Those Aren't Bedbugs, Says Ohio Travelodge. They're Dirt!

People, we’re never going to attract Canadian tourists if we keep scaring the hell out of them with fireworks and bedbugs. Esmond and his girlfriend were staying at a Travelodge in Sandusky, Ohio on July 5th, and couldn’t sleep because of fellow Travelodge guests shooting off fireworks in the parking lot. Around 1:30 a.m. there was a loud boom:

I went to the window, to have a look. Turns out there were kids letting off more fireworks outside, the parents had let them roam freely. My girlfriend stood behind me to ask what was going on. I told her it was just some kids. We then turned on the lights and to my horror, there were BED BUGS on the bed!

Now he can’t get a refund from because Travelodge says their hotel is bedbug-free, and that Esmond just saw “some dirt kicked up on the bed.”

Esmond and his girlfriend packed up and left, but the only person at the front desk to help them was a teenager who told them he only worked there once a week. “He gave me the number of Peggy, the manager, to speak to about the situation.”

We’re not sure whether Esmond tried calling Peggy or not, but the following Monday he called Travelodge’s Customer Relations Center:

Their representative told me that they have to speak to management and get back to me within 48 hours. Well 48 hours went by and no one called me back.. I tried calling again. This time leaving a few messages, but no one called back! Finally, today [July 14th] I spoke to a representative and she told me that I would have to take it up with since I booked it with them and that they would call the management of the hotel to find out what situation is. put me on hold for like 7 minutes while they argued with the manager at the Sandusky Travelodge. Turns out the people at the Travelodge hotel wouldn’t credit our account because they claimed there were NO Bugs in the hotel at all. They claimed it was merely some dirt kicked up on the bed. Give me a break people! I know what I saw. It didn’t help that they were crawling about on my bed. only wanted to give me $40 in travel coupons to credit my next stay. Please people I merely check into a hotel, sleep 20 minutes in it and i have to pay $100 for it? There were freaking bed bugs in there!

(Photo of dirt: DRB62)


Edit Your Comment

  1. bcsus83 says:

    Absolutely nasty, but sadly I can’t say I’m surprised to hear it about Travelodge.

  2. jjeefff says:

    There is a large part of the story missing. After seeing the bedbugs, didn’t they immediately go to the front desk? I have shown the bugs to the front desk immediately and requested a different room. Can we request some clarification?

  3. snoop-blog says:

    Chris, they were given the canuck special.

  4. sprocket79 says:

    I think he should do a charge back.

  5. CajunGuy says:

    @jjeefff: I agree, jjeefff. Why wouldn’t they have immediately gone to the front desk, pulled someone into the room, and pointed at the bed saying “WTF, dude?!”

    Somethings not right with this story.

  6. Legal_Eagle_In_Training says:

    So, they slept in the bed for 20 MINUTES not realizing that there were bugs crawling in it?

  7. I’m gonna have to say that what he saw was dirt, this man is a liar. A liar and a con-artist.

  8. @jjeefff & @CajunGuy: I originally cut the part where Esmond talked to a teenager working the night shift. I’ve added it to the story to help cover the gap.

  9. hc5duke says:

    unless they have pictures of these bedbugs, I don’t think they’ll win this battle.

  10. hamsangwich says:

    Can you see bed bugs that easily? I thought they were pretty damn small. That is gross however, and I agree with you guys, get the manager up to your room and if he doesn’t make satisfactory changes can’t you call the board of health (or at least threaten to)?

  11. snoop-blog says:

    I want a dna test done to see if these were in fact Canadian bed bugs. As someone who has never seen a bed bug, it seems these Canadians are all too familiar with them. I could understand if it were roaches (seeing how they were in Sandusky), but bed bugs?

  12. frari489 says:

    This is when you should have taken some pictures for proof.

    Then posted them here.

  13. @Legal_Eagle_In_Training: Bedbugs remain hidden until early morning, usually, or at least until the people in the bed have stopped moving around so much. They’re attracted to carbon dioxide and heat and will “surface” from the mattress to feed. So no, you wouldn’t see them on a cursory inspection of the bed, because they’d be in hiding.

    @hamsangwich: Adult bedbugs can grow up to 5mm long, so yeah, they’re easy to spot.

    Check out Wikipedia’s entry for more info.

  14. Angryrider says:

    What? We’re having trouble getting Canadian tourists? At least the insurance they bought before coming down here will help with the bedbug problems somewhat.

  15. NotATool says:

    Nice ploy to make the OP go through WTF? The manager won’t talk with the customer, only the booking agent? So the manager and booking agent can argue about whether or not the OP saw bedbugs on his mattress?

    I call BS on the weasly manager, and recommend a chargeback that’s overdue here.

  16. tom2133 says:

    One Word: Chargeback

  17. Imaginary_Friend says:

    @hc5duke: You’re right. Pictures make all the difference in a situation like this. Esmond was probably too freaked out to think straight, but always document the evidence. Whip out your camera or your camera phone, but don’t just leave without gathering evidence.

    Bedbugs are making a resurgence lately and they’re an expensive pest to get rid of … be careful on your travels, friends. You don’t want to bring them home with you.


  18. teh says:

    @Legal_Eagle_In_Training: Bed bugs tend to hide in the mattress until the room is dark and there is very little movement. To eradicate them, you usually need to replace the mattress, pillows, sheets, etc. People can sleep in a bed all night and not realize that there were bedbugs until they see the characteristic rash in the morning. Bedbugs are a significant problem at hotels (from 5 star to 1 star) and most hotels do their best to quiet any talk of an infestation.

  19. varro says:

    If there’s any evidence at all, they should threaten a small claims lawsuit – if they got bitten, then all the guests in the hotel would be at risk, and it was likely packed – Cedar Point on the 4th of July weekend…

    However, the opposite happened to me – I got infected with athlete’s foot in a Canadian motel.

