows.

3 nobugsonme August 28, 2008 at 1:35 am

Paula,

Thanks for the video– I have posted it below. It is interesting.

Hi bob1225,

We certainly don’t have the full story– on either the customer’s or the hotel’s side of things. But I do not read the information provided in the article or the video in the same way you did.

I will respond to some of your comments below:

They found the bugs their first night yet stayed two.

It is generally known that even hotels with bed bugs will only have them in some rooms. It is not at all surprising that they were moved to another room.

The only two rooms, in a motel of over 70 rooms, that had bedbugs was theirs.

This is possible– bed bugs could have been moved from the first room to the second when the customers were moved.

They are the only complaint in the county for this problem. I find it interesting that no one else had this problem.

Not so. The article quoted above said:

Although specific facts are hard to pin down because health departments are not required to track bed bugs because of a lack of proof that they spread disease, the Orkin branch out of Cortez, who works in conjunction with the Durango Orkin branch, reported a 50 percent increase in calls to exterminate bed bugs in just one year.

The Cortez Orkin has had a 50% rise in calls to exterminate bed bugs.
Health Departments aren’t required to track bed bugs.

So basically, people in Cortez have been having bed bug problems. There’s no reason to think some or all were not in hotels.

According to the local health department, they probably brought them with them.

This was not in the article above. Please let us know where you got this information.

I would seriously doubt it, though. The video clearly showed, at one point, an outside corner of a mattress which was covered in dark spots. This is more than would happen in one night. You could bring in bed bugs, but you could not make them stain that quickly, IMO.

I find it interesting how professional the video is.

I did not find it so. I would guess that anyone who carried a camcorder in their travels and was in the habit of making home videos could do as well.

By the way, in our litigious United States, where people bitten by bed bugs in hotels are suing for millions, I note that this couple have only tried to notify the health department and get the problem seen to, get a refund for their room, and made a video warning others.

Anyone else wishing to can see the video below:

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