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Bed Bugs in Our Hotel Room!

Discussion in 'Hangout' started by House Cat, May 2, 2016.

  1. House Cat
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    by House Cat » May 2, 2016
    My husband and I did a little "stay-cation" in town this weekend for our anniversary. We got a room at the best hotel in town, relaxed all weekend, went out and painted the town red. Danced at a Prince party!! It was a most wonderful weekend. But...

    On our last morning I found a bed bug on the bathroom floor. We pulled the sheets off of the bed and found another. There was even a bed bug on the windowsill!

    We called the manager in and he tried to deny they were bed bugs at first. He said they were ticks. Then he tried to say "if they are bed bugs" and gave me the advice to burn all of my belongings in the room. At that point I went nuclear on him and told him that he needed to make this right. He got very apologetic and told us to leave our belongings in the room and he would find out from the pest company what to do with them.

    We came home, stripped in the backyard and got dressed inside. We did bring our harder belongings inside after inspecting them. Things like my hairdryer and makeup, but I almost regret that.

    Has anyone been through this? Do you have any advice?
     
    


    


  2. monarch64
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    by monarch64 » May 2, 2016
    Look into permethrin to treat your luggage with. I wouldn't worry too much about your hairdryer and makeup, but maybe your makeup bag needs to be treated or tossed.

    Do you have a steamer? 20 minutes in the dryer on high heat is said to kill bedbugs at all stages of life, but I would do a round of steaming on all textiles to be on the safe side if you have access to a steamer.

    Sorry to hear this happened to you and that you didn't get to come home relaxed after such a nice weekend!
     
  3. momhappy
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    by momhappy » May 2, 2016
    We've never been through it, but it sounds like you've done the right things so far.
    We always do a "bed bug check" as we check in to our room. We pull the suitcases directly into the bathroom,we pull back all the blankets and sheets, and we look for bed bugs (or other marks) with a flashlight that my DH always brings with.
    I would have done the same as you - leaving the clothing, suitcases, etc. behind, but bringing home the "hard" things like make-up, etc. I'd probably be so grossed out I'd wipe all of my make-up cases, etc. down with bleach wipes, but I'm sure that's not necessary. I would wait to see how the hotel responds in terms of your clothing items. I would leave reviews about your incident (on trip advisor, etc.) so that others are aware of the issue. There a registry too at www.bedbugregistry.com where you can report these types of incidents. We always check reviews and the registry before booking hotels.
    I'm sorry that happened to you. Try not to panic - you've done the right things and you should be fine.
     
  4. moneymeister
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    by moneymeister » May 2, 2016
    What an unfortunate incident to happen during an otherwise wonderful weekend. You were very smart to not bring the suitcases right in.

    I worked at a homeless shelter a few years ago and had a couple of rounds with bedbugs. Thankfully they stayed at work and never hitch hiked home. We had to bring in a professional to eradicate the bugs with a poison. It was very strong and our residents had to leave for a day. The chemical(s) that work are not available to the public.

    The Shelter maintenance guy tried to spray everything with over the counter bug sprays. Not effective at all. We wasted time and the problem became worse (I disagreed with the wait). I don''t hold much faith in any bug spray we can buy across the counter because it did not work for us, I think the bugs ate it for a snack.

    Steaming the suitcases should work. Washing your clothes will kill any bugs. Take heart, you will probably be fine if you wash everything and steam the suitcases. You can place something in the freezer for four days to kill the bugs too. Heating an item over 117 also kills them.

    http://www.bedbugs.umn.edu/travelers/inspecting-your-hotel-room-for-bed-bugs/

    http://bedbugger.com/2007/05/18/bed-bug-laundry/
     
    


    


  5. House Cat
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    by House Cat » May 2, 2016
    Your replies are starting to make me feel better.

    I have $200 jeans and $100 sandals (bought last weekend) sitting outside and remember, I was told to burn them! Maybe freezing them is a better alternative!!

    I just found on the internet that the bugs we found were engorged with blood. I am hoping, not with ours.


    I will always do a check for bugs forevermore!!! I didn't think I had to with this particular hotel. It just goes to show you that this type of thing spans all types of hotels.
     
