Bed Bugs Bite More Than 100 Times in Buckeye Hotel (Phoenix, AZ)
Friday, April 20, 2012

Bedbugs are nasty and a complete nightmare to exterminate. One Buckeye couple said their stay at a Valley hotel left them in the middle of a painful bedbug mess.

The couple lives just up the road from a Days Inn, where they were forced to stay after their air conditioning broke. After two weeks, though, they say they preferred their 120-degree home to the place. But the owner said it's their own fault.

"The physical pain was one thing, but the mental anguish was bad," said Tonia Thill.

On their first full day at the Days Inn, Thill said she pulled back the comforter and saw a creepy crawlie in the sheets.

"I went up front and I was like, 'Is this a bedbug?' And she's like, 'No,' and I'm like, 'Are you sure?' And she's like, 'Yeah,'" Thill said.

So they continued to stay at the Days Inn.

But she said she started noticing red spots all over her husband, a tally their family doctor put at more than 100 bedbug bites.

"It doesn't stop itching and you'll scratch it and get big sores," James Thill said.

He added he still has scars from some of the sores.

After the Thills checked out of the hotel, Tonia Thill said she had to throw away everything they had at the hotel except for their clothes. She had to wash the clothes as many as three times each and fumigate her house twice.

At first, she said, the hotel owner agreed to pay $200. But then she reported them to the county's Environmental Services Department, and Thill said the owner retracted his offer. One report Thill provided to CBS 5 News shows the county found live bedbugs behind the headboards.

CBS 5 News talked to the hotel's owner. He said the last time they had a bedbug case was last month, but that they've gotten rid of them. He told us the Thills are the ones who brought the bedbugs into his hotel, and that they never came to pick up the $200 he owed them -- a claim Tonia Thill denies.

She says she just wants other people to be careful, no matter where they stay.

"I really, really don't want anybody to go through what we went through," she said.

The hotel's owner says as soon as they found out about the problem, they closed off a block of rooms for about a week to fumigate. CBS 5 News, however, found an ad on Craigslist listing the furniture in the Buckeye Days Inn as currently part of a liquidation sale.