Only on 12: Bed bugs infest local hotel

News 12 at 6 o'clock / Wednesday, April 24, 2013

CLEARWATER, S.C. (WRDW) -- Bites cover Shauntel Williams-Johnson's body, courtesy of an unwelcome bed guest.

"Sunday night I got bit, but I didn't realize that it was bed bugs, I just thought I was bit by something," Williams-Johnson said.

She and her husband have been staying at the Royal Inn in Clearwater. They both kept waking up Tuesday night because they felt like something was biting them.

"When we flipped the cover back, we saw the bed bugs," she said.

They caught one of the little pests that was causing all of the chaos, and we took it to an exterminator to make sure it was the real deal.

Mark Gincerkowski, a bed bug expert with Horne Pest Control, says, "This is definitely a bed bug."

Gincerkowski says this is peak bed bug season for them, but it has nothing to do with the weather. It's all thanks to golf.

"It's because of Masters Week. There is a lot stay from out of the country that come into this area. People rent their houses out, hotels are filled," he said.

The Royal Inn gave the Johnsons a free night's stay and moved them to another room, but when we asked them what they were doing about the infestation, they said there isn't one.

The Johnsons disagree, saying, "They ain't took care of the room, they ain't took care of the bed bugs, they still there."

Williams-Johnson says she's never been so uncomfortable, saying, "It's so bad. My skin, I've been on fire. I mean, I ain't never felt like this my whole entire life. I got bit by a spider and it wasn't even nothing like this ... I'm itching. I just want to scratch and scratch and scratch and I can't."

We asked the owners of the Royal Inn if they have an exterminator coming to check things out. They said Terminix was coming out, but we called Terminix, and they don't show any scheduled appointments for the hotel in any of their systems.

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