A number of press reports last week concerned a pair of friends who were bitten more than 200 times by bed bugs during a two-night stay at a Blackpool hotel. As is often the case with bed bug bites at hotels, their room appeared to be clean and tidy when they checked in, making it a shock to wake up in the morning with blood on the bedding and hundreds of bites on their arms, legs and bodies. One of the guests had to go to A&E when the itchy bites did not disappear, and was subsequently prescribed antibiotics and antihistamines to prevent an infection.
While council inspectors had found no evidence of a bug bug infestation just two days before the couple’s stay, the hotel acknowledged that it had received previous complaints about ‘bug issues’, but had effective procedures in place to treat rooms when bed bugs were identified. This indicates the problem that hotels face when it comes to bed bugs – the resilient blood-sucking parasites can easily be transported into a room by newly arrived guests, causing an outbreak which the owners are entirely unaware of and unable to prevent.
Once a single room is infested, hotel cleaning staff may inadvertently transport bed bugs to other rooms and areas of the hotel, potentially forcing an establishment to close for a period of time to deal with the problem. Eradicating a bed bug infestation will normally require assistance from a professional pest control company which can be a difficult and expensive process, with even small hotels facing bills running into thousands of pounds. Bed bugs have also become resistant over time to many widely used pesticides making eradication efforts even more challenging.
The recent post-pandemic resurgence in travel and tourism is one of the main reasons behind Rentokil reporting a 65% year-on-year increase in bed bug infestations in the second quarter of 2023. If you or your children have been bitten by bed bugs while staying at a hotel in the UK, contact Bartletts Solicitors for free legal advice and to claim compensation for the physical injury, associated mental trauma and financial repercussions: