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Beware of bed bugs in Hawaii
04-19-2011, 09:07 PM (This post was last modified: 04-19-2011 09:10 PM by kaniamea.)
Post: #1
Beware of bed bugs in Hawaii
Last month I stayed at an oceanfront cottage on the Big Island in the Puna area and it was nice. But here comes the but:

In the morning when I woke up in the cottage, I noticed what seemed like mosquito bites on my arms and legs. I got bitten multiple times almost every night and since I wasn't familiar with bed bugs back then, I assumed there were mosquito bites.

But ever since I'm back home, the bites haven't stopped, even though I have never had a bug problem in my house. So today I finally researched what this could be and I came across bed bug information, a common pest in Hawaii. The bite pattern on my body matches pictures on the Internet.

And yesterday I found a bug in my bedroom. Today after a thorough cleaning of my entire bedroom, I found more bed bugs, including on precious keepsakes, which made me very upset. Also, this problem will keep me busy for who knows how long, since bed bugs are a tricky pest. Now I know that bed bugs are "hitchhikers" who can easily be transferred in luggage and clothing from one location to another.

I read that bed bugs can even be found in 5-star hotels and basically everywhere. It doesn't mean that the place is not clean. The bugs could, for example, have been brought in by someone who stayed there before. And here in Hawaii they have the perfect conditions to flourish and multiply.

So next time you go on vacation in Hawaii and happen to notice bites after sleeping that seem to concentrate in one area of your body and be close together, make sure you thoroughly clean your luggage and clothing before going home and after arriving home, so you don't have to go through the hassle of having to clean your whole house to get rid of a serious infestation.
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04-20-2011, 02:19 AM (This post was last modified: 04-20-2011 02:22 AM by WonderinginWaikiki.)
Post: #2
RE: Beware of bed bugs in Hawaii
Tonight on the news, they interviewed a woman that went to LuLu's Bar & Grill and was just ate up alive in just the short time that she had dinner and drinks there. It's funny, I never knew that Bed Bugs were real until a few years ago.
A few months ago, I saw Bed Bugs crawling all over the walls inside of the McDonald's on 2476 Kalakaua across from Duke's Statue. I showed the manager and was told that she would lose her job if she said anything and that it would be better if I had called the Health Department instead and I did.
I called (808)586-8000 and the Health Department told me that they had received many complains about the Bed Bugs there but that the McDonald's Corporation refused to close that store for the required cleaning and Pest Control operation. They were only talking about 24-48 hours but profits seemed to be more important then preventing the spread of Bed Bugs from hitchhiking from their store back to all the Waikiki hotels.
I was told that when the Euro became more valuable than the US dollar a few years ago, it brought many tourists from European countries where the type of Bed Bug we are now experiencing is from. That they grow in three stages and that it takes nine months before they are grown enough to start biting. That they are clear bugs but turns red and brown after they start feeding .That it takes extreme heat to kill them and that Bug Bombs only makes the matter worse because it spreads them all around the home.
They are most commonly found along the seams of mattresses because they like to be very close to their food supply which is you. The way to combat them is to replace the mattresses,close all windows and doors and turn the heater on. Then bug bombs and then a super good cleaning before installing new mattresses.
I have seen hotels here rent shipping containers to load up furniture from rooms and fumigate for a few days outside. You can spot that pretty easy because they cover those containers like fumigators do to homes. It looks like a orange or red parachute over them. Yes,it's a real problem here and on the mainland too.They talk about that about high end hotels in Los Angeles and other big cities where tourists stay at.
Add to that mix the huge immigration problem our country faces where you have an extreme amount of people who can't afford to take all these steps to prevent the spread of Bed Bugs in this country. It is really up to our local governments and Health Departments to find ways to combat the spread of Bed Bugs no matter the economic situation of the residents of each area,county or state. We can't play the blame game anymore but roll up our sleeves and say where can we help and tell us what we need to do.
I hate to inform you of this but nine months down the road, you could very well go through this all over again. The eggs can't be seen with the naked eye. You have to keep watching out for them and stop them before they mature again. They can also be spread from your vacuum cleaner also.I bet you forgot about that one. Change the bags often.
I wonder if using a hair blow dryer along the seams of the mattresses would work? They had a Bed Bug convention here in Honolulu just last year. There was many inventors and companies here with their own ideas on how to combat them. The best way would be to find a way to make them sterile so they can't reproduce.
I hope you called the Health Department and reported that hotel. Maybe you can get them to cover your costs and medical bills if any?
Saigontodd Find all posts by this user
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04-20-2011, 05:50 AM
Post: #3
RE: Beware of bed bugs in Hawaii
Kaniamea! I asked you not to post that story about me! You know people do not like bed bugs!!!!!Big Grin
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04-20-2011, 08:51 PM
Post: #4
RE: Beware of bed bugs in Hawaii
(04-20-2011 05:50 AM)NoKaOiDude Wrote:  Kaniamea! I asked you not to post that story about me! You know people do not like bed bugs!!!!!Big Grin

