Bedbugs infiltrate Miami hotels, homes

By Alexander Britell | September 02, 2010 04:15PM

The Royal Palm Hotel has had reported cases of bedbugs

South Florida’s hotels are seeing increased occupancy, but there are a number of unwelcome guests still making their way into the region’s hotels.

Bedbugs are on the rise in several South Florida counties, according to a recent report. They have been logged at a number of hotels in the area, according to the Bed Bug Registry, a free nationwide public database of bedbug reports from consumers.

Nine hotels in Miami have received bedbug reports, including the Wyndham Miami Airport and the Sandals Resorts at 4950 SW 72nd Avenue, according to the Bed Bug Registry.

Miami Beach, specifically, has fared the worst in the city, with 19 different hotels reporting bedbugs, including the recently sold Royal Palm Hotel, the Setai and the Clevelander Hotel on Ocean Drive.

“We’ve definitely been seeing a big spike in the Miami Beach area,” said Eugene Echevarria, a manager with Pest Doctor in Miami Beach. “Tourism is the main reason, with people moving around. I’ve also seen a number of employees at hotels that have been getting them where they work, along with people who stay in hotels.”

Echevarria said bedbugs tend to travel in suitcases and luggage unbeknownst to visitors. The problem is also an unfortunate by-product of recently increased occupancy at South Florida hotels.

Echevarria also said he had seen a spike in the incidence of bedbugs in homes in the Miami area, since a higher number of people have been staying with friends in houses than in hotels due to the economy.

The Bed Bug Registry, which does not guarantee the accuracy of reports, shows that there have been 20,000 bedbug reports in the U.S. and Canada since 2006.

There was just one report in West Palm Beach, and none in the town of Palm Beach.

Four Fort Lauderdale hotels have had reports of bedbugs, including the Sea Club Resort at 619 North Fort Lauderdale Beach Boulevard and the Oceanfront Manor Resort Hotel at 4040 Galt Ocean Drive.

The recent report found Palm Beach County to be increasingly infested with the bugs, with exterminators in the area being called on to remove them more than ever before and more calls to the Palm Beach County Health Department over the insects.