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Bed Bug Complaints Up In Sioux Falls

May 8, 2012, 5:13 PM by Casey Wonnenberg

Bed Bug Complaints Up In Sioux Falls
SIOUX FALLS, SD -

You've most likely heard about bed bugs in hotels, but you don't have to stay in a big city like New York or Chicago to be bitten.

Sioux Falls' Health Department has seen an increase in the number of bed bug complaints at local hotels.  Officials say while there's been a jump in the number of bed bug reports over the last several years that could also be the result of increased awareness.

Last year, the Health Department received 24 lodging complaints involving hotels, motels, campgrounds or bed and breakfasts in the city.  Of those complaints, 17 were about bed bugs.

Compare that to 2009 when the city received just 14 lodging complaints and only seven of them were bed bug related.

After receiving a complaint, a city inspector then checks out the suspected the hotel room within 24 hours of the complaint. Last year, seven of those inspections confirmed the presence of bed bugs.  But Public Health Manager Luann Ford says more of the hotels could have had bed bugs, but they had already taken care of the problem before the inspection was done.

"What we find is the operators who have the bed bugs generally know that they have them when we come. Generally when people complain to us, they've also complained to the facility. By the time we would go out the next day to do the investigation, the facility is generally on top of it and already closed the room down and started the treatment process," Ford said.

The city also does random inspections of hotels. During those inspections, they've found bed bugs in four hotels over the past two years.

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