TOLEDO, OH (WTOL) - Be careful your next hotel stay doesn't come with some unwanted guests.
Toledo resident Shawn Sirkin reached to Call 11 for Action after she noticed bed bugs crawling on the drapes and walls at the Sunset Motel off Telegraph Road. She said when she reached out to the health department she was told they didn't have the funds to tackle the problem.
Eric Zgodzinski, Director of Community and Environmental Health at the Lucas County Health Department, said bed bugs can be costly to treat.
"The public funding's just not there," Zgodzinski said. "I mean nobody can go out to each and every house that has bed bugs and think they're going to be able to eradicate them."
The Fire Marshall handles bed bugs complaints and the county distributes educational material to local hotels and businesses on how to get rid of them, but there's no fine or consequence for repeat offenders.
"What we need to do is educate people," Zgodzinski said.
U.S. pest control company Terminix reported Toledo as one of the top fifteen cities for bed bug infestations based on complaints last year. Zgodzinski says one reason for that is travelers coming in and out from the Detroit airport, but it's also because more people are aware of how to spot them.
"We've seen more complaints this year than the year before, but we've been sitting here talking about bed bugs too," Zgodzinski said.
Despite repeated attempts, WTOL wasn't able to reach Sunset Motel for comment.
The health department said to inspect mattresses and light switches before unpacking your bags in a hotel, and even suggests first putting your suitcase in the bath tub so no bed bugs are transferred before you inspect.
The good news is that while bed bugs are certainly gross, they aren't likely to make you sick.
"It's not like a flea or a tick, you know, they don't carry any known diseases that we know of at this point," Zgodzinski said.
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