A video that appears to show a gigantic bedbug infestation at a New York City hotel has gone viral, disgusting hundreds of thousands.
A couple from California stayed at the Astor on the Park Hotel on the Upper West Side near Central Park, claiming they found an infestation of the tiny insects in a mattress. One of the guests took out his phone and started recording.
Elgin Ozlen and his girlfriend were in New York City during the New Year’s celebration and stayed at the hotel. The couple arrived at the hotel on Wednesday.
“It looked like black mud was jammed into the seam of the bed,” he told the New York Daily News. “I lost it. They looked like they could hurt horses. It was a colony, a breeding ground.”
He said his girlfriend suffered approximately 75 bedbug bites on her fingers, arms, toes, and stomach.
Hotel guests were shocked to see the video footage, with some saying they would find another place to stay, the Daily News reported.
“We were expecting a vacation to remember the rest of our lives, and we will definitely remember it for the rest of our lives, but it won’t be a pleasant memory,” Ozlen told ABC-7 TV.
“On my birthday, I’m in the hospital, and I’m washing the best clothes that I brought that I own for this vacation, and during that process many of the clothes became damaged, because they’re not meant to be dried,” Ozlen added.
He said it cost hundreds of dollars to get their clothes and other belongings cleaned.
Tourists say they were attacked by bedbugs at Manhattan hotel https://t.co/kfuxieUbhY
— David Hale (@DavidHa51596823) January 3, 2016
A reporter at Gothamist showed the viral video to an exterminator, who confirmed the insects are bedbugs. He saw Ozlen’s girlfriend’s bites and remarked, “Oh, they loved her.”
A hotel employee told the New York Post that he was “instructed” not to say anything about the guest’s claims or the video.
In the comments section of the YouTube video, many told Ozlen that he shouldn’t take any of the clothes home with him as it could get infested with bedbugs. “Burn your luggage. Don’t bring a bedbug infestation into your home,” one person wrote. Another suggested putting the clothes in plastic bags and then placing them in the dryer.
For those unfamiliar with bedbugs, they’re a small, oval shaped insect that live on the blood of humans and other animals. Female bedbugs can lay hundreds of eggs, which are about the size of a speck of dust, over their lifetime. They do not transmit any disease, but they usually live in and near beds, feed at night without being noticed, and are notoriously hard to exterminate. By around 1940, they were mostly eradicated in the developed world, but there’s been an uptick in their prevalence since around 1995, which has been attributed to a ban on certain pesticides.
“Bedbugs may enter your home undetected through luggage, clothing, used beds and couches, and other items. Their flattened bodies make it possible for them to fit into tiny spaces, about the width of a credit card. Bedbugs do not have nests like ants or bees, but tend to live in groups in hiding places. Their initial hiding places are typically in mattresses, box springs, bed frames, and headboards where they have easy access to people to bite in the night,” says WebMD.