This news really bites for out-of-towners dreaming of a New York City visit.
Some 188 local hotels, including 108 located within a one-mile radius of Times Square, have allegedly hosted some very unwanted guests in recent years: bed bugs.
That’s according to a skin-crawling new study from Pest Strategies, an online resource for pest removal tips and services.
“To bring to light a report that really highlights hotels as the main transmission vector is important,” said 30-year-old Shane Dutka, an operations manager at the Raleigh, NC-based portal, who helped compile the report. “I think this is totally underreported. I think there are many, many bed bug cases that never reach [the news].”
The study’s biggest offender is the Queens County Inn and Suites in Long Island City, which has had 36-bed bug complaints since 2010 — seven of them between January 2018 and February 2020.
The hotel, which didn’t return a message seeking comment, received its most recent infestation complaint in January.
“[Both our] beds were infested with bed bugs,” claims an anonymous comment posted on The Bedbug Registry, a public database that tracks sightings of the creepy crawlers across the US and Canada. “[My friend] was itching after breakfast and saw them crawling on the sheet … when I turned over my cover … they were so many … as I turned over the cover they were everywhere on the walls ceiling etc … and we were bitten all over.”
Pest Strategies compiled bed bug reviews for 758 city properties from The Bedbug Registry, Bed Bug Reports and Tripadvisor. To determine the 10 most infested, the group compared each hotel’s all-time bed-bug complaint count against the number of bug-related reviews received between 2019 and 2021. Complaints including libel or inaccurate descriptions with no photo evidence didn’t make the cut.
“We do review these reviews and we make sure that we use our best judgment,” Dutka. “We tried our best to keep things as true and narrow as possible.”
Midtown’s Wellington Hotel, now closed until January 2022 due to a flood-related elevator replacement, ranked No. 2. It has 20 all-time bed bug complaints, the most recent of which came via Tripadvisor in November 2020, one month before the hotel temporarily shut.
“The staff didn’t want to come in and check when I called them in to show the bedbug,” wrote the commenter. “The manager wanted me to be out so she can send inspection. She claimed they couldn’t find any but it was [a] total coverup.”
Henry Demera, 46, the Wellington’s security director — his department first responds to bed bug complaints to gather information — told The Post the hotel gets daily extermination treatments.
“In the rare instance that it is positive, we fumigate the room,” he said. “We have gone as far as to basically demo a room … the hotel takes it very seriously.”
No. 3 is The Bowery House in Nolita, which has had eight complaints since 2018 and didn’t return messages seeking comment. Nor did the art deco Hotel Edison, which is steps from Times Square and came in at No. 5. Its most recent complaint came in December 2019, when a visitor from the United Kingdom alleged “you could see the blood where they had bitten on the sheets.”
“They had mattress covers on [the beds],” said 44-year-old Edison guest Donna Larrick. Visiting from Milwaukee, Wis., she was one of dozens of guests entering and leaving the busy hotel on a recent Wednesday. “I always check.”
Hotel visitors tend to bring in the critters on luggage or clothing — and, as more people visit the Big Apple this year, complaints could worsen.
“New York, because of a dense population and the amount of travel, it’s just so common to see [bed bugs]. I’m sure it’ll only continue as we get out of COVID,” said Dutka.