Tyler hotel stepping up bedbug inspections

By Jena Johnson - bio | email | Twitter

TYLER, TX (KLTV)- Bedbug infestations have certainly grabbed national attention, and the pesky critters have made their way to East Texas. Last week, bedbugs were reported at three Gilmer apartment units. One resident says the bugs invaded her home and left behind painful, itchy bites covering her arms and back.

As East Texas exterminators gear up to battle bedbugs, hotel managers are also stepping up inspections.

Hilton Garden Inn General Manager Cheyenne Whorton says his housekeeping crews are constantly inspecting for bedbugs. He says lately, bedbugs are the center piece of nearly every hotel conversation.

"I've had guest inquire what do you do to ensure that there are no bedbugs," said Whorton. "I've had people call in advance say that they've had issues at other hotels and want to move to ours."

Inspections start on a special mattress top designed to ward off bedbugs.

"If a bedbug were to get in this wool mattress topper, it would get caught up and not be able to move," said Whorton.

What the eye can't see, the hotel's black light can.

"Through daily inspections, quarterly mattress top deep cleaning and black light inspection we're much able to nip that in the bud," he said.

It's something future guests appreciate. "At least they're aware of the problem and making some sort of effort to fix it," said one traveler.

For some travelers, that's not enough. Regine Dewberry says her husband double checks.

"He lifts up all the sheets, the blankets and sheets, lifts it up and down and sprays it with Lysol," she said.

Extra precautions taken now to avoid those painful bites later. "I saw this guy on TV that got bit by them and his bite is like this big," said Julia Musselwhite.

"If we find that a guest has brought bedbugs with them, we can make sure that we rid the bedbugs in that room before it spreads to a different room," said Whorton.

So far, Whorton's daily inspections seem to be working.

"We've had no bedbugs," he said. Words every traveler wants to hear.

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