Guests Say Bed Bugs Found In Orange County, Disney Hotels
POSTED: 4:51 pm EST January 11, 2008
UPDATED: 5:26 pm EST January 11, 2008
ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. -- Bed bugs are infesting some high-end, Orange County resorts and some of the most well-known hotels are paying customers to stay quiet about it.
The Orange County Health Department has given three main reasons why more and more bed bug sitings are occurring: 1) certain pesticides and cleaners have been banned, 2) there are more international travelers, and 3) an unseasonable warm winter means fewer of the bugs are being killed.
Like a nightmare, the creepy creatures come while you sleep, but their bites last long after you are awake. The Orange County Health Department said it has seen a spike in bed bugs at area hotels, apartments and homes.
"Our inspectors are saying in recent months, even the last year, we've been seeing more complaints of bed bugs in our area," said Dain Weister of the Orange County Health Department.
Even the most popular hotels are not immune. One family said they were bitten by the bugs at the Disney All-Star Movie Resort. They backed out of an interview after they said Disney offered them $5,000 and a free trip to keep quiet.
Hotels go to great lengths to keep the bugs at bay. Disney said it has trained entomologists or "bug experts" on staff. Other hotels hire bug sniffing dogs.
One of the animals is based in Tampa, but makes frequent trips to inspect hotels in the Orlando area.
"It's not necessarily about cleanliness. It's not necessarily that one place has an issue. It's just that these bugs can get in your luggage, in your clothes and they can travel. If they get into your bags they can also infest your home," Weister said.
Joyce Bajac from Cleveland never even thought about bed bugs until now.
"Now I'm going back to check my room," Bajac said.
A good idea. While the insects don't carry disease, they can be an annoying problem.
"At the headboard, look between the mattress and the box spring at the headboard. If you see a lot of black dots, that could be bed bugs," Weister added.
When asked about offering money to the family who found bed bugs in their room, Disney said they occasionally compensates guests who have a less than magical experience and the park does everything it can to makes guests comfortable.