Channel 5 in Kansas City, Missouri reports that a woman says she found bed bugs in her room at the Value Place Hotel after noticing bed bug bites on her child. Instead of moving the woman to another room and dealing with the problem, the hotel simply evicted her:
After she alerted the front desk, [hotel customer Jackie] Trotter said she thought they were going to move her to another room. But when she insisted the hotel also clean all of their clothes she said they kicked them out.
“First I was stunned and just looked and asked, ‘Wait, my child got bed bugs from your hotel and you are putting me out?’ and she said that’s procedure,” Trotter said.
Trotter said she and her daughters just moved to town. She said they paid the motel for two weeks in advance and now they have no money to move elsewhere.
So the hotel actually had a bed bug protocol and this is it? Kick out the person who shows you there are bed bugs in the room?
A spokesman for Value Place responded in writing to KCTV5 News, saying, “Bedbugs are the single biggest issue the lodging industry faces today. These situations are brought into hotels by people.”
He added, “The best way that a property can deal with that matter is to isolate and eradicate that source from the property to protect the entire property. We followed the appropriate protocol.”
Well, this statement shows a lack of understanding about the “source” of bed bugs.
The hotel spokesperson is correct that “people” bring bed bugs into hotels. However, they are wrong in (apparently) assuming that the person to first notice and complain about bed bugs in a room is likely to be the source.
In fact, bed bugs can be in a room, unnoticed, for years, biting hotel guests. If a hotel wants to completely avoid the “source” of bed bugs, they need to close their doors right now. Or search every person coming through the door with a bed bug sniffing dog.
It might be better for business if they instead learn more about bed bugs and how to prevent them. They might also implement a program of regular bed bug inspections (human or canine or — preferably — both). Housekeeping staff need to be educated on the signs of bed bugs.
But kicking out customers who point out a room’s bed bugs amounts to throwing the baby out with the bathwater.