  6. sonnyjane
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    by sonnyjane » May 2, 2016
    Oh my gosh. No need to burn your nice things!

    We once had a guest speaker come in to talk about training dogs to sniff out bedbugs and he told us that heat and lack of oxygen is what you need. He said for clothes/linens just wash and dry hot. For things like your suitcase, if you have an iron or steamer, steam the bag and then put it tightly inside some garbage bags so that as little air as possible gets in. Leave the suitcase like that for week in the garage and that should be long enough for anything remaining to starve to death.
     
  7. Arcadian
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    by Arcadian » May 2, 2016
    Its unfortunate but those nasty buggers are apart of the landscape of hotels it seems. Last time I dealt with any was in Manhattan. Thankfully the last trip I was on, nada. but unfortunately, if I did see one it wouldn't be totally unexpected.
     
  8. Wink
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    by Wink » May 2, 2016
    I am thinking that if it was your blood that you would have had a very itching bite mark or two on your body. I have run into them a time or two while traveling overseas and I always knew if I had been bitten. One would think that it would always be in the cheaper hotels and B&B's but it seems to happen in the better places too. They are irritating and disgusting, especially to those of us who are not used to them as a daily fact of life. I remember how dismayed I was while staying at a B&B in Chile and was told by my hostess that of course she had bed bugs in her beds as she had no control over what people brought with them when they stayed at her house. It was a nice B&B, but I left immediately.

    Fortunately, they can be gotten rid of with reasonable precautions, and it sounds like you are doing things correctly. Good luck!

    Wink
     
  9. ChristineRose
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    by ChristineRose » May 2, 2016
    You can also freeze items that you cannot wash or poison. Buy oversized tight sealing plastic bags and leave them in freezer for at least four days. That may be the best way to treat your suitcases. Hopefully you have access to a big freezer or have a close and understanding friend. If you run into this problem a lot, buy a plastic suitcase without a liner.
     
  10. AdaBeta27
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  11. liaerfbv
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    by liaerfbv » May 2, 2016
    I'm not even sure what bed bugs look like? I don't think those are an issue where I live. What travel destinations should I be checking for bed bugs? Everything is itching after reading this thread. :lol:
     
  12. Poodles4me
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    by Poodles4me » May 2, 2016
    I have a friend who is an entomologist and one of his suggestions for clothing is to throw everything in the dryer at high heat. I was concerned because I was afraid of shrinking my clothes and ruining them. He said dry clothing will not shrink. So I would suggest that for your $200 pair of jeans and other shrinkable items - throw them in the dryer without washing them first. I would have to check with him again what he said about freezing. I know he said home freezers takes longer to kill bedbugs than the freezers they have in the labs, just don't know how long. Place everything in a plastic bag and put it into the freezer. He recommends everyone doing that with their luggage after travelling.

    He's always reminding us that we can pick up bedbugs anywhere. They can be in the best hotels, restaurants, movie theatres, etc.. He said no one is immune to getting bedbugs and we all have to be diligent about watching for them. I get totally creeped out thinking about them and it is one of my biggest fears. He has taught us how to check for bedbugs in hotels but honestly I never even think to check after dining out somewhere.

    Good luck House Cat! I hope this doesn't totally disrupt your household. Keep us posted.
     
  13. Poodles4me
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    by Poodles4me » May 2, 2016
    Think of an apple seed with legs. Bet you''ll never look at an apple the same way again but that is the best way to describe them :lol: .
     
  14. House Cat
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    by House Cat » May 2, 2016
    You killed me. You actually killed me...I'm dead now.

    I made an audible dying sound with that line...

    I thought that avoiding roaches was bad enough!!!

    :shock:

    But no, thanks for the advice about my jeans. I JUST bought them a few weeks ago and I love them!! I was sad to think they would be destroyed by heat!
     
  15. ckrickett
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    by ckrickett » May 2, 2016
    OMG I am so sorry. That is one of my biggest fears when traveling. I always check hotels, my DH thinks I am mad!

