In an analysis conducted by USA Today on TripAdvisor, traveler reviews including complaints of bedbugs in hotels have jumped 11 percent nationwide.
The study was prompted because of repeated headlines in New York City regarding an influx of bedbugs in hotels there. In fact, the study found a 12 percent jump in bedbug complaints in Big Apple hotels.
The nationwide analysis took a snapshot of TripAdvisor hotel reviews for the first eight months of 2009 and 2010 and compared them to find the 11 percent jump in bedbug mentions.
Bedbugs are tiny parasitic insects that feed preferentially on human blood, and though they were thought to have been largely eradicated by DDT in the developed world, they have lately been resurging. And, in the New York area at least, they seem to have expensive taste.
In July, the creepy crawlers invaded the Manhattan offices of CNN, and they infested a Hollister clothing shop in SoHo, causing the shop to close down.
In another incident, Pop Singer Lauren Hildebrandt complained of painful, itchy bumps after staying in a posh, $500-a-night NYC hotel. Upon examination they were discovered to have been bedbugs, which had plagued her during her sleep.
Hildebrandt was so put-off by the incident that she instructed her public relations team to issue a statement warning travelers about the bugs. She would not, however, release the name of the hotel.
In July, the USA Today ran a poll via their Hotel Check-In service that surveyed 4,200 people. Of those surveyed, 47 percent said they don’t fully unpack their bags, many citing fear of bringing bedbugs home.