Did Bed Bugs Also Party At The Political Conventions?

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We don’t get political on this blog, but like the politicians and reporters heading into an election, we rarely take a day off, and we’re not above grabbing a timely headline as the subject for a blog entry – especially before topics get so far away from us that our comment would be irrelevant and make our readers shake their heads.

The two national political parties’ conventions recently ended, and, independent of any thoughts anyone has on the quality or content of the speeches, Republicans, Democrats, and the press corps were all surprised by nature and some unexpected troubles. Republicans had a difficult week during their convention contending with a hurricane, humidity, and mixed reviews of their surprise speaker Clint Eastwood and his chair.

The Democrats also had stormy weather and some hotel drama. But reporters at the DNC allegedly were also complaining about Charlotte’s “Bedbugs and Crack Dealers.” This news was most prominently covered by the Washington Times and the Huffington Post although the local tourism authority tried to rebut fears about Charlotte hotels.  It was also picked up by late night talk show host Jimmy Fallon. He joked:

Jimmy Fallon's Bed Bug Tweet

 ”@jimmyfallon It’s reported hotels at the DNC have bedbugs. When asked how they deal with ruthless bloodsuckers, bedbugs said, “Eh, it’s ok.” #FallonMono”

When we posted this update on Bell Environmental’s Facebook page, two fans encouraged our company’s bed bug dog Roscoe to run for President on an anti-bed bug platform.  Once again, we’re not political, and Roscoe who was born in 2008 isn’t old enough to meet the Constitution’s qualifications to be elected to federal office, let alone President.

Let’s tackle the issue where we do have some expertise: Whether or not these hotels actually had a pest problem at the time of the convention, our advice for anyone staying in a hotel is to act as though every room can and does have a real or potential issue with bed bugs. Therefore you should:

  • check into a hotel you like,
  • inspect the particular room you’re in using a guide like our Roscoe’s Tips (available as a free smartphone app or travel card),
  • take protective measures using a travel kit like Bell Environmental’s bed bug travel kit
  • if you see obvious signs of bugs report the issue to the hotel management and get a new room,
  • inspect the new room  – if it is clear then you’re OK, if not go back to the front desk
  • enjoy your vacation!

AND when you get home: place all your clean and dirty clothes (including the ones you’re wearing) in the dryer on medium to high heat for 20 minutes; and vacuum your suitcase inside and out.

For more travel advice and our detailed reasoning, please read our earlier blog entry “Bed Bugs, Hotels, & Travel Websites.”

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