    I have heard freezing is a good way to go. seems like you got a lot of good tips here. I hope it all turns out well for you
     
    


    


  16. Poodles4me
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    by Poodles4me » May 2, 2016
    I am so sorry House Cat :( , I hated mentioning that but he's always giving us warnings. We're lucky we live in a climate where we don't have to deal with roaches very often (thank goodness). I've only seen one cockroach in my life and it was in the washroom of a hole in the wall restaurant. They made the best Denver sandwiches :lol: .

    Try not to let this upset you. I know it did me at first. My friend gave me a stern talking to and told me that bedbugs are now a fact of life (since the banning of DDT) but I can't stop living my life because I'm afraid of bringing them home. I have to admit that I was almost paralyzed by fear after hearing so much about bedbugs in the news. He said as long as we're cautious and aware we'll be fine. I hope this helps.
     
  17. stracci2000
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    by stracci2000 » May 2, 2016
    Wow, housecat, this is an awful situation.

    I had purchased a cool tiki mask from a wood carver in Hawaii, and later found out it had bugs inside. Sawdust kept forming on the shelf around the thing. I put it in a plastic bag then into the freezer for a few weeks. This effectively killed the bugs.
    I have also heard that it you have antique furniture with bore holes from insects that storing the furniture in a cold garage over over the winter will kill them.
    I would freeze those jeans before I ruin them in a hot dryer.
     
  18. momhappy
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    by momhappy » May 2, 2016
    Bed bugs have become an issue pretty much everywhere and not just in hotels (trains, movie theaters, apartments, churches, hospitals, etc.). I would check for bed bugs at any travel destination. A quick inspection of the mattress and behind the headboard of your hotel room should reveal bedbugs’ shed skins, eggs, and hatched eggs even in daylight (when bugs are not active).
     
  19. ihy138
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    by ihy138 » May 2, 2016
    My biggest fear - I'm so sorry this happened to you! I've done a huge amount of research into them because I thought I brought them home from my last trip to Charleston (I didn't), and you've gotten really good advice here. I work in a substance abuse treatment facility, and the inpatient units were getting bed bugs every so often. They started putting all the patients' clothes in the dryer before admitting them and this has taken care of the issue for the last 2+ years. The dryer is your friend. It's scary when you think of all the places you can pick them up, but you have to live your life. Good luck!
     
  20. lambskin
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    by lambskin » May 2, 2016
    The manager first denied that they were bed bugs and tried to convince you that it was ticks??!! :-o That is even worse!! :shock: Lime Disease! :knockout: :knockout:
     
  21. Gypsy
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    by Gypsy » May 2, 2016
    Heat treatment is the only thing that works on bed bugs. My husband has done research on this (long story, he needed to know for work).

    It's a treatment that costs quite a bit. But you can research it, and see who does it locally. And require the hotel to use that on your stuff.
     
  22. momhappy
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    by momhappy » May 3, 2016
    ^ Freezing bed bugs can kill them too. However, you have to use a very low temperature (0 degrees F or colder) for at least four days for cold treatment to work. A home freezer may not even be cold enough.
     
  23. House Cat
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    by House Cat » May 3, 2016
    Are you saying a heat treatment is needed that is more than *just* the clothes dryer?


    The hotel manager called and said that all of our items have been dry cleaned according to bed bug protocol. He said that the room "was cleared of bed bugs, but sprayed anyway." This is BS. We found three without hardly looking. But, I don't know what to say. We have photos. We will be reporting them as soon as we get our things.

    I don't have a warm and fuzzy about how our clothing, shoes, and luggage was treated.


    I used the clothes dryer for 40 minutes on the items that we wore home and laundered them. I still haven't taken them out of the dryer though..... :knockout:
     
  24. momhappy
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    by momhappy » May 3, 2016
    I wouldn't rely on the hotel to have properly eliminated the potential for bed bugs. If it was me, I would treat the items myself with heat or cold and then move on with life.
     
  25. ame
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    by ame » May 3, 2016
    Ugh, this is making me cringe. We have houseguests coming this weekend, and I am just getting the willies thinking about the fact that they stayed in a hotel prior to being here. I actually had planned to pick up a mattress encasement for both beds to replace the worn out mattress pads, so this works out perfectly. But I am moving a bunch of stuff out of this room (bec my clothes are in here!) just to be safe.

