Hotel guests covered in bed bug bites

12:00 AM, Sep 17, 2010   |    comments
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Port Richey, Florida-- A pair of associates on business in the Bay area, say they'll return home covered in bed bug bites following a stay in a Pasco County hotel.

Ken Smyth and Greg Lefas who sell olive oil to distributers across North America checked into the Holiday Inn express on US 19 in Port Richey when they say their bodies began itching.

"It just felt real uncomfortable and we didn't know what it was," said Lefas who says he was so scratchy he couldn't sleep.

Eventually, the two claim they began searching their beds after they felt something crawling on their skin, only to find a number of bed bugs, in the sheets, on the walls, and behind the bed board.

"It's a gross feeling you know. To know you're sleeping at night and you have things crawling at you," said Smyth, who kept several of the still living bed bugs in a tiny zip lock bag to show hotel management.

Smyth and Lefas have since left the Holiday Inn Express to check into another hotel across the street. They say they have not yet been offered a refund for their week long stay.

John Marler, general manager of the Port Richey Holiday Inn Express says despite the claims, the hotel was found to have no problem with bed bugs.

"We receive regular health inspections and we pass all those with flying colors," said Marler who also notes the hotel has high ratings among customers with few complaints.  A check of state records shows the hotel has passed all recent inspections.

"We did have this incident looked into and there were no signs of any bed bug infestation in our property."

Smyth and Lefas claim the hotel is not telling the truth. Along with their request for a refund, they plan to possibly file complaints with the hotel's corporate office and the Department of Business and Professional Regulation, the state agency which oversees hotels in Florida.

Beau Zimmer, 10 News

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