Bedbugs in Annapolis Hotels?
Reports of bedbugs in local hotels surface on the Internet.
They're here – or at least anonymous Internet postings maintain they're here – bedbugs have arrived in Annapolis.
Bedbugs are pesky, little, blood-sucking insects that bed down in mattresses and just about everywhere else. They've wreaked havoc in New York City and now have reportedly been sighted at the Sheraton Annapolis Hotel and the DoubleTree Hotel in Annapolis.
According to one anonymous posting at bedbugregistry.com, "I was there (DoubleTree Annapolis) on Oct. 24 to 28. On the morning of the 28th, I woke to find approximately 40 bedbugs crawling all over the bed next to mine and several (5 to 10) on mine. I believe that I just happened to wake up as they were going back into hiding. I believe that the reason I didn't see them on the prior days was that I only used the blackout curtains on the last night so the light from outside hadn't caused them to hide as early. I looked up bedbugs on Google and they matched the pictures. I reported it to the hotel and they did come in but I was told before they even looked that they probably weren't bedbugs."
On the same site, the Sheraton Annapolis has four reports of visitors either seeing bedbugs or experiencing bites after staying at the hotel. The latest entry is dated Sept. 11.
Both hotels have older reports of bedbugs on tripadvisor.com.
Elizabeth Delens, general manager of Sheraton Annapolis, said since the New York bedbug siege began, she's seen complaints on the rise.
"I have, as many hoteliers have, experienced an increase in cleanliness complaints," said Delens.
When asked about complaints specifically addressing bedbugs at the Sheraton Annapolis, Delens only said, "bugs." She then added, "I'm not being vague."
"Any room that has a complaint against it, we investigate internally and work with an outside pest elimination company," explained Delens. "All surrounding rooms too – we are really proud of our cleanliness standards and work really hard to maintain them."
Messages left for management at the DoubleTree Annapolis have not been returned.
According to Elin Jones, public information officer for the Anne Arundel County Department of Health, they've had no complaints of bedbugs but that's not necessarily indicative of the presence of bedbugs in the area.
"Usually people don't report it to us – they'll probably just go to an exterminator," said Jones. "If it's a business, the owner of the business would go ahead and address it and not contact us."
In New York, bedbugs have invaded hotels, schools, retail stores and theaters. Two bedbug-related lawsuits were recently filed against the Waldorf-Astoria hotel.
The critters have also been confirmed in a dressing room at Lincoln Center and forced closures of some New York area movie theaters.
Such retailers as Nike, Victoria's Secret and Abercrombie & Fitch have had to temporarily close some stores in New York to eradicate bedbug infestations.
Remember just because the affected retail locations aren't in Annapolis, it doesn't mean bedbugs haven't entered the global supply chain. In other words, don't assume any new purchases are bedbug-free.
Because bedbugs don't like heat, wash and dry new clothes or washable household goods (such as towels, blankets and carpets) with the highest heat settings available.
If you'll be staying in a hotel, before bringing your luggage into the room, pull up the sheets and do a careful examination of all mattresses (including pull-out couches and cots). If you see blood spots or bedbugs, go back to the front desk. When returning home, take all washable items directly from the suitcase and put immediately into the washing machine.
In all fairness to any establishment that has bedbugs, lack of cleanliness isn't necessarily how a bedbug problem starts – bedbugs are hitchhikers and can make their way into any facility, clean or not, via a person or object.
The bugs, which can live for 18 months without food, have also plagued libraries across the United States with infestations in books.
If there is anything good to say about bedbugs, they are not thought to transmit disease.
For more information about bedbugs, visit the health department's website.