Bed Bugs

Old Feb 28th, 2013, 02:58 AM
  #21  
 
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Two yrs. ago I had bedbugs at the Hampton Inn Soho in NYC (the one located near the entrance of the Lincoln Tunnel).umps grouped in thress) Otherwise a decent hotel. I woke after sleeping on night one with a few very small red bumps on my hand (bumps grouped in sets of three), and backside, and stomach. Within 24 hrs the itching they caused was intense, and by 48 hrs the inflammation and ithing was so bad I was at an urgent care center getting steroids. It was a nightmare. It was so bad I could not work for 3 wks, I coudl not concentrate, and I could not sleep. I was in NYC as I was on the way to Hyde Park for my aunts funeral, and when I got there I could not give the eulogy as planned, I was too uncomfortable from the reaction to all of the bites.

This was way more than just some annoying event. I have two friends who also ended up on steroids after bed bug encounters. It is too bad,, and I find it insulting, that some people(including a fodors editor) who have never encountered bed bugs feel so sure of the ordeal being just annoying that they are wiling to state that as a fact, without any experience of their own w/bedbugs.
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Old Feb 28th, 2013, 08:41 AM
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Having had to deal with bedbug eradication in three of our rental units, i can also categorically state that they can cause a real financial loss as well. It ran about $700 for the one bdroom units, plus in two cases we had to buy new mattresses and put the tenants up for a night due to the pesticide treatment.

And from my hotel manager friend (of a good and well known hotel), I know that the hotels cannot manage the problem. They just move people around when they complain, try to keep the room till the bedbug guy comes at the end of the month, and figure its just one of those things that most visitors won't recognize. It is a HUGE problem, but also a sneaky secret.
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Old Feb 28th, 2013, 09:26 AM
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In defense of Doug Stallings, there is a big difference between uncomfortable and dangerous. No one said it's great to get bedbug bites, but bedbugs do not carry disease, and that is an important point.
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Old Feb 28th, 2013, 09:39 AM
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Anytime someone has to go on steroids for treatment, I think that qualifies as more than uncomfortable. Steroids carry risk, and a risk-benefit decision has to be made before going on them. In my case, I was on prednisone for 20 days, two 10 day courses, because 10 days in the first round of treatment was not sufficient. The treament certainly can carry risks. So that, to me, was much more than just being uncomfortable. The bedbug bites and reaction were incapacitating, I cudl not work for 3 wks and could not even deliver the eulogy at my aunt's funeral as planned. And I have had two friends who also have had to go on steroids due to bedbug bites during work-related travel.
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Old Feb 28th, 2013, 09:49 AM
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Bed Bugs are not rare, they are everywhere, especially in Europe, SF and NYC. However, it's rare that they actually bite. Each one feeds once every 3 or 4 months, thank god. Garlic capsules will help convince them that they should wait a few days for a tastier victim.
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Old Feb 28th, 2013, 09:51 AM
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Icuy - that is frightening! I dont think I have encountered them to my knowledge.

I understand they are theatres, dressing rooms too.

Once I was leary and laid the towels over the bed and slept fully clothed - I was stranded at a dumpy airport motel when the airport closed due to weather in Houston.
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Old Feb 28th, 2013, 10:06 AM
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All right, emd3, I give up. I hope you never go anywhere where real disease, such as malaria, is a possibility, because if bedbugs lay you down for 3 weeks, you would surely die under more adverse conditions.
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Old Feb 28th, 2013, 11:05 AM
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NewbE, emd3 didn't share her story so that you could call her a wussy because of her physical reaction to bedbugs.

Her point, and mine, is though bedbugs don't carry disease, they CAN cause serious problems, so to say they are no big thing is not true. It is certainly not being paranoid to peek at a mattress before climbing into a strange bed.

as easytravler said above, "...may seem like overkill, but you just need to have one or two experiences with bedbugs not to want a repeat of the experience."
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Old Feb 28th, 2013, 11:45 AM
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Newbe, I was never rude in my response to you. You have no idea of my health history and what diseases or maladies I have had or have not had. And you have no idea what I would or would not die of.

It is not a character defect that I had a response to bed bugs that required steroids and affected my life for 3 wks. But it certainly is a character defect to be rude and tell me I would die if I was exposed to some other disease.
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Old Mar 21st, 2013, 04:23 PM
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Have had too much experience with bed bugs.

1) San Francisco, mid-range hotel: woke-up, looked in the mirror, saw a bite mark (some people may not react for up to 14 days, some never react): found the bug on the wall after my shower
2) Bogota, 5-star hotel: at night, lying in bed, reading. Felt a painful sting: 3 bites in a row, bleeding (they usually bite between 4:00 a.m and 6:00 a.m. and bites are typically painless)
3) Bangkok, multiple hotels: brought them home
4) Morocco, multiple hotels: adopted a strategy for not bringing them home. I did not bring them home, but the friend with whom I traveled brought them back to her home

Lessons learned: 1) they are in all classes of hotels 2) sooner or later you'll probably be bit if you travel frequently, accept it (although I haven't tried the garlic pill suggestion above, which is intriguing) 3) focus on not bringing them home, which is traumatic and expensive to treat.

Blog post (mine) on strategies for not bringing bed bugs home when you travel:
http://www.esmetravels.com/category/...s-travel-tips/
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Old Mar 23rd, 2013, 11:49 AM
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I was bitten about 2 yrs ago, staying at a Best Western in Northern California. The bites were in clusters of three all on my left arm. They did not appear until about 2 or 3 days later. Oddly enough they left my husband alone.

There was no doubt where the bites occurred since it was our only hotel stay. We checked the mattress at the time, but not thoroughly, later learned that they often rest behind the headboard, drawers, chairs, pictures, etc.

The bites were miserable, far more uncomfortable than a mosquito bite. I think I would have gone out of my mind if I had them on both arms, back, etc.

Years ago, I was bitten up at a London B & B. That time, they were on my back. They were uncomfortable enough for me to see a doctor who confirmed they were bedbug bites and gave me some salve.

I am more diligent when we stay in hotels now; I check the room more thoroughly, but probably not enough. I think it is a matter of luck if you travel enough. Though I do think hotels are more diligent now than they used to be. BTW, The BW denied that there were bedbugs in the room when we wrote to them about the bites.
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Old Mar 23rd, 2013, 03:08 PM
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Three bites in a row is a classic sign.

I don't check for bugs because seeing them is going to ruin any chance of sleep for me for that night, whether I switch rooms or switch hotels.

Instead, I sleep in long sleeves, protect my luggage, and bag my sleepwear.

There's no way a hotel can guarantee that they don't have bed bugs. They can't use dogs every day and they can't spray every day, yet they have new guests every day.
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Old Mar 25th, 2013, 10:39 AM
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Ever since we had to get rid of carpenter ants in our home, I think more about pest control prevention...what a headache. Still, bedbugs are a risk you take when traveling, just like an overfull flight or bad weather. So I do check for bugs. It just takes a few minutes. I set the luggage in the tub or on the tile floor and pull the mattress back. It is not a big deal to do.

I also check the bedbug registry ahead of time, but just making the registry once ever isn't enough to deter me from a property. It's multiple, repeated reports at a given hotel, or reports where the guest has photos or actually caught bed bugs and the hotel still tries to deny the problem.

It is no longer true that New York City is the heart of the problem, imho. Last summer we did an East Coast trip, and I found more concerning reports about upstate little Ithaca and Washington DC than I did the properties we were interested in New York City.
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