Bed Bug Infestation Sickens Kingman Family
Sunday, March 25, 2012
A woman who said she was bitten by bedbugs during a stay at a
local motel said she was aggravated to learn that the motel was
under no obligation to inform her of the infestation when she
booked a room.
Bedbugs are tiny insects that feed on human blood and tend to be
located in sleeping areas. Their bites are believed to pose little
health risk but can cause anxiety and discomfort in those who have
been bitten. The bugs can attach themselves to clothing and
luggage, making hotels an easy target for infestation.
To add to the ick factor, the bugs can live up to a year without
feeding, meaning that even vacant homes or used furniture can serve
as their habitat.
The Mohave County Health Department's Environmental Division
confirmed that there is no state law in Arizona requiring hotels to
inform guests of the presence of bedbugs.
Brook Hernandez said she received more than 20 bites over her body
during an extended stay at a local hotel earlier this month. She
and her husband were staying at the hotel after being forced out of
their rental home because of a bad roof.
Hernandez didn't realize until several days into her stay that she
had been bitten. Two of her three children also had bites. Her
husband and a third child did not have any bites.
After noticing the bites, Hernandez said she and her husband pulled
back the headboard of the bed and said they found numerous bugs and
They said when they confronted the owners about the situation, they
admitted to knowing about the infestation. The couple said they saw
a pest control agent on the property while they were checking
The owner of the motel said they were informed by the couple of the
bugs, but found no evidence of them in the room the family stayed
in or any other room. An inspector with the Environmental Health
Division said none were found on his March 14 visit that was
prompted by the couple's complaints.
Because the Health Department did not find any evidence of
infestation, the Miner has elected not to name the hotel.
The owner of the hotel told the Miner she offered the couple half
of their money back for the second week of the two-week stay. That
amounted to about $60 of the $195 the couple paid.
The owner added that the motel sprays regularly for bugs and other
pests each month.
Hernandez said the experience made her sick to her stomach. She
also experienced an allergic reaction to the bites that involved
swelling and pain.
"I don't ever want to stay at another hotel again," she said.
The Mohave County Health Department said it has received fewer than
a half-dozen reports of bedbugs in the last two years and that only
half of those reports could be verified. The department also said
that it follows up with complaints and makes sure that a pest
control company visits when evidence of the bugs are found.
Although there is no law when it comes to hotels and bedbugs, the
Arizona legislature last year passed a law preventing landlords
from renting a unit known to be infested with bedbugs and also
requires the tenants to notify landlords of the bugs' presence if
Cleaning infected areas can help, but professional treatment is
recommended when it comes to bedbugs.