My wife stayed at the Alexander Inn on March 7,8 & 9, 2012. It was the only place she stayed, other than our home, for months before, and she has stayed nowhere since. She stayed in room 705. Two days after she came home she noticed large welts on the back of her knee. After looking at photos online at several different websites about bedbugs, we confirmed that they were bedbug bites.
We immediately threw out all the clothes she had worn, as well as the suitcase and the bedding from her bed.
We called the Inn the next day, told him of the problem and said we wanted a refund for the time she stayed. He denied she caught them there, giving the following excuses:
1) The Inn gets tested for bedbugs every three months.
2) Bedbugs don’t bite on the back of the knee, they bite on the neck or shoulders.
3) You feel bedbug bites the next morning, not two days later.
He suggested that she probably got them on the train ride home.
While it is probably possible to get bedbugs on a train, like the old "I got it from a toilet seat." excuse about STDs, it may be possible, but it is highly unlikely.
As to his other excuses, the answers I got from various reliable sources, such as state and local health departments, as well as the U.S. Army site:
1) It takes a room one day to get a bedbug if it is transported there by a host, clothing, laundry, bedding or other means. It certainly does not require a period of months to get infested. They travel by their nature, probably to avoid overpopulation of their host areas.
2) Bedbugs bite anywhere where there is a good blood supply. The back of the knee is very soft and vascular.
3) They feed anywhere from 3 to 10 days apart, if the opportunity presents itself, though they can go very long stretches without feeding if there is no host available. She could have gotten the bug at the room in her clothing, on her person or in her valise, but was not bitten until a day or two later because the bug had recently fed. Also, some people react quickly (within a couple of hours), some reactions take much longer, and some people don’t have any reaction at all. His argument on this third point holds no more water than the other two.
To confirm whether the bites were indeed from bedbugs (although it was quite clear from the photos we saw online) we hired an unaffiliated, certified bedbug dog. It came to the house and signaled at the wife’s bed. "Unaffiliated" means the firm does not work for an exterminator, nor does it work in conjunction with one or recommend any. Therefore, there is no motivation for the firm to give a false positive. The inspection cost us $360. We then had to take appropriate isolation and removal steps.
I have sympathy for anyone running a hotel, motel or B&B nowadays. The bedbug problem is a horrendous one. But the manager of this establishment showed no sympathy for his patrons or the extreme discomfort and psychological trauma they endured. I would not ever go to this place again.
301 South 12th Street Philadelphia, PA 19107