Bed bug in your hotel bed? Kansas does not care

by nobugsonme on February 24, 2010 · 3 comments

in bed bugs, bed bugs in hotels, money

Bed bugs in your room in a Kansas hotel?  The state will no longer be inspecting rooms to enforce code violations.

An article in Sunday’s Wichita Eagle recounts the story of hotel guest Becky Andrews, who was itching and scratching in a Bonner Springs, Kansas Super 8 bed, until she discovered the cause: bed bug bites.

She claims she took a live bed bug to the hotel’s front desk, but was not taken seriously, so she filed a complaint with the state.

A Kansas Department of Agriculture inspector visited the hotel on Nov. 3 and confirmed that Room 406 was infested with bed bugs.  The hotel was ordered to fix the problem, and a follow-up inspection was scheduled for Dec. 3.  But the follow-up never occurred.  The state announced that day it was suspending its lodging inspection program because of budget cuts.  In Kansas today, no government agency is working to ensure that hotel rooms are free of bed bugs, showers are free of mildew, evacuation routes are conspicuously posted, and drinking glasses are properly prepackaged. “This is the painful reality of our current economic climate,” Josh Svaty, acting agriculture secretary, said in a news release issued that day.  “Whether the department will be able to resume inspections will depend on future funding levels.  “In what has turned out to be a tight budget year, it seems unlikely that the state will find the $240,000 it needs to fund the lodging inspection program for another year.  Andrews said she finds that unsettling.

[Emphasis added.]

This sure is an unsettling state of affairs. And it is not just bed bugs that I’m worried about.  How can the State of Kansas enforce laws which apply to hotel conditions, if it does not have a lodging inspection program?  I know money is tight, but safety is a concern.

And when it comes to bed bugs, we remember well that at the end of 2008, a year when bed bug complaints in housing were eleven times what they were in 2007, Cincinnati did not continue funding bed bug inspections in housing.  And that’s after a study found 14.5% of the population of Cincinnati had had bed bugs.

I wonder how many Cincinnati residents have had bed bugs more than a year later?

1 MyWorstFear February 25, 2010 at 5:58 pm

“We’re not in Kansas anymore.”
Good thing Dorothy’s not in Kansas anymore, if it means she’d have to stay in a hotel that’s not inspected, and doesn’t have to answer to any “higher” authorities.
Shame on the Kansas Dept of Agriculture. May they sleep with the bed bugs tonight and scratch until they bleed.

2 parakeets February 25, 2010 at 6:51 pm

Remember the “Roach motel–Roaches check in but they don’t check out”? Well Kansas might realize their guests will be staying at the “Bedbug motel–Bedbugs check in but they don’t check out” unless there is more oversight, not less.

As for Becky Anderson going to the hotel front desk and not being taken seriously–I went to the First International Bedbug convention in Herndon VA which was co-sponsored by the hotel industry, and they were actually teaching hotel people there to train their front desk to “deflect, not disclose.” For example, a night clerk could say they would have to see the day manager who wasn’t there. They said the front desk would not have to admit to guests that there were bedbugs. Bravo for Becky Anderson for taking it higher. I’m sure many people had stayed at the same motel and had the same results.

3 Cilecto February 25, 2010 at 9:37 pm

We’re back to the old days when the man or woman wrote the railroad about the bug s/he found in the Pullman car. Letter comes back assuring him/her that this was an exceptional situation and that the railroad is taking serious steps to insure that it doesn’t happen again. Too bad the clerk forgot to detach the note that read “send this sucker the standard bug letter”.

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