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FOX Files: Tracking Bedbugs In Area Hotels

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ST. LOUIS, MO (KTVI)-- If you haven`t seen a bed bug yet, you may have been near one.  They`re breeding and they`re very difficult to eliminate.

According to pest control companies, bed bugs date back to Egyptian times, but were nearly killed off during the heyday of the insecticide DDT.  Since government restrictions on DDT, the bed bug is back.  You don`t want any part of it and we hope to help you avoid it.

Bug Doctor Lanny Nauert explained, 'It hitches rides into aircraft and boats and, I guess, the old theory is -- anywhere you`ve got a lot of people, there could be a possibility of picking them up.'

Hotels, cruise ships, theatres --  Bug Doctor Lanny Nauert said bed bugs have their favorite spots.  He said, 'They hang out in the seats and seat cushions. (Chris Hayes interjected) And you`re not going to see them in the dark. (Nauert replied) No. You won`t see them.'

If you pick up just one in the cuff of your pants, you have trouble.  Nauert added, 'If you happen to get a pregnant female bed bug, there`s gonna be others.'

Julia Dashley used to work in hotels.  She said, 'If they`re on your bed, they can go on you and you can bring them to your home.'

When she travels, she checks her room, regardless of how nice it looks.  She explained, 'It could be a five star.  It could happen anywhere.'

I pulled inspection reports showing seven recent documented cases in the St. Louis and St. Charles County areas,  including Extended Stay America on Lackland Road where the health department ordered two rooms out of service in March.

Inspection reports show America`s Best Value on South Lindbergh taking action before inspectors arrived on march 13th of this year.  The report documents five rooms 'taken out of service for ten days (during) treatments.'

Then we found unusual treatments, not acceptable to regulators, like at Comfort Inn & Suites in O`Fallon where inspectors found 'live bed bugs' and noted that the 'owner has staff use 91 percent alcohol as a follow-up treatment.'

Inspectors found 'live bed bugs' at the Arch Budget Motel in St. Charles and noted 'this facility has been self treating for bed bugs with Bedbug RTU from Home Depot.  An attached receipt shows that ineffective treatment cost $10.71.

Freaked out?  Then consider these simple steps to avoid bed bugs during your next Hotel stay.

Stay away from the drawers.  Don`t put anything on the tables.  The best place to store your luggage is in the bathroom, inside the bathtub.

Bug Doctor Lanny Nauert said, 'It sounds crazy doesn`t it, but the bed bug doesn`t have the type of foot pads, the barbed feet that can crawl up the size of a bathtub.'

If you really can`t get this idea out of your mind, come to the headboard, remove the fitted sheet  and pad so that you can check along the ridge and seam of the mattress.

Nauert said, 'That`s where the bed bug would hang out after they gorge themselves with, I hate to say it but a blood meal.  They pass a lot of that and the excrement looks like if you took a blue ink pen and you put a blue dot on a piece of paper.'

Bed bugs are extremely difficult to get rid of.  One of the best ways to kill them is with dry heat.  So if you think you have them on you, take your clothes off and put them right into the dryer.

Get alerts when someone reports bedbugs

Check the Bed Bug Registry Map:


Bedbug Complaints From Area Hotels:

Traveling to Florida?  Check this database of bedbugs in the state.

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