    And when I travel this summer and fall, I might line my bag with a trashbag (a white one!), and then when I land I might just put the entire thing in a big black one and put it in the car so that it bakes.
     
  26. amc80
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    by amc80 » May 3, 2016
    Did the manager really try to ease your fears by saying they were ticks? How comforting.

    Um, ticks are also pretty high on the list of things I don't want in my hotel room. You know, Lyme Disease and all...
     
  27. Gypsy
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    by Gypsy » May 4, 2016
    I wouldn't trust them at all. And Dry Cleaners will NOT treat bed bug infested clothes if they are told about it. And I will bet you anything this place didn't disclose the bed bugs. So you can't be sure everything was treated correctly. And personally, I would find out what the dry cleaner was, and TELL THEM that they were sent, without your knowledge, bed bug infested stuff. They may want to sue the place. I would. This place is completely without conscience. I would post a bad review on Travel Advisor and everywhere for them and warn people. Plus, I'm pretty sure you can call the health department on them. AND YOU SHOULD.

    Anything you dried on HIGH heat for at least 30 minutes in the dryer is probably fine.
    "Dry-clean only" garments can usually go through a dryer cycle safely as long as they are completely dry at the start and the dryer is only set to medium heat, which is less than 160 degrees Fahrenheit (71 degrees Celsius).
    Heat is an effective way to kill bed bugs, but garments must be laundered at temperatures of 120 degrees Fahrenheit (49 degrees Celsius) in order for the heat treatment to be effective.

    Anything he gives you though that you can't heat treat, you need to bag and suffocate for 1.5 years. Yes, seriously. Get two giant zip lock bags and double bag them. https://www.zappbug.com/get-rid-of-bed-bugs/bed-bugs-in-clothes/

    Your other option is a professional heat treatment, which is what I'd do if you don't want to suffocate them for 1.5 years.

    And I would charge them for it. Or sue them for it.

    http://www.wikihow.com/Kill-Bed-Bugs
     
  28. House Cat
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    by House Cat » May 4, 2016
    It is so much worse that I can ever imagine...

    He had our clothes dry cleaned and laundered at the HOTEL DRY CLEANERS!! That means they were cleaned in-house! My suitcases "were left in the room while it was sprayed." I specifically asked if my shoes were cleaned and the manager said they were, but they were returned to me in a grocery bag, so no, they weren't.

    He didn't take this seriously at all.

    When my husband came to pick up my stuff, the manager was hell-bent on telling us there was no infestation. Umm, there were bugs in my bed!!!

    My stuff is sitting outside.

    My husband emailed him to once again ask how exactly our stuff was treated, and the manager suggested we boil our items.


    I tried looking up a way to report to the California Health Department or Sacramento County Health Department, but I can't find anything.


    I am contacting their larger corporate office today. I am so upset.
     
  29. momhappy
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    by momhappy » May 4, 2016
    Don't get overwhelmed, house cat. I know it's frustrating, and gross, etc. but it's important to remember that that are a lot of "ifs" in this scenario - if your clothes/belongings picked up any hitchhiking bed bugs, if they made it past whatever process the hotel put them through, if any bed bugs made it on the ride back, if any made it into your house.... Of course you should take it all very seriously, and report the hotel accordingly, but treat your items on your own (heat, cold, etc.) and try to put it behind you.
     
  30. monarch64
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    by monarch64 » May 4, 2016
    Housecat, please do not let a bunch of stuff people post on the internet plus a ton of links and speculation cause you further upset!

    This thread seems to be feeding your anxiety and worsening the situation. The hotel manager can only control so much, you can only control so much, etc. I would take momhappy's advice if I were you and heat process your things and then move on with life.

    I traveled for work a couple years ago and the accomodations I stayed in were chosen by the owner of my company. When I read the tripadvisor reviews I was appalled to see there were several reports of bedbug incidents. So, I took giant sealable plastic bags with me, and black plastic trash bags. I kept my clothing and luggage covered and sealed while I was there and just made sure every night that there weren't any bugs in the bed with me. I saw one carcass that looked pretty old but no live ones. Nevertheless, I was freaked out the whole time. I survived, though, and returned home with no further problems. If I can get through that, you can get through this.
     

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