MUSKOGEE, Okla. — A man visiting Muskogee is issuing a warning to fellow travelers after he says he found around two dozen bed bugs in his hotel room.
Robert Tolson is from Ohio, but he was staying at the Muskogee Holiday Inn for work.
"I'm a field service tech. I travel all the time," Tolson said. "But this is the first time I've even seen [a bed bug]."
Tolson checked in to the hotel on Monday, but found the bed bugs crawling around at 11:30 p.m. Tuesday night.
"I saw 14 to 20 bedbugs on the bed right next to me," said Tolson. "I immediately called downstairs and let the front desk person know, and I stayed up until 3 a.m. that night washing my own clothes with my own money."
Tolson says a front desk attendee came to take pictures of the insects for documentation and let the hotel manager know. Holiday Inn Muskogee Owner Bo Masters said his staff moved Tolson to a new room immediately.
However, after discovering a horde of blood sucking bugs in his original bed, Tolson said he had already lost his ability to sleep.
"You can't close your eyes anymore without getting that "heebbie-jeebie" crawling feeling on your skin," Tolson said.
A representative from the Oklahoma Health Department inspected the hotel Thursday morning, but didn't find any bed bugs in the room Tolson was moved from.
However, Masters called a third party pest control company to inspect.
"Yes, they did find some, but we check and treat every month like most hotels," said Master. "We can't control [bed bugs] from coming in because people travel from all over the world and bring stuff with them."
Bug experts call bed bugs, "hitch-hiker" bugs because of how they often travel.
"They most often travel or end up in a new place after getting into clothing or bags," a health department inspector told 2 Works for You.
Tolson said he had thrown away multiple articles of clothing and a suitcase. He said it cost him $350.
"It's frustrating that I have to deal with this, but I do just want people to know," Tolson said. "If they aren't checking, then they could take [the bed bugs] home with them."
Masters says the Holiday Inn Corporate Office will reimburse Tolson for his hotel stay.
The Oklahoma Health Department strongly recommends for anyone traveling to check their hotel room pillows and sheets before laying down or sitting on any furniture.
Stay in touch with us anytime, anywhere.
Sign up for newsletters emailed to your inbox. Select from these options: Breaking News, Severe Weather, School Closings, Daily Headlines and Daily Forecasts.