LOL Dude, you're so funny Big Grin
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04-20-2011, 08:57 PM (This post was last modified: 04-20-2011 08:58 PM by kaniamea.)
Post: #5
RE: Beware of bed bugs in Hawaii
I didn't contact the health department regarding this bed bug issue in that vacation rental because I didn't want to resort to such drastic measures. But I contacted the owner and told him about the infestation. We emailed back and forth a few times and he will send an experienced cleaning lady there who knows how to get rid of the bugs (this problem is not unknown in this area). I went to the store today and bought a blowdryer to heat some areas that may be affected. I read today that either heat or cold kills these bugs. So it's either good to put stuff that fits into the dryer for 20 minutes to heat it or to freeze them for 2 weeks.
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04-21-2011, 02:14 AM
Post: #6
RE: Beware of bed bugs in Hawaii
Those bed bugs are gonna be all over me.....I am so sweet!!!LMAO Big Grin
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04-21-2011, 10:35 AM (This post was last modified: 04-21-2011 10:38 AM by WonderinginWaikiki.)
Post: #7
RE: Beware of bed bugs in Hawaii
Actually, you are entitled to compensation but it needs to be spelled out quickly and agreed to by both sides. The options you could exercise are contacting the management first to make them aware of the situation, then call the Health Department (which should be done regardless for health reasons) and then third, post a review on Tripadvisor. The last one is a last resort tool and could affect future income for that property but would provide leverage in a situation.
It sounds like you might be or could be handling this a little to casually when in fact,it is a health risk to others by not reporting it. That job is best handled by the professionals that work for Hawaii County Health Department. That is what they are paid to do on a daily basis. They would do follow up inspections so that you would be the last victim of this infestation and not just the first.
This would protect all of us that live here in Hawaii or visit Hawaii. That there is a chance that someone after you stays there and then they fly here for a week and eat somewhere I or you might eat at and then several months down the road, we might be going through the same ordeal that you just went through. These Bed Bugs go wherever the food takes them and in this case,we are their food. It's a scary scenario no matter how it plays out. I'm just happy that you're still alive but what a royal pain in the you know what.
So,it is in the managements interest to compensate you for your experience and your out of pocket expenses. I would save all proof,photographic and receipts in case it leads to any legal remedies to resolve the matter.
It's ok to joke about your experience years down the road but this problem tends to cause psychological problems in the future. Now, you'll always will be afraid to rent hotels,condos or cottages for fear of Bed Bugs. Once you do rent someplace, you'll be checking the mattress seams and so on. So, compensation is really the only form of remedies to help you forget this horrible situation. It eases the mind into forgetting, "oh,I went through that once but I got that whole week for free in the end". If you are a victim twice in this case and you just let it go,you have a greater chance of having personal problems further down the road.
This goes back to the old adage, "You can lead the horse to water but you may not be able to get him to drink it". In this case, you might be the horse,per say.
Also,if you paid for this by credit card and you have the emails between the management and you about the Bed Bugs,credit card companies can in a way mediate this for you. This happens a lot in places like Florida where people rent a hotel and the room is loaded with Fire Ants. Credit card companies will reverse the charges quite easily.
My point is that you have rights and you have options always. I am truly sorry that you are going through this and I'm offering the same advice that I would to any reader. That your trip to the Big Island was no picnic at all and you will never forget this experience- ever! Do your homework and learn about your rights. I hope everything works out between you two. Good luck!
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04-21-2011, 07:35 PM
Post: #8
RE: Beware of bed bugs in Hawaii
Thanks for these helpful tips. This will be very useful information for all our forum visitors who plan to come to Hawaii. I totally agree that such a type of infestation is bad.

In my case, the problem is that when I stayed there I had no idea that bed bugs exist. All the time I thought I got mosquito bites. So I didn't check the mattress while in the cottage. I also have no photographic evidence. When I finally researched this and learned about bed bugs, it was one month after my stay there.

I agree that in the example you mentioned with the Florida fire ants, I also would have demanded a refund right away and contacted my credit card company. In such a case, the evidence is right there in front of your eyes. In my case, it wasn't. On the contrary, the cottage looked very clean. And when I contacted the cottage management a few days ago regarding this, they sent the housekeeper over right away to check on the mattress, but there was no evidence of bed bugs on the mattress. So, it's a tricky situation. But I learned my lesson and in the future first of all will know about bed bugs and other possible infestations and second, will collect evidence in case I notice anything.
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04-22-2011, 02:12 AM
Post: #9
RE: Beware of bed bugs in Hawaii
Those darn bed bugs seem to be going everywhere now! I have found 3 of them in my house in the last couple of months. I just get them with a kleenex and flush them down the toilet. I have not seen any in my house for several weeks.
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