Bed Bugs Prove To Be Persistent Nuisance
Monday, February 20, 2012
Representatives of a Kaanapali oceanside restaurant said that
their establishment continues to address a bedbug problem that
first surfaced last summer.
Leilani's on the Beach officials said bedbugs were found in a
"localized area of the restaurant" in July 2011. A pest control
company was contacted, and the furniture treated.
Follow-up inspections showed that the restaurant was clean,
until Jan. 4 when a specially trained dog used by the Health
Department found a couple of chairs with bedbugs. The area was
immediately treated, said the restaurant's vice president.
"Like many public places where travelers frequent, Leilani's on
the Beach became the victim of bedbugs last year. . . . We believe
we have successfully addressed the problem over the last six months
and are continuing to work with Hawaii's leading pest control
company to monitor and ensure there are no future events," said
Richard Moon, vice president of T S Restaurants of Hawaii, in a
written statement. Leilani's is one of several restaurants in the
islands under the T S umbrella.
During a Feb. 1 inspection, the specialized dog detected a scent
in two chairs, but no bugs were discovered. Still, the chairs were
treated as a precaution, restaurant officials said.
Although the state Department of Health said that it was not
aware of any other current cases of bedbugs at food establishments,
a leader in the pest management industry said that infestations do
"This is not an isolated incident," said Michael Botha,
president of Sandwich Isle Pest Solutions, which is assisting with
the bedbug eradication at Leilani's.
He said that anywhere the public is, there is a chance of bedbug
"Getting bedbugs used to have a negative social stigma; that's
not the case anymore," he added.
Bedbugs, which as adults may be as large as a flattened apple
seed, have been found in ritzy hotel suites that cost $800 a night
and are found in things and places frequented by the "most affluent
travelers," said Botha, who is an original member of the National
Pest Management Association's blue ribbon bedbug task force and
part of the association's bedbug division steering committee.
He said the bugs don't jump, fly or crawl very fast. They mostly
hitch rides on humans.
In the case of Leilani's, Botha said the January infestation
came from a new host - not because the restaurant was derelict. In
fact, Botha, who resides on Oahu, added that when on Maui he eats
at a T S restaurant, because he knows they are "proactive" in
trying to prevent bedbugs.
The Health Department went out to Leilani's in January and in
February after a complaint was made in January, said Reef
Nakashima, a DOH vector control inspector.
Nakashima said he was told that the bedbugs were found only on
chairs on the restaurant's bottom-floor lanai. He added that the
restaurant showed sufficient proof that it had been addressing the
problem. Restaurant officials presented documentation of past work
orders from several different pest control companies.
DOH spokeswoman Janice Okubo said that bedbugs do not carry or
spread diseases. They are nuisances because they can bite.
The restaurant is in the process of replacing all of the chairs
in the area where the bugs were found, Moon said in his
Botha said that during his company's initial work at Leilani's
there was a "very low-level infestation" in which there were maybe
one to a few bedbugs that were brought in by one person.
"They just got off at the wrong place," he said.
Botha said the chairs were treated with special gas that has
three times the potency of gas used for fumigating a home for