Published at Friday, October 12th, 2018 - 16:15:46 PM. Bedding. By Jeanne Rogers.
What you don‘t see is hotels suing guests who bring bed bugs with them. Adept hitchhikers, they enter hotel rooms in guests‘ luggage or on their clothing. Most won‘t leave with the guest; they‘ll nest in and near the bed awaiting the next occupant and their next meal. Bed bugs are not a sanitation issue. About the size of an apple seed, the tiny nocturnal pests are nuisance parasites that feed on human blood. They do not transmit disease but can cause considerable emotional distress. In about 50% of their victims, bed bug bites produce itchy red welts that may take two days to develop, complicating detection. Many hotel guests check out before an infestation is discovered. Prolific breeders, females can produce up to 500 eggs during their one-year lifespan.
"Most hotel chains don‘t keep track because the number is so insignificant," said Joe McInerney of the American Hotel & Lodging Association said at the 2006 International Bed Bug Symposium when asked about the growing number of bed bug complaints in the hospitality industry. He noted that there are more than 4.4 million hotel rooms in the U.S., adding "you could count the number of cases per day on one or two hands." Yet according to a 2004 survey of pest control professionals by Pest Control Technology magazine, hotels and motels were the most common sites of bed bug infestations, accounting for more than one-third of bed bug complaints. In a recent survey, one company reported that 24% of their 700 client hotels required bed bug treatments between 2002 and 2006. Brooke Ferencsik, spokesman for popular hotel review site TripAdvisor.com told USA Today, "We get a steady stream of bed bug reports and have hundreds of reviews" mentioning them. "Even if travelers aren‘t experiencing [bed bugs], they‘re becoming more aware and are looking out for them."
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