Bed Bugs Have Steady Presence in SA Hotels
Thursday, May 1, 2014
A KSAT 12 Defenders investigation found that San Antonio Metro
Health complaint records paint a chilling picture of bed bugs at
area hotels and motels.
Stephen Barscewski, sanitarian services manager for Metro
Health, said it is not just San Antonio that is seeing an increase
in reports of bed bugs.
"We've seen a resurgence of bed bugs around the country,"
Barscewski said. “A female will lay one to five eggs a day while
she's mature so the numbers can build up very fast.”
They are being reported on all sides of San Antonio, according
to documents provided by Metro Health.
At the Economy Inn on Loop 410 Southwest in September there were
complaints of a bed bug infestation.
Live bed bugs were verified by the health department and bites
were visible on an adult woman.
No one at the motel would comment.
The previous month there were complaints about the Ever-Kleen
Motel on the south side.
The health department was called in and an inspector observed
The owner said there was a problem with bed bugs last year but
that now there are no bed bugs and the motel is clean.
Another report was about a sighting at The Days Inn on East
Houston, where room 251 had bed bugs.
All of these places took proper measures to control the biting
"It's not good for anybody's business," Barscewski said. “Our
numbers have been relatively stable the last couple years. The
establishments for the most part have been pretty proactive on
Barscewski has advice for travelers checking in to a hotel or
motel: put any suitcases on the bathroom counter when entering the
room. Guests should then peel back the bedding to check for bed
bugs in the mattress seams and the headboard or spots of blood.
“You're going to look either for mature bed bugs or nymphs that
may be hiding,” Barscewski said, adding that mature bed bugs look
like a small apple seed. “One of the favorite places is behind the
If bed bugs, their remains or eggs are visible, guests are
advised to leave the room.
Barscewski said in the home environment it is best if residents
do not try to exterminate bed bugs themselves.
"If you have an infestation in your home then the wisest thing
to do is to call in a professional exterminator,” Barscewski said.
“You can cause a worse problem trying to treat them yourselves with
foggers and sprays."
Barring that, he said bed bugs are killed by heat and cold.
“You can either throw your clothes and everything in your
washing machine with the hottest water you have and a detergent,”
Barscewski said.“ (Or) spread your clothes out in your car. Leave
it out in the sun for three or four hours. It gets 140 degrees in
your car. They die in the cold and they die in the heat.”
The good news is that there are no health dangers associated
with bed bug bites except for a rash around the bite site.
John Clamp, executive director of the San Antonio Hotel &
Lodging Association, released the following statement regarding bed
bugs in San Antonio hotels:
"Our association considers guest safety, security and comfort
our paramount concern. San Antonio area hotels are committed to
upholding the very highest industry standards in this and other
areas. Bed bugs in certain limited cases will be brought into a
hotel and must be addressed. If there is a potential issue
concerning bed bugs, the hotel operator typically calls an
exterminator for evaluation and extermination and takes the
affected areas out of use until the issue is completely