Disney guests paid off to keep quiet about bed bugs

by nobugsonme on January 12, 2008 · 5 comments

in bed bug dogs, bed bug epidemic, bed bugs, bed bugs and travel, bed bugs in hotels, florida, spread of bed bugs

This article reports that bed bugs are getting around in Orange County, Florida:

“Our inspectors are saying in recent months, even the last year, we’ve been seeing more complaints of bed bugs in our area,” said Dain Weister of the Orange County Health Department.

Even the most popular hotels are not immune.

WFTV channel 9 reports that one family was paid off to keep their bed bug story to themselves, after encountering the monsters in their Disney Resort.

One family said they were bitten by the bugs at the Disney All-Star Movie Resort. They backed out of an interview after they said Disney offered them $5,000 and a free trip to keep quiet.

The station also contacted Disney:

When asked about offering money to the family who found bed bugs in their room, Disney said they occasionally compensates guests who have a less than magical experience and the park does everything it can to makes guests comfortable [sic].

How is Disney dealing with bed bugs?

Disney said it has trained entomologists or “bug experts” on staff. Other hotels hire bug sniffing dogs. One of the animals is based in Tampa, but makes frequent trips to inspect hotels in the Orlando area.

I would indeed call bed bugs a “less than magical” experience. The spread of bed bugs can not be entirely contained and they will appear in hotels of every kind and quality. The best thing is to be proactive about doing a search for bed bugs in the room before settling in, and to take some basic precautions. (See our travel FAQs for more on how to avoid bed bugs while traveling.)

All hotels, meanwhile, need to educate employees about searching for and identifying bed bugs in the course of their normal work, and hotels need to employ professionals to help them develop a bed bug prevention and treatment protocol, and to identify and treat infestations as quickly as possible.

1 Gerry Weitz November 24, 2008 at 8:07 am

I recently purchased a bed bug monitoring device for my business, but now that I think of it, I’ll probably take it with me when I travel, particularly overseas and in resort regions.
Bed bugs are here to stay. Be advised to find a truly excellent pest control company, one that does specialty work, not just simple spray and go services or large companies with technicians that are poorly trained.

2 BarbinMi September 30, 2009 at 11:15 pm

We just canceled a trip to Disney that I’ve looked forward to going on for a long time. Why? Because the Caribbean Beach Resort, where I was going to stay, had reports of BB’s. When I read that the guests were moved to a different resort in the complex, I realized that the BB’s were probably simply being spread around. While my airline tickets are non-refundable, I did get a 100% refund for the reservations at Disney World. I couldn’t tell the nice woman that I was canceling because I read that there were BB’s at the place, but I know I should have.

I went to Disney for the first time back in 2001, and encountered about 10+ bites on my legs, but thought they were flea bites. I told the management about it, and they said they sent someone to look, but couldn’t find anything. They told me I was probably bit by sand fleas. Now, armed with this information, I’m thinking that those weren’t fleas at all, but BB’s, and I think I dodged a bullet that time.

I felt that my luck might be running out. Our house is older and has a cadzillion nooks and crannies for BB’s to hide in; we’d never get them out. I don’t know what we’d do, financially.

Sure, I understand that BB’s are an industry-wide problem, and I love to travel, but I just wouldn’t have a good time knowing that we could bring such a plague home from what is supposed to have been a care-free time. We may get the buggers anyway, but at least we won’t have done it giving that much money to an industry that has all the resources in the world at their command to figure out a way to get rid of this pestilence.

3 lisa February 9, 2010 at 11:59 pm

Just returned from Kidani village at animal kingdom for a stay of 7nights after the 3rd morning of my 8yo son waking up with bites i requested a change of bedding for his hide a bed, thinking there may be a spider or something….we returned from a ,ong day at the park to find a message on our machine of you have bed bugs…….. Are you kidding me????? my son still has HORRIBLE red welts all over his neck and face. it has been over a week now and they look like they are getting worse…. What if he had an anaphilactic reaction while we all were sleeping????????????? I am just so so dissapointed… So just check everything before you get too cozy, the room may look clean but you never know what could be hiding in the cracks… This was def a learning experience.

4 James Fay July 26, 2010 at 10:14 pm

I have recently returned from a 5 day Bahamas cruise on the Disney Wonder.
Upon return, we have discovered we had brought home some stowaways… BEDBUGS!
Please advise all future travelers to closely inspect their quarters immediately upon arrival and to NOT store luggage under the cabin beds as we did. Also, never place your luggage on your bed at home upon return while unpacking. This mistake will now cost me over $1,600 to heat treat our house to exterminate these bedbugs. I did contact Disney Cruise lines to inform them of the problem and recommend they treat the cabin we had. I’d hate for someone else have their vacation ruined like we did. The Disney Cruise representative did say she’d pass the information along.

5 nobugsonme July 27, 2010 at 11:38 am

Thanks, James.

We have heard some other stories.

This problem is difficult to detect and treat, but cruise ships and hotels need to be proactive about detection.

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