Kali Powell left the infested hotel room days ago, but she’s still not sure she’s free of bed bugs.
As WOAI News reports, the Texas mom was visiting San Antonio last weekend and checked into the Drury Inn and Suites in Stone Oak. The family settled in and the kids had already gone to sleep when Powell noticed something crawling around in the bed.
There were bed bugs — lots of them. “They were on the sheets,” Powell told WOAI. “They were on the headboard, and the pillows.”
The mom hurried to wake her children, then documented the extent of the infestation with photos and videos of the bugs. She told WOAI:
“It was the most nasty thing. They were big, they were little. There was blood on the sheets. That was from when, we were flipping the sheets, and bugs were crushed by the sheets.”
Powell shared the photos of the bed bugs on Facebook, writing, “Safe to say that Carter who loves going to hotels is officially traumatized. Poor kids were laying in the beds with these things crawling all over eating away at them.”
After notifying the hotel, Powell and her family were moved to a different room. In a statement, a hotel spokesperson told WOAI that the hotel was treating the room and had already inspected nearby rooms for bed bugs:
The safety and comfort of our guests is our top priority. No hotel can prevent bed bugs from being introduced, but we are extremely vigilant and take proactive steps to check on a daily basis and treat any issues as soon as they are discovered.
The hotel apologized to Powell and reimbursed her for the cost of her stay.
Powell, however, is not confident that the hotel has done everything necessary to eradicate the bugs. In a follow-up post on Facebook, she warned anyone staying at the hotel to be on the look-out for bed bugs:
Despite being told today that the room we were transferred to (room 222) had no signs of bed bugs […], I still feel that 10 days, the life cycle for a bed bug to mature since no telling if we carried eggs attached to our belongings, needs to pass and recheck that room for safe measure, or go ahead and start the heat treatment.
Powell’s concerns about how easily bed bugs spread are well-founded. One exterminator told WOAI, it’s impossible for hotels to completely avoid bed bugs. He explained one way bed bugs can get into your home: “Kids can be playing across the street at the neighbor’s house, if they have them, they bring a book-bag over, they bring a toy over, you can get just as infested that way.”
According to Consumer Reports, there are steps you can take to ensure your hotel room is free of bed bugs — and, just as importantly, that you don’t take any bugs home with you.
In a video, Consumer Reports demonstrates how to check for bugs in the mattress, sheets, and along the headboard. It’s a good idea to check the upholstered furniture as well.
To prevent your own belongings from getting infested, keep your suitcases in the bathroom during your initial check and on a luggage rack or hard surface (zipped closed) for the duration of your stay. You can also keep your belongings in plastic bags and avoid spreading them out around the room.
Finally, when you get home, run your clothing through the dryer for 30 minutes if you’re afraid you may have picked up a hitchhiker.
After her ordeal, Powell is warning others to be sure to check their hotel rooms and homes for bed bugs. She told WOAI, “There’s always time to look at the mattresses and bedding. I would never want to relive this.”