  20. J.Heck says:

    Bah. I used to work for Cedar Point (the amusement park in Sandusky, which is probably why they were there) and during training, we were given a list of hotels to recommend to people should anyone ask. This sh*thole was not on that list, and we were told to never recommend the place. I don’t know if they still do that, but let me tell you, I was asked at least 10 times a day where the best place to stay was. That place just needs to be condemned because it’s seriously that gross.

  21. junkmail says:

    Am I the only one itching uncontrollably right now???

  22. crbullseye says:

    Still trying to make sense of “dirt being kicked up onto the bed”

  23. dweebster says:

    Ironically, I had some serious health issues after staying at a Canadian Travelodge (Edmonton), but that’s another story..

    You damn Canucks stop creeping over our borders and stealing our Travelodge bed insects! It’s bad enough you have healthcare for everyone, now that your society is protected you think you can come down here and just “play” with our ill-equipped health system? Those bedbugs are for AMERICAN travelers, who eat AMERICAN bacon and don’t call their donuts “crullers.”

  24. MadameX says:

    @junkmail: I know, right? I get the willies every time I read about bed bugs. Yuck!

    Mental note, avoid the Travelodge…

  25. Dr.Martha_Jones says:

    This is going to sound like a strange question, but did they look at the side of the mattress? A family friend owns a geriatric nursing business and shared this with us: The easiest way to tell if a hotel mattress has bed bugs in it is to look at the side of the mattress. As they feed on bodily fluids, you can usually see a rusty colored stain down the side of the mattress.

  26. trujunglist says:


    Yeah, I was wondering about that. I would probably run to the front desk, have them come with me to verify that there were bugs, and then request a full refund at that point and ask for them to come up with a new hotel (since they probably had bed bugs in every room). Also, taking pictures is a good idea.

  27. renilyn says:

    __Inserts “Tommy Boy” reference__

  28. timmus says:

    Caveat emptor. Pull back the mattress cover and inspect the mattress in the first 60 seconds you check into a hotel room. Lift the mattress and check along the seams and on mattress surfaces for bugs or telltale streaks. That’s become my routine checking into ANY hotel. It takes 30 seconds and it’s damn cheap insurance.

  29. vondruska says:

    Thats kinda shocking to hear about… thanks to Cedar Point most of the hotels in that area try to keep things in tip top condition from what I’ve been told by friends. I can’t speak personally because I’m a local person who just uses his own bed

  30. morganlh85 says:


  31. ElizabethD says:

    Always take photos. A pic is worth 1,000 rants.

  32. theblackdog says:

    If they really had bedbugs in the bed, shouldn’t they have ended up with bites? I don’t see any mention of noticing any bites.

  33. amkuhl says:

    I worked at this particular Travelodge as a front desk clerk one summer. I can honestly say it is one of the more disgusting hotels in the area. However, it is sold out every night because rooms around Cedar Point can be hard to come by. We regularly had to comp rooms and give refunds because of mold and unclean rooms. We rarely had towels for the rooms most nights. The company that owned this hotel, also owned another 15-20 in the area. It was not one of their priorities. This Travelodge is only open for the summer.

  34. ZafirDento says:

    This happened to me (Only in London and with Expedia).

    The sum up a long story:
    Hotel gave me a free upgraded room for the remainder of my trip (No
    Questions asked).
    Expedia was worthless, gave me two $25 coupons goods towards an “Expedia
    Special Rate Hotel” (I ended up giving these away to strangers).
    Expedia also would not book me on a different hotel during my trip (nor
    would they refund me my money).

    I put in a chargeback with my Discover card company for $100 (Cost of 1
    night in bed bug infested room). Two months after the incident, Discover
    card reversed this chargeback (No explanation was given)

    End result:

    I cancelled my Discover Card and now only use AMEX & Visa
    I book hotels directly (I found that hotels are typically cheaper when
    booking directly as well as offer other “perks”
    Posted my experience on Tripadvisor (Hotel went out of business 4 years

  35. Imaginary_Friend says:

    @timmus: I do this, too, but before they charge my card.

    ALWAYS request to see the room first.

    Pull the pillows out of their cases because ven though the bedding is laundered, sometimes there are telltale dried blood spots on the pillows. Look behind the headboard, the nightstand, under the lamps, or any furniture near the bed. The link I posted above gives really good advice on what to look for – here it is again:


    Better safe than sorry.

  36. stinerman says:


    I live in Sandusky and I know of the Travelodge the submitter speaks of. It’s a piece, but it does beat the Luxury Budget Inn on US 6.

    Whenever I drive by that place, I chuckle. “Luxury Budget”. Oxymoron?

  37. stinerman says:

    They’re wrong. The nicer places on Cedar Point Rd. tend to be a bit better (and much more expensive because they’re right next to the park), but a good deal of the stuff further down US 250 and the independent hotels on 6 are all junk.

    The exciting thing about tourist season for us locals is that all the chain restaurants raise their prices by about 5-10%. The fast food chains are especially notorious for this.

  38. mzs says:

    They just did a very stupid thing when they packed-up their things and took them with them. Now they probably will have bed bugs at home.

  39. nforcer says:

    @ElizabethD: “Always take photos. A pic is worth 1,000 rants. “

    I think this point needs to be emphasized. Whenever I go on a trip, I always carry my digital camera with me. Not only is it good for recording the trip, but if something like this happens, I have time- and date-stamped proof of such a problem and can’t be cheated through lies. If you could’ve shown them camera recorded proof of the inside of the room, and clearly demonstrated the bed with bedbugs was in your room, there would be no argument here.

  40. Marko_Vulvic says:

    People vacation in Ohio?